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Small Business: Do Incentives For Non-Sales Staff Work?

Small Business is tough and nobody can deny that and many employers will look for any number of ways to build and maintain the volume of business that they enjoy. One of the techniques that owners will try to use and encourage staff to be more proactive in achieving sales is to use incentives, however, for non-sales staff often this does not work. Find out why as we look into three incentive models.

There are three incentive models that most business owners will use in driving sales and they are -

1. Financial Rewards
2. Recognition of Service
3. Responsibility Reward

1. Financial Rewards

Many businesses, in particular small businesses will use financial rewards as one of their primary techniques for driving sales. The rewards can be in one of two forms, either direct monetary rewards or in the form of products and services. However, in this time of good quality wages and affluence this often does not work.

Let me explain …

I had a colleague, who owned an Office Equipment business and recently sold it and one of his greatest challenges was stopping the competition from pilfering his clients. His greatest asset in the workplace was the technician who repaired the photocopiers and other business equipment. These guys are great assets simply because they were non-confrontational with the clients where as sales staff are often people everyone tries to avoid.

In fact in many cases, if a technician actually advised the client on what was the best product to purchase the client almost always, well at least to 90% of the time would purchase the product based on their advice. My colleague recognized this and implemented a financial rewards system to encourage the technicians to look for opportunities to upgrade the client's machines when they were working in their workplace. Guess what … did not work.


Well for two reasons, one, the technicians were paid that well, they did not care about the financial rewards and secondly most technicians only care about the technology. Essentially they were geeks and would rather a new piece of equipment than money. I know, sad, very sad.

The way my colleague overcame this problem was to use product based rewards rather than financial rewards. Essentially, he rewarded staff members pieces of technical equipment rather than financial rewards and you know something, sales went up in his business 30%. Go figure.

Using financial or product based rewards will only work if the non-sales staff really cares about what you are offering and this is where you as the business owner must really get to know your staff. My colleague prior to using technology as a reward tried other rewards like weekends to Hamilton Island, trips overseas and none of it worked. Personally, I would have had the weekend to Hamilton Island but the key is understanding your staffs want and needs, just like you need to understand your customers.

2. Recognition of Service

One of the most fascinating businesses I have ever worked in was McDonalds, in fact I spent 10 years there and my first job was at a new McDonalds that was opening in Townsville. What has always fascinated me about McDonalds is their ability to engage 15 and 16 year olds in working hard even when there wages were, minimum.

In fact the way we were engaged was through a series of recognition processes which included achieving badges for service and the points earned during the year were added up and put towards earning major prizes at a yearly awards night held at the local 5 Star Casino. In fact one year, the local franchisee actually gave a car away as part of the reward process. This technique of rewarding staff for service ensured that their McDonalds were one of the top stores in the country. In fact many of the stores in the Townsville region have taken out top awards for service because of the service recognition system. It simply encouraged people to be the best at what they were doing.

3. Responsibility Reward

Most business people and sales staff in today's business environment want to offload their responsibility rather than taking on more but you maybe pleasantly surprised to know that some of your staff may relish and be chomping at the bit to get the chance to take on your excess responsibility. So how do you do you reward excess responsibility …

The first thing you need to do is to give them an apt title that is appropriate to the position, that is one that means something and then promote them to this position if they should reach a certain target of sales. When they do, then the position is guaranteed to be there's. I recommend using this technique in consultation with their yearly staff review. Give them a core goal to work for during the next 12 months.

For non-sales staff the reward system you implement may not work if you do not specifically focus on the interests and desires of those staff. To many rewards systems for non-sales staff fail, simply because the reward system does not work off the desire of your staff and really that is the core secret of engaging more sales from non-sales staff.

About the Author: For other great online and offline marketing ideas visit our website Online Marketing Business Opportunity. If you would like the opportunity to read the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill simply visit our website where you can download the book and audio reading. To help you in learning this material I strongly recommend our High Performance Meditation Music at - Meditation Music

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