Last November, on the day after Thanksgiving, I visited the
Mall of America. To do a little shopping. And check out the
carts at the mall.
I went later in the day. Actually, in the early evening. After things had settled down a bit at the mall. You could tell it had been busy early.
You could feel the exhaustion in the salespeople as the day winded down. Except for one sales rep at a cart on the first floor.
When I stopped at her cart, she zipped right over to help me. Right away. Bounding with energy. We talked for a few minutes about her product, and then her day. I asked how things had gone for her...
"I sold two stacks today!", she replied.
I laughed. I was sure that meant she did well. But I didn't
know what 'two stacks' meant. So I asked.
"A 'stack' is a thousand dollars. I sold over $2000 dollars today!"
She told me she was paid on commission. And two stacks in sales meant she earned about 'half a stack' ($500) for herself.
Given that she was only one of four people that worked that
day, it sounded like the cart did pretty well. In fact, she shared with me that the cart had about $5K is sales for the day. Not too bad. Even for the day after Thanksgiving!
About a half hour later, I came across another cart selling
a very similar product on the other side of the mall.
When I stopped, the sales rep was busy talking on the telephone. No boundless enthusiasm. No enthusiasm at
all. She kind of shrunk behind a post on the cart, hoping
I'd keep going.
After about thirty seconds, she realized I wasn't going
away. So she hung up. And then pulled herself off her
chair and came over to me.
Once she got over to me, she was pretty nice. We had a similar conversation as with the other cart. She had worked six hours that afternoon, and told me she was earning $9 per hour. $54 for the shift. She didn't know how much she had sold.
She did tell me that the cart had sold about $950 for the day. Apparently that was pretty good for that cart.
I got thinking about those two carts in the mall that day. Both were selling virtually the same product. And both had virtually the same opportunity to do well.
But one cart was doing a lot better than the other.
$5K in sales at one, vs about $1K in sales at the other. And it was clear why. One rep was busting her butt to make sales. The other rep was simply sitting on her butt.
Why the different levels of performance, and different level of sales?
At the first cart, the rep was paid based upon her performance. The more she sold, the more she earned. So she got off her butt, and sold.
At the second cart, the rep was paid the same no matter
how much she sold. She was content to sit on her butt. And only grudgingly help customers when they stopped.
The results at the two carts reflected different ways the reps were compensated, and the different level of motivation caused by the two compensation methods. Which result would you prefer?
Keep this in mind. The two sales reps this day were both happy with their pay. But only one really worked hard to maximize her sales.
It's a lot more likely that your sales reps will sell more if you pay them based upon their performance. And it's my hunch that YOU'LL be a lot happier if your reps sell more.
Because you'll make more.
My suggestion today is this:
Pay your sales staff based on their performance. They'll perform better. They'll sell more. You'll make more. And you'll be happier.
P.S. Want to maximize the sales at your cart or
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