Thursday, April 03, 2008

Leveraging Enthusiasm

Where does excitement come from? During a one on one session with a member of my inside sales team yesterday, the subject of a recent four day long sales promotion arose. The number of widgets sold across the four days were 18, 6, 9, and 8, respectively. I asked my associate what was different between day one and days two, three, and four. Her response was that everyone was focused on the specific task of increasing sales of widgets because of the excitement surrounding the beginning of the event (in not so many words, actually). I asked what an individual in her department could do to spread the excitement to other days of the event in the future. Her response was so simple and so complex at the same time. She thought for a moment and said, "Just get excited." The look on her face showed that she'd had an epiphany: Excitement can be summoned at will.

Many associates and managers wait for events, promotions, or incentives to come around in order to act as a catalyst for change or for increased productivity. I have to admit that sometimes I find myself doing just that. The key to breaking that cycle is to make rallying the troops a daily activity. Creativity and a little jocularity go a long way towards lightening loads and turning exasperatingly impossible tasks into manageable challenges to be overcome.

Excitement is contagious and leads to excellent results if your team has a firm training base and the skillset to direct their enthusiasm. Be sure you're not selling yourself and your team short by not capitalizing on easiest "event" to set up and maintain... your team's excitement and enthusiasm.


Does not play well with others said...

True enough, but easier said than done in some industries. I myself am in food service. I can be upbeat and excited all I want, but if upper management hasn't done their job by sending out mailings and doing other seemingly simple advertisement to help my staff drive sales, then it is really hard to stay excited about a $1500 Friday that should and could have been $3000. When your staff can drive sales themselves, it is much easier to get and stay excited. When they need help and aren't getting it, it is a much more difficult task.

Keefer Milton said...

While it is very true that all levels of management don't necessarily perform to the same levels and expectations, it is every good manager's job to have his or her team perform at the highest level of their potential.

Great managers operate with a certain duality in mind: being a leader to his or her team and being an influence on his or her superiors. Jockeying for change from above while maintaining a positive attitude towards your team is a difficult task, but necessary.

Fort Smith, Arkansas
...just narcissistic enough to own a blog.