Helping build relationships

The situation you describe precludes any type of program that is too structured.In addition, some salespeople may respond well to contests, while others may not, so it is important to develop incentives that will appeal to as broad a spectrum as...

The situation you describe precludes any type of program that is too structured.

In addition, some salespeople may respond well to contests, while others may not, so it is important to develop incentives that will appeal to as broad a spectrum as possible.

Two-tiered approach

With this in mind, we would like to recommend a two-tiered approach that allows your sales team to build some outstanding customer relationships and loyalty (and, consequently, continued financial rewards), plus provide a major travel incentive for those salespeople who really enjoy a contest.

1) Generating leads

Most successful salespeople know and understand the benefits of strong follow-up.

We will supply you with a substantial number of ski weekends (750) for two people to be used as follows:

- Have your sales team contact all new customers of this year (Jan. 1), ensuring they are satisfied with their home purchase.

Providing the customers are happy, your salespeople should reward your customers with this unexpected extra ski weekend while enquiring about any leads or referrals.

- On completion of any sales for the rest of this year (Dec. 31), reward new buyers with the ski weekend while searching out any new leads or prospects.

Repeat referrals from the same person that turn into purchases should be rewarded with a ski week for two or more people including air. We suggest budgeting for 20 of these.

We believe these enhancements to your sales efforts will increase your prospect list and increase your overall home sales, in addition to boosting the bottom line of your sales team.

Your sales team will also appreciate the positive approach you have taken to make their job easier and more profitable.

2) The reward

A high percentage of salespeople are competitive and will enjoy some sort of sales competition.

It is important that the travel incentive be perceived as beneficial and that it can be redeemed hassle-free with lots of flexibility.

Our 800-number and one-stop shopping for airfare, transfers, accommodation, lifts, rentals, lessons, child-care, and so on, will appeal to these young professionals who would prefer to get skiing and not worry about the travel details.

Unfair

Your diverse market area suggests that a single contest would be unfair for some salespeople working smaller markets, so the contest should be broadened to have frequent rewards on a more regional scale.

We suggest having one contest each in the two urban areas of Edmonton and Calgary, and then three regional contests in the south, central and northern areas.

The five contest regions will reward two prizes monthly for a six-month period, beginning in September.

The first will be for the most sales by any salesperson in that monthly period. The reward will be a ski week for two couples and their families including airfare, accommodation in our deluxe vacation homes, lifts, lessons and rentals.

This will allow the top salesperson to share the benefit/prize with as many people as possible.

The second reward in the region will go to the salesperson who has seen the largest percentage of increase in sales from that month compared with the same month in the previous year.

Reward

This reward will be a ski week for two including airfare, accommodation, lifts, lessons and rentals. This should help acknowledge a salesperson who is not yet a top producer but is making excellent progress.

The budget (all prices are provided to you at a 20% discount)

750 ski weekends (deluxe hotel) @ $250.00 = $187,500

20 ski weeks (deluxe hotel) @ $1,000 = $20,000

6 ski weeks (vacation homes) @ $2,000 = $12,000

6 deluxe ski weeks (vacation homes) @ $4,000 = $24,000

Total: $243,500

This plan is flexible in terms of its start-up and duration, although we recommend beginning early in September for a six-month period.

The plan is simple, as we provide all the program materials and organization details.

We feel your salespeople will be positively motivated with this program, and that your home sales will continue to grow in the upcoming year.

Mike Duggan is vice-president of marketing at Silver Star Mountain Resort in Vernon, B.C.