Money-Is It Really An Incentive?

June 3, 2013 by Harlan Goerger

Upon receiving a question from one of my clients about establishing a bonus plan or incentive plan for their project managers. My associate, Dan Cox brought out the following article that gives some great insight into how true or false this may be. I strongly suggest you take a read.

My recommendation to the client was to first look at what behavior is really needed to get the results desired. By isolating the right behavior first, you can focus the incentive on those behaviors, not just some random thing.

From there a system of measurement can be created by the management and the person receiving the incentive. I strongly encourage the focus not be just on total production or just on cost containment. Rather, focus on the "profit" of the project with a longer range total goal and they get a part of it. This causes the person to have a broader view and understanding of what is really needed and best for the organization. Along with this have both a reward for building profit and punitive side for those projects that do not hit the mark. Now you have them truly involved in the business and preparing them to be self-directed.

I feel MONEY is only a true incentive for a very small portion of the workforce. Most job changes require at least a 10% advantage before a move is made. Far too often I've seen people ask and get more money, but no increase in performance, rather a reduction in performance!

What it really is about is MEASURMENT! If one can measure their own progress they become engaged, bring out their problem solving skills and improve performance. Let's look at this through the eyes of DISC.

D likes measurements because they can solve problems and see results
I likes measurements because it provides a status in others eyes and builds their reputation
S likes measurements because it helps them know they are doing the right job the right way
C likes measurements because it assures them what works right and that they are accurate in their actions

So before you go hog wild over giving out incentives, be sure you have measurements in place that provide the right feed back loop to the employee as well as management.

For more info, drop a line

To your continued success!

Harlan Goerger :)

Talking or Walking the Walk

May 31, 2013 by Harlan Goerger

If your in management, you've experienced those that talk the talk and those that walk the walk! Of course we would like all of them to walk the walk all the time!

But what does one do with those that do the talk,  but stumble on the walk?

The Management Challenge takes this and other topics to task and ask the panel of experience what they would do. There is a lot of insight and more than enough ideas here, so take some time to really study the solutions and you'll find the one for you.

I'll be posting these from time to time when a majority of the panel has responded. Of course you could sign in and receive the posts directly..

Thanks to Lee Salz for creating and managing the Management Challenge.

To your continued success!

Harlan Goerger :)

The Flexible Company

May 30, 2013 by Harlan Goerger

When one thinks of "Flexible", one might think of the old cartoon Gumby, the little clay guy and his horse and all the contorted things that happened to him. The reality is that flexibility in business is a must today. If technology, government or competitors are not creating change, the customers are! The one who can flex, adapt and respond will most likely win!

Here are some 30 ways you could add more "flexibility" into your business.. Enjoy and try a few!

To your success!


He Called -- It Worked!!!

April 16, 2013 by Harlan Goerger

Every had one of those calls from a client that just made your day?

That happened today, a large loan bank officer that I've been coaching on sales, called me on his way back from a sales call. Apparently they had a possible new client that asked what the loan rates were on land. The person taking the call didn't get much info other than a name and number.

I'll call him Frank, the loan officer called and set up an appointment to meet. Just a note, Franks minimum loan is only $1,000,000, so obviously a few quick qualifying questions and off he went to meet the new prospect.

We had been working on The Paradigm Selling approach over the past 3 weeks, focusing on the right type of questions, facilitating the buying decision and the last session gave Frank the 5 Step Persuasive Process. As we went through the 5 Step Persuasive Process Franks eye's lit up and he could see the value and how the magic of persuasion could work.

What was Franks call about? A new prospect, an hour conversation utilizing the 5 Step Persuasive Process and he has everything in place for a $2,000,000 loan!!

A quick recap of Franks sales call goes something like this:

"So what is your rate and policies on an ag land loan?" asks the prospect.

"Well, I think you'll find we do things a bit differently than most other lenders, so bear with me and could I ask a few questions?" is Franks reply.

Frank begins the first step of discovering, developing and clarifying what the prospects future goals and outcomes really are and why he wants those outcomes. Frank is excited about how easy it is to facilitate helping the prospect develop this future picture. He can see the emotional connection building and how sincere the prospect is about his future.

Next Frank gets into the reality of today, what is or is not happening, why, what, etc. He keeps asking facilitative type questions to dig deeper and helps the prospect get a good picture of the current situation. Of course this clearly defines where the "gaps" are between his future picture and the current situation.

As Frank continues to ask about how and why the "gaps" exist the prospect continues to be introspective and exposing the reason for the "gaps" and his plan on how to address these "gaps". Frank simply keeps asking the questions, facilitates the prospects problem solving and listens intently.

Frank now has everything he needs to understand the prospects situation, needs, parameters, limits and opportunities and how all this ties into the prospects goals. By the way, Frank has not recommended anything or showed any brochures or information to the prospect.

So Frank moves the prospect into the fourth step, a quick review of the "why he wants to do this" for the prospect, again through questions Frank verifies the "why" with the prospect. The prospect adds more to the future picture and why is important to him.

Thus Frank finds himself in the 5th step, "What are you willing to do today to make this all happen?" Frank asks. There is a bit of hesitation from the prospect, yet Frank refers to the prospects goals and the reality that he needs to take action to get anywhere close to accomplishing the future picture. One of the biggest challenges for loan officers is getting all the information from the prospect, Franks situation is no different. "I have it all on paper, not a real computer guy, I'll have all of it copied for you tomorrow and sent out the next day."

The prospect again asks about the interest rate to which Frank asks, "Has this been different in some way from other experiences you've had with finance people and what is different?" The prospect responds, "Yes, it has been different, this was all about me and my solution, not yours. Usually it's all about numbers and what the bank wants me to do!"

A few days later Frank receives the package with all the information he needs.

In summary, Frank met a new prospect for the first time, engaged him in the 5 Step Persuasive Process and moved the prospect not only to provide all the information, but is openly willing to finance both land and operations with him. That's a $2,000,000 sale in one call in an hours time!!

Yes, I know, your saying this prospect was a "lay-down" one of those "give me's" we occasionally get, but Frank said this was so different from the way he was selling and was soooooo much easier to do. Frank feels he can raise his closing ratio into the 35-50% range using these tools. (Industry average and Franks company average is 10-15%)

There were no objections, no product demonstrations or "persuading" the prospect. It was about discovering, understanding and leading through questions that turned a questionable prospect into a new client.

There is a different and better way to "persuade" others and The New Paradigm Selling utilizing the 5 Step Persuasive Process can do the same for any salesperson or manager that sets their mind to it.

Interview Questions Anyone?

February 5, 2013 by Harlan Goerger

With the cost of hiring and onboarding these days, hiring the right person the first time

is so important , yet how well do we interview.

Here is post giving you insight into a multiplicity of how others do it.


To your continued success!