The secret to motivating your sales team is simple: if you dig deep to reward them for a job well done, they’ll dig deeper to do a great job for you.
Every salon owner dreams of “lighting a fire” under each employee to turn them into a sales superstar. Steve Swarts discovered the secret to unlocking his staff’s sales potential, and that simple formula is big rewards = big results. Swarts, co-owner of Sunsational Tans in Fresno, CA, awards a cash prize to his top three salespeople each year, and this is in addition to the commissions he pays them for product and membership sales. The opportunity to win cold, hard cash is enough to motivate his team to become sales superstars, and Steve couldn’t be happier.
If you believe that sales commissions should be enough to motivate your team, you’re missing the point, says Steve. “It’s always going to be the same scenario,” he commented, “some will be your top sellers while others are happy to just get by each day.” Wanting to come up with a way to motivate his staff and reward those who go above and beyond led to the creation of Sunsational Tans’ sales contest, which runs through March, April and May, and awards prizes for the top three sellers are $1,500, $750 and $500, respectively. “We’ve been doing this for many years now, and we continue to see higher product and membership sales,” he added.
To keep things fair, Steve judges his sales contests on the average membership and product sales totals for each hour an employee works. “We take their sales commissions earned and divide them by the number of hours worked,” he said. “This gives us their hourly average during this three- month period.” On average, the top three salespeople at Sunsational earn between $35-$45 per hour in lotion sales during an average of 450 hours. “All the employees get excited about it and want to check their individual progress each day on the salon’s soft- ware system,” he said.
When it’s time to reward his top three sellers, Steve says he’s glad to hand over the cash. “The monetary amount is small, really, when compared to what they bring in,” he said, “yet it goes a long way toward making them feel appreciated. Besides, when you have a team that’s worked hard to earn that much, you should be happy to reward their efforts.”
Sunsational Tans was opened in 1997 by Steve Swarts and his sister, Susan Moore. Within two years, the brother-and-sister team doubled the size of their first location before opening a second in Clovis and a third in Fresno in 2001. These days, the three-store chain continues to thrive, thanks in no small part to a dedicated and properly-motivated sales force.
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
articles for IST Magazine and, as Director of Editorial Content, has also
helped guide the publication's evolution. Ribby is a graduate of Central
Michigan University's journalism program and has brought many years of newspaper reporting experience to his position of Head Writer. He is also the author of three novels, "Legacy of the Bear," "Prophecy of the Bear" and "World So Dark."
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