Let me tell you a very short story, told to me by my Dad…

He once used to work for a national window and door company. Every week and every month all of the sales reps would sit around a table while their sales figures were poured over by the area manager and everyone else in the room. The guy who sold the most was very highly praised, whilst at the same time, the guy who sold the least was very much made an example of and made to look quite stupid in front of everyone else.

My Dad was subject to this sort of treatment himself after he had a short quiet spell and he was very clear on how embarrassing and unhelpful that was both to himself and the general team spirit. I’d like to think that this is an old fashioned way of doing things. Something that went on over 20 years ago. But maybe this is something that still goes on? I don’t know, I’ve never worked for a national company thank God!

But is stories like this that goes to show that although we all need targets to make sure we aim as high a possible, high pressure isn’t something that is going to get us all there.

We are all humans, and very few of us are productive under regular pressure and sustained put-downs. Targets are an important part of any business and form the main chunk of any business plan. But in order to attain them, sales staff need to be motivated and encouraged. They need to be given the tools in order to do their job to the very best.

I feel that our industry has all too often put far too much pressure on the guys and girls at the sharp end, going into people’s homes and doing their best to try and get the sale. I do also believe that initial nasty management and greed to get every rising targets has helped nurture this “close on the night” culture which has given our industry a very bad label we are now trying very hard to get rid of.

So while targets are very important, lets encourage our sales teams to do well and not apply so much pressure. Especially in an industry which is still struggling to get back on it’s feet after one hell of an economic shock. People just aren’t spending their money like they used to.