Prospecting new business is paramount to the success of stations, and it’s the job of leadership to ensure the team doesn’t let it get pushed aside and forgotten. But finding new ways to motivate and challenge your team to be excited about doing it can be an art form.

When I was a station GSM, I always found it easier to motivate and get the job done if I could inspire a little fun and friendly competition. Here’s a creative idea we used that got both sellers and management involved in the process.

  • Name it, own it, schedule it: we called ours “Wealthy Wednesdays.”  Whether it’s Money Time Mondays or Wealthy Wednesdays, every week set aside time and expectations for new business prospecting sessions with your team.
  • If the allotted time is 2-3 hours, the entire station needs to know. No traffic, promotions, or other interruptions!
  • Once you’ve set your plan, change things up each week or month to keep energy high. An example of how Wealthy Wednesdays might look:
    1. Everyone hits the phones with a vetted list of prospects for a particular promotion, program or initiative. A physical or virtual tracker is kept up-to-date on appointments secured.
    2. When it makes sense for your market, everyone hits the streets to get as many key decision-makers’ business cards as possible. If an appointment is made, that’s cause for a planned celebration.
    3. Entire team in the war room for prospecting calls. Before the meeting, discuss the leads and set goals. During this session, managers—including the GM—participate (appointments booked by managers are given out to the top producers for that session). As a group activity, it shows that managers are willing to work for a shared goal and it allows newbies to hear the veterans. Everyone steps up their game because the whole team can hear the conversations.
    4. “2 by 2” … match two sellers up. This initiates both competition and teamwork. Each pair has a plan for whom they’re going to call on and how they will help each other to win the contest.
  • Varying the sessions challenges everyone from newbies to veterans, and gives them the chance to find their knack in prospecting and hone their skills in connecting quickly with potential advertisers.
  • Remember, in high-performing sales teams, no one is exempt. Everyone plays and is expected to pull the weight of their role. Not all roles are equal, but all are valuable. No one “outgrows” having to do new business. With GM, DOS’s and Line Managers held accountable for new business … why would an experienced seller not be asked to contribute?

Celebrate BIG: sales staffs are being pulled in more directions than ever, so celebrating and rewarding efforts, outcomes and wins is critical to keeping morale high.

What’s a win? Most overall appointments, most meetings set with an owner, most diagnosis calls conducted, most presentations given—all are important. Every step is about moving the needle closer to a sale.

As we re-emerge in 2021, finding and creating fun and unique ways to make sure new business is done consistently is worth the effort. Enjoy the ride.

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