Trending This Week: Are You a Fun Facilitator?

Here’s how sales leaders can transform the typical sales pressure cooker into a fun environment.

May 19, 2017

  • Businesspeople Throwing Papers in the Air

Imagine waking up every day filled with anticipation at the fun that awaited you. This aptly describes the experiences of most kids. Especially at the onset of summer. But who’s to say it can’t apply to us adults, and specifically, to your sales team? According to Nigel Edelshain, sales can and should be fun.

In fact, it’s quite fitting considering the traits of the most effective salespeople. Top reps are optimistic and upbeat (i.e., radiate a sense of humor, fun, and generally positivity). Here are a few more reasons why enjoyment should play a bigger role at your organization, and a few tips for making fun happen.

Let’s Get Social

The Business Daily News survey highlighted that top sales reps tend to be extroverted. No surprise there, but have you really thought about what that means? One professor of psychology interviewed by the paper described an extrovert as one who is “generally sociable, gets energized by spending time with other people, likes to talk and start conversations and makes friends easily.”

As Edelshain says in the interview on the creation agency blog, “Social selling is naturally fun in my experience because it involves making new friends and interacting with people in a natural way.” Contrast this with cold calling, which Edelshain describes as “swimming upstream.”

Admit it – it’s much more fun to swim with the current. And social selling makes this possible on two levels. First, social selling is an essential approach for every modern sales professional. In other words, be a social seller and you’re in the mainstream. Second, social selling gives you an effective way to avoid swimming upstream in the form of making cold calls. Instead, it paves the way for interactions that lead to valued relationships.  

It makes perfect sense that playing to your sales team’s strengths would make selling more enjoyable. Let’s explore this idea – and how you can be the ringleader that brings it to life.

Send Them On a Prospecting Scavenger Hunt

No, we’re not talking about an after-hours gathering at the local bar. We’re talking about gathering your team on a regular basis to help them up their social skills. But why not make this a fun exercise? As you work with them to establish a professional brand, find the right people, understand them, and engage them intelligently, find ways to make a game of it.

One example is to break your team into groups and describe a prospecting scenario. Then set the groups loose on LinkedIn to uncover as much relevant information as possible, and ask them to come up with a few possible ways to initiate a conversation with the prospect.

Hold a Profile Contest

Because many prospects check out a sales professional’s LinkedIn profile before engaging, it’s essential that your reps polish theirs. To get them working toward a profile that pays off, launch a contest promising a prize for the best one. The contest rules can outline the criteria for a winning profile, and point to helpful guidance for developing it. You could even recruit a panel of judges to award prizes at the next sales or company meeting.

Promote a Networking Ninja

A healthy network is the linchpin to success with social selling. Similar to encouraging your reps to make their profiles shine, push them to broaden and deepen their network connections. Some quick ways to build connections are with:

  • The rest of the sales team
  • Existing clients
  • Their email contacts

As they expand their networks, they should use them to secure warm introductions, map out buying committees, and generate referrals. Keep track of how well your reps do this over a predetermined time frame and award the winning rep with the “Networking Ninja” designation (and perhaps a costume to go along with the award).

Build a Fun House

In addition to making their daily work tasks more fun, you can create a general office atmosphere that encourages regular de-stressing. Think a ping-pong, foosball, or pool table. Perhaps you furnish a certain area of the office with beanbags and couches for lounging. You could even invite them to participate in a twist on fantasy sports that involves awarding points to reps who complete certain tasks that lead to successful sales outcomes.

Tap into your inner child and let your imagination run free. Soon you’ll be cultivating a culture of fun that re-energizes your sales team to take their game to new levels.

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