I motivate our sales team by doing several things. We offer advancement; we provide telemarketers and office support for them; an excellent salary plus commissions: an open door policy for questions and concerns; seminars; and sales education.

The most important tool that I use is reminding them of the following current sales statistics (it gets their attention every time):

48 percent of salespeople never follow up with a prospect;
25 percent of salespeople makes a second contact and stop;
12 percent of salespeople only make three contacts and stop;
Only 10 percent of salespeople make more than three contacts;
2 percent of sales are made on the first contact;
3 percent of sales are made on the second contact;
5 percent of sales are made on the third contact;
10 percent of sales are made on the fourth contact;
80 percent of sales are made on the fifth to 12th contact.

Roger Simpson, Vice President
Kiss Janitorial
Austin, Texas


I have one professional salesman, who came out of corporate B-to-B sales (one benefit of the recession is that I have strengthened my team with people who previously would not even consider working for a janitorial company). The spiffs, bonuses and prizes he previously earned, I cannot match; what I can give him is my time, knowledge and support.

Sales is a process of rejection; 99 percent of the contacts you make are negative, even abusive. At the end of the day you feel bruised and drained.

Sharing your day with someone that has your back, offering them strength, hope and experience is far more precious than a gift certificate would be. The “glad handing” business is not all smiles and sunshine; it is alienating and isolated, having the owner of the service with you means you’re not alone in the field. Your sales team’s motivation should be you. If its motivation is money alone, they are really not your sales team at all.

Alan Wickstrand, Owner
Follow Through Cleaning
Portland, Ore.

Our employees are motivated by the vision of our company, which is to provide quality services to our customers. We strive diligently to attain our objectives. As an appreciation for our employees’ hard work, we provide employee recognition, promotional advancement, bonuses and various gift cards. We acknowledge their accomplishments in our quarterly newsletter and at employee meetings.

Our greatest salespeople have been our satisfied customers. When you provide your customers with great service they want to tell others. Our customer contacts have proven to be a great source of new business. We offer a discount to our customers for their referrals. We even provide them with free service when they refer us to their associates. We will also give them a thank you letter and a gift card to a restaurant or event.

Quintis Millsaps, President, CEO 

Q’s Cleaning Services
Markham, Ill.