The days are over when fear was a driving motivator. Fear might work for shortterm gain, but in the long run, fear drives people out the door. The new adage for today's corporate climate should be "focus follows fun." What can you do at your station to create that ambiance of fun and excitement on a daily basis? Here are four idea-starters:
1) Create a mirth director: Every month, make one new account executive responsible for bringing in funny cartoons or video clips that can be used at sales meetings. One station in Delaware uses the format of Family Feud in their weekly sales meetings to test their market knowledge in a fun way.
2) Start your own cartoon file: Why not put cartoons on memos? At least people will read them! This shows that you are serious about creating this fun ambiance. Put them up on the walls, in the cubicles, in your presentations. Well-placed humor can take the edge off any deadlocked negotiation.
3) Use your voice mail: I said voice mail, not e-mail. Leaving your staff or even yourself an energetic and wellplaced joke (no ethnic or sexist jokes) can help people focus on the fun, rather than the negativity that we face daily.
4) Get into the conference room: Before you start your sales meeting, show a funny movie clip of four to five minutes. This will immediately liven the staff. When they start to laugh, they breathe diaphragmatically, which gets oxygenrich blood into their brains. You won't have those lethargic, fall-asleepafter- 30-minute sales meetings.