Recognize Your Superior Performers--- Without $$$

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Feb 21, 2024 by Sean Luce

Not everyone is motivated by money. Research has shown that one in four top performers leaves an organization every year because of lack of recognition. Whether it's the Grammys, the Oscars or the Radio Wayne Awards sponsored by Radio Ink, all you have to do is look on the faces of the people who get the awards. You'll know why some who received their LPG awards responded, "This is a night I'll never forget."

Another benefit of giving awards and recognizing your top performers is that, in this day of mergers and acquisitions, it helps create loyalty to you and your people. Whether you're a one-station player or a large group of stations, you can - and should - recognize outstanding personal performances. Here are some recognition awards that you use on the walls of your stations or during your annual awards celebration.

RISING STAR: This award goes to the individual who has been in the business less than a year and shows tremendous potential in billing and leadership inside the sales department. This person also shows the intangibles that separate average performance from great performance. The award identifies those individuals with a strong work ethic, an ability to persevere and dedication to their new career.

RAINMAKER: Simply put, this person brings in more business to the station or group than anybody else in the company. To level the playing field, rather than rewarding people according to the total dollars of their orders, reward them on the number of new accounts based on the average sale at your station(s). The more new business accounts put on the air, the greater the potential of turning those into larger accounts in the future.

SALES REP OF THE YEAR: Most stations award this to the person who puts the most business on the books. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that this is the best rep. Several of our stations award this according to a variety of criteria, not necessarily limiting it to the one who writes the most business. Again, you want to level the playing field with all of your reps.You might want to consider the number of new accounts, percentage of overachieving budget or quota for the year, highest unit rate average, lowest number of
low or no-charge spots, and/or the number of recorded or written testimonials brought in. Depending on the market, there are many tangible and intangible things that could determine your Salesperson of the Year.The most important thing is to award it.

Don't forget the other departments in your organization when it comes to awarding top performers. When I walk into a station for the first time, I always look for the awards on the walls. If there aren't any, that station's management must get going. It doesn't matter that it's March and this is something you have not done before.You can start today with Salesperson of the Month. Just go to the trophy shop and get a plaque that has 12 plates on it. Don't make the "Salesperson of the Month" criteria too complicated, or you
will eliminate reps that might find the criteria burdensome, rather than motivational.

This also is a great time to get out the video camera or the digital camera. Some of
the groups we consult have annual award celebrations. Every winner gets a 2- to 3-minute
video of receiving the award and the winner's "thank you" speech.Winners also receive a framed picture of the winner with the presenter. Make it a night they will never forget - literally. Snap the pictures, and run the videotape to document it. These also are great recruiting tools to show potential recruits that you do in fact recognize beyond money and take care of your people.

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