You are currently viewing Producers – Can’t live with ‘em, Can’t Grow Without ‘em! How to Hire and Keep the Best

Producers – Can’t live with ‘em, Can’t Grow Without ‘em! How to Hire and Keep the Best

Sure, they drive you crazy, make impossible demands, and leave the details to everyone else. But, good producers make all the difference, and they’re not easy to find. That’s why agencies do everything possible to keep talented salespeople. But what really works?

All successful producers have common characteristics: they’re competitive, proactive, assertive, and they play to win. They thrive in a commission environment, can ask for the sale and they love keeping score. Hint: Commission checks are the ideal scorecard. To keep them moving, take a look at the compensation package to make sure it motivates, rather than turns off, top producers.

The greater a producer’s need to win, the more comfortable he or she is with risk and commission. As hard as it is for some of us to believe, a big salary with a chance to earn an additional 10% doesn’t motivate like a small base plus 50% to 100% commission.

The point is, not only do salespeople like winning, the game has to be challenging and the “prize” worth their time and effort.  If the game is too easy or the prize too small, they may head down the street to a competitor.

Motivate salespeople by giving them different ways to keep score. That’s where contests and sales boards come in. Whatever type of sales contests you opt for, make sure the prizes are impressive, because the bigger the prize, the greater its motivational power.

Another way to keep good producers is to determine what level and type of management each needs and provide it. The more independent the producer (and most are very independent) the stronger the need to get results their way. They resent having someone else make decisions that affect them without their input. Results-oriented and self-assured, they figure it doesn’t matter how they make the sale as long as they make it. A hovering manager who emphasizes perfectly precise paperwork (say that three times fast), establishes elaborate reporting or insists that everyone sell a “certain” way is the exact formula for high sales turnover.

Keep your producers plugged in and motivated by allowing them to make their own minor decisions and to make any major decisions with them. The more room you give them to do their job, the longer they’ll stay and the more successful they’ll be.

Tailor feedback to their communication style. Your verbose, social, outgoing producers want praise, the more public and enthusiastic, the better. They are highly motivated by prestigious perks or status symbols.

Publicly praising your reserved, practical, no-nonsense salespeople, who sell using logic and superior product knowledge, will not motivate them. Worse, it could mortify them or strike them as insincere and hollow.  The more analytical the producer, the more they need specific, concrete feedback.  Telling them they’re doing great is not enough. They want to know EXACTLY what they’re doing right and wrong.

You may be thinking that’s all very nice in theory but how do I know who’s who?  The quickest, easiest and most accurate way to determine exactly what motivates existing employees is through a behavioral assessment like The Omnia Profile®. If you’re a member of the American Agents Alliance we’ve worked out a special offer with The Omnia Group.  Log in with your username and password and visit the member benefits section to take advantage of this offer.

The more you know about your producers, the better you will be able to manage them, motivate them, and live with ‘em.

About the Author:

Carletta Clyatt, SVP Sales, The Omnia Group, Inc.

Carletta Clyatt, a popular seminar speaker, is the SVP at The Omnia Group.  She offers clients advice on how to manage more effectively and gain insight into employee strengths, weaknesses and behaviors. For more information about employee behavioral assessments, call Carletta at 813-280-3026 or email:

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