A ringing bell, laughter, lots of clapping, big screen television flashing, grill fired up, surprise Friday happy hours. Is it a party? Nope, it’s just our sales floor!

How are you motivating your program book sales reps? Top program book sales reps are certainly a different personality and you have to know how to manage and motivate them or your program book sales will never be what they truly can be. Good sales people thrive on competition, and if you don’t have a friendly competitive atmosphere set up, you probably are experiencing high turnover in your sales department. Below are five secrets to getting the most out of your program book sales representatives.

1. It takes at least two.

As mentioned earlier, good program book sales reps are competitive in nature. If they have no one to compete against, it’s going to be a long and lonely road for them. One-upmanship, bragging rights, etc. all play into their mentality so you have to make sure your sales floor is set up for this type of friendly competition. And the surest way to this is having at least two program books sales reps at all times.

2. Part time doesn’t cut it.

Don’t kid yourself by thinking that you will get great program book advertising sales results by having the marketing person or receptionist try selling program book advertising for you part time. They will always revert to their comfort zone, which is their main job instead of having to pick up the phone and cold call. Some organizations have their board members try to sell program book advertising in their spare time. This is a recipe for failure because their primary job will always come first, plus they’re very busy people. Program book advertising sales isn’t putting food on their table, their primary job is! If you’re committed to making your program book advertising sales a success for your organization, you need a dedicated sales person (ideally two) selling your program book advertising.

3. A great Sales Manager.

Would you ever put on your concert without your conductor? Would you ever put on a play without your director? Would you ever put on your Nutcracker performance without your choreographer? Then why would you ever attempt selling your program book advertising without a sales manager? This person is your “director” your “conductor” and your “choreographer” for your program book sales. This person is going to be the motivator, the person giving the direction as to where the program book sales need to be focused, the disciplinarian, and yes, the person that will be tending the grill and handing out the beers at the Friday happy hours. And just as you want the best conductor, the best director or the best choreographer, you’re going to want the best program book sales manager to do the job.

4. Atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere.

You’ve heard the old adage location, location, location in real estate; well in sales its atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere! If your offices for your program book sales reps isn’t high energy, then don’t expect your reps to be high energy. Turn up the radio, let them talk over their desks to each other, and make sure you have some sort of board where your program book sales reps can post their daily sales for all to see (this can be as simple as a white board all the way to the extreme of flat screen tv’s.) This does two things—it gives bragging rights for the high producers to be able to flash their sales. On the flip side, this puts a fire in the belly of the program book rep that may be having a tough week. The worst thing for them to see is a big goose egg on the board by their name. Set weekly goals on this board and if they’re achieved, celebrate with a cookout or Friday happy hour. In a nutshell, MAKE IT FUN!

5. Good Sales Commission’s

Bottom line, like it or not, if your program book sales reps can’t make money, they will not last, because they will always be looking to where they can put their skills to use and make the most money they are able to. And great program book sales reps will expect to be paid a commission of some sort, otherwise you will never have program book sales reps—you will have customer service reps, and unfortunately, customer service reps don’t sell! We’ve experimented with all types of program book sales pay packages here at Onstage Publications and we have found that the way to get the best from your program book sales rep is to have a base salary along with a commission.

Implement these secrets into your program book advertising sales, and you will be sure to see more sales. Don’t, and you’ll be leaving money on the table. Good selling!


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