We Are Sunshine

Playing the Game

Monday, March 4th, 2024

By Scott Nichols

For the past few years, when working with staff I’ll look for the difference between employees’ performance. Why did some employees perform well while others didn’t? I have seen employees with the best attitude and outgoing personalities just tank while I have seen the opposite sell like crazy. I really struggled to find out what the difference was. I tried to have employees that struggle train with really good managers; sometimes that worked but most times it didn’t. Sometimes I would see an employee who struggled in sales become amazing then go right back to struggling. Just when I thought I had it figured out, I would realize that I was actually more confused than ever.

Then it dawned on me and I saw it…I saw the deference!  I was excited and tried to come up with a training program to execute this. As I was going through the training program, I would hit a roadblock and no matter what way I would try to change the program I always came to the same conclusion.

Let me explain by breaking this down into two separate parts in this article. The first will be what is the difference between someone who always performs and hits their numbers and someone who doesn’t.  The second will be the roadblock.

Part 1: The Tail of Two Employees Explained in Three Steps.

Anyone who is reading this article who has figured this out will agree with me 100 percent. I remember when I figured it out and it was a turning point, no, a game changer with my sales numbers. When I was able to connect the dots, I realized I have been doing this for a long time, but up until a few years ago I had no idea. The employees who are always hitting numbers figured there’s a game to be played. If they learn how to “play the game” and know the rules, they can use it towards their advantage. I am going to break down important parts of this game that I feel you need to know before you start your very own game.

Step 1: Figuring it out

The first step is important: You need to study all aspects of your job. This means learning what ingredients are in lotion and how to sell lotion, learn sunless and how to sell sunless, and learn EFTs and how to sell EFTs. Next, learn all the procedures and boundaries your company has.  What I mean by this is the process of selling a membership and what flexibilities do you have to make a sale happen? Can you discount if it’s your last option? Can you offer some free upgrades? Know the ins and outs of the company you work for.

Step 2: Take Action

The second step is putting what you learned into action. How good is a doctor who knows how to perform surgery but yet never does it? (I know, bad analogy, but it works). Putting this into action will take a bit as you figure out what to do, so don’t expect results right away. During this step I recommend you take a sheet of paper and write down what you expect to happen.

When doing this, you will most likely write all the good that will happen, but I also recommend you write down any obstacles you think you will face. In my opinion, one of the most challenging things that will happen is a bad day. This is when most people tend to quit the game because they don’t know how to face challenges. I want to point out that I think it’s great to dream and think big but it’s also important when taking action that you are realistic when creating this because challenges will arise. Either you will be ready for them or you won’t, and if you’re not, that’s when most people quit.

I have a few recommendations I want to share with you. I want to set up a scenario to help explain and show how these recommendations work.  Your manager has come to you and said you need to sell $500 each shift this week. You have a total of five shifts. Here is what I would do:

  1. I would plan on having one or two bad days. That’s just life! If you do the math, you need to do $2,500.00 this week (5 shifts X $500 =$2,500). I would plan each day to sell $750 because I know I will have one or two bad days. The extra $250 should still help reach the goal $2,500.
  2. Just as I ended the previous point, consider the week versus the day. What if last year there was a big sale and this year there’s not? One day will be difficult to beat but you have a much better chance when comparing what you need for the week.

Also, if you were to hit four days at $500.00 and one day you didn’t have any sales, you fell short of your goal by $500.00. But someone might look at it and say you had 4/5 days where you did reach goal and congratulate you. In my book, overall you still fell short! It’s hard to reach a goal every day without giving yourself some help.

  1. Don’t let the numbers scare you. If you did it last year, or someone else did, you can do it now.
  2. After you have a good day and a bad day, write down what happened. What caused you to do well or what caused you to do bad? When you are struggling, sometimes you just need to take a step back and review what a good day looks like. In previous articles I wrote about After-Action Reports, and I recommend you go back and read those to help you with this step.

These steps can help you become consistent each week. Figuring out how to overcome a bad day will boost confidence and sales performance.

Step 3: The Rules of the Game

This last step is important; it’s what puts your name on the leader board every day. The third step is learning how to play the game.

There are the imaginary rules that exist, and they are clear as day for those who are ready to take this leap. Today, I am going to share with you just three of these rules that I’ve found to be important.

  1. The law of averages. It doesn’t matter how many times you strike out and it doesn’t matter how many times you sell to someone. What matters is your average and how you can increase it. Ask your manager to go over sales reports for the past few shifts you worked. Count out all the customers you helped and then count up how many customers you sold to. If you sell to one out of 10 customers, then know one “yes” will happen after you talk to 10 people. Just as important is knowing you need to hear “no” nine times. So, next time someone tell you no, in your head you can thank them for being one of the nine! Next, your goal is to improve this number. If you can sell to two out of 10 customers, you just doubled your numbers! Imagine if you could sell to three out of 10!

I want to reiterate one of the important parts of this law; you are going to hear “no.” It’s important that you understand this and are okay with it. If you’re okay with this, then don’t allow it to discourage you.

  1. The second rule is simple: Educate the customer so you never have to sell again. I love this one because it has such a huge success rate. If a customer knows why they should use this lotion or knows why they should tan in this bed versus a lower level bed, they will pay for it. If you are willing to take the time to explain and educate a customer versus promoting a sale, you should see a nice increase. I want you to think about it – If a customer isn’t educated about the product or bed, do you think a sales promotion will work or educate then?
  2. The last rule I want to share with you is about never giving up. I really don’t fish much, but I remember when my dad used to take me fishing when I was younger. There were some really boring times and there were times that were amazing! If we didn’t work through those boring times, we wouldn’t have experienced the good. We never gave up, and I want you to use that approach as well. You know bad days will happen, so don’t give up. Keep at it, because eventually the fish will bite!

Part 2: The Roadblock

When I first started realizing the successful employees know how to play the game, I started to ask myself why doesn’t everyone play? The answer was obvious; it has to be something that you want to do. Your manager can give you all the information and tools you want, but it’s up to you to do something with it. The old saying goes, “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” You can show them exactly how to do this but for some they just aren’t interested.

Some employees have an interest but lack the vision or understanding. They quit as soon as it gets difficult. I know we talked about this already, but you are going to hit roadblocks and you will hit a lot of them. Taking the correct preparations can help you move past these.  Just remember that when you hit a roadblock, you are getting somewhere. Look at a roadblock as a badge of honor. If you bust through this roadblock, you will only grow and that is where the magic happens. Let’s use an example: You have perfected the way to raise your average (law of averages) by selling more lotion to more customers. It took a lot of self-training to learn how to do this. To get to this point you stumbled, had days where you thought this didn’t work and times where you wanted to quit. But instead you busted through this and learned, and the game just got easier.

To some, they don’t even know there is a game. They look at their job as a place to go for a paycheck. Some look at the game as a challenge…a challenge they’re not up for. For the few, they figured out how to play the game. The best part for these few is once they’ve figured it out, no matter what they do in life. they will always see the game – a game they can figure out and beat.  Like I said before, you can’t make this happen for someone. When and if they become ready, they will open their eyes and see for the first time the possibilities that lie in front of them.