By Barb Bruno  |    Monday December 12, 2017

Category: Columns, Expert Advice, Recruiting


It’s important to realize that people do things for their own reasons – not yours.  It is impossible to motivate an individual who does not want to be motivated.  It is vitally important that you tie in goals to something personal.  

If your recruiter hits their goal, what will that provide for: 

• Them? 

• Their family? 

• Their quality of life? 

• Their financial freedom? 

There is no limit on income in our profession, but there is also no limit on how little you can earn.  If you want someone to stay on the phone and make more calls, it has to mean something to them personally.  If they hit their goals that means they can buy their dream house or send their children to college.  The phone calls become the means to that end.  If they can’t express their dreams to you, ask them what they would do if they won the lottery?  You then explain that they are their own lottery, and there are no limits to what they can achieve in our profession.

Too often our recruiters are stuck in their financial comfort zone and are just not aiming high enough.  Everyone has their own internal financial thermostat and it takes focused effort to make any changes.  Every person who works for you is the result of the financial conditioning they received throughout their entire life.  It’s only after a person becomes aware of this that they can change. 

You can provide them with a motivating environment conducive to top production, but only they can do the work and make it happen.  It’s very important from their first day of employment that their expectations are realistic.  When a recruiter confides in me at a conference that they hate the telephone, I wonder why they were hired? 

One of the most important steps in your hiring process should be to bring your candidate in and have them observe your current recruiting staff doing their job.  This takes the mystery out of what we do.  Most recruiters are also motivated by instant gratification.  They can earn thousands of dollars from their production, but if you offer to pay for lunch it’s amazing the extra effort that will be put forth. 

If you have individuals on your team who are working to only pay bills, have them figure out something small they will do for themselves when they hit their goal.  Self-gratification is a great motivator.  

Additional motivating strategies: 

• Reward effort 

• Have contests that can be won by everyone in the office, not just your Top Producer 

• Hold kick-off meetings 

• Hold wrap-up meetings and discuss sales pending 

• Offer training on a very consistent basis

• Individualize contests whenever possible 

• Don’t ask for any reports you are not going to read 

• Provide group rewards when goals are achieved 

• Bonus your front desk person and bookkeeper 


If you want your team to take their goals seriously, make sure you have tied in a consequence if they do not hit their goals.  What does it cost them?  What do they give up?  You announce the goals and consequences at the beginning of each month and trust me; your sales team will hold each other accountable.

Take off your owner/manager hat for a moment and think of the reasons your candidates leave their job.

• Money 

• Advancement 

• Lack of training 

• Lack of growth 

• Challenge gone 

• Lack of communication 


These often represent the hot buttons of your employees.  You also need to address negative attitudes in your office.  One person cannot make your team, but one person can definitely break your team.

It’s interesting how motivated we are as owners when business is good.  It becomes a challenge to remain motivated when sales are down, recruiters are complaining, and bills are due.  If you are your business, you have a job not a business. 


• Develop in house systems or process that encourage consistency 

• Have systems in place that touch your candidate and client database on a bi-monthly basis 

• Monitor send-outs daily 

• Hold regular meetings and training sessions 

• Put time aside every single week to manage your business

• Share your long-term goals and ask each person to commit to a portion of those goals

• Tie in your goals to what it means for you 


The best way to customize your approach is by conducting weekly reviews.  When you meet as a team have everyone answer three questions: 

• What did I do right? (20% that provided 80% of results) 

• How did I waste time? (Stop doing that immediately) 

• What new idea will I implement next week? 

The answers to these questions provide great insight into each employee.  This allows you to know where to offer your advice and how to inspire each employee.  Annual reviews can also help customize your approach.  The more you address the why of each person, the easier it is for you to inspire them to achieve what is important to them and the people they love. 

Take a moment to write down why you became an entrepreneur or a manager and remember the passion you felt.  Ignite that passion and have a clear vision of where you’re going.  Then, have fun as others help you achieve your dreams.  Follow this advice and you will be able to inspire your sales team. You can learn more by visiting at:

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