Semper Fi. How the Marines Motivate the Front Line.

27 02 2009

In today’s market place, sales agents are taking control of their brokerages financial destinies. More and more brokers and managers allow their agents to use any excuse to justify their low or lack of productivity.

The head business coach for the coaching division of my company, Curtis Phelan happens to be a former marine. I recently asked him, how real estate brokers and managers can benefit from using the Marine Corps principles to make their offices more productive? His answer was: “Marines have a Common Value System they understand what it means to have a mission and they take pride in everything they do and they have a Blue Print for Success.” While former Marine Corps members often run successful sales organizations, experienced brokers and managers are frequently unaware of the motivational master plan that runs America’s finest military organization.

Here are the five key components of the Marine blueprint for success, to help you recruit the best people, design better training, develop teamwork, inspire loyalty and achieve victory.

1. Recruiting: Marines send out their top performers to recruit the best people. These experienced officers display a missionary zeal, and they personify the values and pride of a Marine.

How much recruiting have your top salespeople done in the past? I know, you are probably saying “my top agents will never do it” well, it all depends on how committed your top agents are about working for the most successful company in the area.

2. Training: Marines spend 12 weeks in basic training. When the training gets tough, drill sergeants often quote the old saying, “the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.” Boot camp is not designed to weed out certain people, but to cultivate everybody. While many companies allow those who don’t perform up to standard to linger around until they quit, Marines practice until everybody graduates.

What kind of training do you have in place to help new agents succeed and avoid being an expense for your company? How about your experience agents; what systems do you have in place to help them make more money and become more successful?

3. Leadership: Marine officers lead by example. If a leader asks a platoon to climb a 100-foot wall, he will be the first one to start the climb. Of all military services, the Marine Corp has the highest casualty rate among officers. In real estate, the best sales managers are not the ones who hide behind their desks, but those who go out to see the toughest customers with their front-line people.

One of my clients in South Jersey, (by the way, he happens to run the largest company in the area), makes a point to go out FSBO prospecting with his agents in a regular basis.

4. Commitment: The Marine Corps credo is do or die. Curtis says that you have to be careful what you ask a Marine to do because he’ll die trying. Marines in action show how much a highly committed team can accomplish. What if salespeople adopted such high standards for new listings or assisting other agents become more successful? Remember the more successful agents working for your company, the easier the listing, selling, recruiting and the more profitable your company will be.

5. Loyalty to the troops: While many companies often tell agents that they are replaceable, Marines are told that they are irreplaceable. They know that the entire country and their fellow Marines depend on them. It’s natural for a Marine to say, “I love my Marine Corps.” How many salespeople say, “I love my company.” More and more companies are studying the Marine Corps model for motivation. As a result, their sales teams take more pride in their product and more pride in their companies. Imagine the possibilities. Imagine every salesperson in your company as proud as a Marine. Imagine how many competitive battles you’d win. Every year, thousands of loyal and highly trained Marines retire: why not deploy their talents to win more sales?




One response

28 02 2009

Good stuff. I consult with companies on B2B sales and also manage 6 new home sales offices. Tough market but people are learning skills they never had to use before. By the way if you’re interested I have a summary of the traits 297 people named as descriptions of the best leader they ever worked for. If you’re interested you can view it on my blog. “Why Leaders Get Followers”. Thanks again.

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