How to Motivate Employees to Generate Leads for Your Interior Design BusinessSep 14, 2021
One of the biggest challenges for any small business is generating enough business leads. The design world is very competitive, and many firms struggle with balancing current customers and generating new business. You are not alone if you have this challenge. Many leaders may think it is solely their responsibility to generate leads, but what about your employees. Have you ever thought about the opportunities they may generate?
Employees can be a great resource for generating new leads. For example, your employees can simply ask for a referral from a client during a meeting. Or, they may volunteer at their child’s school and know other parents that might be interested in your design services. Getting employees to sing your praise isn’t about goals or job requirements, but rather it is about job satisfaction and engagement.
The Drawbacks of Motivating Employees with Money
Sure, when motivated by monetary means, employees may generate an adequate amount of leads to keep your business afloat. But, many employees aren’t necessarily motivated by money alone. Therefore, rewarding employees with money is simply a short-term solution. One that can be very costly.
Of course, employees need to be paid a reasonable wage to pay for housing, food, transportation, and a little fun. However, once you satisfy that need, money is no longer the driving force on why someone comes to work every day. Rather, what motivates many employees is a genuine passion for what they do and who they do it for.
If you are interested in learning more about motivation, I recommend “Drive” by Daniel H. Pink. In the book, Pink discusses how the traditional Carrot and Stick method doesn’t work for many employees. Rather these forms of motivation can be detrimental to your business.
What REALLY Motivates Employees
So, how do you motivate your employees to help you build the business? The answer isn’t all that complicated. In general, most employees want to do a good job. Creating a work environment where they are encouraged and respected for their work is the first step. When employees feel appreciated, they tend to work even harder and stretch themselves to thrive. In addition, when employees are included in the big why of your business, they tend to feel more engaged.
This does not mean that you need to have every employee involved in decisions. Instead, it means that each should understand and stand behind the mission of the company. For example, why are you in business, and what is your purpose. When employees believe in the company where they work, they are more likely to share it with others and hopefully drum up more prospects for you.
The values of the company are often incredibly important to individuals. Guarantee every individual who works for the company has at least a slice of your passion for the services offered. Happy employees who are valued by their place of employment speak volumes for your brand.
Not only will they create a positive work environment internally, but they will also spread your name like wildfire externally. When employees feel valued, happy, and fulfilled, they will tell all their friends, family members, mailmen, barbers, plumbers, and a random lady in line at the grocery store.
Leading Employees Through Ongoing Engagement and Training
Intimate meetings, regardless of company size, should be on a frequent or monthly basis. At this time, employees can raise concerns or get questions asked. The most effective version of this is when the tone is centered around inspiring and appreciating all employees, from entry-level positions to executives. For example, encouraging your employees to grow the company may be all the nudging you need. But, avoid making the entire meeting on how to get more leads. There is a very subtle way to approach this without force.
For those employees with specific duties directly tied to sales, outline specific goals and messages. Provide additional guidance by sharing what has worked for you in the past. Don’t be afraid to share good and bad stories. Sometimes taking a minute for a good chuckle over a time that you totally put your foot in your mouth can ease tension.
Often, interior designers go into this field not realizing how much selling is needed. Therefore, it can feel overwhelming. Although most of us sell every day without knowing it, it can feel uncomfortable when it is required. Take the time to work with your employees on selling techniques that work for their personalities.
For instance, I am a big introvert, so I had to find ways to sell comfortably. I realized that when I talk about my business, I get very excited. It goes back to that passion. Passion for a business takes the sting out of selling because you believe in it.
You can also encourage other non-sales employees to keep their ears open for opportunities. Encourage them to attend networking functions that can not only enhance their skills but expand their network.
Showing Appreciation Goes a Long Way
As the top dog of the company, you have the power to make your employees feel loved and respected in society or completely worthless at the end of the day. What are you going to do with this power?
This company in your singular hands can only go so far. At some point, the business will spiral out of your control, leaving you with nothing or a stagnant business without outside help. So, you need these employees. Your business would not survive without them. So, how are you going to handle this aspect of the business?
Believe it or not, a genuine “thank you” goes an incredibly long way. Show them you have trust in their abilities as the valuable assets they are. Speak directly to each employee, letting them know they are important to the company's success. That undeniably harbors a feeling of accomplishment and wellbeing.
What are your employees saying about your company when the boss is not listening? Your employees most likely have many conversations with customers outside your hearing distance. So make sure all words are naturally pure and proud to work for such an incredible company.
Hold the company to a humble standard rooted in providing quality, honest services for your customers. Show your employees that their personal growth and lives matter. Taking the time to simply say thank you goes a long way. When we recognize that there is more to motivating employees than money, we can see a clear future where your employees participate in helping grow the business.
Tags: Interior design business, motivation, motivating employees, generating leads for an interior design business, women entrepreneurs, design business, business tips for interior designers, how to grow interior design business, leadership, how to lead a team
Sign Up for Our Weekly Newsletter
Get helpful career, business, and design tips right in your inbox each week.
At GAI, we are committed to building a stronger design community by reimagining education, training, and support for interior designers. Through our various software training options, educational articles covering everything from leadership to marketing, and soon Continuing educational courses, we are committed to helping you. Join our newsletter to get the latest education and training updates.