Greenmann is a commercial company employing a UK-wide force of fundraisers on behalf of a number of wildlife and conservation charities, selling memberships door-to-door. After winning a major new contract, the company wanted to improve the results achieved by their new recruits so as to maximise revenue and reduce staff turnover.

Clean intervention

A group of Clean Change consultants spent two days studying the sales approach taken by the company’s top fundraisers.

Using Clean principles in a combination of one-to-one interviews and group work, they distilled out ten factors which seemed to be crucial to success in this particular role, and reviewed the model with the top fundraisers and their managers. As the discussion continued, the idea of ‘Wildlife Man’ began to emerge – a friendly figure in a fleece and stout walking shoes!

Consultant Judy Rees said: “The company’s entire sales force had been trained to use a short and highly-effective script on the doorstep. Given that the words said by each salesperson were almost identical, we needed to uncover what the top performers did as they said those words.

“For this, Clean was ideal. Of course, as consultants we had our own hunches about what might be happening, but in each Clean interview we set these aside and started with a blank sheet. The salespeople relaxed, felt they were being listened to, and opened up to reveal unexpected details about the process they each used.

“At the same time they discovered aspects of their performance that they had not noticed before, which they may choose to explore further on their own. ‘I didn’t know I did that!’ was a comment we heard frequently.

“The top performers were also able to compare and contrast their different approaches and to pick up hints and tips from each other during the process.”

Outcome

The company gained a new, very detailed understanding of the factors involved in the success of their top performers, in a form that could be used to develop new training procedures. As a bonus, they were able to update their recruitment criteria to improve the chances of long-term success.

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