Saturday, June 29, 2013

Let's Get This Started

It all started with a simple conversation over a beer at Schroeders downtown SF.  I was chatting with a former colleague from who, a couple years prior, was SFDC's top sales rep.  I won't mention the size of his bonus check (7 figures), but I must say there is a lot you can do with that much cash.

So I asked him, "What special things did you do with all that money?" and was not surprised when he struggled to share or identify one special thing he bought or experienced with this new found wealth.  Instead, he started waxing poetic about the trip to Hawaii that SFDC awarded him, and how he was on the top tier of the trip and how he and his wife got to go to Tiffany's and pick out any item they wanted and how all the other wive's on the trip elbowed their husbands in the ribs exclaiming that the trip to Tiffany's next year better include them.

That, my friends, is just one example of the power of tangible and experiential awards.

Earlier in the evening my buddy was adamant about the driving force of cash and that trips and gifts were just the icing on top of the cake.   Yet, when I asked him about how the trip to Hawaii made him "feel" and reminded him about the duration of time he spent talking about his experience vs. his struggle to remember what he's done with the cash, he had a revelation..."You should write a blog about this stuff!" I've started a blog.  Am I the smartest person on this subject?  NO!  But I do believe in it.  I was skeptical when I started working in the "incentive space", but having experienced it personally for the last 10 years and hearing countless stories from others, it's hard not to believe.

But it's more than believing...research has actually proven these principles of behavioral economics which I will address in later posts.  In the meantime, I'll try to figure out how to make this thing fun, engaging, valuable or just a good read.