By Bea Wray, Chair of the Entrepreneurship Practice

I learn something amazing every time I’m at a Women’s Presidents Organization gathering – so many smart women, so many great ideas!  But even I was surprised when one speaker revealed the fascinating insights on human behavior she’d discovered studying the success of Pokémon Go.  Yes, that Pokéman Go.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard about this phenomenon. Gamers use their smart phones to track and “catch” Pokémon characters from the popular card game. Hardcore users (and there are thousands of them) buy little pocket sensors called Pokémon Go Plus, which tracks rare Pokémon hidden around you without the need to keep your phone app active. It’s a big deal, but maybe not where you’d look for insights on psychology – yet that’s exactly what this smart woman had done.

The three human behaviors she identified that make Pokémon Go the phenomenal success story it is are:

  • It can be played at any time
  • There’s unlimited upside
  • It creates a sense of community

That got me thinking about sales and sales team management – because all of those things apply in my world, too.

Take the idea that “it can be played at any time.” For me, that translates to providing my team with the tools that make easy for them to use those 20 spare minutes productively, whenever they happen (mine always seem to be around 2 AM). For instance, there’s a tool that lets them time the delivery of an email so that it arrives at 8 AM, so they can use that 20 minutes to drop a nice note to a client. Another tool makes it easy for them to pull up the social media accounts of their top ten clients so they can quickly scan their posts, hit the  “like” button and throw them some love.

Next, “There’s unlimited upside”. Ask yourself, “What can we never have too many of?” The obvious answer is “Happy customers”. How do we make people happy? Well, one thing I do at home is to make sure my kids send out hand-written thank you notes, because that kind of personal acknowledgment is something everyone loves to receive. My team at work knows that our authors love good reviews, so whenever they have a spare minute, they get on Amazon and write a five-star review for their clients’ books.  Like my kids’ notes, it’s easy, it’s free, and has unlimited upside in terms of making your customer happy – a win/win.

Last but not least is “creating a sense of community”.  People who play Pokémon Go post videos of themselves and their friends playing together and post them on Facebook. I do the same thing with my authors, sharing their triumphs and successes on social media. How could you be sharing your customers’ success stories to create a sense of community?

And remember – great ideas can come from the unlikeliest places.  Catch ‘em all!

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