July 16, 2018

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Is it Wrong to be Money-Motivated?

Iíll never forget interviewing a prospective employee who had two years of sales experience selling copiers. After spending a few minutes going over his background, I asked him, ďWould you describe yourself as money-motivated?Ē

ďMoney-motivated?Ē he asked back. He sat there trying to find the right answer that existed somewhere between what he really felt and what he thought was the morally correct answer. I could tell he was struggling with this. He seemed to think to himself, ĎIf I tell him Iím not money-motivated then he may not think Iím ambitious enough to do well in sales. If I tell him I am money-motivated then heíll just think Iím some sort of cheap selfish jerk who will do anything to get a sale.í

How would you answer that question? Do you think itís wrong to be money-motivated? Do you think that deep down inside you really are, but then think that at some level this belief may conflict with some other part of your moral or even religious beliefs? For most people in sales, this internal conflict ensues in a consistent hesitation to do everything that it takes to win. Even beyond this, it results in deservability issues, which can kill the sale and kill a career. Most sales people who sabotage their sales really donít feel deep down that they deserve the sale or the money that goes along with it because at some point in their life, they felt that being Ďmoney-motivatedí was morally wrong.

In my own opinion (and this is just my opinion), I donít think itís morally wrong to be Ďmoney-motivated.í I donít even think that the phrase is an accurate description of what many of us perceive to be the motivation for effective selling. Itís not money that is motivating a strong sales rep. Itís getting a strong return on the investment of his time. Itís knowing that a sales rep is maximizing his effectiveness and being a good steward of his career. Spend one unit of your time and see if you can get a return of five units back, that sort of thing. Money is just a unit of measure of how we value things. And whatís even paradoxical about sales success is that during each transaction, the less you focus on your own remuneration and more on the benefit to your prospect, the more money you make.

Hereís what I mean by this: your motivation has to be in the service of others. Think about it. In sales, itís an economic impossibility for people to purchase a product or service unless there is a tangible or perceived value which is equal to or greater than the price of purchase. Youíve got to have some sort of value that you bring to the decision-making formula, and if you follow this three-part Ďmental modelí of selling, youíll see yourself selling more, deserving more, and enjoying relationships with your customers more. And youíll certainly make more money as a derivative of your service:

  1. First, understand that in the world of sales, you have to believe in what you are selling. If you donít have belief in your value then you are a phony and every prospect will see through it. Your lack of belief will result in your own personal hesitation and people will sense it and refuse to buy.

  2. Second, know that your success in sales is a byproduct of the value that you bring to the world. When people say that they are Ďmoney motivatedí, itís not really the money that motivates them. Itís the representation of value, which is really what money is. Money represents a measure of value. Itís how we keep score of the amount of value that we have brought to the world. If you contribute more to people, then you deserve more. If you bring the value of your service to more people, the ensuing result is remuneration through compensation. In other words, the more you sell, the more you make.

  3. Third, understand that if you sell with the proper mindset and belief, you will see every objection with a duty to overcome it. When you believe that what you have can really benefit someone else, and that they are making the wrong decision not to buy from you, then you will approach your sales process with a duty, with a commitment, with an attitude of service to the other person as you try to help them buy what you are selling. Itís really that simple. When you believe it, then they need it, and all thatís left is learning how to overcome their objections in a way that leads them to take action in making the purchase.

Remember that thereís nothing wrong with being money-motivated, as long as you understand how it really all fits together. And if you think this way, then youíll never hesitate again about what motivates you and how your financial reward fits in the big picture.

- Scott Love

Copyright © 2007 Scott Love

Scott Love improves the performance of recruiters and the margins of search firms by working as a consultant, in-house trainer, and keynote motivational speaker. Scott believes that burning desire outperforms natural talent and reminds his audiences that it was the tortoise who won the race. To have Scott inspire, motivate and train your team to bill more than they ever thought they could, call him today at 828-225-7700, ext. 11.