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The Money Trail

Sales advice from Gulfshore Business Associate Publisher Rob Wardlaw.

Selling is about making money—money for business owners and shareholders—and as a result, about making money for the salesperson through his or her compensation. And in the world of money, there can never really be enough, no matter what. That’s a fact.

If viewed purely in those terms then, it might seem that even the best salespeople—and their bosses—will never be truly satisfied. After all, there is always one more sale that could be made, and that theoretically would make financial matters better for both parties. Therefore, you will not see many bosses settle for the performance that their salespeople provide day in and day out, regardless of how exceptional that might seem using genuine metrics of success.

What does this mean for salespeople? Well, first it means that motivation and job satisfaction need to come from within, rather than from others. By being a self-starter who doesn’t need outside validation, you’ll not only know success, but also be your own reward. Next, while money needs to be a motivator of performance, it should not be the only motivator. Life is about much more than money, and putting too much emphasis on money for money’s sake quickly leads to burnout. Find something else about your company, industry or selling that is exciting and see if that doesn’t improve your everyday performance. In that way, the money will come in a way that you don’t really need to pay conscious attention.

For owners and senior managers, recognize that salespeople are indispensable. Make sure that the praise you give is genuine. Generally speaking, saying nothing is better than praise with little or no emotion behind it. In the same way that clients don’t like a sales- person that fakes interest in them, your salespeople don’t appreciate a fake and half-hearted thank-you. If treated badly, they do have other options. Remember, you will likely make it clear when sales are not to expectations, and with that comes the enormous pressure of getting sales back above budgeted goals. When sales are good, let everyone know it in a way that leaves no doubt. 

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