This article is excerpted from Discover Your Sales Strengths: How the World’s Greatest Salespeople Develop Winning Careers, by Benson Smith and Tony Rutigliano, Copyright 2003 by the Gallup Organization (Warner Business Books).
We have met very few salespeople whose ambition is poverty. Okay, we have not met any! We have also met very few salespeople who are solely “coin operated,” as one representative put it. True, money is important to everyone at some level, but no one reward is equally important to everyone in any profession. Not all actors are motivated by fame, not all doctors are motivated by patient care, and not all salespeople are motivated by money.
Even salespeople who have a strong desire to earn significant incomes are often motivated by other factors as well. Our research shows that motivation is often very different for different salespeople. What is important is for you to understand what drives you. To perform at your best, you need to be in a situation in which you are getting the rewards that are important to you. Those rewards can be complex.
Often we find that companies that offer exceptional income potential to their sales representatives might offer little else. Other companies might offer a dash of recognition or an occasional contest. These “crumbs” are often not enough to satisfy many salespeople’s inner motivational needs.