Are You Selling Software for the Money! What Motivates You?

I grew up in a trailer park and I remember the day I found out we were poor.  I was about 11 years old and my dad sat me down on a Saturday morning in our living room and went on to explain we didn’t have the $25 to sign me up for little league baseball.  Being an 11-year boy who only cared about sports, I did what you might expect…I nodded and proceeded to my room to cry for 2 hours.  My sadness turned to anger, and my anger turned to action.  I got the push mower out, went house to house charging $7 bucks a yard until I had the money.  Little did I know that day would forever change my life… a coin-operated machine was officially born.

I have hired and managed many people in my career and I always make it a point to ask what motivates them.  Not because I’m seeking to build and operate a bunch of clones of myself, but because I truly believe you can’t out-sell someone who’s money driven.  Disagree?  Thought you might…allow me to give you one example of dozens.

I took a chance and hired a younger guy who I knew was not money-driven.  He was highly driven, exceptionally likeable, extraordinarily strategic, and a bad mama-jama when it came to deal strategy.  However, he was overtly “recognition-driven.”  Simply put, when asked would you rather receive an award in front of 1,000 peers on a large stage or receive a $5K check…before I could finish asking the question he blurted out, “the award.”  What I discovered over time was, the things he prioritized were habitually very different than someone who was money driven.  We were at the end of a cycle with 2 weeks left in the quarter and our contact went dark.  I called him on a Monday and found he was gearing up for a flight to meet a new CIO at a very well-known brand (hint…it wasn’t the deal he had forecasted).  After hearing his defensive responses to my inquiries around time management, his theory was simple:  it isn’t every day a well-known large-brand CIO wants to see a software sales rep…and that was a better locker room accolade vs. getting a deal in that was worth $25K of commission.

If you find yourself not money-motivated, then consider finding another job.  Software sales is a highly paid profession where the inches matter.  Those that are money motivated will kill for those inches and be the one left standing.

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