You Get EXACTLY What You Ask For

In Ancient China Confucius praised filial piety; the dutiful attention to the needs of ones family elders, especially parents and grandparents.

The Han Dynasty (200 BC-200 AD) took filial piety to a new level. Those who had the greatest reputations for filial piety were awarded choice government appointments. To gain a reputation worthy of such appointments men would perform exaggerated acts, such as refusing to end their mourning of their parents. Getting to the court of Han and getting a job of stature meant performing the virtues of filial piety at tremendous heights and this is exactly what the men of Han did.

The Han dynasty rewarded filial piety and that’s what they got.

Sales is no different. You get exactly what you reward for. The problem is most organizations don’t reward the actions they want.

Companies offer commissions, or “choice appointments” but they don’t align. They pay commissions on sales to all customers, when what they need are new customers. The result; no new customer sales. They pay the same commissions on all products when they’ve just launched a new product. The result; no new product sales.

Sales people follow the money. They are not going to read between the lines. They will move in the direction of reward.

What are you trying to sell? How do you want people to act?

Rewards and commissions are how you ask people to do things. Reward the behaviors that are important. Commission the things you want the team to sell.

You will get exactly what you ask for whether it’s what you want or not.