First You Do the Work, and Then You Make the Money

First you make the investment, and then you get the results. This is as true for salespeople as it is for their managers. But sometimes there are mistakes in understanding what is an investment and what is a result.

First, Your Investment

Some people believe that they should first be paid, and then they will produce the results. This isn’t only true of those of us that carry the bag. It’s true for all kinds of people in all kinds of roles.

These people think: “As soon as they pay me what I am worth, then I will go and get them the result that they need.” In their minds, they incorrectly believe that the company should invest more money in them to get the result for which they are responsible. This is wrong-headed thinking.

Your company has made an investment in you by hiring you, training you, and paying you your base salary. That was their investment.

The investment that you need to make is an investment in time, effort, and energy in achieving the goals and outcomes for which you were hired. These investments include all of the sales activities that we know to generate results when religiously taken. These investments include targeting your dream clients, prospecting, making sales calls, discovering ways to create value, building consensus, presenting a vision of the future, and closing deals.

These are the investments that lead to results. Your results lead you to something else.

Second, Your Results

Your investment produces results. It is these results that are the key to your earning more money. First you make the investments, and then you generate the results that lead you to more money.

Getting this order wrong is problematic. It leads to a vicious cycle. You are waiting for your company to pay you more, believing that you are owed more money before you produce results. Your company is looking at your terrible lack of results and effort, wondering why they are investing any of their time, money, and effort in you in the first place.

By producing results, you eliminate this problem. You invest your best effort in making deals, and your results are positive and benefit your company. Your company, recognizing your positive results, shares the fruit of your joint labor in the way of increased earnings (maybe salary, maybe commissions, maybe bonuses, or some combination thereof).

If you collect a check, you owe your company your very best effort. There is nothing to be gained by taking a person or company’s money and not giving them the benefit of the their bargain. You would never treat a client that way, and you should never treat your company that way.

You have other choices.

If you desire more money, it’s easy enough to get. You go out and get it for your company, and you keep for yourself part of the value that you create. But if you don’t go out and get it, then you are entitled to nothing.


Why do results necessarily precede an increase in income?

Why do some people believe that they are entitled to a greater salary before they produce results?

What is the effect of a decision to not produce results until you are paid more money?

What other, more healthy, decisions are available to those who wish to earn more?

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Filed under: Sales

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