More Money for Time Served

So, you’ve worked at your present company for another year. You’ve served your time, and now you believe you are entitled to a pay increase. Other people in other roles are getting some sort of increase, even if it is a small cost of living increase. You believe you are entitled to the same.

You should believe you are entitled to more.

Serving Your Sentence?

The fact that you have spent more time working for the company doesn’t mean that you are necessarily producing better results. Because the earth has successfully completed another trip around the Sun doesn’t entitle to you to an increase in your base pay. It takes more than that to deserve more money. And, it’s an unhealthy mindset.

Marking time is something that prisoners do. You haven’t been sentenced to serve time, and there isn’t any real reason to base your value to your company–or your clients–on time served.

What may entitle you to an increase in your base pay or your total compensation package are the results that you have produced. But that’s up to you.

You Don’t Have to Wait

For many of us in sales, we don’t have to wait for the calendar to change to obtain an increase in our compensation. We don’t need to wait for a cost of living adjustment.

If you are paid a bonus or a commission, you are free to increase your income simply by producing the results on which your compensation structure is based. That normally means making more sales, and that is something over which you can exercise a lot of control.

Note to Sales Management: I know there is a trend out there towards team bonuses. But if a salesperson is leading the team and not making bonus because the team isn’t up to the task, you may deserve to be asked for compensation adjustment.

Putting the Effort In Where It Counts

I have seen salespeople fight like the devil for an increase to their base pay. I have witnessed them go to extraordinary lengths to sell internally and work harder for a small increase in base pay than they ever worked to prospect and make a deal.

Even when their compensation was designed to produce a massive bonus or commission for performance, they focused on a relatively small increase in their base pay. For some reason, their base pay was more important than their total compensation. Oddly enough, some of the highest paid salespeople that I know work on straight commission (warning), and they wouldn’t accept a base salary if they could negotiate better terms for themselves on straight commission.

The effort and energy spent working on a small increase is better spent working on a far larger increase–an increase that you can give yourself by winning a deal or two. And here is the rub, the more you produce, the easier it is for you to claim some of the value that you create (the Iannarino Principle).

Bring the money in, and you’ll get your increase and more.


Would you stand to make more from a small increase to your base or from winning new deals?

Are you entitled to more money for the time you have served your company?

Is it is easier to justify greater compensation for someone who is outperforming their peers and exceeding expectations or someone who has hung around for another year?

If you want to earn more money, where are your efforts best placed?

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Filed under: Sales

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