It seems that everything that is older than the internet is outdated, has outlived its time, and is the root cause of all the challenges one might have in sales. For the last few years, commission structures and things like quotas and goals have come under attack by pseudo-experts. Money is now, as the saying goes, the root of all evil. This is evidence of something more than a misunderstanding of money, it is a misunderstanding of human motivation and human development.
Bernie Madoff lied to people to deceive them of their wealth in order to increase his own. His actions hurt people, and he is paying the penalty for his misdeeds. Warren Buffet would tell you that the most important lesson he learned from his father is that is takes 20 years to build a reputation and 20 minutes to lose it. He is one of the wealthiest people on Earth, and he spends a good bit of his time and energy in pursuit of money.
What is the difference between these two starkly opposed men? They both care deeply about money, one of them is willing to do things that are both illegal and immoral, and the other wouldn’t do anything that hinted of impropriety (and surrounds himself only with people who share those values).
The difference is moral intelligence. Morality and values is a line of human development, just like IQ and EQ and kinesthetic intelligence. Some people have underdeveloped mortal intelligence, lacking a value system that prevents them from doing “whatever it takes” to have what they want—even if it is immoral and illegal. Those who believe that commission structures and bonuses are to blame mistakenly look to money as the motivating factor—when it is the individual’s lack of moral intelligence and values that the root cause. Were it money alone, the behaviors that one might condemn would be more widespread(in many cases, those who complain accuse the salesperson of high crime of trying to schedule a meeting or sell something).
Most salespeople, like people in most other human endeavors, are not devoid of a level or moral intelligence or a value system that prevents them from working on behalf of their clients. More still, the very behaviors that one might find abhorrent, like high pressure, and hard sell tactics work against the goal of making more money.
Outside of the few people with a low moral intelligence, money doesn’t drive bad sales behaviors.
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Filed under: Sales Acumen