The Graduate Recruitment Specialists
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Decoding the Most Clichéd Buzz-Phrase in Sales

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”  
Mario Andretti

Let’s play a game. I want you to go to a random jobs website, find a random advert for a sales role in any sector, for any company, with any agency. Found one? Good. I’m willing to bet that the advert you’ve found has the phrase “money-motivated” or something to similar effect listed in the “You must be…” section.

It is only recently that I’ve begun to think more about this phrase. If I could make a list of things that a hiring sales manager is going to say to me when I ask… “So what are you looking for?” I would put it at the top.

But, what does it really mean?

I understand that not all people are driven directly by having more money in their pocket than everyone else, in fact, in the grand scheme of things, I think you’ll find most people just want enough so that they don’t have to worry about not having money. Yet financial security, financial freedom, and financial independence can be achieved in a career outside of sales.

What makes a salesperson different? What is it that really motivates them to go the extra mile and earn more?

I always ask the question to my candidates. “What is going to motivate you to pick up the phone every day?” and “Why is money a driver for you?”

Most of the time, I get similar answers.

They want the house, the car, the money, the blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard it all before and I don’t buy it.

This is all surface stuff. We all want to be able to have a nice house, a nice car and a nice lifestyle where we can jet off on two long-haul holidays a year. There is a massive difference between wanting something and needing something. So I always ask another question. “What is your greatest personal goal?” or “What do you want to achieve?”

Now, one of three things happens in this moment. Either the question is met with silence and a look of confusion, or it is met with a very similar answer as the one previous….or it’s met with something tangible, and I see below the façade of what they think I want to hear, and I find out what really drives them to be successful.

It is a very confronting question. You are asking somebody, and in Celsius’ case, somebody who has usually just completed what they’d consider to be their greatest achievement (their degree), and forcing them to address where their next destination is in life.

I’ve had some absolutely incredible answers to this question. One man told me he wanted to build a home back in Zimbabwe, another woman told me she was desperate to not end up in the same situation as a family member who wasn’t living a particularly encouraging lifestyle, and several have said that their goal is to surpass the achievements of their parents. All of these motivations, to me, are genuine and real. They are not based on a general and clichéd societal motivation; they are based on something deeper, something primal that gives purpose to a person’s life.

It is the simple answer of: “I don’t want moneyI need money to achieve this,” that excites me as a recruiter.

As salespeople, we know that a need is a thousand times more powerful than a want, and it is the same with salespeople. Instead of trying to uncover what they want out of life, uncover what they need and you will find yourself a much more dedicated seller. People are not driven by money, they are driven by what money can give them and what they can do with it that will help them achieve their goals.

If they tell you they want the house and car- fine. But what house? What car? What holiday? Why those particulars? Find out the details and find out just how desperate they are to make it happen, and if they can tell you that, then you may have just found your new salesperson.

Thanks for reading!

James Malzard

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