Show Them the Money!

Last month, my newsletter covered ideas and tips to help hiring managers determine a candidate's level of money motivation. I wrote about the difference between a candidate who seems interested in earning a lot of money versus one with a history of and a plan for making as much money as possible.

This month, I want to carry that discussion one step further. Many company presidents, business owners and entrepreneurs tell me that they want to hire "money-motivated" salespeople. I know they are sincere. During the interview process, however, many are unprepared for the questions that a money-motivated candidate will ask of them.

Money Questions a Candidate May Ask 

Some of the questions that might be asked are as follows:

  • Is the compensation plan capped?
  • Is there a limit to how much I can make in a calendar year?
  • Do you offer quarterly or annual bonuses on top of the commission?
  • How much does your top salesperson earn?
  • How many quarters / years in a row have they made that much money?
  • How often do your sales reps max out on the comp plan?
  • What does the average performer earn annually?
  • How many sales contests do you sponsor per year?
  • Is there a sales contest going on right now?
  • Do you have a President's Club?

Know Your Compensation Plan 

In reading through the list above, you're coming to understand the types of questions money-motivated candidates ask. You're also getting an idea of the subjects that interest them and the direction they will steer the interview in when it's their turn to talk. 

Come to the interview prepared with all types of facts and figures that relate to your compensation plan. Be ready to discuss interesting data about the plan that they may not even ask about. If it relates to money, they will pay attention.

Keeping the Candidate Interested 

No one can predict and prepare for every single question a candidate might have. They may ask one or two questions that you cannot answer on the spot. That's not a problem. If you promise to get back to them in a reasonable period of time, it probably won't influence them one way or the other. 

If you cannot or will not answer several money based questions in a row, they will begin to lose interest. The same will be true if you act embarrassed or seem hesitant to discuss the financial realities of your compensation plan. Organize your data and offer straightforward answers to their inquiries.

The Realities of Money-Motivated Candidates 

If a money-motivated candidate suspects that your organization cannot offer the type of income they are used to earning, they will pursue other opportunities. If by chance they do come to work for you and realize they cannot make the amount of money they envisioned, they will quickly leave. They know they are talented and will want to work for an organization that can pay them what they are worth. 

To avoid either scenario, create and present an achievement-based comp plan that will entice a money-motivated candidate. Be completely upfront about the earning potential and be willing to negotiate certain parts of the plan to accommodate them. It will pay off in terms of increased sales revenue for your organization.