There are some who work in sales only because they want more money than they can easily get in a position outside of sales. They desire the money, but they have no desire to be accountable for the results. They chafe under activity goals, and they choke on their quotas. They owe it to themselves and their company to find another profession outside of sales, even if they earn less in the bargain.

One salesperson that worked for me was terrific. She worked hard, people liked her, and she did a good job. But the organization needed her in another role, and we moved her into an operations management position. She was good with clients, and it was widely believed she could help others manage difficult clients and get results. In short, she could help others to grow their revenue.

Without warning, she quit. When she was given an exit interview, she made a very telling (and to me, shocking, statement). Said she: “I don’t want to be responsible for managing accounts, selling new business, growing revenue, or managing people. But I want to make the money.”

As soon as you stop laughing, I’ll finish this post.

If You Would Have the Money

If you want to make money, you first have to do the work. If you want to make real money, you are going to be accountable for producing results and owning positive outcomes. This is another iron law.

If you want to earn money, you are going to be held accountable for something. You are going to produce new clients. You are going to manage major client relationships. You are going to be responsible for revenue generation. And you may be responsible for leading and managing others.

Taking ownership of outcomes like these is what makes you valuable, worth paying for. Avoiding ownership and responsibility means that you won’t be very valuable, and you won’t be worth a lot of money.

You Are Paid According to the Value You Create

You aren’t paid for showing up. You aren’t paid for time served (work isn’t a prison sentence, and you may be the only one counting time). There aren’t real rewards for having been in your job for another trip around the sun.

You are paid for producing something that other people find value, things that benefit others. Being accountable for producing those results means you are valuable to others.

This is no different than how we think about selling, pricecost, and value. If we create more value, we are allowed to retain some portion for having done so. The greater the value we create, the more we are entitled to for having created it. We think this way about consultative selling, and the same thinking applies to our own employment. We are accountable, we produce, we earn.

Want more money? Be accountable for producing results and produce those results. Want more money without being accountable for results?Choose your parents wisely and live on the interest from your trust fund.

Those who earn seek responsibility for producing positive outcomes. They own and they manage results, and the more responsibility they take on and the greater results produced, the more they earn.


Why do employers pay more to those who are accountable for producing results?

Why do companies pay more for positions accountability  for obtaining clients, generating revenue, and managing major clients?

Why are companies unwilling to pay for positions with little or no accountability?

How do you create more value in your role? For what results are you accountable?

Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on September 21, 2011
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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