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Setting Sales Targets for Staff? Give Them the First $25,000 for Free

Nothing motivates like progress, even when it’s illusory.

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cat and dollar bills

Progress Principle: Nothing quite motivates like the feeling of making progress, even if that progress is entirely illusory. Several years ago, the Journal of Marketing Research published a celebrated study that found customers will buy coffee more quickly when they are given a ‘Buy 12, get 1 free card’ with the first two stamps already filled in than they will when given a ‘Buy 10, get 1 free’ card, and yet the offer is identical. When it comes to the targets you set for staff, could you do something similar? Give them the first $25,000 toward their annual sales goal for “free” and see if that feeling of momentum doesn’t spur them to shift into a higher gear at work.

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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