How to Get Paid What You're Worth

As Bill Clinton would say, "That depends on what the definition of 'worth' is!" (I love Bill Clinton. I didn't vote for him, but he was a heck of a salesman.)

OK, back to you...

Are you getting paid what you're worth?

Let's start with a story.

In 1990, Mike told Dave that he needed to hire a salesperson with specific skills. Dave suggested me and introduced us. Mike and I had a conversation. Then, I spoke to George. Then, Mike made an offer. $30,000 salary, plus 2% of gross revenue, plus 5% of gross profit, plus 25% of the IRR of the project.

I replied, "Pretty complicated formula. I'll need to spend half of my day figuring out my commission on each project. May I ask, 'Pretend we start and a year from now you love me and are happy that you hired me. How much have I sold?' Mike replied, "$2.5 million." I asked, "OK. If that happens, how much will I earn using your formula?" "$125,000." "May I make a suggestion? Rather than salary plus commission, how about I draw $1,000/week for the first three months while I'm getting things going and switch to straight commission of 5% of sales (125K/2.5M)? That was an easy yes for Mike. (I sold $11M.)

First rule of getting paid what you're worth...... Commission!

Second rule...... KISS!

Third rule...... Get referred in! (Inbound works!)

Most importantly..... Be curious. Seek to understand. Be selective. Stop talking about what you do.

Let me close with three questions.

  1. Are you good at what you do?
  2. Does what you do help your clients make more money?
  3. Would you like to get paid what you're worth starting 9/2?

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