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Setting Sales Targets? Give Them the First $50,000 on You

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

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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, but with the first two stamps already filled in, than they will when given a “Buy 10, Get 1 Free” card. When it comes to the targets you set for staff, could you do something similar? Give them the first $50,000 toward their annual sales goal “free,” and see if that feeling of momentum doesn’t spur them to shift into a higher gear of work.

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