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Centricity Podcast

Jul 5, 2022

Both sellers and marketers can and should use reward-driven behavior to establish rapport and build relationships with potential buyers. In today’s episode of Aligned, Sean is joined by the founder and Chief Evangelist of The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, to discuss his take on reward-driven behavior and how marketing and sales departments can implement it into existing methodologies.

Failure of the trade show fishbowl:

  • Using rewards to gain something upfront (like an email) is not an effective reward tactic. You don’t want people to engage with you purely because of free stuff. 
  • You’re giving stuff away without understanding why you’re giving stuff away. The same idea holds true for the dinners, the golf games, and the drinks.
  • Don’t eliminate rewards. Instead, understand them. The most common mistake in sales and marketing is spending too much money too early in the sales cycle.
  • Close the deals in the existing pipeline before allocating money to people who aren’t in the funnel at all.

Understanding positive and negative rewards:

  • Rewards can take two forms - positive and negative. A punishment could be removing a certain meeting or adding a certain call to an itinerary.
  • Salespeople are bumblebees - misunderstood creatures. They’re crucial to the environment, but other people are scared of them. A punishment could be not having the time to meet with a prospect
  • Positioning gives you power. When a company positions itself in a way where they aren’t dependent on specific clients to reach revenue goals, it can afford to make clients walk in line.

Rewards can be positive.

  • Rewards from the self - A prospect who, upon achieving a certain milestone, should be coached and guided to get a reward.
  • Rewards from the others - Where sales and marketing can have a more direct input
  • Business plan - late-stage only. If you give stuff away too early, it won’t convert the prospects and business leads you to want.


  • Give a verbal or written kudos
  • Encourage someone to consider changing and being self-aware of the weaknesses and the self-reflection that results in accepting change 
  • One of Donald’s past clients was moving to Google Suite, and he worked for a document management company. Remind them that going to Google Suite, while challenging while it’s happening, is the best case for a long-term growth strategy.
  • It’s okay to give a reward for self-evaluation. And, if you’re confident with the position, you have the safety to make additional suggestions and comments to help guide those prospects.


  • Right before a deal is closed, and there is no exchange of relationship, there are informal contracts that can move the decision-making team before a formal agreement takes place.
  • It can be meeting at a restaurant, bringing a cup of coffee, scale the reward up and down depending on the situation
  • If you see someone’s house, they have to give you a level of trust. A common practice is an NDA, but use it to get an idea of what the NDA includes.
  • When you give the NDA to a buyer, it’s akin to a promise ring. You aren’t married yet, but there’s a level of commitment.
  • The act of signing is almost the same level that would come if it were an actual agreement. The act of signing a piece of paper connotes the finality that an agreement is in place.


  • There are lots of micro-wins that we can accomplish, and shaping is making small, incremental changes rather than a large sudden change.
  • Instead of requiring one large bulk purchase, just buy a smaller quantity and work your way up to a larger amount.
  • Shaping will reflect integrity and lower the potential risks that might take place.
  • What’s In It For Me? (WIIFM) addresses the emotional and political capital a person might lose or gain from making a particular decision.

This episode is sponsored in part by FitzMartin’s Sales and Marketing Alignment:

Why does proper sales and marketing alignment result in a 32% average lift in revenue? Because a unified company centered around its prospects can’t help but thrive.

FitzMartin’s Sales and Marketing Alignment program will analyze your current sales and marketing structure to deliver a plan based on the needs of your prospects, bringing you increased revenue, expansion opportunities, and (above all) a unified front when communicating with prospects. 

To set your company up for success, visit to discover how to unify your sales and marketing for the best results. 

This episode is sponsored in part by Fitzmartin’s Organization and Culture Alignment:

Company culture and retention are directly connected. After all, if you fail to build good company culture, you fail to retain top talent. At FitzMartin, we help leaders like you raise their NPS scores from the low 60s to the high 80s (and, more importantly, present a plan to help you do the same.)

Create your company culture based on a shared mission to attract and retain top talent. Visit to learn more.