dangle a carrot in front of someone

dangle a carrot in front of someone

or

offer someone a carrot

COMMON If you dangle a carrot in front of someone or offer them a carrot, you try to persuade them to do something by offering them a reward. The team have dangled a $17 million carrot in front of the Italian to remain in North America. He is to offer the public a new carrot by reducing petrol prices. Note: The words carrot, dangle and offer are used in other structures and expressions with a similar meaning. Tax cuts may be offered as a carrot to voters ahead of the next election. The money's dangling there like a huge carrot, and you want to grab it. Note: The image here is of someone encouraging a donkey to move forward by holding a carrot in front of it.
See also: carrot, dangle, front, of