That is, until they hear the Gospel proclaimed - Romans 10:14:
"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?"Once you have heard the Gospel proclaimed (anyone who proclaims the Gospel is a "preacher" in this sense), you must respond rightly. The right response is to repent (turn from sin) and trust in the perfect life of Jesus and His death which paid the price of sin - and His resurrection which showed Him approved of God, and which proves we can have new life.
This response is not a "work". There is nothing exceptional about us that makes us respond rightly. It would seem their is a certain amount of humility required, but every unconverted person has a large amount of pride. The logical thing to do is rightly respond, but more logical folk are no more likely to respond; that is, my right response is in no way due to the fact that I am smarter than anyone else.