When is it good to work on a straight commission?
Here are some things to consider –
1). Is your employer well-known in the industry? If yes, that’s half the battle right there. Nothing makes your job more difficult than working for a company that has very little name recognition. If a prospect instantly recognizes your company name, that will save you a lot of time by not having to explain what you are trying to sell. A good example is real estate. If your company has little or no name recognition, you will be wasting valuable time explaining to the prospect who you are and what you do.
2). Does your employer have a good marketing plan? If your company is helping you generate good, qualified leads, you will save yourself a lot of time. Nothing is worse than working on straight commission and wasting half your day finding leads. Searching on Google may be fun but it doesn’t pay the bills. You are a salesperson, not a glorified lead generator. If your company does not have a good marketing plan, your valuable time will be eaten up hunting leads.
3). Does your employer offer benefits? Believe it or not, some companies that pay only straight commission will sometimes offer benefits. Unless you are married and can piggyback on your spouse’s benefits or your parents’ insurance policy, this could be a big help to you.
4). Does your employer offer paid training to help you learn about the products or services you are selling? That could go a long way in helping you get a jump-start in filling your pipeline and generating income.
5). Does your employer give you some compensation for a short time? To help you ramp up, some employers will pay a small base salary for a few weeks or months. This should give you enough breathing room to build up a reasonable pipeline so you can start earning a commission.
6). Is the company’s commission structure generous? Normally to make a straight commission plan work for you, you either must be selling a high ticket item (e.g., real estate), or a lot of smaller items (e.g., vacation packages or timeshares) to be successful. As a rule, the higher the item’s cost, the longer the sales cycle will be. Can you afford a long sales cycle while working on straight commission? Only you can answer that.
There is nothing wrong with working on straight commission. Sometimes, your commission will be uncapped – meaning you can earn as much as you want. At some companies, if you are working on a base salary plus commission structure, your commission may be capped.
At the end of the day, only you can decide what works best for you. Just make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.