Many entrepreneurs find themselves on the fence of hiring sales representatives. Not many would opt for doing so. It has a bad reputation that makes them cringe. The opposite is actually very fruitful if you know how to hire and who to hire in the first place. Through hiring commission-only sales representatives, you allow yourself as well the employees the freedom to become their own boss and even make the business better. Learn why hiring commission-only sales representatives is the way to go and discover some tips that can help weed out the applications to get some of the best and willing aspirants.
Listen to the podcast here:
Sales Reps Galore
I’m going to shoot out a couple of nuggets of something that can be implemented very quickly by almost any company in almost any industry. It revolves around the concept of hiring sales reps. A lot of people cringe when they think about hiring sales reps. I’ve had the opposite experience in my life for 25 years now. We’ve done very well finding, hiring and training sales reps, and not just any type of sales rep. They’ve got to be here five, ten years but almost exclusively, at least in the beginning, they’re commission-only. I want to cover three points of why hiring commission-only sales reps is the way to go, then I’m going to drop a couple of other ideas on you.
You will go through an excitement phase in every new job you take. Click To Tweet
First and foremost, when you’re hiring a sales rep, you want to sell that person four things. You want to sell them that this can be part-time or full-time. It’s your schedule, it’s your life, it’s your freedom and we want this to be a joy for you. We do not want this to feel like a job. We want you to feel like a business owner. Wake up when you want and go to sleep when you want. We need a couple of things done, like certain types of reporting, tracking, but we want to build this around you, the sales rep, not you build your life around us. That’s number one.
Number two, we want to sell them on the fact that this is the beginning of entrepreneurship. If it is a commission-only position, they are their own boss. It is You, Inc. Meaning, it’s Them, Inc. They need to start understanding business ownership. We do some coaching there. We give them some good books to read, E-Myth by Michael Gerber, Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy. We get them started. It is key for them to understand the difference in maturity that is going to take place from the point they meet us and one, two, three, five, ten years later. That’s number two.
Number three, commission-only sales reps, as far as I understand, are positions where you can walk into an entity and to a vast degree have an unlimited no ceiling income. In salary plus commission positions, usually, the salary is the bulk of the pay and commission is a little extra cherry on top. It isn’t nor can it be stated as unlimited income. Finally, when you are commission-only, you have no true boss. You have no true schedule. It leans on the maturity of the individual and it’s good and bad. We’ve definitely had some terrible situations with people commission-only. They just couldn’t get out of bed and that’s okay. They weed themselves out and they will probably never become an entrepreneur. We look at commission-only sales reps and have for 25 years as future business partners with us.
I want to tell you a story and I know I’ve repeated this a couple times here and there because it fits in a couple different areas. Years ago, about 2004, a friend of mine came to me and said, “I’ve got a little bit of a problem. I’m running a business. We set appointments for Wyndham at Disney, at timeshares. I’ve got x amount of reps in cubicles in an office. However, I’m losing a couple thousand bucks a week.” I remember after I went in and I watched and evaluated this company for a few days, I ended up making an agreement that I would buy the company for a dollar. I would take on all of its debt and when I turned it around, I wanted to sell it back to this person. We went from losing a couple thousand bucks a week with, I don’t know how many reps in an office, to changing the model, going from reps in an office to commission-only reps working part time or full time from home. We finished a couple of years later at our peak.
The more you’re educated, the better chance you can go about reality. Click To Tweet
At one moment, we had 207 reps working from home part-time, and the business was making about $20,000 a week. It was a complete turnaround. How in the world could that be done on a salary and benefits? I sold them freedom. I sold them an unlimited income. I sold them that they can be their own boss. They could set their own schedule and that we weren’t going to babysit them, and then I simply supplied them with weekly and monthly books to read, pamphlets to read, CDs to listen to, MP3s to listen to, like a mini-podcast.
I continually put nuggets of info in front of them and I did that because everybody goes through five phases in every position. No matter what new job you take, you’re going to go into the excitement phase that’s going to last for X amount of days. Then you’re going to go into the education phase where you’re going to constantly become educated. It will keep you excited. Then you’re going to hit phase three, the reality phase.
We don’t build your life around you; you build your life around us. Click To Tweet
In the reality phase, you realize, “This is work.” Then you’re going to slip into the doubt phase. Usually, the doubt phase is triggered by another person and then you might last a minute, maybe up to a year. The doubt phase is going to lead you to only one of two things. Either phase five, the clarity phase where you know who you are, what business you’re in and what the heck you’re doing, and then you’re going to jump back into phase one or you’re going to quit that job. You’ll say, “It’s not for me and the timing’s not right.” As a manager, my job is to keep people educated. In phase two, if I can keep them educated, the better chance they go to reality, doubt and clarity quickly or stay in phase one, excitement as long as possible, and that allows them to have ears to hear.
For episode 272, I know there are people reading this blog that are trying to debate, “Do we hire salespeople or not?” You have nothing to lose. To put an ad out for commission-only sales rep, I recommend you word the ad with something like, “Very demanding work, very high pay, looking for motivated self-starter individuals, looking for people that want to work part-time or full-time, control their own schedule, be their own boss and get tremendous fulfillment from partnering up with our company.” You’ve got to lead with very demanding work, very high pay. That is going to weed out so many people and you’re going to get some phenomenal phone calls from phenomenal people. This is Ken Courtright. I hope this helps. Take care.