Many beginning salespeople tremble at the thought of earning the bulk of their salary on commission. After all, a portion of your salary is dependent on your ability to connect with a customer and get him or her to finalize a purchase. For this reason, most entry-level workers prefer to be employed under a flat-salary basis. However, if you really think about it, there really is no such thing as a safe and secure sales job. Even if working on a flat salary, employers still often have a quota that you are expected to fill, and how long do you think you will keep your job if you consistently fail to meet that quota?

Working by Commission

No, working on commission is not for everyone. However, those with a few years of sales experience under their belts and are confident of their customer communication skills should really consider stepping out of their comfort zone and consider shifting to a commission-based salary.

Most commission-based positions also come with a base salary; commissions average anywhere between 10% and 20% though sometimes a little more depending on the specific product or service being sold. In order to encourage agents to strive harder, employers may also provide additional incentives, such as a monetary bonus for members that exceed a certain number of sales or referrals.

Gain Valuable Sales Experience through Commission Work

For the most part, working on commission is a trial and error process, and most sales agents don’t fair too well during the first few months. However, the direct interaction with customers and learning what works and doesn’t is a valuable experience. The training and skills you pick up along the way is priceless and includes gaining insight into the following areas:

  • Sales Training – Just about every sales technique involves social skills to some extent. This means knowing how to present yourself and becoming assertive and professional when making a commercial statement or pitch.
  • Customer Training – To excel in sales-based work, you need to be an excellent communicator and know how to deal with customers that represent the target demographic. This means effectively handling customer concerns, enquiries, complaints and so forth.
  • Deal Making – Pretty much every sale is a form of deal in some form or another. Working on commission gives you a fundamental skill that can be applied across all forms of business as it relates to retail and commerce.

Is Commission Work Right for Me?

This is something that only you can answer. Yes, it can be stressful as your salary rides on your sales training and skills. However, if you are confident of your ability, are goal-driven and love to challenge yourself, then commission work is a great way to take your career to the next level.

Some of the most successful salespeople build their career around commission work. While not everyone will be successful at it, the ones that make it are the ones who are willing to turn obstacles into opportunities and learn to see momentary setbacks as a learning lesson. Furthermore, successful commission workers are always willing to expand their knowledge and learn new skills. This may include taking telephone sales training or other telemarketing courses to become even better at their trade. There is also the freedom of being in control of your own salary as opposed to working for a uniform paycheck week after week.

No doubt, it’s a scary step to take; however, if you envision yourself being at the top, then you have to be willing to trust in your own skills. At first, you will feel like a small fish in a big pond though with time, the confidence will manifest from the experience.