• Randy

Commission Only. The 14-Letter Word




There are few things more challenging than hiring sales people on straight commission. While most sales people will agree that commission only is advantageous for top performers, very few will take the risk. Why?


Do they doubt their own skill, or aren’t as good as they claim? Probably. But what about the top 5% or even 1% sales people who know their true worth? The real issue is that the sales rep, good or not so good, lacks confidence in your company. That’s why you’re hearing “what’s the average sales person make?” “how many sales people work there?” “how much did your top sales person make last year?”


They don’t want the risk, but they want all the upside. Wouldn’t that be nice.

You have two options, do a really good job selling them on why they should work for your company. Or, provide a training ramp-up cushion in case it doesn’t go as planned, thus transferring most of the risk back to you.


I take that back, there is a third option. Give the rep a choice between a base plus lower commission, and a risky higher commission with no base on the condition that they must stick with their choice for one year. Then you’ll end up with unhappy base reps under performing and counting the money they would have made. But I suppose choices are part of life.

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