Improving Show Rates for Commission Only Sales Position
Here at Time To Hire the goal of our service is to get your phone ringing with potential candidates for your commission-only sales job. Â We’re a lead generation service for sales reps. Â Once the candidate calls you, our job is essentially finished and it’s now your responsibility to take the calls and schedule people in to individual or group interviews.
We know that taking those candidate calls and knowing what to say is incredibly hard for those who aren’t used to it. Â What do you say when someone inevitably asks, “Is this position commission only?” Â Gulp. How do you respond to this? Â If you’re honest and immediately tell them that it is, indeed, commission only, most candidates won’t be interested. Â They won’t take the time to find out what the role entails or what the other benefits may be and you’ve lost them for good.
This goal of this post is to help you understand the mechanics of these calls and in doing so, improving your show rate (the percentage of people who actually show up to the interview).
Remember your goal. Â Your only goal for taking calls should simply be to schedule the in person interview. The candidate goal is to ask questions and gain all the information they need to avoid having to meet with you. You are making a sale when youâre hiring for commission only sales! Â If the candidate takes the time to get dressed and travel to your office, they’ve now got a stake in this transaction. They’ve got “skin in the game.”, which means they are more Â likely to listen to your entire presentation about the position. Â This is something you just can’t do over the phone.
Answer the phone live as much as possible.Â Getting candidates to simply call you back is incredibly difficult, so you must not make it any more difficult for them. Â Automated call attendants, voicemail or spending to much time on hold could hurtÂ your campaign. Â Candidates should be able to dial your number and a human should answer on your end, every single time without exception. Recruits will generally not leave a message, and phone tag is a huge waste of time.
Follow a script. Always follow a script, even if youâre comfortable with what to say. Keep honing your script and your process. Once perfected, others will be able to take these calls for you in the future.
Donât sound desperate.Â Â If you seem desperate you wonât hire anyone. You canât let them see you sweat. The candidate must believe the position is more important to them than it is to you.
Be friendly and nice. Â Nobody wants to work for a jerk. Â Realize that most people are not interested in a commission only position and not everyone will be happy to speak with you.
Sound incredibly busy.Â Â Your goal is schedule the candidate in to an in-person interview, not answer all their questions over the phone.Â Â You have to control the conversation and constantly but gently push them toward the in person meeting. Youâll be busy anyway because of the tremendous call volume our service can generate.
Example: âThanks for calling back, weâre reaching out to you because your resume matches what weâre looking for and wanted to talk to you and share some background about our business and our process. And what Iâm doing today is making appointments and setting up interviews for tomorrow.â
Example 2: âIâll ask you some questions about your sales background and see if this might work for you. Iâll arrange for an open time tomorrow and we can discuss everything in person then, does that sound fair enough?â
Example 3: âIâd like to answer all your questions, however Iâm just too busy with all the calls coming in right now. Can you meet tomorrow at 11 and weâll go over everything in detail?â
Example 4: âGreat, you sound like you have the kind of experience weâre interested in. Let me tell you a bit about us but itâs going to have to be brief because I have a lot of calls coming in today.â
Schedule the interview ASAP. Try and schedule the in-person interview for the following day. The longer you wait, the more offers they will see and their interest will wane. Â You’re also looking for people who can make a quick decision – a positive trait in the sales field.
Example response for âCan we just meet next week?â: Answer: âOur business is exploding and we need people to start right away. Iâm looking for salespeople, who can make decisions right away and someone that wonât hesitate.â
Share information about your business up front.Â Â After asking them some quick questions about their sales background, give a brief overview of your business up front. Let them know what you do, share some brief company information and then share the sales process. Tell them about the leads and how you generate them and then dive into average compensation.
Example: âOur highest sales person is going to make x amount, the average rep makes x amountâŚ and obviously weâre looking for someone with the sales ability and those who are self-starting and a hard-worker, does that sound like you x?â
Example Response to âYes!â: âGreat, it sounds like we have some common interest. Does tomorrow at 10am work for you?â or âI have either 10am tomorrow or 3pm the following day. Which is best for you?â Only offer them two times (this is the alternate close).
This isÂ how you control the conversationÂ and avoid the trap ofÂ giving away all the information about the company and position up front. The candidate must feel some curiosity about the position or they wonât show up to the interview.
Alternate response: âIâd like to meet, however can you tell me more about the compensation?â Answer: âIâd be happy to â thatâs part of what weâll go over tomorrow. I just donât have time today with so many calls coming in. Weâll go over that in detail tomorrow, does that sound good?â
Have staff answer calls. In general, use this only if you arenât able to take the calls yourself or to handle overflow calls. Anything is better than callers going to voicemail! Â Example: âHi John. Mr. Smith is busy taking other calls right now and has asked me to schedule interviews. He does have time tomorrow to meet with you, either at 10am or 2pm. Which works for you?â If they ask any questions, the response would be: âI donât know enough about the position, but I do know that people seem very successful here. Can you meet at one of those times tomorrow?â
Is this position commission only?Â Â If you have to answer this question directly, youâre going to lose most people. They just wonât show up. Again, you need to get them to come to your office to meet with you in person. For most commission only positions, youâre better off sidestepping the question and closing them on the interview. If you must, here are some possible responses.
Example: âWell, I could give you a base and you could go out and do some cold calling and generate your own leads. Instead of doing it this way, we actually provide our sales reps with warm leads. Would you rather have warm leads to call, or would you rather generate your own leads?”
Example: “That’s a great question! Were you looking for a commission only position?” No? Â “Well, we have multiple pay plans for our reps and we can go over those options when you come in for an interview. We’ll tour our facilities, show you the opportunity and answer any questions you have in detail. Â If it seems like a match for both of us, we’ll find out which direction and compensation plan are right for you. Does that sound fair enough?”
Example: Â “We have a variety of options and tailor our final offer for each candidate individually. When you come in for the 1-to-1 meeting we’ll discuss those options in more detail as well as show you around the operation. Fair enough?”
Practice makes perfect. Â Most of the information on the post you’ve just read comes directly from an experienced sales professional with more than forty years of sales management and sales recruiting experience. Â Don’t expect to become an expert overnight. Â Keep working on your technique and realize that you may not be successful your first time.
If you have any additional tips on improving show rates for commission only sales positions, please send us an email. Â Good luck!