It’s an age old conundrum. ¬†If you pay a sales rep a salary, they’re less likely to be motivated. ¬†Offer them 100% commission only and very few are interested.
FORTUNE 500 ARE DOING IT
Over the years we’ve noticed that all of the very large companies we work with pay a nominal base salary of between $300 and $600 per week. Most of these companies are in the door to door or home improvement space, and it seems a little strange that they would ¬†offer a base. ¬†In addition to benefiting from name recognition (eg., Scotts Lawn or Home Depot), they get a huge boost by offering a small base salary and a variety of other benefits such as health care or a 401k plan.
CANDIDATES ARE LAZY, JUST LIKE YOU
While the dream is to hire 100% commission-only salespeople, the reality is that it’s several magnitudes more difficult to do so without paying a base or offering any kind of benefits. ¬† Have you ever posted your resume online? If not, you should try it. ¬†Candidates are bombarded with 10-20 emails a day about various jobs. ¬†Many are MLMs or scams of some kind, so candidates are understandably wary of all offers. ¬†Candidates approach their job search the way you might approach looking for information online, such as researching a new vendor. ¬† There’s so much information to go through, we just don’t have the time anymore. ¬†Everything is quickly scanned so that we may rule it out. ¬†Job seekers are doing the same thing with the offers they get by email. ¬†They’re looking for specific things:
- Is this a scam?
- What company is this?
- Does this opportunity match what I’m looking for?
- How much does it pay?
- Is it commission-only?
- How does the website look?
REACH INTO YOUR POCKET
Can you afford $400-500 per week for an initial period of two or three weeks while you determine if the sales rep is going to work out? ¬†The sales rep gets a little security and the ability to pay for a few basic necessities, and you benefit from a much larger candidate pool. ¬†At $500 per week, it’s unlikely that your fledgling sales rep will rest on their laurels.
These large companies pay small base salaries because it makes sense. ¬†They’ve got a lot of seats to fill and they’ve figured out the most efficient way to reach that goal. ¬† While paying a base certainly isn’t a requirement, you’ll notice a huge difference in the numbers and quality of salespeople coming through your door.