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J0E's avatar

What are your experiences with working on commission?

Asked by J0E (13087 points ) November 22nd, 2010

I’m thinking of applying for a job at Verizon. The application mentions commisions. Every job I’ve had has been for an hourly wage, so I’m not entirely sure how commissions work. Any advice is much appreciated.

Bonus points for current or past Verizon employees.

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5 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

I once had a job where we were paid a base salary for taking in a certain amount of money, and then a percent of whatever money we brought in above that amount. The commission was nice, but it was a lot of work to get it, so I didn’t always try that hard.

If you’re very competitive, then commission can be nice. You might spend extra hours working, and you might learn some very good sales techniques. Just don’t learn the high pressure techniques. You don’t get many repeat customers with that.

With telephone sales, you have to follow a script for the most part. I’ve never heard a salesperson yet who could sell that script, but maybe it’s because every script is the same. But you gotta act like you’re trying, I think. And if you get to go off script, make the most of it, because that’s where your real concern for a client can show. You have to be concerned, too, not just in it for the commissions. Customers can tell.

It can be fun, and it can be risky. If you learn good sales skills, you’ll be fine. If you don’t…. well, you’ll lose the job so it won’t matter.

lillycoyote's avatar

I’ve only had one job, a long time ago, where I worked on commission. The summer after college I worked in a store that sold fresh roasted coffees, bulk teas and spices and high end kitchen stuff. I made a base hourly wage and a commission on the kitchen stuff I sold. It can definitely motivate people, just not people like me; to be honest the system made me kind of uncomfortable.

It’s good a good system for natural born salesmen/salespersons, or people who learn to be good at selling or who by temperament and personality enjoy selling, but I always felt like to really make money on the commissions I had to push things on people that they might not really want or where the hadn’t quite made up their minds, maybe for good reason. And I felt like I always had one eye on my fellow employees, seeing how well or how badly, they were doing compared to me. There were a couple of people I worked with who just seemed to have a knack for sales and I felt kind of inadequate next to them.

But it can be fun and exciting when it works for you. I still remember the day I sold 2 convection ovens. Those were some of the biggest ticket items that we had in the store and that was a good day for me. I made some badly needed extra cash and got a lot of kudos from my boss and co-workers but otherwise I was a pretty lousy salesperson and eventually got fired.

JLeslie's avatar

I have worked on commission, and I have managed commission sales associates. Most commissioned departments in Department stores earn the highest dollars, higher than the staff who work for an hourly wage. Selling phones would not have much repeat business I would think? Not like selling cosmetics or clothing, so the selling process would not have the same rapport building as when you have a regular customer who shops more regularly and you can really cater to them and see your sales and salary soar. Great sales people who make a lot of money in retail stores maintain a client list and call them when new items come in, or when sales happen, etc. They build loyalty. Not pressure to buy, but information the customer wants. Maybe I am wrong, maybe this happens in the cell phone business also. I buy a new cell phone every 3 or 4 years, probably other people do it a lot more often. Anyway, it seems like the selling would not be as much fun as clothes or housewares, but that is just because I am not a gadget girl I guess.

I would not let commission stand in your way, because Iam sure you are a fantastic sales person and will make lots of money.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

When considering a commissioned base job, it’s good to look at how well the company is promoting its brand and product line. Verizon has always done an excellent job with that. And kudos to them for being first to take on ATT iphone head to head with their new 4G network and Android compatibles.

Have you seen their new commercials mocking ATT and iPhones? Bravado!

OldMrBill's avatar

A strong work ethic, constant self-motivation and the ability to “eat the frog” first thing every day is what I’ve found that it takes to be a successful commissioned sales person. There was a time when I fit the mold and did quite well. Now, 10 years past an early retirement, only the strong work ethic has stuck with me. Self-motivation and getting past the frog each day have become increasingly more difficult to manage. The result is, of course, a lower income stream but that is offset by a life of lowered stress and anxiety, a opportunity to smell the roses, as it were.

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