Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sales Myth

Earlier today I observed my store director, Gilbert, training one of our technology senior sales people, David. Gilbert suggested to David that he tell customers he's not on commission. I found this to be very odd. There was a time after our company did away with commissioned sales people that it was required of us to inform customers that we were not commissioned, but we haven't done that in quite some time now. Even back then, it always irked me to tell customers this because it reinforced a false stigma about commissioned sales people.

Here's what most people assume... someone who works on commission is only concerned about selling you the most expensive thing possible so they can make more money off you. If you're not buying anything expensive, they won't want to help you. It's also assumed that sales people who are not commissioned will be more attentive to everyone, regardless of purchase price, and are more likely to help you find what you need.

This could not be further from the truth!!! The fact is a commissioned sales person is definitely more likely to make sure you get what you need and won't over-burden you with extras you don't want. Here's why... a commissioned sales person only gets to keep their commission if you keep your product. If they over sell you on something, sure, they'll get a big commission up front... but when you return it, they will lose the entire commission, thus their income. Because of this situation, a commissioned sales person is definitely going to make sure you really want what you purchase.

A sales person who does not work on commission could care less if you purchase anything or not. Your decision to purchase something has no effect on their income. A commissioned sales person is interested in assisting anyone with anything because they'll make a commission on anything they sell. If they aren't helping customers, they aren't making money. Non-commissioned sales people are also less inclined to have a great deal of product knowledge. There's no incentive for them to know everything about every product they sell. Whether you get the product that's right for you or not, it makes no difference to a non-commissioned sales person.

This is all a generality, and there are exceptions to these cases I've mentioned... but in my professional experience with sales (both commissioned and non-commissioned), this is the conclusion I come to regarding the matter.


lgl said...

I dont like it that yall say it for a diff reason. Alex may not get a "comission" but "his numbers" certinally do count. I think its misrepresenting to make the customers think that their sale dosent matter personally to them via their numbers.

Siren said...

I think the bad rep for people working on commission really comes from car salesmen. In this case, people don't really return the item least I've never heard of anyone returning a car after 2 weeks because it's just not what they really wanted!! So blame them!!