Working for commission

Here's a look at what it will really be like working on commission to help you decide whether a commission sales job is for you.

Amy White |

No one wants to leave their paycheck up to chance. It's a scary thing to think you won't have any idea how much money you'll be making from week to week. What if you don't sell anything? Will you be able to pay your bills? Here's a look at what it will really be like working on commission to help you decide whether a commission sales job is for you.

Fact vs. Fiction:

Fiction:

“If I have a bad month, I won't get a paycheck.”

There are some jobs that are 100% commission based, but the vast majority are not. Most sales jobs will offer you "base salary." This is what they pay you to take care of the administrative duties related to your job. This is usually an hourly or salaried wage that is constant regardless of performance. If you base your reoccurring expenses on your base salary and even your average commission take, budgeting shouldn't be a problem.

Fact:

“Sales is hard work.”

Working a commissioned sales job is a win-win for employers and employees. Employees have to be productive to compensated well. Both the employee and employer benefit from the employee's hard work. 

Fiction:

“Customers hate commission sales people.”

Customers expect commission sales representatives in many circumstances; what they hate is pushy sales people who only care about closing the sale. Customers are more likely to buy if they feel like you actually care about what you're selling, instead of just about yourself. It's tempting to put the pressure on, especially when trying to hit your quota, but it is more likely to make them walk out than sign on the dotted line.

Fact:

“If you're motivated, you'll do well.”

If you're looking for the kind of job where you only have to work hard when you feel like, this isn't it. The fact is that most people can't hack it in a commissioned sales job because they aren't motivated enough. If money and personal success motivate you to do well, this is an excellent job. It offers nearly immediate gratification for hard work, your pat on the back is your pay check.