Commission only Agents – some misconceptions by Principles (Guest contribution by Geremy O’Mahony)
Misconceptions by Principles
Employers tend to welcome Commission only Sales Agents with open arms from my experience, especially when it comes to new & untested products.
However, on a couple of occasions I’ve ended up promoting products and testing the market potential for FREE.
In real terms, I’ve made a loss, as this has been on my time, travel, phone and doing coffees.
Some Employers don’t factor this in as they don’t see how much effort is being invested on their behalf.
Focus group, PR and Market Research isn’t a part of the remit of Sales Agents.
If companies are producing new innovative products, Sales is the life blood of that company. If theres on sales then there’s no company.
Resistance & rejection dominate proceedings as buyers are presented with more products than their shelves can bear. Cynicism is their birth right.
These hurdles are part of the sales process and overcoming them an inherent part of my commission.
As professional Sales Agents I think it’s important to assert ones position with new Principles on initial contact, outlining clearly:
what Commission only means, what it includes and what the % charged represents.
Principles make more money with me, than without me. That’s the purpose of hiring an Agent in my view, be it Estate Agent, Art Agent, Booking Agent, etc.
A personal story
Let me share a recent story with a new Principle. We started working together in mid-October 2014 and I spent several weeks gaining a better understanding of the service on offer.
I thought it more beneficial to re-write his original sales proposal, as it was primarily ‘techy jargon.’ I then cold called potential customers.
The result was three face to face meetings with two potential leads, one of which was secured just before Christmas. The Principle invoiced the Client for a 50% down payment for the job on January 2nd – when I got my first commission cheque.
As of this writing, it’s unknown when I’ll receive the balance as it’s now in the hands of the Principle to complete the project. Our contract together states payment when the client pays. Unfortunately, delays occur and when working with new Principles all the back ground checks and due diligence don’t include what really happens day to day. In hindsight, we should have agreed a fee to re-work his Sales proposal.
I don’t know many Employees who are prepared to work 10 weeks without compensation for their efforts.
To build trust I (c.c.’d) carbon copied every sales pitch to the Principle, so he could see who I’d contacted and what was being offered.
As it was new and unchartered territory for me, I asked him to peruse my emails, so I wasn’t making promises he couldn’t deliver on.
Commission only work means exactly that – it is results based and paid. There was no guarantee I would get paid after those 10 weeks. That’s the risk I’m prepared to take and the belief I have in my abilities.
As I don’t share an office with the Principle I believe human nature dictates and it’s easy to overlook the amount of work involved.
I know I can generate more business for this Principle when he delivers.
Why am I so confident and this isn’t just sales spiel?
This is a high end client and an ideal calling card to other prospects.
Will the Principle make more money with me as an Independent Sales Agent than without me!
I welcome and look forward to future Sales challenges as I appreciate the opportunities and freedoms working as an Independent Sales Agent bestow on me.
Geremy O’Mahony – Independent Sales Agent
As an Independent Sales Agent, I am most effective working alongside Small Companies and Sole Traders, who are ready for a presence on the High Street. These Principles tend not to have the staff, experience and skills I offer to reach the next level with their business.
My background encompasses sales, marketing, distribution and licensing which can be adapted to most products and services. My clients are experts in their respective fields and can answer all the technical questions when they arise.
For example, when I sold Apple loops and music software to the Apple Store, HMV and SONY Software, my client stepped in to answer all questions regarding compatibility, content and technical specifications.
My music industry background was a seamless segway to Apple and SONY even though I had no existing contacts within these companies and little knowledge when it comes to computer software .
Similarly, selling eCommerce and Digital Marketing services to pharmacies in Central London, the Principle demonstrates how the back-end operates and uses Google Analytics to show performance figures and related data. I was happy my client had discovered a niche that was worth exploring and the additional revenue he was generating was impressive.
My mode of working with new Principles is simple – if I believe in the product or service, a route to market can be found.