Straight Commission Jobs: Are They in Your Best Interest?

commission only sales jobsMany job seekers in the market for sales or customer service jobs come across opportunities that offer straight commission.  Companies often offer this method in the hopes of finding extremely motivated and high performing people that will produce a certain number of sales.  But sometimes, straight commission jobs are simply a way for companies to hire more staff without having to compensate them for much of their work.  This doesn’t mean you should rule out a commission only sales or customer service job altogether.  It does mean you should do your research and consider your needs and options before you decide to take a straight commission job.

When It Makes Sense to Take Straight Commission Jobs

If the job being offered is something in an industry in which you see yourself pursuing a career and would like to learn more about, it might be worth taking a commission only sales job.  You can get your feet wet, make some professional connections and see if you have a knack for sales.   If the company sells a product you are particularly passionate about, you have a better chance at driving high sales for the company.  This of course is only possible if you can support yourself for a period of time until you start bringing in commissions.

Some people take straight commission jobs when they have another source of income or are a full-time student.  It’s also possible that you can negotiate with the employer and receive some sort of base pay or other benefits that will give you more financial security.  Some sales jobs will give you a “draw”, which means you receive some form of steady payment that you must pay back before you start earning commissions.

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Options to Consider with Straight Commission Jobs

If you are drawn to a commission only sales or customer service job opportunity, consider the following options to help you decide whether the opportunity is worth pursuing:

  • Ask about the company’s training programs.   See if they will offer thorough training and cover the costs.
  • See if you can speak with entry-level and senior sales staff that work at the company.  Ask about the quality of their training and the sales volume they have had on the job.
  • Do online research to find out the reputation of the company offering the job.  Some companies offering straight commission jobs are scamming you, and if they are there is probably evidence of that online.
  • Does the company offer a flexible schedule?  This may make it worth taking a commission only sales job.
  • How will you make contacts and grow your client base?  If the company will assist you in this process, your likelihood of making sales is much higher.
  • Does the company offer quality benefits such as health insurance, stock options and retirement plans?
  • Will you be required to travel often and if so will the company cover the costs?

Doing your research will give you an idea of whether you will gain valuable experience and if you will be able to make enough money after a reasonable amount of time.  If this is the case, straight commission may be a good option for you.  But remember, your hard work isn’t always evident in the sales you make.  You are still giving the company exposure, insight into market trends, and building relationships that could result in sales farther down the line.  If you don’t feel right about a commission only sales or customer service job opportunity, don’t be afraid to say no and keep looking.

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Author: Jessica Cody

Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.

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