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hiring a salesman

How many of you guys have salesmen working for you? Do you pay them commision? Do they generate their own leads or do you have to give the leads to them? We are thinking about hiring a salesman to help bring in more installation work and wanted to know the pros and cons of having one? Thanks for any input.


  • Josh_10
    Josh_10 Member Posts: 787

    If I were to hire a salesman I would pay a very modest base salary and commission based on GPM of the project. That way they not only have incentive to sell a project but to keep your profit margin on the job.

    I would encourage a salesman to generate new leads. However if their commission is based on GPM it would be in your benefit to allow them to sell to your current customers.
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    Maybe this is optimistic

    but we consider all of our staff (OK, for the most part those with social skills relative to engineers and whom are out meeting the public), are sales people.

    All are encouraged to be professional and to make contacts and bring in new work based on what the office work load is. (Being over-scheduled and losing quality is not a way to get repeat business.)

    Still, there is a time when your company grows to a point where you can justify it. As Josh said, base salary plus commission keyed to a profit margin. Some system to make it work for all.

    In a management course I took some years ago, this little tidbit struck me, thinking of the size of your company growing: When you have about 50 employees, at least one at any time will be in the bathroom. That means 2% down the tubes I suppose, so to speak :)

    Let your sales person account for that!
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • Keith_8
    Keith_8 Member Posts: 399

    Do you want a seasoned or new sales person? One comes with contacts and experience and the other comes with no baggage. Depending on the past results the seasoned one may also come with a higher price tag. A salesperson with experience should have no problem showing you the last couple years of sales figures with gross margins.

    Be very clear on what you expect and what they can expect prior to them interviewing for the position. A good friend of mine was recommended for a new sales position at a mechanical company that has been in business for about 5 years.
    He interviewed with the owner and the owner talked about expectations and wages. When he asked about the commmision structure he got a general responce. A follow up interview yielded the same vague replies. The owner pressed my friend to come on board and we will work out the details later.
    Bad news for both parties in my opinion.
    I explained my wage and commmision package to my friend as a guideline. When he offered my package as reference point the brakes were applied to the offer. Not in the owners vocabulary.
    As my friend and I discovered, the owner was not clear on what he was willing to pay for or what his expectations are for his company. In short he is flying by the seat of his pants.

    How well would this have worked out for either party?

  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,528
    Another option.

    See yourself here by taking a Find a Professional ad.
    Retired and loving it.
This discussion has been closed.