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6 Red Flags when Choosing a Summer Sales Company

Before you know it, finals week will be here and then you’ll be off to knock doors for the summer. Question is…for which company?

Nowadays there is an overabundance of companies hiring summer sales reps…which makes your decision on choosing which one to work for all the more difficult.

Having been in the door-to-door sales industry for the last 17 years, I’ve identified 6 red flags that you should be aware of when making this choice.

Red-Flag #1 How many sales reps are being hired per office?

Last year I met with 2 prospective salesmen who were going to sign with a company that was hiring 30 sales reps to knock in one market. In my opinion, that particular market would be maxed out with 15 sales reps. Thus, having a team of 30 would create 2 huge problems. First, if all 30 reps worked the entire summer, they would be knocking on the same doors 3 or 4 times…and that’s miserable! Second, which is the more likely scenario, companies overstaffing a market have built in attrition into their business model. Meaning, they plan on a certain percentage of sales reps quitting. Kind of like the Hunger Games of door-to-door sales reps. If this is the case, you might not be as important to them as they are making you believe you are.

Red-Flag #2 More sales reps = inferior training.

Companies that recruit mass quantities don’t have the infrastructure to guarantee quality training to each of its sales reps. Because I do it myself, I’m a big fan of company owners taking responsibility to train their sales reps. If the owner of a company is invested in training, then this is proof that the owner is invested in your success. The company you choose should provide you with excellent trainers and training. Don’t settle for a watered-down version of training, your success as a sales rep should matter to your company as much as it matters to you.

Red-Flag #3 Who’s recruiting you?

Be leery of companies that use recruiters who have no ties to you once the summer begins. If the person hiring you isn’t your manager or the owner, they may only be interested in getting your signature and not your overall experience or success. Recruiters are notorious for painting the perfect picture of what your summer will consist of…fun, sun and money. However, their omission of explaining the challenges and struggles of the job will not be appreciated once you realize these difficulties on your own. Recruiters get paid to recruit, managers and owners get paid when you perform.

Red-Flag #4 Was the hiring process too easy?

If a summer sales company hires you without a formal interview then they are probably just looking for warm bodies to fill positions. This mindset is common for companies that hire large sales teams and plan on a certain percentage of sales reps quitting. Companies that are truly invested in your success will carefully and thoroughly interview you before offering you a job.

Red-Flag #5 Is the compensation plan transparent?

Before making your final decision on who you will work for, you must have a complete understanding how the commission structure works and specifically how chargebacks work. Chargebacks are commissions charged backed to sales reps if their customers cancel their agreement or are delinquent in paying for their service. Some companies’ chargeback a sales rep’s entire commissions, others only chargeback a portion of commissions and some don’t chargeback any commissions.

Companies use their own discretion to determine if a customer is unlikely to pay for services depending on how many days late they are on their payment. One company may chargeback accounts that are 30 days delinquent, while another company may chargeback accounts that are 90 days or more delinquent. These numbers are subjective for each company so it is vital that you know exactly how chargebacks are determined.

You should also pay close attention to the average contract value listed on the compensation plan. This number is often inflated and shows unlikely earnings based on selling certain number of accounts. Be sure to know a realistic average contract value.

Red-Flag #6 The sexy pick.

Some companies use advertising and swag to reel in potential recruits. You should realize that the dollars spent on these types of things is taking away from the commissions you will be earning. In fact, it’s the sexy pick that often has the highest chargeback rates because they are trying to cost save from overspending their marketing budget.

Bottom line, your choice of who to work for this summer is an important one…so don’t make it without doing your homework. Talk with former sales reps, find out how long the company has been in business and look for online reviews. Trust me, the offer they tell you will only be good for a few days, will still be there once you’re ready to commit.