January 2014

Choosing a Summer Sales Company

 
 

red flag

With the inevitability of summer right around the corner, so too is the inescapable decision you must make concerning who you will knock doors for once you’ve completed your final exams.

Nowadays there are an overabundance of companies that hire door-to-door salespeople…which makes your decision on choosing which one to work for all the more difficult.

For 16 years I’ve observed trends of companies employing door-to-door salespeople which indicate if a sales rep is likely to have a bad experience and possibly not get paid for what they have earned. The following are red-flags that you should be aware of when determining what company to knock doors for this summer.

  • Red-Flag #1: How many sales reps are being hired per office? I recently met with a couple of prospective salesman for my own company and explained the differences between the opportunity to work for me versus another reputable company. As it turned out, the other company was hiring 30 sales reps in a city versus my company only hiring 15 sales reps for a city of comparable size. Many times companies that hire large sales teams are planning on a number of those they hire to quit. Kind of like the Hunger Games of door-to-door salespeople. If a company is overstaffing a market they are planning on attrition which means your decision to quit is playing right into their business model. Find a company where every sales rep is valued.
  •  Red-Flag #2: More sales reps generally equals less quality training. In direct relation to Red-Flag #1, company’s that hire large sales teams typically don’t have the infrastructure to provide quality training to each of its sales reps. Being that I’m the best option for training in my company, we never hire more sales reps than I have time to personally train before the summer and on the doors during the summer. The company you choose to work for 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 hire recruiters who have no ties to you once the summer begins. If your recruiter isn’t your manager or an owner in the company, 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…lots 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? Similar to Red-Flag #3, if a company hires you without a formal interview then they are probably just looking for warm bodies to fill positions. This mindset is common for company’s that hire large sales teams and plan on a certain percentage of sales reps quitting either before or during the summer. Company’s that are truly invested in your success will carefully and thoroughly interview you before offering you a job.
  • Red-Flag #5: Is the pay plan transparent? Before making your final decision on who you will work for, you must have a complete understanding of how the pay plan/commission structure works and specifically how chargebacks work. Chargebacks are commissions charged backed to sales reps if their customers cancel their agreement or refuse to pay for service. Some companies charge back a sales rep’s entire commissions, others only charge back a portion of commissions and some don’t charge back any commissions. Companies use their own discretion to determine if a customer is unlikely to pay for services depending on how delinquent they are on their payment. One company may chargeback accounts that are 30 days delinquent, while another company may only 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 a certain number of accounts.
  • Red-Flag #6: The sexy pick. To stand out and make themselves known in an industry, some companies use pomp and swag to make them appear to be the best option. Sales reps should realize that the dollars spent on this type of advertising is taking away from commission dollars that they will be earning. Sometimes it’s the sexy picks that end up not paying its sales reps because they’ve went over budget on their marketing ploys.

There is no question that you have a difficult decision to make…so don’t make it without doing your homework. You should know how long a company has been hiring door-to-door sales teams and talk with former salespeople of that company. Google reviews can also help you to decide whether or not the company you are considering will be a good fit for you.

If you have specific questions or comments you are welcome to click, ‘Contact Me’ at the top of this page and I’d be happy to respond. Best of luck in finding the right company for you and in your success this summer!

 
 LennyGray
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