Consultant Boyd Parker shares a perspective on commission
PoliticMag Press Release : October 18, 2020
Asking Boyd Parker’s opinion on: Is commission the answer?
After speaking with Boyd Parker, it was clear that he understood that this wasn’t a straightforward yes or no response. As opinions regarding commission-only roles vary, he suggested it to be an ongoing debate and rightly so since commission-based positions do have their positives and negatives. Boyd Parker went on to explain; whether a commission job is going to work for you, probably depends mostly on your personality. He felt that if were considering whether this earning model is the right fit for you, then the following should offer some clarity.
Boyd went on to discuss the positives of Commission, that is it offers more money, for some, this might sound counterintuitive, but in his experience, this was usually the case. He described how professionals working on 100% commission usually earn more than those doing jobs that are paid a base salary. In case of an increase in sales, then the commission agent sells more and therefore gets a higher income on a monthly basis – that can be a lot more in comparison with a person that has a wage. In his experience Boyd Parker had many people discuss reasons for leaving their previous employment explaining how their salary was capped and that there wasn’t room for higher potential earnings, the term “glass ceiling” is often used to explain how their progression or earnings are capped. Boyd does believe that in a sales commission role, this is very much open to your ability.
When you’re paid via salary, if there is a rise in sales thanks to you, most won’t notice or care, since you are doing your job as expected. You won’t care that much either since you’re getting paid the same anyway. What Boyd Parker had experienced himself was that when you work on commission, and you make a sale, everybody tends to offer praise, or recognition, if not verbally then certainly via money. When sales reps are paid on commission, companies usually show more respect when you achieve some bigger sales targets.
Boyd had noted that for those who work as commission agents, flexibility will most often be regarded as the greatest perk of commission-based roles. You think you need more time? Work longer hours. Did you make a huge sale? Go swim in the pool, train in the gym or do whatever you want – those around you won’t care your
hours, only what you achieved. So, If you’re the type of person who is good at organising your time and you have great sales skills; commission will probably work out great for you.
Furthermore, flexibility in turn creates independence, being a commission agent usually makes companies give you more freedom – they won’t care too much the time you came to the office if you made a huge sale that day. Some people prefer some sort of authority and need a boss to constantly tell them what to do, but
that type of environment slows down others. If you don’t like to be constantly checked on, then it would seem that this is the job for you.
Boyd Parker’s view on commission-only sales is that it’s a great tool for personal motivation, his opinion being that for personal and professional growth motivation is a key attribute. Some people lose incentive to work hard when they are paid with a salary. Sometimes they feel like the raise never comes even though they are working harder every month, and so they stop trying altogether. This won’t happen to a good commission agent, because their hard work is recognised and appreciated, and most of all: cashed in. There are some commission jobs that allow you to freelance, and work in the comfort of your home. This is a great perk for those who hate the office environment and despise having to buy suits and ties and god knows many people do. If your commission role is the kind that allows you to freelance from the comfort of your own home, you’ll be saving money along with possibly making more, whilst removing the expense of a commute or shop bought/restaurant lunches.
Commission only roles can offer the removal of monotony, no matter how upbeat or driven you are, it can at times get boring doing the same thing from the same place every single day. Often, being a commission agent allows you to meet different people, go to different places and generally see less of the same thing over and over again.
I asked Boyd Parker why there often appears to be an endless level of excitement when working on commission. He suggested that perhaps the adrenaline release when you make a sale is the reason that those who transfer from an employee position to that of an independent sales agent never tend to be able to return to that employee mindset. An endorphin release and that “high” you receive when you feel your hard work is recognised and properly paid for, is difficult to walk away from.
He also proposed another element that people seem to prefer is the freedom commission gives you. You own your clock as a commission agent and you’ll finally stop feeling like you’re on a stopwatch. If you prefer working after midnight instead of traditional working hours, there is probably a commission job for you, too. He insisted that “No one owns your time but you”. His explanation was that maybe you noticed that having a wage makes at least eight hours of your everyday belong to a company and that you live the same life planned around that salary. Being a commission sales person is a positive step in a different direction where you earn the money you want to earn, you work accordingly, you set your goals and plan your life around your achievements.
From my discussion with Boyd Parker what I discovered was: If you want to learn self-discipline? Work as a commission agent. You will learn to organise your time more efficiently. You will become more productive as you learn that it’s often difficult to be your own boss. Do you want to become an entrepreneur someday? Working on commission will help you get the necessary knowledge to do so!
However, I also understand that commission only isn’t for everyone, many people much prefer the safety net a salary provides. Maybe you are used to going to your office every day and seeing familiar faces and you like that. There is nothing wrong with preferring that setup! Some people work better with the structure that an office provides and might have a hard time being their own boss and working when no one is making them do so. If you think you might have this problem, you are probably not the person for this kind of work.
I guess the question isn’t: Are commission based jobs worth it? Its: Are commission-based jobs worth it to you? Boyd Parker suggested that if you are hardworking, driven and are good at organising your own time without someone telling you what to do, working based on commission will probably earn you a lot more money than just working as an employee. On the other hand, if you are just looking for a steady income and you’re still unsure of your skills, maybe this is not the lifestyle for you and there is nothing wrong that. Some like the comfort of an office, the commute and having someone manage their time, otherwise they become unorganised. But if you know you are a great professional capable of working hard, then you are definitely going to profit from transferring to a commission-based position. That will allow you the freedom, flexibility, creativity, and autonomy you craved.