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I eat sawdust.
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been thinking lately on how bad I am at the sales thing (I'm working on it), but I am also young so many people initially don't trust me and it just adds one more obstacle I have to overcome to make the sale.

I've been thinking a lot of how I'd like to have a friendly older guy with good people skills and with knowledge in the area to meet the customer, take photos and measurements and get a good idea of what they want. Then give me the information so I can do up a bid he can sell to them.

Does this sound like a reasonable position?

Are there salesmen who would work for commission only if say the % was a little higher than average? I am not familiar with this job area at all and this is the closest thing I could find relating to our industry to compare to.

I'm not really sure what an inticing commission would be either. Do any of you have commission-earning salesman?

Maybe I'll just post a job ad to see what kind of responses I get :laughing:
 

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I dont see anything wrong with a commission only sales guy but you might want to prepare to put somebody on some kind of draw to get him started. Typically, I'd only recommend hiring a dedicated sales guy only if you don't have the time or resources to do it yourself. Certainly taking some of the pressure off yourself can help, but it can cut into your bottom line so you have to find that balance.

Just curious, when you go out the first time, do you talk about pricing at all?
 

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Professional Instigator
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I've been thinking lately on how bad I am at the sales thing (I'm working on it), but I am also young so many people initially don't trust me and it just adds one more obstacle I have to overcome to make the sale.

I've been thinking a lot of how I'd like to have a friendly older guy with good people skills and with knowledge in the area to meet the customer, take photos and measurements and get a good idea of what they want. Then give me the information so I can do up a bid he can sell to them.

Does this sound like a reasonable position?

Are there salesmen who would work for commission only if say the % was a little higher than average? I am not familiar with this job area at all and this is the closest thing I could find relating to our industry to compare to.

I'm not really sure what an inticing commission would be either. Do any of you have commission-earning salesman?

Maybe I'll just post a job ad to see what kind of responses I get :laughing:
I would say get him some sales training. and turn him loose
 

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Winchester How About a Sales Gal?

I am not sure what you sell but we have both men and women that sell for us. We sell a lot of products and we often have the sales gals put a whipping on the guys.

We pay ours 10% less tax and permitting and an admen fee. Works for us.:thumbup:
 

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Master Sellutionist
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Commission-based in-home salespeople are the way to go

As a professional recruiter, trainer and coach of salespeople for contractors, I can tell you first hand that the age issue is more in your head and you are making it more of an issue than any customer will. If you are confident, knowledgable, respectful, trustworthy, courteous and professional the customer will focus on those aspects.

As far as hiring a salesperson, be careful about age due to discrimination issues. However, sometimes an older salesperson can be good due to being a seasoned professional or they can be set in their ways and will not grow or adapt and many times has bad habits, and you are just inheriting someone else's problem child.

Too young, too greeen and inexperienced also has its set of challenges. However, better to get someone with some experience, drive and motivation and teach them what you need them to know. Make sure their income history is commensurate with what you are offering as income.

DO NOT hire someone that has a history or earning $40-50K for a job that has $100K potential as they do not know what it takes to earn that kind of money and will shut down as soon as they hit $60K and burn a ton of leads.

Feel free to contact me diretly with any other questions.
 

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Organic Painter
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The last post is only kind of spam right? I mean we all want to read.


OP:
I don't like the fact you want them to do a take off and then go back and close the deal. I am 32 YO but a master seller and have converted into a one call closer over the past 2 years. There is no going back to non one call closing for me.

Weird but I have hired at least 5 salespeople to work for me and the age goes from 36 to 56, I by far am a better closer out of all these people that I hired and I am younger than all of them. I know age or schooling is not going to determine the success of your salesperson. The reason I do better than all of them is only because I take the time to try and get better at closing on every appointment and spend time on my favorite two forums practicing or gaining more knowledge to be confident in selling what I have to offer.
 

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I eat sawdust.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The last post is only kind of spam right? I mean we all want to read.


OP:
I don't like the fact you want them to do a take off and then go back and close the deal. I am 32 YO but a master seller and have converted into a one call closer over the past 2 years. There is no going back to non one call closing for me.

Weird but I have hired at least 5 salespeople to work for me and the age goes from 36 to 56, I by far am a better closer out of all these people that I hired and I am younger than all of them. I know age or schooling is not going to determine the success of your salesperson. The reason I do better than all of them is only because I take the time to try and get better at closing on every appointment and spend time on my favorite two forums practicing or gaining more knowledge to be confident in selling what I have to offer.
I'm 27 and have a baby-face when I shave. When I don't shave I look like a scrub. It's a lose-lose situation. :laughing:

I have no idea how they could close the deal without giving them a price. And there is no way I'm going to trust somebody's price after just seeing a job and coming up with a number off the top of their heads. Unless of course they are selling really high. What's the salesman got to lose compared to what Ive got to lose if he underbids?
 

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I'm 27 and have a baby-face when I shave. When I don't shave I look like a scrub. It's a lose-lose situation. :laughing:

I have no idea how they could close the deal without giving them a price. And there is no way I'm going to trust somebody's price after just seeing a job and coming up with a number off the top of their heads. Unless of course they are selling really high. What's the salesman got to lose compared to what Ive got to lose if he underbids?

To grow a business, you will have to eventually empower others to make decisions. The painter is right, though... You really need to develop into a one call close situation. Customers make better decisions when the information is right in front of them and you ask for the order. Its human nature to put people off and procrastinate with money. Being confident in your pricing in one trip will inspire confidence in the customers eyes as well.

People buy people, regardless of age. I did in home sales for home improvement when I was 23 and my closing ratio was one of the highest in the company. It was all one-call stuff. The most important thing you can do when you're young is listen. Ask smart questions. Get better at your craft. Sales drive all business and you have to know that you're bringing a solution to the table and its the best one. Always always always ask for the order. Make them say no and you'll get deals.

I'm a huge Zig Ziglar fan. Listen to some of his stuff. Sell yourself, your company, your product and the price is easy.

I'm sure lots of guys here have been through numerous sales seminars and whatnot but if you want some additional help or a basic outline, I'd be happy to help. Just let me know... I have some sales management experience and have helped some younger guys. Good luck
 

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How old are you? Age is just a #. I sold my first 100k job at age 20. And my first 250k job at age 21.

Work on your own salesmanship skills. I always focus on how this is more then just a job for business for me. Its my life. I seem to focus more on that then anything else.
 

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How old are you? Age is just a #. I sold my first 100k job at age 20. And my first 250k job at age 21.

Work on your own salesmanship skills. I always focus on how this is more then just a job for business for me. Its my life. I seem to focus more on that then anything else.

You are right, age is just a number... but, the dollar figure on a couple of jobs is semi-irrelevant. How many deals were left on the table? I only say that because everybody might measure sales success differently. A good salesman is also more than just closing deals. Its about up selling and building REAL value so that margins can be higher for the company. As an owner, thats paramount for growing your biz...

Also, it is your life... yes, but... Its important that your customers sense that passion, but be careful that it doesn't come across as desperation... It can be a fine line.
 

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My sales people are always the hardest to manage

I'm all for hiring professional sale people. I've had sales people that could close 4 times more sales and get 4 times more money than myself, but most good sales people are very difficult to hire and difficult to do business with. Almost always, there are misunderstandings about how they will be paid. They usually have an ego problem that causes them to demand a higher commission after they close a few sales and they are usually very temperamental.

When hiring my door knocker I made it very clear several times that he would get $100 per day as a draw against a commission. I had previous experience and knew what was going to happen on his first payday, even though I put his pay schedule in writing. He thought he was going to get $100 per day plus a 7-1/2% commission and he was very disappointed (upset) when I had to make the pay schedule clear for about the 5th time. Now, only 10 weeks later, I am paying my door knocker $200 per day as a draw against a 10% commission. He is actually earning slightly more than $200 day after paying the 10% commission.

I have a few rules I try to stick with when hiring sales people. Always interview an applicant no less than two, or three times. They know exactly what you want to hear during the first interview and you see only their best side. During the 2nd and 3rd interview they loosen up and you get a feel for what they are really like. You will be surprised to find that most sales people you might have hired during their first interview won't show for a 2nd interview.

Most applicants are desperate to pay some bills and they will lie about everything. I try to hire people who don't appear desperate for a job. There are many reasons applicants who are not desperate are the type of people you want working for you.

Try to put your pay schedule and everything in writing so there are no misunderstandings. Even so, there will be, so update your policies every day.

A good and confident sales person does not need a guaranteed salary nor a draw against a commission. I am very confident that I can go to any plumbing company, sell, and earn thousands of dollars within a few weeks, so why would I need a salary? The only reason I see salesmen want salaries is because they are not confident that you can provide them with the leads, they are not confident they can close sales, or the period from when they close a sale to when they get paid is too long to wait.

Several times, I put ads in the Los Angeles Times for 3 days at a cost of $300 and got many undesirables calling. I put an ad on Craig's List for 30 days for $30 and I started getting several great sounding applicants within an hour.

I am always willing to hire a professional sales person. It is great when I close one or two sales in one day and a salesman closes a sale for a lead I would never have had time to go to.
 
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