By J.T. O’Donnell
I had a great conversation last week with a friend, Laurie Storey-Manseau. She owns an integrated marketing agency that specializes in web design and social media usage in NH. She’s realized what many business owners have recently: We are just about on the other side of the recession’s upside-down bell curve….and that means opportunity is knocking for everyone. Especially, for some job seekers.
You see, everyone is wondering when the recession will end – what really matters is when the recession has bottomed-out. After that, we start climbing UP, and with that comes a momentum in business that fuels some powerful (and positive!) results. Let’s use Laurie as an example…
She knows many companies in her area cut staff in their marketing departments over the last year. As a result, the people who kept their jobs at those firms have been doing the work of 2-3 people. And we all know that when that happens, things start to deteriorate. Tasks get done incorrectly, sometimes not at all. The priority list gets revamped daily, and in the process, morale takes a beating and productivity slumps.
Once the company sees it is stable and doesn’t need to do any more layoffs, it eventually recognizes the need for help. Now, it can’t afford to hire full-time, or even part-time employees yet. So you know what they do? They hire a company and assign them project work that will get the business back on track. Here’s an analogy: It’s like letting your house get so dirty that you can’t possibly clean it by yourself. You bring in an expert to scour and get it back to a managable place so you can maintain it again.
And this is where the ‘opportunity’ part comes in for you, the job seeker…
Many companies, like Laurie’s, are going to start to hire new business development superstars. People who see the potential in front of them. I’m talking about those folks who know it’s time to knock on corporate doors and subtly say,
“I know it’s been really tough the last year and your remaining staff must be exhausted. Have you considered outsourcing a project or two just to get your productivity levels back up and to help the staff feel like they can breath a bit? Also, could you use some fresh ideas and new faces to help your organization feel empowered, but don’t want the added employment expense? If so, then I’ve got a solution for you.”
Can see yourself helping people who are over-worked and stressed-out? Then you need to consider sales. And commission-only sales jobs at that. Here’s why…
FACT: It’s hunting season!
In times like these, everyone is looking for the safe, salaried job. They trust themselves but not their potential customers to put food on their tables. And yet, if you enter the commission-only job market at the right time during a recession, the payoff can be huge. Not only does your product and/or service become a welcomed breath of fresh air to your clients, you are generally well-compensated for being the hunter of new business. Why? Commission structures to acquire new accounts are historically greater than those involved in maintaining an existing account because the first is considered harder than the second. But is it? Not if you enter the market now and start to build your relationships with companies! It’s a timing thing that can pay off big for the right person.
Here’s what to look for in a good commission-only job:
1) Make sure you LOVE what the company sells and can see how it would benefit others immensely. (ie. solve problems, make life significantly better, etc.)
2) Walk through the commission structure (the formula for your compensation) and get several concrete examples of what needs to be sold to get paid.
3) Confirm when you get paid and how you get paid.
4) Discuss and make sure you are comfortable with the average time it takes to make a sale. Long sales cycles mean you’ll be waiting even longer for your commission.
Why do companies offer commission-only jobs? Well, obviously some of them can’t afford to add staff without knowing there will be income to support paying them. Additionally, for many companies, setting up a commission-only job opportunity ensures they get a committed and confident employee who is highly motivated to produce results. AND, to ensure that, they make the commission payout extremely attractive so you are passionate about acquiring new clients. Again, that’s where the chance to clean up in this economy comes into play. You help others and get paid well for doing it.
HATE the idea of going into sales? Read this…
I was given great advice by one of my mentors early in life. He said,
“At some point in your career, regardless of what you want to do, you should sell. It is one of the most vital functions of a business. Without new customers, a business doesn’t exist. Subsequently, learning to sell will make you a better employee because you’ll always think of your work as it relates to the customer’s needs.”
I heeded that advice and, I have to say, it is correct. Learning to sell is challenging, but professionally rewarding. So, explore commission-only jobs right now. You may just find one that is perfect for you!
PS – If you are in the NH area, have agency experience, and want to work for a company that lets you bring pets to the office, has a cool open-office design, and was named one of the top 25 Women-owned Businesses to work for by Working Mother magazine, be sure to check out Laurie’s new biz wiz job opening here: