Never Agonize Over Commissions Again7 Feb, 2006 By: Robert Abbott imageSource
Never Agonize Over Commissions Again
Never worry about commissions?
Likely, that sounds more like a pipe dream than a reality to most salespeople,
but it is possible with some honest planning and a disciplined approach.
First, you must be ready to take a hard look at your selling activities. If you
are, join me on a journey that will take you to an incredible place you have
likely never been before—a worry-free environment, at least from a commission
Begin your journey with an assessment of your activities, which is a critical
exercise. Look at what you are spending your time on and what you gained from
that investment of time.
Next, list your Top 10 commission-generating activities. Then go through the
list and rate each activity from 1-10 with 10 representing the best of the best
and a one representing the least valuable item on the list.
that, review who you spent your time with in the last year. Profile your
customers. Briefly list the profiles that make sense to you. For example, the
list could include IT buyers, CFOs, new customers, etc. Now, do the same as you
did with your activities. Rate who you spent time with on the same 1-10 scale.
These lists have established the core of your activities: what you did that was
a good and bad use of your time and who you spent your time with—good and bad.
Look for parallels and connections between the 10 activities and 10 people on
your lists. Now you have your core value activities and people.
Here comes the hard part. Review your year's activities and honestly assess if
the time you invested in those activities and people was worth the return you
received. Be brutally honest here or you will be wasting your time.
Better yet, if you are really serious, conduct your review and then ask your
boss, manager or supervisor to review your assessment and give you feedback. You
may be surprised to find great value in another honest perspective.
Now for the really hard part, rid yourself of the bottom 80 percent of people
and activities on your lists. Stop wasting your valuable time on those customers
and actions. That may sound extreme, but here is why.
You may have heard about the 80/20 rule, which is an established economic theory
discovered by Alfredo Pareto, a 19th century Italian economist. Although
“Pareto’s Principle” may not precisely focus on sales, the 80/20 rule from a
sales perspective states that 80 percent of your commissions will come from 20
percent of your customers or activities.
This economic principle is why you MUST know who those money-generating
customers and activities are. Your success is determined by the 20 percent of
customers that pay well. Without this knowledge, you make a choice to remain
among the anxious and worried when commission time rolls around.
A lack of activity among the top 20 percent of your customers or profiles of
prospects matching those customers is a fundamental problem among many
You must be willing to part with conventional wisdom and the activities that
“seem” to be the right thing to do, and be willing to take the necessary risk to
gain the financial rewards sufficient to relieve you of the worry associated
with lack of commissions.
The financial rewards come as a result of your activities and relationships with
premium prospects and customers. Gain an understanding of this equation, and you
will no longer have to agonize over commissions because you will know exactly
where they come from.