Commission Jobs: How To Find A Good One
This is Part Two of my three part series on Affiliate / Commission Jobs – how they work, and are they worth it. Stay tuned for the final part in the coming days.
Choosing A Good Commission Job Isn’t Impossible
Now that we have looked at what makes it so hard to make money in a commission-only job, let us explore how to evaluate a commission-only job to see if it is likely to be profitable for you.
Here are the factors you will need to look at:
High Pricing Flexibility – price is a huge reason for lost sales. It pits your interest (to get the sale so you get the commission) against the company’s interest (to get a profitable sale). You want to look for a product line that gives you a lot of flexibility on pricing so that you can do what you need to do to close the sale.
Full Product Line – as mentioned above in PART A, products that are orphans, or lack an entire selling line, don’t leave many opportunities to “roll-over” a sale to a different product if the customer isn’t interested in the first product you tried to sell them. Having a full line of product can make the bottom of the funnel wider, so a higher percentage of customers could potentially buy from you.
Solid Communication – it doesn’t really help to get the lead if the company doesn’t actually do a good job of following up and completing the sale, and being prompt with answers. For example, if your customer asks you whether your electric toothbrush will work in the shower, and the company doesn’t have an answer, or takes days to get back to you, they have likely just lost you your order. Look for companies that have one person in charge of supplying sales support, and be sure s/he is an energetic person.
Marketing Collateral – a good company will provide you with the marketing tools (business cards, flyers, brochures, competitive landscape, etc.) to get the highest interest rate from your prospects. Absent these items, it would be like asking someone to hunt ducks without a gun. Your marketing collateral is your gun.
Education – a good company will provide you with a learning environment to continue getting more and more knowledgeable about the product line, thereby increasing your odds of persuading a customer to buy. This pays off wonderfully for the customer, since he knows what he is getting. It pays off for the commissioned worker, since he closes more sales, and it pays off for the company because they get more predictable sales volumes due to higher closing rates.
Honest Tracking / Exclusive Territory – many companies set up their commission / affiliate programs with many “loopholes” which enable customers to inadvertently get around you and go direct to the company, thereby costing you your commission. Try to find companies that provide a “dashboard” for you to log and see your results in a transparent fashion. Seek out companies that provide exclusive territory, such as a complete state, city, or selling channel. These will make it easier for commissions on sales you rightfully earned to be credited to you.
Long Customer Contracts – working with products or services sold to serious customers in long-term contracts works out very well for commissioned salespeople. The reason for this is they get rewarded for a long time for their long hunt for the customer…effectively earning an extending “return on investment” of their time. Often these long-term contracts include various things like additional tech or training support agreements which can be lucrative. You’ll find a lot of these types of contracts in the technical fields such as enterprise software.
The next and final part of this series will explore which industries have built in advantages to offering commission / affiliate jobs.