3 Benefits of a Commission-based Sales Career

By Andy Kocemba

Commission-based sales careers seem to get a bad rap these days, especially among millennials. The impression is that these careers are strictly motivated by greed and money, but there are so many more motivating factors and benefits that come along with commission-based sales positions.

Because I run a sales organization with a veteran workforce, I’m always trying to find my next superstar salespeople. The following insights should appeal to all professionals, including millennials.

1. You control your destiny

I believe one of the great issues facing our workforce today is the disconnect between production and compensation. Salaried workers can lose sight of how their productivity impacts the company’s bottom line and can merely trudge through their days to get their paycheck.

How much better it is with a direct correlation between the work you do and your pay. If you are satisfied with a lower level of production and lower pay, that’s fine (if your boss is OK with it), but if you are motivated to earn more, you can work harder and do so.

You are in control of your income and your work-life balance. And how about those of you who work very hard at your job, do great things for your company, and don’t feel you’ve been adequately rewarded? That’s not fun, is it?

2. Flexible schedule

There’s a built-in flexibility that comes with a commission-based career. If you are meeting your numbers, you can usually set your schedule and routine.

Want to get the kids on the bus and come in after that? Want to make it home for dinner? Want to go to the gym in the middle of the day, when it’s less crowded? Want to take vacations during lower travel times? Want to go to the zoo during the week when it’s less busy?

The list goes on and on, but the point is that if you are reaching your desired level of production and success, the time schedule on which you do that is for you to decide.

3. Remember to monetize benefits

One common reason I hear for people choosing a salaried job over straight commission is that of benefits. Now, there are definitely cases where obtaining good health care benefits is a top priority, but early on in my career, my dad taught me you rarely take a job solely based on benefits.

Benefits need to be monetized to make an honest comparison. If a salaried position offers you $70,000 plus health, but you know in a commissioned position you can likely make at least $100,000, which do you take?

Unless you know the value of the health insurance, you can’t decide. If the value is less than $30,000, take the commission job and buy your own health insurance.

For these reasons and more, give commission-based careers more consideration. Control, flexibility and monetary benefits are yours for the effort.

Andy Kocemba is president and co-owner of Calhoun Cos., a top business brokerage firm in the Upper Midwest. Calhoun Cos. has been connecting buyers and sellers since 1908, working with small- to medium-sized businesses across all industries. A graduate from Bethel University, Kocemba joined Calhoun Cos. in 2003 as a sales agent before buying the business in 2011. He is a member of the International Business Brokers Association, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, and Better Business Bureau.