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Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by catdawgfla, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. catdawgfla

    catdawgfla LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I have an issue and I am not sure how to handle this. I have a foreman that went into sales, but maintained a route on certain days so his salary remained the same as I didn't want to change anything in case he hated sales and wanted to get back in the truck.

    Up until now my wife and I handled sales, obviously we have a salary no matter what we do. My problem is now he wants to stay in sales, I don't need to worry about a vehicle, gas, phone, and things like that as that is part on his compensation now, I can't continue to pay him a salary and commission.

    Can anyone that has an employee that is just selling, give me an idea as to what to pay him? It needs to be fair for both.

    I appreciate any information as we have never had a "salesperson" before now.

  2. steve5966

    steve5966 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    Why can't you continue to pay him?

    If he is going to do just sales, not both jobs, then you need to decide what a salesmans salary is. Sales will work well only if he is recieving a commision too. After deciding on a salary you'll need to work out the commision. Will it be a one time commision on the initial sale or a residual commision for ongoing work. For mowing I would go with a low percentage on the life of the contract. Upsale a customer, more commision. Landscaping, commision on total sale plus required to oversee the job to make sure it is finished the way the customer wanted.
    There are so many different ways to pay a salesman, just give it some thought and ask your new sales guy what he expects from his job.
  3. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    what can you afford? $35,000 salary + 3%? If he sells $300,000 he makes $44,000.
  4. catdawgfla

    catdawgfla LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    It is not that I can't continue to pay him, I just can't continue to pay him what he was making AND a commission.

    I want to see what the masses have to say about a salary and Commission. How much money do I give him and what percent.

  5. steve5966

    steve5966 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    "I just can't continue to pay him what he was making AND a commission."

    The commision doesn't come directly out of your pocket. If he is not selling, your not paying it.

    The thing to remember about commisions is that every dollar you pay him in commision is 3, 5, 10% of money you would have never seen without his work. Unless you would have made the sale yourself, in which case, why do you need a salesman?
  6. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,943

    Is he going to be strictly NEW sales, or will he be acting as an account manager as well- securing contract renewals, conducting surveys, upselling within accounts? I guess my question, if he's going to be strictly selling new business, is do you have the crews, equipment and systems to complete the work he sells, now and six months from now?

    You didn't mention if he was selling maintenance or installs- that makes a big difference in how he's compensated.

    If you have the capacity to keep a guy selling, selling, selling, I'd either make it a commission-only job, or a nominal base (under $20K) + commission.
  7. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,315

    If he's finding COMPLETELY new and seperate jobs, how can you not afford to pay him? Like stated above, its only a few % of money you'd never have if he wasn't there. Why not do low salary, high comission? $30k + 5% comission.
  8. capetan

    capetan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    a few things you should take into consideration and or recommendations : first you need to have a specific job description, based upon the job description determine if he will be doing administrative /maintenance work or will he be out finding new customers, or he might be doing both. if both you might want to do hourly/salary plus commission, if its specifically sales and finding new customers then definitely commission only
  9. HS Football Rules

    HS Football Rules LawnSite Member
    Posts: 151

    What I hear you saying is..I'm paying my valued former crew foreman a salary based on his old duties..and have recently added sales duties with commission.

    He shouldn't be penalized financially for his promotion, but his compensation should transition to commission only, as soon as his sales warrant it.

    In the mean time he needs a base salary, and you two will have to negotiate that amount, we can't suggest it for you.

    As stated before, the percentage based commissions will take care of themselves, and his success will be to your mutual benefit.

    And be careful, if he hits the ground running you may be playing catchup to meet his new sales commitments..i.e. more equip/labor.

    Finally, be thankful for your growing pains, handled correctly, they are due rewards for good business.

    Congrats and have fun :walking:
  10. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    I agree with capetan. I have had design/sales jobs for other comanies. If he sells a lot, he has the potential to sell out your ability to do the work. Then he is out of a job. You might also have the need for other office work, plant tagging, layout, and other needs that have nothing to do with sales.

    I suggest that you keep him on a salary and don't isolate him to sales only. Sometimes incentives will stear people away from doing anything other than what they get the incentive for. Give him monthly bonuses for closing sales to keep him motivated to sell, just don't make him feel like he is above doing anything else.

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