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Why you should tell your clients you are on performance pay

By Terry Barret October 6, 2015 Why you should tell your clients you are on performance pay

You arrive at the client’s home. Immediately you hear: “You guys try to sell me something every time you come out. Are you guys on some sort of commission pay?”

Instead of being ashamed or trying to avoid the comment, how about approaching it immediately with something like:

“Yes I am paid for the repairs that I make.  I also get paid by the company for doing your diagnostic.  Though let me stress, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.  It is my job to let you know if I find anything that could help. 

I will ask myself, How Can I:

  • Make your family’s home more comfortable?
  • Make your system run more efficiently?
  • Get your system to last longer?
  • Prevent your system from breaking down during those hot days or cold nights, which would leave your family without heating or cooling?
  • Improve the quality of the air inside your home for your family, to keep them out of the doctor’s office?
  • Help is the key word Mrs Smith.  If it doesn’t help you, I won’t recommend it.”

Creating Clarity on Performance Pay

Clients tend to see people that get paid commissions as doing a lesser job. Therefore, you need to address this when the client brings up performance pay.

“I get paid for doing your diagnostic and making your repairs, but I don’t get paid to run call backs. 

That’s why I will do a thorough and accurate evaluation of your entire system the first time. 

Now consider the tech who is paid hourly.  He actually makes more money by making multiple trips.  You are going to pay him for every service call.  

So remember, with me you don’t have to do anything. Even though, it is my job to find and bring to your attention anything that can help you.  Mrs Smith, if you have felt like our company is more concerned about selling than serving, I apologize. If I have recommendations today, it’s just because it is something that could help you.”

Is the Performance Based Tech Crooked?

I’ve heard companies argue that performance based techs sell repairs that aren’t truly needed.  In other words, performance pay is unethical.

Well, can an hourly paid tech “Milk the clock?”  Of course!

Unethical behavior is not defined by pay type.

The issues of ethics is a character issue.  When you have character issues, you hired the wrong person. Paying a thief hourly doesn’t make him stop being a thief. How you pay someone will not change their ethics or character.

RELATED – Maintaining the Ethics of Commission Paid Techs

How an Hourly Based Pay Tech Makes More Money

There are only 24 hours in a day.  If the hourly based tech works the typical 8-hour day he will only get 5 to 6 hours of productivity (when you figure in drive time and all breaks.)  This creates a life balance challenge for the tech.  You have to work more hours to make more money.

The other way the hourly tech could make more money would be through one of these unsavory tactics:

  • Beg for a raise
  • Threaten to leave if I don’t get a raise
  • Spend more time away from home. (Which means being away from my family more, miss more ball games, or not have time to take my spouse to the movies or on a date).

The Division of Hourly Pay

Hourly pay creates more stress at home.  It also creates a division between the company and the technician. Either the company or the tech always feels as if they’re getting the short end of the stick.

Incentive or performance base pay eliminates a lot of this division.  The true beauty is that when the tech made a great paycheck the company also made a great paycheck.

Now tech, before you tune me out, I understand that you don’t want to be a salesman and rejection is not fun!

I believe the key to the rejection is to see yourself as just giving the client an education and presenting them with their options.  Not selling stuff. The key is OPTIONS.

RELATED – PRESS PLAY Training for Techs and Sales

I also know that it’s not fun to get a paycheck that comes with emotional strings attached to it.

The Bible states, “the borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).  Unfortunately,  hourly pay can create that exact feeling from either the company or the tech.

RELATED – Surviving After Summer

I have seen so many technicians that looked at a performance pay, or commission pay, as something that they should be ashamed of.  Maybe this gives you another view.

So the next time a client asks you if you’re getting paid a commission, don’t be afraid to be straight with them.  Let her know why this is a good thing. If explained correctly, they will see the ethical nature of performance pay.

Question: How do you stay cool when you are about to lose it? Please comment and share on  and .

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