For those of you out there who have worked on commission, you know how this works. Salespeople work hard to sell you items, and if you purchase items through them, then they get a certain percentage of the sale. Commission is different in every industry, in every store, and in every situation. If you go to a store where the salespeople work on commission and someone helps you, it’s important to remember who helped you. When you leave, take their business card and make a note of their name. If that salesperson is good at what they do, they’ll take notes and remember you when you come back. Now, when you come back (and this is key), ask for that salesperson to help you again. That way, their time that they spent with you before isn’t a waste and any new salesperson who helps you can’t just steal the sale from them. This is how commissioned salespeople make their living, how they feed their families, and how they get through their workday without losing faith in humanity. Remember your salespeople and ask for them by name when you return to a store.
Not all salespeople are helpful and wonderful. I’ve met and worked with salespeople whom I would rather not share words with or even be in the same room with. If I had a choice, I may rather just turn around and walk away, not to waste any energy on them. There are plenty of people in plenty of fields who have disagreeable attitudes. They may be catty, cut-throat, rude, disrespectful bigots. I wholeheartedly think that if you get a bad vibe from a salesperson and you don’t want to work with that person again, you certainly don’t have to. If you got a bad vibe, the feelings might be mutual, and each of you is better off without doing business with the other. But if the salesperson isn’t awful, you might just make their day by asking for them when you return.
I love it when people remember me and ask for me when they come back. It really just makes sense. I may have helped them for thirty minutes or two hours. Either way, I’ve taken notes and I know what they’re looking at. I have a sense of what their needs and wants are, what caught their eye the first time they came in, and I may have even made notes of some items to point out to them upon their return. I have to make money, yes, but I also genuinely want to help people. I’m not the kind of salesperson who throws your budget out the window or tells you “Oh, you don’t want that.” I’m the kind of designer who is going to do my best to serve your needs and give you a positive experience with me and the store I work at. I’ve gotten enough positive feedback that I feel like I must be doing something right.
Working on commission can be a bit of a gamble. A lot of it depends on my hard work, my above-and-beyond attitude, and my patience. I try to be memorable and pleasant with my clients. If I build a relationship with a client, then when their living room is finished next month and they decide to do their dining room six months from now, maybe they’ll remember me and come back.
I think it just doesn’t occur to some people that the livelihood of the people who help them at stores may depend on them taking a moment to ask for them again. This is me telling you, it might.
Also, if you know someone who works on commission and you visit their store while they aren’t there and someone else helps you, that someone is going to be your salesperson. It is not fair for you to spend an hour with someone else and then mention that you know their coworker and would rather buy from your friend. If that is the case, ask for them when you go to the store. If they aren’t there, it is the right thing to do, for your friend and for the salesperson, to just come back when your friend will be there. Find out their work schedule or make an appointment.
This is another important tidbit: If you have a bad experience with a salesperson but you have to go back to that store and feel the need to ask to work with a different salesperson, go ahead and complain. Telling someone about your bad experience with someone might help that workplace improve for everyone else. However, you’d better make sure you’re talking about the right person before you start complaining about someone. If there is even a smidge of doubt, issue your complaint in general terms. Do not call the wrong person mean names. Yes, this happened to me once, and it ruined my day.
We’re all just trying to get along here. Let’s try not to make this world an uglier place. Let’s actively try to improve the lives of those around us. Seriously. And tip your wait staff.