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How to pay your salesmen?

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January 19, 2011 at 11:11 a.m.


Hello Everyone, I own a roofing company outside of Chicago Illinois and I was wondering how other owners pay there salesmen salary/commissions. I'm having a hard time deciding what or how I should structure there pay. Also we do a lot of repair work and for example we will give the estimator a hour pay to put the estimate together and then usually the salesmen will make anywhere from 7-10% but what I'm finding out is the salesmen are making just as much as the company so there is obviously a problem...

January 19, 2011 at 11:32 a.m.

FL Roofer

This question seems to come up alot here lately. I give the same answer I always do. A low base salary determined alongside whatever else he gets, meal allowance, mileage, company cellphone, vehicle etc plus commission. 7-10% is about the norm although I know a fella that gets 12. But what I don't understand is this "but what I'm finding out is the salesmen are making......blah" What do you care if he gets a commission check of twenty or a hundred grand on a bid that has his cut figured into it? Did he not earn it? Are you saying that is too much money for a guy that caught a lucky break and a bid fell into his lap...... What when he bust his ass with a picky homeowner who insists he come to the house for six different consults, all after nine at night cos he is so busy, and breaks his balls on each visit with dumbass questions and tire kicking for a measly 30sq three tab and he don't make jack. The commission is agreed upon hiring, you are obligated. If you don't like him getting the big checks then you go figure the bid.

January 26, 2011 at 9:15 p.m.


Interesting Subject .... As we are looking to hire a sales / service person .... We are looking at a base salary, truck, cell, etc plus full line of benefits and commission ....

Guess it all depends on what type of salesperson you are hiring as to the pay structure .... In our case there is service and inspections involved and some crew managing so just sales, our position is far from .....

We just placed this ad for a second run .... Have a few good candidates / response from the first run but still exploring our options - a good fit is a must for all concerned ....

FLAT ROOF ESTIMATOR CHICAGOLAND AREA: Can you read Flat Roofs, write specs, sell custom solutions and find / fix small leaks? Let's talk, we have rare opportunity available. Bill Wade 630-898-3230. Email to: wade@affordableroofing.net (Aurora, IL)

January 27, 2011 at 11:13 p.m.


Hello everyone!

Without sales you don't have anything! Treat your sales reps like gold and watch them produce. A well trained sales rep is the single most important aspect in our business. I pay off the net profit (materials, labor, dump fees) anywhere from 20-40 percent. My top 3 reps also get a truck to drive, free golf, meals, etc... all 3 make over $100,000 a year. I hope this helps you and good luck!!!

January 30, 2011 at 7:50 p.m.


Salesman are coin operated B) :) :) B) Deep Down In Florida Where The Sun Shines Damn Near Every Day

February 9, 2011 at 5:24 p.m.



February 11, 2011 at 9:01 p.m.


You know I pay my Salesmen better than anyone in this area and it seems that they get kinda lazy and seem a bit unappreciative of the fact I'm giving them more. I have no idea what it is maybe it is the south but honestly it drives me nuts and im thinking of pulling theirs down a bit to see if they shake their asses a bit more!!

February 12, 2011 at 8:07 p.m.


10% commission is extrememly different on a job that is a 40% gross profit, or a job that was sold at 30% / 50 % etc.


February 17, 2011 at 2:50 p.m.


I offer commission percentage based on margin per sale. It works out ok, they can make an awful lot of money that way, but it has worked well so far.

February 18, 2011 at 9:36 a.m.


Ottawa_Roofer, thanks for giving the only straightforward answer on here.

February 20, 2011 at 3:17 p.m.


Hey what's up John. This is what I am thinking.....

% of sale commissions can be inaccurate unless all jobs are sold at the same profit margin.

Salesmen A - 1,000 dollar job that produces 250 dollars profit before overhead expenses.(25%) gross profit margin Salesmen B - 1,000 dollar job that produces 500 dollars profit before overhead expenses.(50%) gross profit Margin.

10% commissions = 100 dollars paid to salesmen on both 1,000 dollar jobs. Salesmen -A- made(100/250) or 40% of the gross profit on that job was paid to the salesmen. Salesmen -B- made (100/500) or 20% of the gross profit on that job was paid to the salesmen.

Salesmen -A- gave something for free, copper upgrade, so he could get the sale. Costing the company 250.00 of free work. Salesmen -B- sold the job without giving any service or upgrade away for free, so the company kept the 250.00 of profit.

But, both salesmen got paid 100 dollars. In this scenario it was unfair for salesmen B.

It is obvious in this scenario, but

What if in an example -Z- we say a job was sold for 11,528.23 project and another job completely different Job -X- sold for 14,269.31 Totally different projects, different materials, etc. Is 10% of the sales tickets on this job fair for both salesmen who sold these two entirely different jobs.?

There is no way to really tell unless you sell all jobs at a standard gross profit margin %. or pay your salesmen a percentage of gross profit like Sillabica does.

February 23, 2011 at 4:48 p.m.

Patty Cakes

I haven't commented on this because it's just not my place. But 3300 people viewed it. They are all weenies, don't have the balls to speak up. I just grew mine. Whimps. PC

February 24, 2011 at 1:20 a.m.

Patty Cakes

Up to 3400 now. Scardycats.

February 25, 2011 at 8:29 a.m.

Patty Cakes

Geez 3800 now.PC

February 27, 2011 at 8:31 p.m.

Patty Cakes

3900 and rising just like the gas prices. PC :blink:

March 19, 2011 at 7:39 a.m.


patty cakes as a former estimator why shouldn't you reply?

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