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  • My son's job

    A while back I was raving about how well run the company my son works for was ran. At the time Guitar Center had a multi level commission structure that paid bonuses on gross sales, gross profit, sales knowledge, warranty sales and more. My kid, like me, has the salesman gene and was hitting big bonuses every month, making good money for himself and the company and had moved up to department manager with another piece of the pie.
    Well, the company was bought out by a cost cutting group that trashed most of the programs. No more rewards for learning more about the products, new fixed pricing policies that don't even allow the salesmen to toss in a set of patch cords on a big sale to a repeat customer and the rest.The result is my kid took over a grand a month pay cut, the company has lost sales, but increased their bottom line by cutting commissions and are about to lose all their best sales staff.
    Yet another example of bean counters trying to save a dime while killing the companies future.


    JDP/Maryland
    "I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."
    Thomas Jefferson

  • #2
    I don't know that you should generalize and blame "bean counters". It could have been "efficiency experts", most of whom have tunnel vision and fail to see the big picture.
    Your son's company seems to be heading in the wrong direction which they will discover soon enough.
    "Bean counters" (a usual reference to accountants) do not necessarily act like this.

    Comment


    • #3
      What ever you call them, they may be making a mistake. I was the number one sales rep for a auto parts company when they announced they were cutting my commission in half because I was making more the some managers. After I quit, several of the other top guys moved on too, and the crappy sales force that was left put them out of business in two years.
      I tried to explain that my 6% of the million a year I was doing was still way less then the gross profit over the 500K the previous guy had done.

      JDP/Maryland
      "I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."
      Thomas Jefferson
      JDP Maryland

      Comment


      • #4
        Boy-o-boy... I thought it was just my company with the "Bean Counters".... The problem that I see is that the upper echolon bonus's and perks are not suffering....

        1955 President one owner
        Moncks Corner, SC

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        • #5
          How many times have I seen something like this in my lifetime? Funny how they just don't learn...


          [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

          Clark in San Diego
          '63 F2/Lark Standard
          http://studeblogger.blogspot.com
          www.studebakersandiego.com

          Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            Of the three general business functions found in most businesses today - 1)accounting/administration, 2)production/engineering/supply, and 3)sales, sales is the least admired and generally viewed as the least desirable profession to pursue. In general, salespeople have been viewed as dispensable and easily replaceable. Part of it comes from the fact that demand has been good for so long, many times all that is needed is an order taker to capture a sale. A few years ago, many administrators dreamed of the days sales forces could be thinned to just a bare minimum of individuals, and tools like the internet could be used to gather up the revenue streams that their sales people were just too lazy to go out and get. If you believed everything you read in the 1990's about business, the sales profession should have perished from this earth over the past 20 years.

            It hasn't happened quite that way, though. As companies thinned their sales forces in many cases, they found that people do actually want to do business with people, especially on large ticket purchases. The sales profession is actually gaining some respect, as more people are discovering you can not break the sales process into black and white and right and wrong so easily (anyone try to complete a sale on eBay lately?). This may be one case you can point to where it has been a good thing for people to "try it at home"!

            I'm sorry your son has to go through this, but just as you and I and so many others have, he should take this as a learning experience. And if he truly is as skilled a salesman as it sounds, he'll never be without a job for long. Good salespeople make their own opportunities, and that's a skill many in the other disciplines of business could never master.

            Kevin Wolford
            Plymouth, IN

            55 Champion
            60 Lark VI Conv.
            63 Avanti R1

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            • #7
              Kevin, good comment! I agree. Sales and service go together and are every bit as important as any other function in business. What do we see less of today? Usually service.

              It's going to bite somebody.

              Comment


              • #8
                quote:Originally posted by 556063
                And if he truly is as skilled a salesman as it sounds, he'll never be without a job for long. Good salespeople make their own opportunities, and that's a skill many in the other disciplines of business could never master.
                So true, Kevin.

                My guess is JP's son will end up with a sales oriented job making even MORE than the guitar thing. It may have absolutely nothing to do with the music industry.





                Dick Steinkamp
                Bellingham, WA



                Dick Steinkamp
                Bellingham, WA

                Comment


                • #9
                  I told him to start looking elsewhere, he'll do fine. He's just bummed out by having worked so hard to win all the sales bonuses in the past to not have any goals to work for. Part of the issue was the top few sales guys were pulling down the big money, and posting the most sales and the bulk of unmotivated crew below them were getting squat.
                  Now the poor sales guys are happy that the good guys got a pay cut. Once they the good guys quit, the sales force will be a better balanced group.

                  JDP/Maryland
                  "I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."
                  Thomas Jefferson
                  JDP Maryland

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No offense, but Guitar Center is like the "Big 3" of musical merchants, and a total joke amongst professional musicians. It doesn't surprise me one bit that they sold out and are screwing their employees.

                    Befriend your local music store -the people who support music education and music in your community.

                    http://community.webshots.com/user/s...host=community

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      He had to leave his "local music store" a few years back. Even with a 30 % pay cut, he's still making double what they could afford to pay him. I agree it not the best place to shop for a pro, although he had lots of pro customers trying to save a buck.
                      He's friends with Paul Reed Smith and would love to be a sales rep for him. He's still a bit away from doing enough paid gigs with his music, but that's his dream. Now, it's one or two a week for a few hundred bucks, but who knows ?

                      JDP/Maryland
                      "I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."
                      Thomas Jefferson
                      JDP Maryland

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The problem with bean counters is they only know how to count beans.
                        They have no idea what the beans mean, or how they function within a successful company. I say, let 'em count the beans, and that's all! No power beyond their department and position. Once they become CEO - the company will make money for awhile, and then......

                        Chris Pile
                        Midway Chapter SDC
                        The Studebaker Special
                        The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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                        • #13
                          Sadly, he was being paid half what he's making now and had to leave his "local music store" gig because of companies like Guitar Center. They squeeze the manufacturers to build for price point, then buy up and hype up all their inventory before any of the small guys get it. Then by the time the small guy gets it, it already day old bread and the manufacturers are onto the next new thing.

                          Becoming a Rep is probably the best move if he wants to stay in the industry -but even that is not nearly as lucrative as it used to be. It's hard work and is becoming less and less about the product and more and more about the numbers every day....

                          http://community.webshots.com/user/s...host=community

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            25 years ago I was managing the Pier 1 Imports store in Hollywood. This was a GREAT company in those days. Store managers were paid a small salary but were ALSO paid 7.5% of the store's net profit up to and including the previous year's profit and 15% of any NEW net profit. When I took over the Hollywood store it was making a lot of money, but was WAY overstaffed and the store manager had every kind of "service" you could imagine--window washers, parking lot sweepers, etc.

                            So, with a HUGE profit incentive, I went into that store and trimmed to the bone, letting go all of the lousy staff members and getting rid of just about every outside service. Result? That year I was THE HIGHEST PAID EMPLOYEE of the ENTIRE company other than the President/CEO. I pushed sales up over 25% and CUT expenses by about 20%.

                            Two years later a new CEO came in and got rid of the manager bonus system, raising salaries and cutting bonuses. This meant a 50% cut in pay for me, so I walked on the spot with 2 weeks notice. The offered me a big job in the home office, but I wasn't interested.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Nothing happens untill you sell something. Machines don't run, trucks don't move, nothing. We are all salesmen, and women, only no one wants to admit it. I had to sell my wife on the idea that she should marry me, you sell your kids on the concept of eating their vegetables, a kid at a counter tells another kid to drink Dr. Pepper, not Coke(sorry for the Texas reference), it goes on every day.
                              Yet, you run into so many companies that think that "the name of the company sells the product, not the salesmen". Hogwash. The name, the computer that is in place, don't do it. They help. People buy from people.
                              A commission salesperson earns exactly what he should earn. If he sells nothing, he earns nothing. He should, in theory, have no ceiling to the top of his/her earnings. It is the free market at its best. You want your company to grow.You lay out a sales program, and get out of the way. It seems though, that no one can stand that. They have to mess with the program, cut territories, and run off the best producers. It never ceases to amaze me. Why do so many in business want mediocrity? Are they threatened?

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