I'm thinking about hiring a freelance salesperson with their pay being completely based on sales commission.

Is this an acceptable scheme? What would be a reasonable commission rate?

UPDATE: In my business (industry related), projects often take a long time (months) to materialize, from the first customer contact to final delivery. Will that be a major obstacle to finding people ?


That depends on what type of sales person you are looking for. For example if you want a single-firm sales person (works only for you) with the perspective to be payd after many months and only based on sales, I think you will have to pay a big commission or a basic salary plus a good commission.

Is different if you hire a multi-firm sales person, your product is being sold along with other products of other firms and the person gain over multiple clients, this way you can negotiate more good conditions for you but who sells will not concentrate 100% on you but sell what is best for his income.


How much is this worth to you? Right now, I spend more time getting work than I do doing the work. Anything from 15-50%, depending on the work and what it takes to get the job. Your agent should get you jobs that will pay both of you acceptable rates.

  • I read the question differently.. as in a salesperson being hired on a freelance basis, not an agent for a freelancer.
    – Scott
    Apr 20 '15 at 4:01
  • @Scott: you are right, the first interpretation holds. My business is a mix of well-defined product and services and I don't want to spend time prospecting myself. Apr 20 '15 at 6:57
  • @Voxwoman: I agree with the 15%-50% range. Apr 20 '15 at 7:08
  • The person is acting as the agent for the service provider, even if they don't use the title of "agent" -- I meant it as in "acts with agency". Also, there would be some sort of contract that would end up looking very similar to an agent/artist contract, one would suppose.
    – Voxwoman
    Apr 20 '15 at 17:35
  • I guess I'm confused. What is being "sold"-- a freelancer service or some product? You can hire Bob to sell widgets and only pay Bob on a commission basis as a freelancer (Bob is the freelancer). Or you can hire Bob to go out and sell YOU and find you work (you are the freelancer). These are two very different relationships and I'm unclear which is being asked about.
    – Scott
    Apr 20 '15 at 18:38

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