How to Ask for a Commission Increase Without Looking Like a Jerk: 7 Tips

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There is no one right way to ask for a commission increase. Some people may hold a formal meeting whereas others may shoot their boss a quick email. Either way, it’s not easy. Sometimes people will feel so much pressure and anxiety in asking for a pay rise that they would rather resign than have a conversation with management! So when should you be asking for a pay rise?

If your sales are consistently increasing and you think you are succeeding in the role you are in, then it might be time to put in place a plan to ask for an increase on your commission. Don’t forget, most companies would prefer to give their sales stars a commission increase than to see them walk across the road to the competition.

If you are thinking of asking your boss for an increase in commission, these seven tips will help ensure you are being paid what you deserve.

1. Remember: If you don’t ask, you won’t receive!

There is no point dwelling over the fact that your boss hasn’t already given you a commission increase. The best way to receive one is to simply ask. No one will bite your head off for asking the question and if the answer is no, then your manager will be able to point you in the right direction. Either way you will have an idea of how to further enhance your career and personal development. Most managers will also like the initiative that you show by asking.

2. Timing is everything

Don’t expect to appear in your boss’s office and receive an increase in commission after you’ve had the worst sales month for the year. Make sure your sales have been consistently high before you ask the question. You also want to show that you have some loyalty to the company, so it’s not a good idea to ask for an increase before you have been at the company for at least a year.

3. Back it up with sales

If you haven’t been hitting your targets lately, then there is really no reason for your boss to approve your request. Make sure that you have been hitting and exceeding your sales quotas before entering the boss’ office. Once you are making good money for the company, management will be more inclined to increase your commission to keep you happy and motivated. Practice what you’re going to say and present your case as to why you’re worth it.

4. Be willing to work for it

If you’re asking for an increase, you need to be willing to put in the work. Your job is to sell and make quota, but there may be some added responsibility that comes with that pay rise. In the lead up to asking for your increase, start trying to take on a mentorship role to your new colleagues, or assist your manager in tasks that you usually wouldn’t do and show them what other tasks you are able to succeed in.

5. Ask for other incentives

If you aren’t 100% comfortable in asking for a pay rise, then consider asking your boss if you can negotiate an increase on anything above your quota, such as 10% extra on any sale that you make after your targets have been hit. This proves that you are hitting your sales each month and would like some extra motivation to keep making sales, even after your targets have been met. Your boss is required to give reports to management on the number of sales, and if you are contributing significantly to those sales, then the company will want you sticking around.

6. Be flexible

If your company won’t budge on salary, try to negotiate in another form of compensation. You could ask for a more flexible working schedule or an extra few days of vacation. There are many other perks that you could lay on the table if you are not able to get your commission increase. Some companies provide perks such as gas cards, health & wellness benefits or training programs. It might not be money, but it can still benefit you in one way or another. You should also articulate your desire for other professional development opportunities such as attending conferences and taking courses.

7. Be positive

If you are denied any form of pay or benefit increase, don’t walk away and start bad-mouthing your boss. The last thing management wants to see is a whining employee. Instead, ask your boss in a professional manner what it would take for you to get the pay increase you are seeking. This will give you an idea of how hard you need to work and what targets you need to hit over the next few months in order to be eligible for an increase.

Regardless of the outcome, you are being assertive, respectful and confident — not a jerk. You should feel proud of yourself for bringing up the topic and catching the attention of management. In times like these salespeople can really separate themselves from the pack as leaders and top performers. Take the chance. You won’t regret it.

Are you looking for a job in sales? Browse open sales roles on Find your match and make more money.

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