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Did You Hear The One About The Two CI Salespeople? It's the $64,000 Question..

February 20, 2018


In today’s issue…

  • The simple truths about charging more

  • 408 words, total reading time two minutes



Two CI Salesmen Enter A Bar.



One of them, Sam, pulls out a system list he just sold. “$64,000 in equipment,” he says. “This baby will net me over $5000 in hard-earned commission!” The other, Bill, looks at the list and says it looks about right for the equipment. “What about the parts and labor?”


“Well,” Sam replies, “I figure: multiply by 8% to get my commission after our bidding software adds the labor and misc. parts. That should bring the deal to over $80K.” He goes on to say that now the fun begins, the “getting it installed” fun – and how the techs usually overrun the labor, and blame him, and he’ll have to go back time and again on small detailed adds and that he wished his tech team was more motivated and content.


Bill says that $64,000 in equipment at his company would end up bringing him over $8000. “Whoa, dude!” exclaims Sam. “Your boss is paying you, like, 10% or something?”


“Well, not exactly,” replies Bill. He then explains how it works… “Our proposal pricing puts in an allowance  for labor that’s about 50% of the equipment total, and an allowance for install parts & materials that’s about a third the labor amount.” Sam does the quick math. “That’s over $100K total.”


Bill smiles. “Yeah, and I get 10% commission on the parts & labor. More than they pay me for the equipment! That’s how I end up at over $8000 commission.”

He goes on. “But it’s not just good for me, it’s good for the client, too. By putting in enough labor hours our guys can get it done right, and in the time allowed. And we never have to ask for extra money for small parts that invariably didn’t make it into the quote. But that’s not the end of it…”


Sam looks flustered. “What do you mean?”


“My techs, dude. They’re making more money, too. And they’re never mad at me cuz I didn’t put enough labor in the job!”


They both laughed. “You know, Bill, you’re the first guy I ever heard say it’s better for the customer to charge them more money.”


Bill smiled. “Yeah… and it’s better for the company, too.”


THE MORALE OF THIS STORY: If you rely on some bid algorithm to make your quote and you do not analyze what is really takes to be profitable, you are likely creating a host of issues in your company.

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