The homeowner asked that question when the maintenance technician offered her a surge protector for her compressor. The technician hesitated for just a brief moment, which was noticed by me, and by the customer. He replied that he was not, which we both knew was not the case. The homeowner smiled and said she would think about it. It was an awkward moment to be sure.
Later, when we talked about it, the technician couldn’t think of any good reason why he didn’t acknowledge he received a small commission, other than he thought it might cause her to think he was only recommending it for the money that he would receive. My take on it was different. She had said a couple of times that she really appreciated him and that she only wanted him to work on her equipment. I thought her question was intended to make sure that he was rewarded in some way for his outstanding service.
Whatever her reason, the best way to respond to that question, and any question for that matter, is with the truth.
“Yes ma’am, I do receive a small compensation from this if you choose to have me install it. It’s our company’s way of rewarding those of us who offer other products and services to our customers. What’s important to me is that you are taken care of and have peace of mind knowing that your system is working as well as it can be and your are protected from any surprise problems such as power surges. It’s of course up to you. If you are interested I can put it in now or we can wait until another time. What is best for you?”
Not too many people would find fault in that. Heck, in a way, everybody is on commission. Even if someone is paid a salary that salary still represents a percentage of the sale.
If, like my technician friend, you have a mindset that sees “selling” and “commissions” as a bad thing, then I hope this alternative way of looking at the situation will help you see it another way. Appropriately offering products and services to customers is professional salesmanship at it’s best and one that deserves to be rewarded.