Ask INSTORE What’s a Fair Salary Plus Commission Rate and More of Your Questions for April Bosses and workers often have different ideas on what’s equitable. Here’s how to make everyone happy. Published 2 years ago on April 1, 2019 By INSTORE Staff Instore April 2019 Issue Share Tweet I have an employee who makes $16 an hour and 6 percent on retail (although for loose diamonds, commission is based on gross profit). She earns close to $60,000 a year but feels underpaid and that paying gross profit on diamonds is contrary to the industry standard. How can I convince her she has it pretty good? She does indeed have it pretty good, says industry consultant Andrea Hill, owner of Hill Management Group, noting that her hourly rate is almost 50 percent higher than the average for retail salespeople of $11.50, and even more than the average of $15 paid by very high-end luxury retailers (think Gucci). The commission is also higher than the industry average of 3-4 percent on retail, although, significantly, Hill notes, “wise” businesses are increasingly moving away from such a formula to pay commission on gross margins. “In this way, sales professionals are challenged to balance the need to get the highest price possible with the need to close the sale. When commissions are paid out on total sales only, then it becomes very easy for the salesperson to sacrifice profits for the easy close,” she says. While exposure to such numbers should mollify your associate, what you really want to do is excite her about the potential of earning as much as $100,000 a year — which is what top luxury salespeople make — although that requires building a “strong book” of customers through active networking, clienteling and prospecting work. Keep in mind, however, that even the most generous commission rate won’t help if you’re not on top of your game, meaning advertising intelligently, keeping up with changing retail trends, providing the right technology for how consumers today want to shop, and maintaining an exciting inventory that reflects current tastes, says Hill. “If the retail business owner does not ensure that they are running a strong merchandising and marketing operation, then even the best salesperson in the world will not be able to turn the promise of commission into actual earnings.” Jimmy Degroot Video: How to Smooth Out the Chaos in Your Jewelry Store and Create Harmony Instead Jim Ackerman Video: Don’t Be Afraid to Run Multiple Jewelry Marketing Promotions at Once Jim Ackerman Video: How to Spend Your Jewelry-Business Advertising Budget the Right Way I still can’t get my head around color temperatures. Can you help? It probably helps to think of the original theoretical model that underlies the index — that of a black metal radiator, whose color changes as it is heated, from black to orange to red to blue to white hot. Similar to Celsius and Fahrenheit, the Kelvin scale marks different degrees of thermodynamic temperature, but it is the association with color change that makes it useful as a way to designate light bulbs. Where it gets confusing is how at the lower end of the scale, from 2000K to 3000K, the light produced is called “warm white” and ranges from orange to yellow-white in appearance. Meanwhile, color temperatures further up the scale, between 3100K and 4500K, are referred to as “cool white,” but the bulbs are emitting a brighter, hotter light. Advertisement We’re planning on holding a thank-you dinner for our best customers to celebrate our store’s 50th anniversary. How do we avoid offending people, especially those small ones who have been loyal if infrequent customers for many years? This is a tough one. We’d suggest you start with the number of people you’re able to host and then divide that figure up among your sales staff. They should know who their most deserving and valuable customers are. Refrain from advertising the event to all your customers so as not to offend those who aren’t invited. You may also want to prepare a back-up list so you can add names in place of those who can’t make it — there will no doubt be many — to cover as many people in your customer base as possible. What’s a good way to sell our company to prospective employees — particularly top salespeople? Just about the most valuable skill a businessperson can have is the ability to recruit and retain good people and yes, it all starts with that job posting. “When the right people read your ad, their hearts will whisper, ‘These people are like me, and I am like them,’” says Roy H. Williams, author of the business bestseller The Wizard of Ads. Bullet point what the job entails, what kind of inventory they will be handling, and also the benefits, but the core message should be about who you are as a company, your reputation and your goals. The best salespeople often have don’t have a sales background, so go easy on the requirements. Your message should be more about culture than qualifications. Related Topics: Ask INSTOREFeatured click to Comment(Comment) Up Next What’s The Risk of Adding ‘Gift-Priced’ Items and More of Your Questions for May Don't Miss How to Address Drama In Your Store and More of Your Questions Answered INSTORE Staff Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected]. Continue Reading Advertisement SPONSORED VIDEO Wilkerson Testimonials A Liquidation Sale during a Pandemic? Wilkerson Showed Them the Way For 25 years, Stafford Jewelers of Cincinnati, Ohio, was THE place to go for special gifts, engagement diamonds, high-end Swiss watch brands — in other words, the crème de la crème of fine jewelry. But this summer, the Stafford family was ready to retire. So, they chose Wilkerson to help them close up shop. “One of the biggest concerns was having the sale in the middle of COVID,” says Director of Stores Michelle Randle. Wilkerson gave the Stafford team plenty of ideas as well as safety guidelines, which they closely followed. “All of the employees felt safe, the customers coming in the door felt safe and we did a lot of business,” says Randle. How much business? “The inventory flew,” she says. Translation: They sold millions and millions of dollars-worth of merchandise. Randle calls it, “an incredible experience.” Would she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers who are thinking of thinning their inventories or retiring? “Everyone got more than what they expected out of the sale. You have to hire Wilkerson. They’re amazing.” You may like How To Motivate Your Team During Hard Times, Renegotiating A Lease, And More Of Your Questions Answered How To Get the Best Out of Your Signage This Holiday Season, and More of Your Questions Answered Is a Gold-Buying Permit Enough to Make Me an Essential Service, and More of Your Questions Answered Promoted Headlines JYE’S International is Seen in All the Best Cases The Sylvie Collection Knows What Women Want Sylvie Collection From Chain to Casting, National Chain Group Does It All National Chain Group Advertisement Latest Trending Videos Big Survey22 hours ago Here’s What Surging Gold Prices Have Meant for Jewelers Press Releases23 hours ago IIJS Virtual 2020, A Game Changer for the Indian Gem & Jewelry Industry Press Releases23 hours ago GJEPC Invites Entries for The Artisan Awards 2021 Photo Gallery4 days ago 12 Photos That Show Off the Wow Factor at Thollot Diamonds & Fine Jewelry in Colorado Big Survey1 week ago The Guy Who Bought 13 Rings, and Other Tales of Serial Engagements Big Survey1 week ago 7 Out of 10 Jewelers Surveyed Said They Do Not Want to Add a Brand Sponsored Content1 week ago A Liquidation Sale during a Pandemic? 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