How To Handle Clients Who Ask You To Reduce Your Commission

Posted on May 26, 2016

Ryan Stewman



Here it is. The final part of the sale. The close. You’ve put in the work, handled the objections and asked for the business. It’s your time. Time to win. Time to close. Time to get paid. Then they hit you with one last objection.

Can you reduce your commission so it’s cheaper?

The answer is always a firm “NO” not just “NO” but “F*CK NO” just so we are clear. If you’ve done the work, you never reduce your fees. Not only does it take money out of your pocket, it devalues you as a salesperson, too. 
Asking a salesperson to reduce their fees is a ballsy move. Those of us in sales are the only people who get this objection. The general public, who mostly are NOT on commission, think the word “commission” instantly means a ton of money. They don’t see it as pay for a job well done…no, it’s above-and-beyond pay. Even though it isn’t.

Prospect perception is prospect reality.

Before we move on, let’s just admit that it’s a certain type of a-hole that asks another person to work at a reduced income. The first thing is to spot this personality type up front. Get to know this type and the signs they exhibit. Once you spot the signs, you need to start the handling the “commission” objection before you get started.
Prospects ask salespeople to reduce their commission ONLY when they feel the salesperson is overpaid. The average car salesman makes $300 on each car he sells. Yet the public perception is that they are paid way more than the value they bring to the deal. You have to position yourself as the value in the deal.

If you’re a realtor, you probably also get this a lot. You might hear things like: “The broker down the street will list for four percent instead of six percent,” or “Can you sell our current home free, and get paid when we buy the next one?” The marketplace feels agents are overpaid. Truth is, most are. Most of them stick a sign in the yard and wait for luck to strike. Those are the people who get asked for reduced fees.

Meanwhile, a professional always reminds the prospect of how hard they are working.

From following up to routine check-ins and reminding them of ALL the steps they are going through in order to earn the business. No one ever asks a hard worker to take a pay cut. If you bring the value, they have no problem paying it. Make your hard work known. People like confirmation they’re getting what they pay for. They will pay more, for more. 
Top sales pros use guidelines like the “5-touch sales process” they will follow to a “T.” If you remind a client about all aspects of the work you have done five times, they will be highly unlikely to ask you to do all that hard work for free.
In the event you’re dealing with a complete douche bag, narcissistic, prospect who’s still on you, simply ask them for “the favor.”

Use this word track I’m about to explain to you. It takes confidence on your end, but it’s powerful and it WORKS.

“I’m a deal maker so I’m all about working things out. You want me to reduce my fees, which is understandable from your standpoint. I’m just like you, I have to work hard to put food on the plate. I’m always looking for people to add to my network. You work at XYZ and I could use some “stuff” from there. I’d be willing to lower my commission a little, if you agree to give me an equal or greater discount at your place of work. Do we have a deal?”
Here’s the thing. Most people have NO PULL at work and it resonates with them that you most likely don’t either. This gets their mind in a place where they have to reject you, as well as understand that you’re not in total control of how much you get paid.
Even if you are.
The other way to avoid running into this problem is to address it up front. Let the prospect know you work on commission, why it’s worth paying you and what they get for that payment. When you speak clearly and with confidence, you get paid. Setting expectations is a big sticking point for a lot of salespeople. If you lose the deal at the start after addressing your concerns at least you didn’t work your ass off then lose the deal and your time.
We work hard for what we have. The average person has no clue what it’s like to live on commission. They’ve been programed to ask for discounts. It’s human nature.

Shut them down by setting expectations and letting them know how everything works from start to finish. 


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