I work Full Time at Service Experts, doing residential sales and service. If you ever have any HVAC needs, we are here to help.

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June 06, 2024 - Navigating Challenges in Commission-Based Work

June 06, 202410 min read

Newsletter Sent out today:

Navigating the Complexities of Commission-Based Work

As I reflect on my current situation, I can't help but feel a sense of defeat. The reality is, the commission-based compensation model that I've been operating under at Service Experts has been a constant source of struggle. While I love the work I do, helping people with their HVAC and plumbing needs, the disconnect between the company's business model and my own financial well-being has become increasingly apparent.

The company's focus on being the "trusted advisor," building long-term relationships with clients and maintaining their systems, doesn't necessarily translate into consistent sales opportunities for me. In fact, I've come to learn that this role has a staggering 97% turnover rate, which is hardly surprising given the challenges we face.

As a commission-only salesperson, I'm expected to generate income by upselling clients on new systems, even when their existing equipment is functioning properly. This puts me in the awkward position of potentially upsetting people who have already paid for our services to maintain their homes. It's a conundrum that I simply can't reconcile, and it's taking a toll on my ability to provide for my family.

Exploring New Opportunities

In the face of these challenges, I've decided to take action. I've applied for a job at WinCo, a company that aligns more closely with my values and goals. Additionally, I've reached out to my manager, Rob, at Service Experts, to explain my situation and see if there's any possibility of change within the organization.

I've also taken the step of getting approved to drive for Uber, as a way to supplement my income and provide some much-needed financial stability. It's not an ideal long-term solution, but it's a step in the right direction as I continue to explore other options.

Leveraging My Unique Skillset

One of the things that I'm particularly passionate about is using my skills and experience to create content and drive attention to businesses in the service trades industry. With my background in blogging and video production, I believe I can be a valuable asset to companies that are looking to connect with their customers in a more meaningful way.

I'm actively reaching out to other service-based businesses, showcasing the work I've done for Service Experts and expressing my interest in potentially joining their team. My goal is to find a role where I can be on the front lines, supporting the team, documenting the work, and serving as a customer advocate and sales representative.

The Importance of Transparency

Throughout this journey, I've been committed to being transparent about my struggles and challenges. I know that this approach may not be the most conventional, and it may even turn some people off. But for me, it's about being true to myself and using the freedom of speech to share my authentic experiences.

I understand that as a salesperson, being open about my financial and personal struggles may not be the most advantageous approach. However, I believe that by being transparent, I'm not only staying true to myself, but I'm also creating an opportunity for deeper connections and understanding with those around me.

It's important to note that my current struggles do not define me or my future. I see myself as successful, even if the financial aspect of my life is not where I'd like it to be at the moment. I'm committed to continuing to push forward, to learn from my failures, and to celebrate my wins, no matter how small they may be.

A Call for Empathy and Understanding

As I navigate this challenging period, I'm reminded that I'm not alone. Many people, including entrepreneurs and professionals, are struggling with similar issues. However, the stigma surrounding financial difficulties often prevents us from being open and honest about our experiences.

I encourage everyone to approach these situations with empathy and understanding. Instead of judging or dismissing those who are being transparent about their struggles, we should strive to listen, offer support, and recognize that we're all doing the best we can with the resources we have.

By fostering a culture of openness and compassion, we can create an environment where people feel safe to share their stories, learn from one another, and ultimately, find the pathways to success that are right for them.

Embracing the Journey Ahead

As I look to the future, I'm filled with a sense of cautious optimism. I know that the road ahead may be challenging, but I'm committed to continuing my journey with honesty, resilience, and a steadfast determination to create positive change, both for myself and for the communities I serve.

Whether it's through my work in the service trades industry, my pursuit of new opportunities, or my ongoing efforts to share my story, I'm driven by a deep belief that transparency and authenticity are the keys to unlocking true personal and professional growth.

So, I invite you to join me on this journey. Follow along as I navigate the ups and downs, the successes and failures, and the lessons that emerge along the way. Together, we can forge a path forward that celebrates our shared humanity and the power of resilience in the face of adversity.

Daily Podcast Journal:


Daily Video Journal:

Daily Journal Transcript:

Ah, it is. What is it? June 6, 2024. It is a Thursday afternoon.

It's a good day. I feel so defeated right now. Like, ah, it'll be okay.

I'm making it through. I got approved to drive for Uber today. Got that all set up.

So I'm actually been thinking about going home and driving this afternoon. No time like the present, right. And seeing what that's like.

I applied for Winco. I emailed Rob, who's the Gm here at Tml. Service experts just kind of explain my.

Explaining my thoughts and my situation. And he said he understands. He's been trying to get some change happening, because the same thing that I'm struggling with, all the salespeople are struggling, struggling with, at least here in Boise.

And that's so because of the business model, which is all about being the trusted advisor, building trust over decades, and being that team that takes care of the h vac needs. That's the company's business model. But the compensation model is 100% commission.

And so I'm pitching, I'm serving clients who have already paid for us to be there to maintain their homes. And I'm supposed to upsell people who don't necessarily need upsold, they don't need a new system, but that's how I generate my income. And so it's a huge disconnect.

And come to find out this role has like a 97% turnover rate, which I'm not surprised because every salesperson is going into a home that we're in twice a year maintaining their system, and we're all commission only. And so who's going to sell the system? Well, the system only needs sold once every 15 years. So to the company, it's not that big of a deal because employees rotate.

Well, to the employee. How. How can you survive when you're commission only? All your time is filled with client calls that are not sales calls.

So it's a kerfuffle. And that's why I'm looking for a new job yet again, new something. Because I.

I can't feed my family on this. I mean, so many things would have to change for this to be a good long term fit. I mean, I love what I'm doing, but I just can't do it at commission only.

So that's why I'm looking at Uber, looking at Winco. I'm going to start reaching out to other service trades businesses, show them what I've been doing for service experts, because I feel like with my glasses and blog, it doesn't matter what company I work for, I can create content and drive attention to their business. Is it a good fit for them to come have me? Because I think.

I think a great role would be some sort of trade business where I'm in houses on a regular basis, supporting the team, doing the work and documenting the work, and being customer support, sales, all of that out on the front line, which is what I was looking for when I found service experts and, God, when I first got hired, I was so excited because it was like, oh, yeah, you'll be in four sales calls every day. No, I'm in four client calls every day. These are not sales opportunities.

Yes, we have the opportunity to upsell if there is a need, but these are not people looking to replace systems. They've literally hired us to maintain their systems. And so that's what we've got to do.

So that is, that's the update on my life. If you know anyone who I may be a good fit for, I would appreciate the introduction. If you think I could help you with something and maybe it's not full time.

I'm also looking for consulting work, contract work, anything, anything that I can use to bring in a little bit of money to put food on the table is what I'm looking for right now. So that is my update. And at the end of the day, people don't like that I'm this transparent.

And I get, I probably turn people off because I am so transparent. In five years, I'll be able to look back on all of this and say, listen, I have been who I said I was for the last two years at this point, well, 37 years, depending on how you count. But I am who I say I am.

I hope people listen. If you want to see my history, you can go to my blog and you can see me show up each and every day. This is me.

I am weird. I am out there. I think differently.

I am vocal about what I believe, and I share my beliefs. Take it or leave it. That's who Justin is.

So that's a little update on my life. I will. I'll be in touch with y'all soon.

Hope you all having a good day. Keep. Keep your head up.

We're all getting through this. And that's one thing that brings me peace, is the understanding that it is not just me struggling. Most people I know are struggling right now, and people do not like to be transparent about finances and where they're at.

So, especially entrepreneurs. Very rarely will they be candid on what's actually going on in their life, because as a salesperson, me sharing these opinions, thoughts, feelings does not help me sell it is an added barrier. Oh, he's struggling.

Oh, he's not. Not there yet. So be it.

That's what I believe the freedom of speech is about. It's about using it. And so you've got to be willing to use it.

You've got to be willing to share what's real for you. And that's my goal, is to share what's real for me, no matter what. Struggling financially, struggling with my wife, struggling all across the board.

But that's me. And just because I'm struggling today does not mean I'll struggle forever. It just means I'm struggling today.

Now, if you want to believe my today is the last day I'll ever be alive, then, yes, you should never pay attention or listen to me. But if you believe today is not the last day I'll be alive and that someday I will be successful, I already see myself as successful. But most people judge finance success based on finance.

And financially, I am not successful today. And that's okay. I.

Forgive me. We're all doing the best we can with what we got. So keep it up.

I'm gonna keep my struggle up. There is one way to stop me, and it is to ent me. That's the only way.

And that's where people keep saying, Justin, you're the problem. I know I'm the problem. Guess what? I will always be my problem.

Anyways, we'll talk to you all later. Bye.

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Justin Stephens

Justin Stephens is a husband and a father of 3. He is always looking for ways to create the impact that he is chasing, changing the way employees are compensated in America.

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