3 years ago
November 2, 2021

Is This Sales Employer the Real Deal? 6 Red Flags to Watch

There are a lot of sales companies out there. Some are fantastic organizations. But there are also some that can be a little shady. They are the companies you don’t…

Rhys Metler

There are a lot of sales companies out there. Some are fantastic organizations. But there are also some that can be a little shady. They are the companies you don’t want to work for because they don’t value their employees.

While the goal is to secure a position, there are some employers that you should approach with caution. Look for these red flags when assessing if a sales employer is the real deal:


1. They ask you to work for free

It is common for companies to ask for you to provide a sample of your work as part of the hiring process. But, if the request is extensive or seems to be more like working for free than an assessment, proceed with caution. Watch out for employers on the lookout for unpaid interns and other questionable requests.

2. They do not clearly define sales targets

As a sales professional, an important piece of information you want to know is how sales targets are defined. You will want an understanding of the targets you are expected to hit, quotas, and how commission works. If they cannot explain to you how the system works, there could be issues with commission payouts and compensation in the future.

3. High turnover rates

If a sales company always seems to be hiring for the same positions, this is a clear indication they have a high turnover rate. There is a reason for this. But it’s probably best you don’t try to figure out what it is – move on to other opportunities.

4. They ask you inappropriate questions

There are laws regarding what a hiring company can and cannot ask you during your interview. You are to be assessed by your qualifications and previous sales experience, not your personal information. So, if employers start to ask you personal questions about your age, marital status, intention to have more children, religion, or medical history, you should disengage.

computer job GIF by ABC Network

5. Pay structure ambiguity

One of the unique things about the sales industry is the pay structure. There are a variety of ways you can get paid. You can get paid commission based on sales targets, and get performance bonuses in addition to a base salary. Make sure your pay structure is clearly defined and you know what is expected of you to meet sales quotas and receive a commission.

6. “Be your own boss”

There are a lot of multi-level marketing (MLM) companies and pyramid schemes that attempt to disguise themselves as sales companies. Watch out for phrases such as “be your own boss,” or “become an independent sales distributor,” or another similar language.

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Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.