5 Pros & Cons of Commission-Only Compensation

By Allie Hartzog Mar 15, 2018

If the words “uncapped potential” excite you, join the club. Yes, there are some really rewarding aspects of commission-based roles – and we want to shout them from the rooftops, seeing as how our Area Director opportunity fits the bill. But there are also details that may deter some people – and we want to be upfront about those, too. Here’s a list of pros and cons in case you’re on the fence about whether a commission-only role is for you.


Work from Home
Many commission-based sales positions offer a work-from-home option. This is the case for N2 Area Directors. Not only does it offer a lot of flexibility, but you can’t beat the overhead cost – nada. So go ahead, make calls from the couch (um, we mean home office). And you can pick up at a moment’s notice to meet a client at a location that’s convenient for them.

Be Your Own Boss
If you’re even thinking about a commission-based role, you most likely have an entrepreneurial drive. After all, this is not a job for someone who needs to be told what to do or when to do it. You’d answer to yourself at the end of the day for a job well done. Exciting? Then this may be a great fit.

You Earn What You Make
There’s no doubt you’ll know exactly how well you are doing in a role like this. In comparison to salaried positions, your numbers directly reflect performance and hard work. While companies may differ in their compensation programs, we’d recommend looking for one that doesn’t cap commission (did we mention there’s no commission cap at N2?) – that way, there’s no limit to what great results your hard work can achieve.


Your Income May Not Be Consistent
Commission-only is probably the fairest way to measure success in a role. You had an amazing month? Congratulations! You’re going to reap the benefits. But you might not make as much next month -- and this means you’ll definitely have to put your time in to make more calls and work hard to keep your numbers up.

Some people are okay with this con. Just one downside to a lot of other perks, right? Not necessarily. For us, our Area Directors enjoy a more stable commission base due to longer-term client agreements (our 12/24/36-month advertising structure). This creates residual income and provides a little more peace of mind when it comes to salary.

Non-Traditional Benefits
Most things about a commission-only role are nontraditional – it certainly doesn’t share much in common with the classic 9-5 job. That may also mean that the role doesn’t come with the security of a healthcare plan or employer-funded retirement account. And, if you’re working from home, trendy perks like beer Friday at the office or on-site doggy daycare is pretty far off the table (though, we tend to think having our beer and our dogs at home are more practical anyway).

There are other benefits of course – flexibility, high income potential, pride in entrepreneurship – but those may come at the cost of some of those benefits your in-laws are always asking about.

All in all, commission-only roles can be very rewarding to those who are right for the challenge. Some people may read this list and weep. That’s okay. But if you’re in the other group – the group of people energized by the opportunity, check out our current AD opportunities here.

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