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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Anonymous Firm Wants You to Shill to Your Friends & Family

"Telemarketers Needed (East Madison)

Date: 2012-02-01, 8:17PM CST

TOP Impact Marketing is now hiring energetic, outgoing individuals at our new Madison east location. Qualified individuals are motivated and able to generate leads through prospecting and cold calling. Must be able to perform 60 to 100 calls per week and rapidly begin to schedule appointments for our agents. People and sales skills are the most essential. Pay based on experience and or results. Please contact to set up an interview. Compensation: TBD"

Red flags: The product does not sell itself. If people aren’t banging down your door to buy your product or service, then you need a sales team which “builds relationships” with people to convince them that they need to buy something, and not just from anyone but from you. This is called “relationship marketing” and generally relies upon a large existing network of friends, family, and their friends in order to persuade a sale: They really don’t want it, or else they would come to you, but they’ll buy it primarily because you’re the one selling it and they trust you / want to make you happy.

What if your social network is small? Make a lot of acquaintances as quickly as you can. Because the friends you make are supposed to be your customers, you better have more in common with them than a love of whatever you’re selling (which the ad does not specify). This underscores the value of selling to family and lifelong friends: They’ll be most likely to understand that you consider them to be more than just a commission ripe for exploitation. Less thoroughly acquainted individuals might take offense that their latest acquaintance is trying to get them to upgrade their insurance coverage. Wallflowers and book worms need not apply!

The compensation is “to be determined.” This means that it might be 100% commission, or minimum wage without commission, or some combination thereof. The typical arrangement with small firms is to pay a wage during training but then take the new hire’s first $1,000 or so in commission to recoup the “training advance.” I suppose small businesses have to do this more often than national corporations because they have fewer revenue streams to pad temporary losses: Even with the initial wage repayment model, losses are high when salespeople quit before earning enough commission to repay their training wages. I believe most companies with this arrangement have a contractual clause stating that the employer may pursue civil relief against absconding trainees, as technically the wages paid during that period are unpaid debt until enough commission is earned.

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