Tuesday 6 June 2017

The Power of Commissions!

If the power of compounding is one of the great forces in this universe, then the power of commissions will come pretty close as the no. 2?

There's a reason why Robinsons during my time was one of the better premier department store with excellent service in Singapore - commissions and incentives.

Unlike most retailers who just paid a basic salary only, at Robinsons, there's a tiny tiny personal commission when we key-in the sales with our own staff code. Then there's a department incentive pool that's shared by us if we hit and exceed the departmental sales target.

That's why when you shop at some retailers, whether you buy don't buy the sales staff couldn't care less. You don't buy even better! Less work for them.

(I don't shop at Robinsons anymore - new owner, new management, not the same)

Without commissions, you think your private banker, property agent, remisier, insurance agent (I refuse to call them financial consultanst) will be so interested in your financial "well being"?

Give you "free" advice on how to increase your wealth?

How about long lost "friends" and relatives who never stayed in contact suddenly called to just "meet up"?

During my 20s and 30s, some of my friends who were insurance and property agents offered me $50 for every person I introduced to them that resulted in a sale. 

You think why tour guides and taxi-drivers bring tourists to certain restaurants and retail stores only? Wink.

OK, even if you've never worked in Sales before, there's some "activities" in your corporate life that will be "recognised" and receive more "brownie points" over others.

Have right?

The other "bei kambings" in your department work hard; you work smart. Shh...

For those who are easliy trapped by words, I think I better spell it out for their sake. I'm in a generous mood today!

Commission is just a word. It can easily be substituted with "kopi money", bribe, "I scratch your back you scratch mine", greed, lust, power (here's looking at you, politicians), and all the other biblical vices.

Without commissions, who wants to be Shepherd?

Wool, milk, meat - now that's commissions for you!

P.S.  All those of you young young male financial freedom seekers. You don't bluff! The reason why you seek financial freedom is never about the optionality of work. 

Its always about girls. 

And the same reason why women buy beauty products and "invest" hours at the gym or spa - you want to be financially free.



  1. Tier commission and incentive is even more powerful. Work like shit to cross the tier.

    1. CW,

      That's the power of the carrot!

      You goal setters would love it, would't you?

      Our 5000 years of Chinese wisdom says if we offer a big enough bounty, brave souls will step forward!

      I have to constantly remind myself not to be distracted by little carrots dangled by others, or worst still, those set by myself!?

      Why be a shepherd when I can be a land owner? Why be a land owner when I can be an "immortal" (做仙)?


  2. Hi SMOL,

    Question: If the commission we get is a smile from the other party or a feeling that the world is a better place after your action, is that still counted as a 'commission'? LOL

    1. LP,

      A rose is still a rose by any other names ;)

      You are right.

      We do charity and volunteer our time and money is because we RECEIVE a lot more than we GIVE :)

      That's also the reason why we tithe. If we don't get something back in return, no one will ever tithe!

      The prosperity gospel guys have got it down pat. I wonder they copy paste from snake-oils or snake-oils have stolen with pride the other way round???

      Hmm... What's the oldest profession in the world?

      Not fortune telling lah!

      Although its close... See? See the stone age days there will be "gurus" who will tell you what to do for a small fee ;)

  3. That is the reason why some job types have to be on commission and incentive based to be effective.

    1. weekdays OT at 1.5
      weekends and public holidays OT at 2
      Day shift allowance X
      Night shift allowance X+

      There is a price tag for our time

    2. CW,

      The trick is to be on the same side as those who are dishing out the various carrots, lumps of sugar or salt to the farm animals.

      Be the one who is exhorting others to be flexible, practical, and don't be choosey!

  4. temperament,

    Yes, I'm with you that we all have a "price".

    If we found out a man wants to do nothing but the best for his children, we'll know what bait to put in front of his nose ;)

    If the man pines for the woman he could not have, fulfill his dream and we'll have a hired hand to do our bidding...

    Its all about leveraging on Other People's Time and/or Talent.

    Where do we go to learn to be a Puppet Master? If you have to ask, you have lost the plot...

  5. Hi Smol

    Am i the only one who views bonus less critical than comission ? Bonus to me sounds like its pre-determined, whereas comission is more of a self-control.

    Somehow i am now more skewed towards scalability and flexibility than stability. Something could be wrong with me.

    1. Small Time Investor,

      Don't get caught up by words...

      I can easily replace commission with signing-up bonus, referral bonus, repeat order bonus, etc.

      If something is already pre-determined - like the 13 month Annual Wage Supplement "Bonus", then there's NO incentive at all.

      Its a smart ploy by some employers to withhold our salary in case we quit early.

      $50K divided by 12 and $50K divided by 13 look the same on an annual basis, but if an employee quits after 5 months, the employer saves some money ;)

      More if the employer uses the 3 months "bonus" trick as in $50K divided by 15 months. So don't envy friends who have 3 months pre-determined bonus - they were screwed :(

      REAL bonus/incentive/commission are those VARIABLE kind.

      That's why I want to take out my CPF as soon and as much as possible; the logic is the same ;)

      We change as we move into different phases of our lives.

      The me of today is not the same me 10 years ago. And I am quite certain the me 10 years later would be different - more handsome, sexier, and with smaller stomach I hope!


      Scalability and flexibility? That means you are looking into 下海 to own your own business ;)

      Do it!

      The only thing "wrong" is if you only think and talk about it - but never gets around to DO IT!


  6. That's the most attractive part of a sales job. Also makes putting up with the sh*t of difficult clients a bit sweeter.

    1. Rainbow girl,

      That's why I sometimes feel like a "man-whore" during snake-oil days.

      Oh well! We all have to make a living :(

      Once we have earned enough, its time to get out :)


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