Author Topic: Career drama, need some opinions  (Read 2672 times)

socaso

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Career drama, need some opinions
« on: January 05, 2021, 11:50:24 AM »
I work in sales for a small family owned business. Christmas Eve they inform me they are cutting my commission to my biggest client. They claim there were "complaints" about me but refused to tell me what those were. I think they are angling to take this client away completely and I would not be the first salesperson they have done this to. It seems whenever the clients start really spending money they come up with a reason why it shouldn't be the salesperson's account anymore.

If they do take this client away from me, I want to quit. I've seen what happens when the other salespeople let them do this, once the owners start walking all over you they don't stop. I've been the top salesperson for the past two years and they are taking away my ability to earn. In our industry clients like this aren't common.

Complicating this situation is the fact that I've been trying to leave for a year. I've been trying to buy a business for the past year. The process has been slowed down by the pandemic but I'm actively looking and hopeful it will all come to fruition this year.

So my dilemma is, if I quit I get no unemployment and I really don't want to look for another job when I'm trying to devote my energy to buying a business. I have reason to believe that if I quit with no harsh words they might change their tune. Our industry is very specialized and it's difficult to train a new person. Also, they have asked other salespeople who quit to come back.

But if I kick up a fuss and get them to fire me I do get unemployment and can hopefully get the business buying settled before unemployment runs out.

I'm so frustrated I don't think I'm being objective and I don't know if I'm thinking of every potential option. I could use some outside perspective. I've seen some great career advice on here and hope someone wise will spare me a moment of their time.

Sibley

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2021, 12:15:22 PM »
What's your financial situation like? How long can you go without a job if you resigned? Will that compromise your efforts to buy a business?

socaso

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2021, 12:25:01 PM »
What's your financial situation like? How long can you go without a job if you resigned? Will that compromise your efforts to buy a business?

We are in pretty good shape, no debt other than the mortgage, good savings, etc. It would not destroy but would impact the business buying.

HPstache

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2021, 12:31:06 PM »
But if I kick up a fuss and get them to fire me I do get unemployment and can hopefully get the business buying settled before unemployment runs out.

Double check on this before you do anything drastic.  I always thought that if I got fired from my job for justifiable cause, I would not be be able to receive unemployment.  Might be a state-by-state thing, and also I might just be completely wrong.  That's why I'm saying double check that...

socaso

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2021, 12:44:56 PM »
But if I kick up a fuss and get them to fire me I do get unemployment and can hopefully get the business buying settled before unemployment runs out.

Double check on this before you do anything drastic.  I always thought that if I got fired from my job for justifiable cause, I would not be be able to receive unemployment.  Might be a state-by-state thing, and also I might just be completely wrong.  That's why I'm saying double check that...

Just looked it up and in this state you must lose the job through no fault of your own. So I guess I wouldn't qualify anyway. I hate feeling so stuck.

plog

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2021, 03:13:58 PM »
Often changes to the job itself allow you to quit and receive unemployement--office moving, hour changes, reduction in salary. Further, with Covid some states have suspended existing rules.

So, I would look harder into your state's laws to see if this reduction in salary allows you to quit and get unemployment.

socaso

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2021, 03:42:50 PM »
Often changes to the job itself allow you to quit and receive unemployement--office moving, hour changes, reduction in salary. Further, with Covid some states have suspended existing rules.

So, I would look harder into your state's laws to see if this reduction in salary allows you to quit and get unemployment.

Interesting. I don't know if cutting my commission counts as a reduction in salary but it's worth checking in to. I know for a fact that in our state the unemployment system requires some kind of verification from the employers about the employee's status/why they were terminated. My spouse works in an industry that was completely shut down by the state earlier in the year and his employer told him there were emails every week when he applied for unemployment.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2021, 05:49:02 PM »
Tough one.. I think, given you know their history and the way they have acted in the past I'd consider one of these routes

#1 Going back to them now and again asking what the issue is with the client. Since you're a good/top sales person, you want to understand what happened, rectify it and get your commission back. If they refuse this than I would NOT quit but gentle suggest it may be time to look for another opportunity. I mean who wants to work for a company that tells their top sales person there is an issue in an account and won't help them grow by giving them proper feedback but instead take money out of their pocket. They can't fire you for looking for another job and if they do, then you can collect unemployment.

#2 If you are opposed to #1 or they refuse to tell you the issue and bring your commission back or remove you from the client, then, as much as it sucks to do it, work slow down it is. If you can afford to live on unemployment then you can afford to not work as hard and potentially bring in less. Granted you can't do NOTHING because then they have cause to fire you. Eventually you will either close on the business deal or they may fire you but, as long as you're doing your job (even if not as effectively as you were), and they let you go, you can collect.

In either case I'd make sure you have any information you need before they potentially fire you and cut you off. I'd also do my best to push forward on the other business, maybe there is a way to accelerate that process?


Metalcat

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2021, 07:43:15 PM »
Well, I would talk to an employment lawyer instead of people on the internet to get an extremely clear picture of what your options are, but I'm also someone who is on a first name basis with my employment lawyer to the point that we exchange recipes.

As for dealing with the company, you are their top performer and they are trying to take away your client. Personally, I would probably be very firm with them that this is unacceptable. This doesn't mean causing a scene or being unreasonable, just being firm in your expectations of how you will be treated and compensated according to your established value to the company.

If they terminate you over that, would that not be an ideal case for demanding severance?

Overall, I'm not sure there's a "right" answer here, at least not with how vague the information we have is. If it were me it would depend on the job, the industry, my income, my spouse's income, our expenses, our savings, our emergency fund, the outlook for buying a business, the outlook for the potential performance of that business, etc, etc, etc.

There are a lot of factors that would personally make me more or less conservative on this front, but I'm not in your shoes, so can't tell what I would do if I were you.

norajean

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2021, 08:06:10 PM »
Meet with the customer and try to find out what is going on. If they are happy with you, set up a three way meeting with your boss where client requests you remain.

Hellohi

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2021, 10:24:22 AM »
Meet with the customer and try to find out what is going on. If they are happy with you, set up a three way meeting with your boss where client requests you remain.

This.  I would not come right out and say you heard they complained, but ask them if there's anything you could be doing better, if all all there needs are being met.  You could start to mention that there might be a transition to a new sales person to get there reaction.  If this upsets them you could persuade them to talk to the owners or even make a complaint due to the changing of sales people. 
« Last Edit: January 07, 2021, 11:53:51 AM by Hellohi »

socaso

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2021, 11:18:43 AM »
Meet with the customer and try to find out what is going on. If they are happy with you, set up a three way meeting with your boss where client requests you remain.

This.  I would come right out and say you heard they complained, but ask them if there's anything you could be doing better, if all all there needs are being met.  You could start to mention that there might be a transition to a new sales person to get there reaction.  If this upsets them you could persuade them to talk to the owners or even make a complaint due to the changing of sales people.

Typically I would do this but there are some complicated reasons why I can't speak to the client. My employer knows this and I believe that they are using that fact to their advantage. I strongly suspect there are no complaints at all, they just want my client.

HPstache

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2021, 12:16:18 PM »
Can you just start looking for a new job right now?  Without quitting, being fired, trying to confront the client?

red_pill

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2021, 10:32:36 PM »
Most people get totally walked all over because they are unable to deal with any type of conflict.  Can you handle conflict?  Are you able to stand up for yourself?   Not be a dick, but just not be a push over.  Is that in your wheelhouse?

If it is, you have a ton of great options.  If it isn't, well...then you're limited to a strategy of avoidance and eventual escape.

socaso

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2021, 10:43:50 AM »
Most people get totally walked all over because they are unable to deal with any type of conflict.  Can you handle conflict?  Are you able to stand up for yourself?   Not be a dick, but just not be a push over.  Is that in your wheelhouse?

If it is, you have a ton of great options.  If it isn't, well...then you're limited to a strategy of avoidance and eventual escape.

I don't have a black or white answer on that one. Sometimes I'm fine with it and some things I shy away from. So if you have specific ideas I'd be open to hearing them.

Beach_Stache

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2021, 04:43:27 AM »
Meet with the customer and try to find out what is going on. If they are happy with you, set up a three way meeting with your boss where client requests you remain.

This.  I would come right out and say you heard they complained, but ask them if there's anything you could be doing better, if all all there needs are being met.  You could start to mention that there might be a transition to a new sales person to get there reaction.  If this upsets them you could persuade them to talk to the owners or even make a complaint due to the changing of sales people.

Typically I would do this but there are some complicated reasons why I can't speak to the client. My employer knows this and I believe that they are using that fact to their advantage. I strongly suspect there are no complaints at all, they just want my client.

This part does seem complicated?  I'm not in sales, but deal w/customers all the time, and if if I'm their sales rep, I imagine I have constant contact w/them, like I do with normal customers.  Sure, sometimes you only deal w/X person and the owners maybe deal w/the owners of that business, but I don't understand how you could not have a contact w/the company you work with?  I like the idea of getting upward feedback from your clients, as no boss would ever argue w/you going to your customer and saying "what can I do to better support your needs" to fish for something.  I know if I were the client, I would totally eat that up, and I've used that on my customers before. 

Is there any possibility that this situation turns you into starting your own business in the same career field?  I don't know if you have any NDA's or anything, but if you are in a specialized field, and could grab a client or two (namely the one you think you're doing well with that you suspect your owners are not being truthful about) then maybe this is the business you need to create?  If you know the business and you want to be a business owner, then this seems like a good opportunity, maybe the stars are aligning to force you to start your own competing business, or to hate your job so you just take the plunge and force yourself to start your own business?

Either way, the writing is on the wall w/what your bosses do when you have a fat-cat client who's making good money, and I wouldn't ever want to be in a business w/untruthful leadership.

rothwem

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Re: Career drama, need some opinions
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2021, 06:14:45 AM »
Can you just start looking for a new job right now?  Without quitting, being fired, trying to confront the client?

This. 99% of the time, this is the answer when your company fucks you over at work. You’re trying to buy a business, that’s fine. In the meantime, find another way to put food on the table while you figure out your other thing.

Also, since you’re in sales, you’re fairly lucky—all my friends that are in sales seem to jump jobs every 20 minutes, it doesn’t look bad on a resume. Even getting fired doesn’t look bad for some reason, I don’t really understand. 

So yeah, go sell some cars or insurance and keep your eye on the prize.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!