If you are a general contractor hiring a salesperson, do you have a written agreement with them?

I was reminded of this recently by a contractor who has two very good salespeople working for him bringing in new jobs, almost daily. He has the potential of a lot of new business this year, but he does not have a written agreement with either of these salespeople. Bad plan.

Suppose someone offers a down payment in cash, the salesperson takes it and decides it’s time for a nice vacation somewhere south of the border? Who do you suppose is going to have to answer for that? Without a contract, it is the contractor’s word against the salesperson. If the salesperson used the contractors documents, the contractor is stuck. Sure, he can prosecute the salesperson, but at what cost? And what if he never comes back?

Or, what if the contractor spends time and money getting the salesperson set up to sell, and the salesperson decides they want to go into business for themselves? They leave the company, stay in contact with many if not most of the leads, and without a contract with a non-compete clause, the contractor can do little or nothing about it. Or they decide they’d rather give some of the jobs they might sell to a competitor that you didn’t know they were also selling for.

Put it in writing gang, get all the signatures you need, and save yourself time and money. A written agreement keeps everyone honest. I cover many of the issues involved in hiring a salesperson in our book, Profitable Sales, A Contractor’s Guide.

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