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ESL Story: Negotiating a Commission

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Dwight Baron has worked for a major corporation more than three years. He earns a base pay plus a commission on each sale. Each year, he has successfully increased the number of sales for the company. Last week, his picture was put on a wall honoring him as the Top Salesman of the Month. Dwight decided it was time to discuss an increase in his sales commission. He made an appointment to talk to his boss, Mr. Cooper. They meet in Mr. Cooper's office.

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Dwight: Good morning, Mr. Cooper. (extending his hand)

Mr. Cooper: Good morning, Dwight! (They shake hands.) I'm very happy to see you! Please sit down. (They both sit.)

Dwight: Thank you, Mr. Cooper. I want you to know what a pleasure it is to work here. I really enjoy my job.

Mr. Cooper: That's good to hear, Dwight! I hope you will stay with the company for many more years. You are one of our best salespeople. Now, what would you like to discuss?

Dwight: Mr. Cooper, I've worked for this company for more than three years. As you suggested, I conducted staff meetings where I shared my ideas to increase productivity when the company was experiencing a major slump in sales. As a direct result, there was a 23% increase the first year. Last year, there was another 10% increase.

Mr. Cooper: Yes, you are doing a fine job! That's why you're driving a new company car! None of the other salespeople have one.

Dwight: I know, Mr. Cooper, and I really appreciate it, but I would like to talk about increasing my commission.

Mr. Cooper: But Dwight, you also receive three weeks paid vacation. That's one week more than the other staff members. Don't you think that's better than a bigger commission?

Dwight: Mr. Cooper, I appreciate the time off with pay, but it's not the same as a larger commission. I'm not trying to be difficult, but I really think I deserve more money.

Mr. Cooper: What if I increase your base pay by twenty extra dollars a week?

Dwight: Thank you, but I would still rather have an increase in my commission. I have been responsible for the company making a lot of money in the last three years. The staff morale has never been better. Nobody wants to quit, because they see the stability in this company.

Mr. Cooper: The problem is if I give you an increase in your commission and the others hear about it, they will all want more money!

Dwight: I think money should be given to those who show merit. I'm sure you see the value in rewarding loyalty. You told me that three years ago, most workers only stayed an average of 6 months.

Mr. Cooper: Hmm. That's true. (He seems to be thinking.) The company has really changed in the last few years.

Dwight: I know we are both very busy, can we negotiate today. Perhaps, we could both bring something to the table.

Mr. Cooper: What do you mean?

Dwight: I mean that there is probably something we both want. I would like a larger commission. Maybe there is something you want that we can trade.

Mr. Cooper: I like that idea! One of the things I dread is making speeches. Would you be willing to make a speech every month in exchange for an increase in your commission?

Dwight: It sounds good to me! How much of an increase are we talking about?

Mr. Cooper: I'll give you an extra 10% for ten speeches over the next year.

Dwight: Agreed! (They both stand and shake hands.)

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