Sales through street promotion - how can we recruit many more people?


We developed very innovative new sunglass clipons, which are exactly tailored to each individual pair of eyeglasses.

About 40% of all eyeglass-wearers want and buy them.

The best distribution channel by far turned out to be "street promoting", meaning directly approaching eyeglass-wearers in the streets, shopping-malls, trade-fairs etc., showing them the product, selling the product and taking a foto of the eyeglasses then (which is needed for production). Sellers earn an average of $60.- in commissions per hour.

But how can we recruit many more street-promoters?
We tried Craigslist, but it doesn't seem to be a good place for us. It's very difficult to place ads, and the response rate is extremely low. (Maybe we were in the wrong category?)

We "just" pay commissions per sale.

Is there any "ideal" places where we can advertise this?
Where would possible street-promoters look for a "job" like this?

Marketing Recruiting

asked Jul 30 '10 at 01:51
116 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

4 Answers


I'd suggest that you may need to create more proof that it works to get more sales people. So get a kiosk like at Mall of America or other popular malls hiring sales staff. The commission method may just not get you to grow because it is uncertainty to the employee. As soon as the brand gets a critical mass of popularity then you can offer franchises to fit the sales model your describing.

answered Jul 30 '10 at 04:31
John Bogrand
2,210 points


I'd be interested in seeing what your Craigslist ad copy looks like. If it's not well written, if it sounds even slightly shady, if it's badly formatted, or if it doesn't have a clear call to action, you won't get a good response rate from it. Once you have a good ad, it's not hard to find someone on elance or another outsourcing site to repost them in each city as they expire, for less total than the ads themselves cost.

Feel free to send me an e-mail at the address in my profile if you'd prefer not to post the ad here.

answered Jul 30 '10 at 15:19
Jay Neely
6,050 points


If your sunglasses sell so well on the street, the job should as well.

If there's a person selling sunglasses with people giving them money all the time (At $60 / commission = + 1$ minute) and a sign that says, "Now Hiring", I would think you could get a few applicants.

Maybe a bonus for your current sales people or an over-ride on the commission made by those they recruit.

answered Jul 30 '10 at 02:50
Jeff O
6,169 points
  • Our problem is: 1. where to post? there is too many spammy/shady offerings in the applying categories in craigslist and backpage. I have the impression, nobody is looking for serious offers there anymore. 2. Because we "only" pay commission, and not fixed, it is a difficult jump for people to take. So, still, we have big problems finding people. It's crazy - it is a serious offering and people can easily make much money. But it is extremely difficult to find people. Before, I had thought, we'll post an ad and get 100 applicants immediately.... (btw, it is not sunglasses, it's sun-clip-ons) – Philobus 13 years ago
  • Start with university students. If one is successful, they'll spread the word. Post on their campus boards. – Jeff O 13 years ago


If you are confident about your sales rate, you could pay your sales people by the hour rather than by commission (perhaps with performance bonuses.) This would take the uncertainty out of the job for potential employees. However, you may not get sales people who are as motivated?

Perhaps you should test a few models and ads and see what works for you.

answered Aug 1 '10 at 14:12
Susan Jones
4,128 points
  • Susan, We've made very bad experiences working this way. We just pay hourly and get no results then. I am a firm believer in "pay for results only" now. Although it is much more difficult to get results then. – Philobus 13 years ago
  • " get PEOPLE then." – Philobus 13 years ago
  • So you've tested that method and it doesn't work. That's valuable info to have. I think generally though that no matter what industry you are in, good people are hard to find. What about asking your current top salespeople to refer potential employees to you? – Susan Jones 13 years ago

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