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Sales Sucks

By mustangDR6372 ·
Heres the spew: I am 2 yrs shy of a BA in Computer Science/Info Systems, and I joined with a small Computer Co in Kansas. When I signed on, I had to sign a non-competitor agreement that says I can't join another CO within a 300mi radious or 3-yrs that will compete with this company and the same business that it does. This I understand but the problem is, I was put in a sales position because of my lack of field experience. I don't want to quit, there is no money in this CO because of a recent cut to the branch that I am trying to sell to. I get commissions, but there are none because of wholesale mark up on the items I am trying to sell. The original customers have found that they can go somewhere else and buy for cheaper. This leaves me in a bind where I am not making enough money, and I can't seem to get the CO to understand that we are overpricing and loosing the wholesales customers. What should I do?

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How about you quit and find another job in another field?

by Garion11 In reply to Sales Sucks

Just for starters...If you have had good results/successfull documented can try almost every field. Good luck.

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another field

by mustangDR6372 In reply to How about you quit and fi ...

I took this job to get my foot in the door, I am in the field that I wish to be in...just not the right part of it. I am actually wanting to lean more towards the repair and diagnostics part of this company, but if things don't start picking up on my part in sales-I might be out looking for another job before my opportunity to transit to service repair comes my way.

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Non Compete

by BHunsinger In reply to How about you quit and fi ...

I don't know the law in the state you are in, so check with a lawyer, but usually, you can't work in the same typw of job. Ypu are now a sales person in computers. You can change into a different line of sales, or a different kind of job in computers. Finally, LOTS of companies use noncompete clauses that are illegal in their state, either overly restrictive as to time or type of work. They copy them from on line, old form books or other states. Generally they have a right to protect their customer base and proprietary knowledge, not chain you to their work bench or starve. If that clause is valid in your state, atleast now you know, and can leave the jurisdiction. further if you live in Kansas City, check the laws in Misouri: those clauses may not be valid there.

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RE: Non Compete

by mustangDR6372 In reply to Non Compete

You might be right there, this is a small penny-pushing company and they probably copied that non-compete from another website or from something else. I will have to check into that. As for the Sales side, thats not really what I was wanting to do but it gave me a shot at my first job in the Computer Business for my I had to take it.



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Not much you can do, in your area anyway

by Oz_Media In reply to Sales Sucks

That's a pretty nasty sounding non-contendre agreement, 300MILES!! WOW!

I would say that you either need to find a new employer that is not direct competition, you should have some room that way with company/career choices, even if just to get around the 3 yr issue (unless it was written by a record company).

Sorry, that's one nasty sounding contract though.

a) find a non competitor
b) learn how to sell based on value, company etc. instead of price.
Competition is irrelevant to a good salesman, I understand you are not seeking a sales career though and it must be frustrating. If anything, you will gain patience for sales reps and a better understanding of what a unique skill sales ability really is in a competitive market. This will help you cope with reps in the future anyway.

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Noncompete is generally not enforceable

by stress junkie In reply to Sales Sucks

There were a flurry of lawsuits by large companies in the 1980s involving these clauses. I believe that they did not stop people from moving from one company to another. As other posters have already said, you should ask an attorney. You could probably get an attorney to tell you the answer for free, maybe even over the phone. At worst you might have to go to the attorney's office. Most attorneys will not charge any money for the initial consultation. It can't hurt to ask.

Your current employer probably wouldn't even think of trying to apply that clause to you anyway. These clauses try to keep people in product development from bringing trade secrets to competing businesses. You are not in product development. Your position would not expose you to trade secrets. Consider this. Do you think that your employer would try to keep the secretaries from going to a competing business? Of course not. Don't worry about it.

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Pay a lawyer $100 bucks (or two or three)

by maxwell edison In reply to Sales Sucks

Find out if that non-compete agreement is on the up-and-up. It seems to me that if a certain income isn't guaranteed, and if "pie-in-the-sky" promises were made - or even suggested - that any non-compete agreement might be invalid.

I'm certainly not an advocate of breaking one's word, but a guy does have a right to make a decent living - especially if one's not possible where you are.

You may or may not want to move on, but at least you'll know what your legal options really are.

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More on noncompete agreements

by maxwell edison In reply to Sales Sucks

Excerpts from a paper from the Department of Management, College of Business Administration, Calvin Hall 101, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, Phone: (785) 532-6296 Email address: or

......As such they are valid only if they are reasonable as to location and time and do not overreach the legitimate interests of the employer (Martucci & Place, 199.

In general, courts have been reluctant to enforce restraint clauses for a variety of reasons, as they may restrict the efficient use of human capital as well as reflect a resemblance to ?involuntary servitude? (Sterk, 1993).

.....the employer?s power to restrain departing employees is limited. employer can require employees to enter into a non-compete agreement to protect trade secrets, confidential business information, goodwill, customer contacts, ongoing customer relationships, current employees (piracy) and special training provided by the employer to the employee. However, the employer cannot completely prevent employees from working for a competitor, starting their own business or using specialized skills or training to earn a living (West Group Broadcasting, Ltd. v. Bell, 1997).

....Reasonable in scope and duration. Normally courts require limits on the geographic area, clientele activity and time period involved in noncompete agreements. Such limits should be carefully designed to permit the former employee to earn a living while at the same time preventing the employee from competing in the employer?s primary market. When ruling on these restrictions, courts focus on the nature of the employer?s business. For most businesses, restrictions of one to two years in a ten to thirty mile radius of a former employer?s place of business are considered reasonable (Martucci & Place, 199.


There's more - see the link.

I would also guess that if ANY clause in your non-compete agreement is deemed unreasonable (or illegal), that the whole contract would be ruled invalid.


Read the link, go see a lawyer, and go find a good job that will allow you to make a decent living.

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Thanks for the Exerpts, they helped

by mustangDR6372 In reply to More on noncompete agreem ...

After speaking with a lawyer yesterday, I found that the contract that I signed was indeed invalid. This place of business can limit me in rights to conceil their documents, customers, and any information that would be harming to the Company. In addition, they are not allowed to limit my distance to no more than 30 miles. I brought up the subject today and they are considering hiring me into a purchasing position, that is if I decide to stay with the Company.


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by BHunsinger In reply to More on noncompete agreem ...

Yes, in another life I was a lawyer. Some courts invalidate a non compete, others just redraw it to make it reasonable. It depends on what you are doing. In your case, as long as you are not trying to steal a customer's order, you should be safe. Their intrest that they can protect from you is a customer list and bid requests

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