A Word From the Wise

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This Friday–October 25, 2013—a very special guest speaker came into the Professional Sales class.  Not only is this speaker a “Cornucopia” (in the spirit of Thanksgiving!) of sales knowledge, but Mr. Charlie Soles is also the grandfather of Karly Natalizia, a current student in BUS 201!

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As soon as he began to speak, you could sense that Mr. Soles was an experienced salesperson; and indeed, 30 years in any profession is no small achievement.  Soles was able to speak to us with ease about his past experiences; his secrets to success; and his motivation for us future salespeople.

 The presentation began with the acknowledgement of the negative side to selling—the bad rep, the pressures of meeting quotas, and the potential for rejection.  Like any respectable salesperson, Soles was not about to try to deny or conceal the shortcomings of a product—or, in this case, a career.  To each of these negatives, however, Soles offered us a means of coping, and suggested to take all hardships as an “Opportunity or challenge to do better next time.”

Next, Soles addressed the more prevalent—and appealing—side of selling: the rewards.  Essentially, selling to customers involves creating a relationship in which they allow you to help them in some way—or, as Soles put it, “If you position yourself as a helper, you will have the trust of others.”  For Soles, being able to help people is one of the greatest rewards of selling.  Beginning with a degree in agriculture, Soles’ journey lead him to eventually being one of the top salespeople of medical devices in the country.  When asked how he came to such an unexpected career, Soles answered “If it’s right and you’ve decided you can do it, and you fill your mind with thoughts that you can accomplish it, you will.”

The big secret to success, according to Soles, is to never stop learning.  From every sales call there is something to be taken away; one tip I thought could be very useful was to review yourself after a sale or meeting; learn from your strengths and weaknesses in order to constantly better your technique and hone your skills.  If you hope to best persuade a prospect to buy, you need to ask questions, see your product from a customers’ point of view, and try to find common ground with the customer.  As Soles advised us, “In order to be the best at something, you need to have the best knowledge.”

 Today’s class was definitely a testament to what we’ve been covering in class.  Not only was Mr. Soles very motivational to listen to, he was also affirmative of many of our previous lessons.  Personally, it was refreshing to hear the same message reiterated by someone outside of GCG; today’s speaker has given me the confidence and drive I think I needed to take me through the last 8 weeks of semester one!

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Mr. Soles with Karly

Guest Speakers From Verizon Wireless

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It’s Friday morning, September 27th, in Mr. Dudkowski’s 8am Professional Sales class. We went through the usual routine of reviewing homework and forgetting each other’s names (current students–you understand; Future students for BUS 201–learn your peers’ names…you will understand) has been disrupted. Who are we to thank for our rescue from Mr. D’s much-too-early-in-the-morning name game? Guest speakers Cindy Carpenter and Jon Spencer, who have come to share with us their experiences in business with Verizon Wireless; experiences which, between the two of them, are undoubtedly abundant.

For over 15 years, Ms. Carpenter has worked in various business positions in 
Rochester and has been the recruiter for the Verizon Calls Center since 2006. Mr. Spencer, a former GCC student himself, has held positions in Verizon in numerous facets including customer service, billing, tech support, inventory, and sales, and currently holds the title of “Device Expert.”

In his talk, Spencer highlighted how fortunate he is to work in a business that is so connected with technology.  He emphasized the incredible world we live in today where technology is growing and expanding more than ever before. Spencer’s career in business with Verizon gives him the opportunity every day to be right at the hub of this age of technology and help others connect with our increasingly tech-driven society. Aside from the obvious application and knowledge of the latest gadgets, the business aspects of working for Verizon allows for human connections through customer relations.  As Spencer stated, customer interactions make his job worthwhile; the ability to introduce customers to devices which allow them to speak with loved ones over long distances, recover priceless photos, and could even change their lives, creates visible gratitude which is “Worth more than all the money in the world,” said Spencer.

A Friday morning class–usually merely the last hurdle before a long weekend–proved to be an enriching and worthwhile experience for the students in my class.  Not only did we get to hear firsthand experiences from two Verizon Wireless Employees, we were also given some advice; though we’ve heard it many times before it still rings true, as Spencer said: “At the end of the day, the paycheck and the benefits don’t mean a whole lot if you spend 40+ hours a week doing something that makes you miserable.”