Today’s episode of Selling in Color features Joseph Villegas, a pharmaceutical sales representative who has been in sales since college. Before working in medical sales, he worked in home health sales and, through these jobs, has found sales success as a Hispanic salesman.
Joseph didn’t just fall into sales
- People often stumble into a sales career, but Joseph actively wanted a sales career.
- While pursuing a marketing degree, Joseph’s friend said his brother just got a job as a sales rep, and Joseph thought that career sounded perfect for himself.
Why did Joseph want to be in sales?
- He wanted to be a person who serves his community. He thought, “what better way to do that than help the medical community.”
- After learning more about the sales profession, he thought his personality fit perfectly.
- He, of course, loved the idea of making money.
Why aren’t there more Hispanic people in sales?
- While Joseph’s oldest brother is a VP in commercial insurance, none of Joseph’s other friends or family are salespeople.
- He thinks there’s a lot of misinformation in the Hispanic community that prevents people from joining the sales profession.
- Many young Hispanic people go straight into working construction after high school because they think that’s the only way to make a large amount of money.
What are some challenges he faced as a Hispanic salesperson?
- Like any other person of color, he has to battle the fact that about 80% of people in the sales industry are white males.
- There’s a barrier when selling to people who wouldn’t expect a Hispanic man to sell in the medical industry.
- On the flip side, when Joseph is selling to other POC, they often have an unspoken rapport that makes Joseph more confident.
- He’s been passed up for promotions and bigger territories, even if his competition has the same education and sales numbers.
- Joseph was written up for not hitting a sales goal while other people who also don’t hit a sales goal go unpunished.
Joseph’s advice to the Hispanic community:
- You can’t just sit back and wait to be invited to the table; you have to make things happen.
- It’s easy to get in sales. Hispanic people are hardworking people, and they’re taught social interactions at a young age.
- You don’t have to break your back doing manual labor. If you want to, then that’s great. But know that it isn’t your only option.
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