Many people of color walk into an office or sales department only to see nobody that looks like them. In today’s episode of Selling in Color, we’re joined by Simon Tecle, VP of Sales at SynchroMSP, to learn how he gained experience and found success throughout his sales journey. And, more importantly, how you can too.
Simon values the work of Sales for the Culture
- Sales for the Culture is a group for black individuals in sales, revenue, and marketing to learn, connect, and offer jobs and mentorships within the tech industry.
- Only about 20% of B2B professional sellers are people of color in the corporate tech world. Not just black, but any person of color. Sales for the Culture wants to make navigating the professional world more accessible for marginalized groups.
How did Simon start his tech sales journey and get to where he is now?
- Simon’s first sales jobs were cold-calling for a mortgage company and knocking on doors for a roofing company.
- His favorite job, however, was selling cell phones at Kmart. He was supposed to sit at a table, but it was super slow. He started walking up to people at the Kmart and sold $800-1000 of product a week.
- He leveraged his previous experiences with cold calling, knocking on doors, and wandering around Kmart to make a career.
Simon realized he had a passion for sales
- At first, he valued it mainly for the money. But as he learned and grew his skills, he began to love the thrill of the chase.
- Upon his college graduation from Ohio State, Simon managed a team selling Dell computers at a mall kiosk. He enjoyed management because it balanced time in the trenches with helping people develop.
- After Dell, he joined the startup Everyday Health (a competitor to WebMD) in their small business division and realized he enjoyed the startup lifestyle.
- He was able to leverage these past experiences to later start divisions at Angie’s List and Thrive.
Simon’s advice to someone moving into sales:
- Whatever path you want to go down, people are doing that role who look like you. Finding them is key.
- For people of color, the environment right now is focused on diversity. Many of the barriers enacted to prevent underrepresented people from gaining job entry are being removed. For people of color looking for employment, this is your moment.
Simon’s final takeaway? Be the president of your own university and development. If you want to connect and learn more from Simon, follow him on LinkedIn or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To join or learn more about Sales for the Culture, visit their website.
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