People of color in sales tend to stand out. Because only 20% of sellers aren’t white, people of color can use this to their advantage as they navigate their selling careers. But while you can use it to your benefit, you can also abuse it. In today’s episode of Selling in Color, the founder of The Marketing Hunter, Ruben Alvarez, shares how people of color can leverage your color without abusing it.
There’s power in being an underdog.
- While people might not like it, there is power in being an underdog. And that perfectly describes Ruben’s approach to sales.
- When companies first came under fire for lack of employee diversity, there was a period where people of color could quickly get a job as a “token” person of color.
- Even if that applies to you, use the opportunity to work hard and break the glass ceiling to make it easier for more people of color to join the organization.
Ruben appropriately used his color to his advantage.
- Ruben’s parents came to the United States illegally, and he can’t change that. What he can do is make the most of the opportunity and create opportunities for others.
- His parents got their citizenship soon after emigrating to the United States. It showed him that if you’re going to do something, do it right.
- He uses those experiences and history to motivate him to persevere and work harder to achieve his goals.
How has Ruben has seen success in his career without relying on his race?
- You have to find places where you can associate and mingle with people of color but in a professional way.
- Ruben sees a big problem in taking advantage of people who offer discounts or specials for people of color. If you need it, accept it. But if you support other people of color, you wouldn’t take revenue from them if you need it.
- Know when to give back because eventually, stuff will come back to you.
- Build a genuine connection with somebody and not just say, “Hey, you know what, I’m going to do this for them right now. Because later on, I expect them to give me something.”
Ruben’s advice to people who’ve thought about quitting their sales career:
- Ruben’s boss was verbally abusive, and nobody wanted to deal with him. But because Ruben put up with this boss longer than anyone else, he got a lot of credibility.
- There are generally two reasons to quit sales: you aren’t making enough money or mentally unable to handle the job.
- If you aren’t making enough money, just learn how to sell better. But if you can’t handle the stress, just keep pushing through. No job gives you more security, empowerment, or the mentality that opens up doors for your next opportunity.
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