There’s no shortage of sales advice for rookies. We can all talk about how to make a cold call or write the perfect prospecting email until we’re blue in the face. But we can do better than that. Sales Engine seeks to help salespeople sell more efficiently and effectively at all levels so we decided to launch a blog series that provides an insightful resource for salespeople early on in their career. The “My Start In Sales” series “tells it like it is” (namely, that we’ve all been there and done that — and that’s a good thing!). We will feature one veteran salesperson in a standard Q & A format every few weeks. We’re excited about sharing these successess and failures with you.
Current location: Chicago
Current gig: Regional Director at Kapow
One word that best describes how you work: Collaboratively
Current mobile device: iPhone 6
Favorite to-do list manager: Google Calendar
Tell us a little bit about what you do now & whether or not you currently work as part of a sales function at your company.
I am Regional Director of a hyper-growth company that connects Fortune level companies with venues to book unique client events online in real-time. Our curated marketplace offers a more efficient way for companies to book events designed to acquire, engage and retain clients. In this role, I oversee both sales and operations for Kapow’s presence in the Central U.S.
What was your first sales role? How did you get the job?
Technically, my first sales role was with GNC during my first year of college. My college experience was funded entirely by student loans and money I could make on the side, so I specifically looked for an opportunity that would provide an environment where the harder I worked, the more money I could take home at the end of the week.
Post-college, my first role was with American Express Financial Advisors, which began a 10 year career in the Financial Services industry.
Did you picture yourself working as a salesperson before you started?
Not at all. I had actually studied Criminal Justice in school with the aspirations of joining the FBI. The day I got my degree I woke up and said to myself, “Yeah, I don’t really want to do that anymore.” My wife’s uncle, who had worked in Financial Services for over two decades, recommended I take a look in that direction.
What do you wish you had known before you started selling?
That it’s possible to never fail at what you do. You either succeed, or you learn.
Have you ever encountered the “sleazy salesperson stereotype”? How do you respond to this?
All the time, unfortunately. Especially spending so much time in the Financial Services industry. It’s a space that, let’s be honest, doesn’t have the highest barrier of entry and can compensate extremely well. That can often attract less than savory individuals.
I respond to them the same way I respond when my 3 year old asks if he can drive the car – I politely decline.
What is one tool or resource without which you would not be able to do your job?
LinkedIn, bar none.
What are you currently reading?
Simultaneously reading The Guns of August and The Wages of Destruction. World War I was exponentially more impactful on the history of the world than any other conflict in modern times, and thus is much more interesting to learn about.
At the same time, Wages provides a narrative about the often ignored economic motivations that led to the second World War.
Are you an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert?
Probably more of an ambivert. I pride myself on being a people person and thriving in social engagements, but often I just feel like relaxing and watching reruns of Strike Back.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t do stupid stuff.
My first boss said that all the time. He wasn’t very deep, but the advice itself makes sense and has always stuck with me.
As Regional Director with Kapow, Matt Green is responsible for directing the sales, operations and partnership responsibilities for an early stage, high-growth company transforming the way corporate events are booked. In this role, he oversees personnel management, strategic planning and sales leadership on behalf of Kapow’s presence Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Dallas, Austin and Houston.
Earlier in his career, Matt served in leadership roles in both Fortune 500 and start-up financial advisory firms and investment banks. He is an active member of The Clinton Global Initiative and The Holiday Heroes Foundation.