Pathways Event: Young Professionals in Sales Panel and Mixer

Posted: Tuesday, May 2nd 2017 at 2:21 PM

On April 28, 2017, a Pathways event featured NAU-FCB alumni currently working in the field of Sales.

The oldest among them graduated in 2011, so each had a fresh perspective on their jobs after graduation from NAU. The panelists included Clay Frizell from Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Kevin Milne ('16 FIN) from Liberty Mutual, Kaydi Defazio ('16 MKT) from United Rentals, Amanda Garcia ('11 CIS) from CDW, Victor Martinez ('14 MKT) from Stowebridge, and Zach Weatherman ('14 ACC) from Aerotek. All of them answered questions posed by current FCB students trying to gain a better understanding of the sales industry.

One of the first points made by the panelists was that many people go into sales without even studying it in college. They went on to say that sales is all about making and maintaining relationships, plus the hours are flexible, and it is very lucrative (even at the entry level).

They contrasted their sales jobs to school, saying that school is much more structured, and that you have to manage your time more independently in a sales job. There aren’t any teachers to make sure you get your work done, but instead you’re given a task and a date. They don’t care how you get it done, as long as it’s finished when it’s due.

On top of time management, another difficulty in sales is learning the industry right out of college. Once the panelists were hired, they all had to go into a training program that ranged from a couple of months to a whole year where they learned what they would be doing, and the ins and outs of the sales 'biz.'

Important skills that the panelists said were essential to success in sales included empathy, time-management, competitiveness, and (most importantly) communication skills. If you can’t communicate efficiently with customers–new or old–you will not be successful. You have to be able to talk to people regardless of whether or not their personal interests align with your own. Overall, the panelists stressed that building and maintaining relationships with your customers is the most important aspect of sales.

After the panel, pizza, and soda was served to all the attendees, providing a networking opportunity for the students and panelists.

Categories: spring 2017 alumni pathways event united rentals liberty mutual cdw stowebridge aerotek consolidated electrical distributors clay frizell kevin milne kaydi defazio amanda garcia victor martinez zach weatherman panel mixer 2017 sales program prosell