Q2 2017 Blog: Taking Responsibility of Your Own Career

Taking Responsibility for Your Own Career

The staff of the Stephen Stagner Sales Excellence Institute work extremely hard each semester to place our undergraduate students into sales careers within amazing organizations all over the world.  For the last 20 years, our students have averaged 2-3 job offers before they walk across the stage at graduation.  Not too shabby, especially when you consider the fact that over 40% of U.S. undergraduates will start their careers in jobs that didn’t require a degree (https://goo.gl/HIrO2Z).  While our curriculum and the professors of the Program for Excellence in Selling are second to none, the 150 students seeking a minor in sales are the real stars.  Here’s the “raw material” we get to work with each year:

  • 46% are First Generation College Students
  • 34 GPA (average)
  • 54% are Multilingual (30% speak Spanish)
  • 13 Countries of Origin Represented
  • 73% are working while attending school
  • 63 average work experience (years)

I’ll leave the training and coaching our students receive while in our program for another article (see: selling real products, carrying real quotas), but can you imagine what that diversity in experience means to an employer?! One can understand why our students can become overwhelmed with options when it comes to deciding where to start their career (analysis paralysis anyone?).

One of my favorite responsibilities each semester is the opportunity to mentor and coach our students on career strategies.  Below is the outline I use during our conversations:

Begin with the End in Mind

In chapter 2 of the classic book,  7 Habits of Successful People, Stephen Covey encourages the reader to “…envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes.”  So many students become so dang short-sighted when trying to decide which company/industry/role to start their careers.  Our conversation goes a little something like this…Student: “I want to work for Company X!” Me: “Why?” Student: “Because it’s Company X!”  Me: “…”

In our conversations I ask the student to look into the future at least 10 years from now to the role they would like to develop into.  They need to leave specific industries and companies out of the discussion, for now.  Usually, the role ends up being some variation of high-level positions in the following: Sales, Sales Management, Product Management, Process Management, Marketing, HR, and Entrepreneur.  I ask the student to give me the top 3 roles they’d be interested in, and then walk me through what that position looks like to them.  Two criteria they need to use when ranking the potential roles:

  1. Base it on your most valuable/marketable skill sets (today and what you believe you will develop over time)
  2. What you are passionate about (developing people, creating efficiencies, etc.)

Side Note: Any of you that think following your passion should be #1, should read this article about Steve Jobs: https://www.fastcompany.com/3001441/do-steve-jobs-did-dont-follow-your-passion.

Or watch this video by Mike Rowe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVEuPmVAb8o.

Once the student has chosen which corner office with the window they want to pursue, we work backwards.  What kind of experience is necessary to get to that position, which industries are growing at a rate that will create an environment for you to be successful, what companies offer roles similar to what you want?

Date Around

Once a student has an idea of where they are going, they need to start interviewing high-level decision-makers within companies they have a relationship with.  The Stephen Stagner Sales Excellence Institute does business with over 1000 companies a year, so our students are very fortunate in that they are able to interact with executives of Fortune 500 companies every day.  Even with this environment, they need to have the courage to engage and build relationships with these individuals, and make every conversation count.  A Vice President of Sales can walk you through every detail of your first role, and your fourth.  Better yet, that VP probably has the ability/power to get you to your fourth role, so take a shot of Red Bull and get to work!

We encourage our students to keep a rolling list of 3 companies they are currently engaging with.  Trying to engage more than three companies at one time can be overwhelming.  This process should include the following:

  • Research: Use Google News, Hoovers, Social Media, Alumni, On-Campus interactions, etc., to learn as much as possible about the company.
  • Network with Executives: Already noted
  • Interviews- Utilize the time at the end of the interview strategically by asking well-researched, specific questions about each role you would take on your way to the top, and skill sets necessary to be successful.
  • Ride-Alongs/Office Visits- Most organizations will not have a problem with potential hires riding with a current sales person AFTER the first or second interview. The student needs to use this time wisely!  Hopefully, they walk away with a clear picture of the day-to-day responsibilities, corporate culture, development/training programs available, etc.  They need to be reminded that, if they can’t do the first job well, getting the promotion will be near impossible.
  • Internships/Part-Time Jobs: Since most of our students are working their way through school, our corporate partners have responded by creating engaging internships and part-time roles with very competitive pay structures. I can’t think of a better way for an organization and a student to test each other out before making “the BIG commitment.”

I coach our students daily to follow this process with every company in their top 3.  When a company no longer meets their expectations, move them out, and place another company on the list and start the process over.

Make a Decision!

I recognize that, to date, this is probably the biggest decision a student at the University of Houston has ever had to make.  They work so hard, sacrificing so much, to get through school, they don’t want to make a bad decision.  At the end of the day, it’s still just a decision, and life is full of them.  They’ve got 2-3 job offers from amazing companies that have potential to propel them to their 10-year goal.  They have relationships with executives from each company and they’ve seen firsthand what it will take to be successful in the first job.  I encourage our students to do the following when comparing the opportunities:

  1. Give yourself a deadline to make the decision.
  2. Look at the data- what does your research say on your competitive advantage within each career path, within each company. Look at the opportunities side-by-side and let the data speak for itself.
  3. Go with your gut.

Look, the research speaks for itself.  Millennials average 2.85 jobs in their first 5 years after college (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/millennials-job-hop-more-than-previous-generations-guy-berger-ph-d-).  Now, the corporate partners of our undergraduate program have worked diligently to create opportunities and career development strategies within their organizations to ensure the student stays with their company, but we can still look at this logically.  If the student makes the wrong career decision, they have spent the last year (at least) of their college careers building relationships with decision-makers at other organizations.  They should have options.  But, research by the Sales Education Foundation has revealed that companies who recruit from undergraduate sales programs like ours experience 30% less turnover (and 50% faster ramp up!).  The student has put themselves in a position that, whichever company they choose, they will have a high probability of success.  How awesome is that?!

One Last Thought:

In an article published by our Institute in early April (https://goo.gl/lkIJvz), SEI Executive Director Randy Webb discusses the benefits of finding a mentor early in your career.  Our undergraduate program has a built in mentorship program where the students seek out a high-level executive within a company/industry they are interested in, and asks that person to walk alongside them as they go through our program.  Nothing is better than surrounding yourself with people that care about your future, whom speak openly and honestly about your future.  If you are interested in becoming a mentor, come see us.  www.bauer.uh.edu/sei

 

Fore more blogs and resources, sign up to be a member today:

http://www.bauer.uh.edu/sei/executive-education/membership/

Have questions or need further information? Contact Frances Wheeland, fwheeland@bauer.uh.edu

Job Opportunity with Mass Mutual

College Graduate job posting – v. 2

 

Recent College Graduates: Have a career where you’re counted on

 

Today’s successful Financial Services Representatives (FSR) come from diverse backgrounds with a wide variety of degrees, yet they share similar traits: the desire to help people, being highly motivated and consistently performing at high levels.

 

You’ll be a source for social good in your community and will increase your knowledge base by working both independently and as a team with others in our agency. The FSR career is all about working toward common goals to help your clients succeed financially.

 

You’ll get a great sense of satisfaction knowing you’ve helped someone achieve a more secure financial future while you personally move closer to your own financial goals. The work is challenging, and the effort required to be successful can be great, but isn’t that the same for most achievements of value?

 

Financial Services Representative:

Responsibilities

  • Prospecting for clients through networking and referrals
  • Developing and maintaining long-term relationships with clients
  • Providing financial solutions for clients through fact gathering and needs analyses
  • Expanding personal knowledge and skills through ongoing professional development and joint work with fellow associates

 

Qualifications

  • Strong interpersonal skills and customer service focus
  • Market development/networking abilities
  • Presentation and organizational skills
  • Strong work ethic, self-motivated and goal-oriented
  • BA, BS, and/or graduate degree or equivalent work experience required

Results-driven compensation and access to a competitive benefits package including medical and dental, life and disability insurance, and thrift and pension plans are available for qualified Financial Services Representatives. Contact Crystal Nguyen today at MassMutual Texas Gulf Coast, 3700 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. S., Ste. 400, Houston, TX 77042, (713) 577-1137,crystalnguyen@financialguide.comwww.massmutual.com/texas-gulf-coast.

 

Financial Services Representatives are independent contractors and are not employees of MassMutual, its subsidiaries, or of General Agents with whom they contract. Local sales agencies are not subsidiaries of MassMutual or its affiliated companies.

 

About MassMutual

Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyowners consistently since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurancedisability income insurancelong term care insuranceretirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company’s strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.

 

MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.

 

For more information, visit www.massmutual.com or find MassMutual on FacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTube and Google+.

 

CRN201706-192499

College internship opportunity to impact your future

 

This is your opportunity to be part of an internship that has a real impact on your future. An internship with MassMutual Texas Gulf Coast, provides a hands-on learning experience and builds the foundation to become a full-time Financial Services Representative.

 

As a Financial Services Representative, you will learn how to assess clients’ needs and design strategies to set them on a path to greater financial security. Supported by agency professionals, you’ll be part of a team who will guide you as you develop and sharpen your sales skills.

 

Responsibilities

  • Prospecting for clients through networking and referrals
  • Developing and maintaining long-term relationships with clients
  • Providing financial solutions for clients through fact gathering and needs analyses
  • Expanding personal knowledge and skills through ongoing professional development and joint work with fellow associates

 

Qualifications

  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Presentation and organization skills
  • Self-motivated and a strong work ethic
  • Desire to succeed
  • Candidate for a BA, BS, and/or graduate degree

 

A college intern typically spends 15-20 hours per week in the program, earning academic credit and/or pay. Contact Crystal Nguyen today at: 3700 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. S., Ste. 400, Houston, TX 77042, (713) 577-1137,crystalnguyen@financialguide.comwww.massmutual.com/texas-gulf-coast.

 

Financial Services Representatives are independent contractors and are not employees of MassMutual, its subsidiaries, or of General Agents with whom they contract. Local sales agencies are not subsidiaries of MassMutual or its affiliated companies.

 

About MassMutual

Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyowners consistently since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurancedisability income insurancelong term care insuranceretirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company’s strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.

 

MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, LLC, Member FINRAand SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.

 

For more information, visit www.massmutual.com or find MassMutual on FacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTube andGoogle+.

 

CRN201706-192158

 

Kind regards,
Crystal

Crystal Nguyen

Talent Acquisition Manager

MassMutual Financial Group – Texas Gulf Coast

3700 W Sam Houston Pkwy S, Suite 400

Houston, TX 77042

Phone: (713) 577-1137 | Fax: (832) 251-5454

www.massmutual.com/texas-gulf-coast

My Email Address : crystalnguyen@financialguide.com

Job opportunity with American National Insurance

Job Title: Inside Sales Agent

Contact Shawn Walsh with your resume at Shawn.Walsh@AmericanNatioanl.com

Welcome to your new career at American National!

Are you someone who wants to control your own earnings? Are you looking for a fast-paced, high energy sales environment where you can thrive? Would you like a 37.5 hour work week with full benefits such as a 401k matching program and health insurance?

If the answer is YES, American National is seeking YOU!

Since its beginning in 1905, American National has been a leader and innovator in the insurance industry. Our vision is to continue to be a leading provider of financial products and services for current and future generations.

We take a personal interest, protecting what our clients value most, by offering a full line of insurance products and services including life insurance, annuities, property and casualty insurance, business and agribusiness insurance. At its heart, insurance is a promise, and we promise to be there when our clients need us most, when times are hardest for them.

We’re looking for professionals who will embrace our core values of operating from a position of financial strength, acting with integrity, treating all people with respect, committing to outstanding service and working as a team. If you want to make a difference in the lives of others while building a rewarding career, then American National is the place for you.

We offer our employees:

  • Comprehensive health benefits
  • Generous paid time off
  • Learning and development opportunities
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Corporate-sponsored employee activities
  • Career guidance through annual employee reviews and career planning
  • Active community involvement by the company and employees

Our corporate employees in Galveston and League City, TX, Springfield, MO, and Albany, NY, support our life and property/casualty agents across the United States and Puerto Rico

 

At American National we put our core values of financial strength, integrity, respect, service and teamwork at the heart of everything we do. If you share these values and would like to grow your career at a strong, respected company, here’s an opportunity for you.

1.    PURPOSE OF THE JOB

 

This position has the primary responsibility of handling all outbound sales and solicitation calls.  There will be a heavy emphasis on outbound calling.  This activity will be driven by internal and external lead generation programs (lead vendors, direct mail, internet, e-mails, statement inserts, general print advertising, etc…).  The outbound sales agent will prospect and solicit the prospective customer for purposes of the individual’s needs with the primary goal of taking the application over the phone using the agent portal.  

 

  1.     ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

  • Initiate outbound calls and follow procedures based on lead source.  Must provide prompt, accurate, and courteous responses instilling a favorable Company image.
  • Utilize selling skills to convert leads into sales.
  • Meet or exceed sales and revenue targets set by Sales Manager and upper management.
  • Input data into computer system.
  • The incumbent will be required to meet monthly sales goals and objectives.  Failure to do so may result in termination of employment.  Incumbent must be able to make 100+ calls each day and work 100+ leads daily.

 

III.     OTHER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

  • When applicable, receive and handle all inbound calls and other inquires that require assistance.  Must provide prompt, accurate and courteous responses instilling a favorable Company image.
  • Provide feedback to Sales Call Center Manager and other marketing personnel obtained from call activity experience.
  • Perform various projects assigned to the department that will best utilize the knowledge and expertise of the position.
  1.     KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS   The incumbent must possess these skills and abilities, or explain and demonstrate that s/he can perform the essential functions, with or without reasonable accommodation, using some combination of skills and abilities.

 

  • Must have a minimum of one to three years of call center experience.  
  • A Bachelor’s Degree is preferred.  
  • Preferential consideration will be given to candidates with a resident life insurance license with the ability of the company to broadly license the agent across all states.  
  • Bilingual candidates would be ideal.  
  • Must be able to communicate in a professional and effective manner both verbally and in writing with prospective and existing customers.  This entails the ability to deal with difficult or irate callers with tact, professionalism, skill and diplomacy.
  • Must be familiar with Microsoft Outlook and proficient with PC applications.
  • If the individual does not have an insurance license, they must have the ability to learn quickly and pass the exam within the first 6 months of employment.

 

IV.a   ESSENTIAL MENTAL FUNCTIONS:

 

  • Customer Service:  Must be able to relate to and interact with co-workers in a team atmosphere.  
  • Organization:  Must be organized and possess highly developed thinking and reasoning skills with the ability to multi-task and prioritize work load.  Must be driven to accomplish team and individual goals and focus on task at hand.  The incumbent must have a sincere desire to work industriously.

 

  1.     FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

 

Responsible for taking applicant payment information and using sales techniques to secure the purchase of the appropriate product.  Overall sales in the Direct Marketing Division are directly affected by this position.  Individual sales goals are set and communicated annually, but are subject to change at any time.  2016 sales goals for this position are as follows:

Sales—30 new applications per month;

Premium–$12,500 APP per month;

Auto Pay %–35% month; measured quarterly

 

  1.     EXTENT OF PUBLIC CONTACT

 

Internal

  • Frequent interaction with marketing personnel on current marketing activities, nuances with various unique marketing efforts, feedback, on customer interactions.
  • Frequent interaction with peers and the manager to understand and strive to achieve department goals and best practices.
  • Frequent interaction with new business and underwriting as it relates to outcomes on payments and upgrades.

External

  • Direct contact with prospective and existing customers/policyholders.

Regards,

Naomi Cosman | Program Manager

Stephen Stagner Sales EXCELLENCE Institute

University of Houston | C. T.  Bauer College of Business

Office : (713) 743-0185 | Mobile : (713) 922-4212

334 Melcher Hall | Suite 365G

Houston, TX 77204-6021

Opportunity at Bio-Medical

Job Title
Independent Sales Representative

This is an entry level sales position with base + commission, ideal for driven, engaging, and motivated candidates.  The salesperson will contact and negotiate sales agreements with distribution outlets for the company’s products.  This person will have an insider’s view of the personal care industry, product formulation, and support methodology in order to be able to bring in distributors and retail customers effectively.  Office hours on the south side of Houston near Pearland will be required for training and early supervision.  Opportunity to work remotely and without supervision goes to the self-starting salesperson who demonstrates their ability.

What You Will Be Doing

  • Sell.  Selecting from a live database collected by you or others at the company, you will contact outlets willing to carry and sell the company’s products.  This could mean contacting doctor’s offices one week and tanning salons the next week.
  • Track.  Whether you want to sell products directly to retail customers or add our products to distributor’s inventories, you will enter and track leads in an online CRM system.
  • Promote.  Share the company’s brands and reputation in a way that improves the company image.
  • Connect.  Build relationships with potential distributors and retail outlets while qualifying them and supporting them throughout the life of their account.  Keep in touch with our online CRM system to encourage repeat sales and referrals.
  • Recommend.  You will route feedback and difficult technical questions to your superior and work as liaison to the accounts you bring in.  You will help the company learn how to satisfy customer’s changing needs better and help roll out those improvements when they make their way into new or improved products.

What We Are Looking For

  • A degree or upcoming graduation in 2017.  Open to all academic majors. Marketing or sales related degrees and experience preferred.  
  • Strong English reading and writing skills.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills.
  • Basic electronic communication and browser skills.
  • Must have your own computer to work from (laptop, tablet, desktop, etc.).
  • Must be able to follow policies and protocols without supervision.

The Company

Bio-Medical & Pharm. Mfg. Corp. is a manufacturing company in Houston, Texas making personal care products, topical OTC drugs, and cosmetics under several brands.  We are driven to develop products that do more than simply make people look good or feel good.  We create products that improve quality of life for the consumer.

The company was established in 1974 and currently have 4 brands:  Loesch Hair Growth Systems, Kleer-Plex Medical Skin Care, Pro-Tect Sunscreen, and MediWhite™ Teeth Whitening Systems.  The company does not compete on low-priced products.  Instead, there is something unique and superior about each of our products.  One of our antimicrobial cleansers doesn’t just kill bacteria, it kills 99.6% of MRSA in under 2 minutes using a method that does not allow for development of resistance.  Our sunscreens stay on comfortably all day with a single application.  You won’t find these types of products in your local drug store.

Applying

If you meet the qualifications above, we encourage you to get in contact with us at 281.835.8051×204.  If you would like to apply online, go to http://www.bio-medicalmanufacturing.com/employment-sales and download an application form.  Email completed forms and resumes to sales@loeschlab.com.  

Q2 2017 Blog: Who Are Your Mentors & Allies?

Mentors and Allies

One of the most important resources anyone can have are allies. Why? If you are having a problem getting things done, it could be because you did not develop a big enough coalition of allies to support your idea. So, how do you develop allies? If you are in a position that controls appointments and promotions of people, they become your allies because you put them in their position. Another way is to do favors for people. Take moving for example. There is this unwritten rule that if I help you move then you will help me when it is time for me to move. There is also the norm of reciprocity, which is like doing favors, but with a longer time frame. In the first Godfather movie, there is a wonderful example. In the opening scene, the Godfather is being asked to provide justice for the daughter of a funeral director. After the Godfather agrees, the end of this scene is the Godfather putting his arm around the funeral director and saying, at some point in the future, and that day may never come, I may ask you to do a favor for me. This is reciprocity! It’s a BIG favor, with a longer time frame.

Allies can also be lost. This happens because people lose their position, have a problem with a too big of an ego, and lose touch. This is why you need to continue to develop new allies.

The three key takeaways to remember about allies are; continue to network so you can develop new allies to replace those that are lost, you will need allies to implement your ideas and fend off attacks from rivals for power, and you can never have too many.

I was fortunate in my business career to have a mentor who took a twenty-four year old kid under his wing to help navigate the political waters of our company. I can honestly say that without him I never would have been as successful as I was in my career. Everyone needs a mentor. There are three types of mentors, the company mentor, the skill mentor, and the career mentor. If you are lucky, you can find someone who might help with all three.

What should you look for in a mentor? First, ask someone you can trust. This is foremost for the relationship to work. Second, find someone who has the maturity and experience to guide you. Third, mentoring is a two-way street, you get out what you put in. Where to find one? Look to your allies first. These are a great resource to draw from. If you don’t feel comfortable with your allies, then look to your network.

Developing allies and finding a great mentor are especially important in today’s business climate. Having them can make a huge difference to your career!

 

Fore more blogs and resources, sign up to be a member today:

http://www.bauer.uh.edu/sei/executive-education/membership/

Have questions or need further information? Contact Frances Wheeland, fwheeland@bauer.uh.edu