The Selling Factory

Building Resilience Through Sales

Written by Grace Chen

Grace Chen is a rising Junior at Georgetown University. She is a first-generation student pursuing an Economics degree. Currently interested in sales and consulting as possible career fields in the future, she spent the summer with The Selling Factory selling the TSF Academy.

Photo by Content Pixie from Pexels

When people hear the words “sales” or “salesperson“, there are likely several stereotypes that come to mind. These stereotypes include being pushy, commission-driven, and exaggerate their product to make people buy it. However, it is essential to counter and redefine these preconceived notions. As an SDR for a sales education software, I learned first-hand how our product to service and actually help people. Additionally, I took each experience in the sales process steps as an opportunity to grow my professional capabilities and skills.

Prior to accepting my current position, I knew that I was interested in sales but had preconceived notions about the sales process steps myself. I erroneously believed that an SDR would just read off a script and make back-to-back cold calls. However, I immediately realized that this position was different. Instead of blind repetition and monotony, the SDR team taught our cohort how the platform benefits disadvantaged populations that do not have access to much professional development and educational opportunities. Our team provided outsourced sales services to showcase how our product can help these communities.

I realized that nonprofit organizations, specifically educational and career development nonprofits, could use our program to help their students become stand-out candidates in a competitive applicant pool. Especially in our current economy, most applicants have comparable qualifications and are applying for limited job positions. Our software increases people’s chances of getting hired because it teaches them how to sell themselves to an employer by highlighting their qualifications and performing better in interviews. They are also given access to a network of recruiters and hiring managers. I realized that instead of forcing this program onto others, it was important to focus my efforts on organizations and people who needed these services.

What people do not tell you about being an SDR is how much rejection you face. I struggled with this at first because no one enjoys rejection. However, our SDR team instilled in us resilience and grit from the first day of training. They taught us how to take these experiences and use them to develop ourselves, whether that be changing our sales strategies or focusing on a different demographic. Additionally, I learned that each experience was a learning opportunity and a chance to grow professionally. Something you perceive as a “failure” is not actually a failure unless you give up. As long as you are persistent and learn from your mistakes, you will continue to improve and succeed.

My main takeaways from this SDR position are to never back down from a challenge and to remain resilient in the face of adversity. Before this position, I had never directly experienced the sales process steps, so there was definitely a learning curve. However, throughout this process, I have discovered many new sales strategies and techniques that I can use in my professional and personal life. My experience taught me that the path to success is rarely smooth, but the struggles become extraordinary opportunities to better yourself. The lessons that I learned during my time as an SDR will help me in all facets of life whether that be in academics, athletics, or future jobs and internships. They have not only allowed me to grow as a young professional but as a person as well.

My experience within an SDR team has been unique and different from any of my previous positions. This position helped me develop a variety of different sales strategies and taught me how to be sympathetic to people’s pain points. Furthermore, I was not only given the opportunity to help vulnerable communities, but I also learned valuable lessons while providing outsourced sales services. I am confident these lessons will take me far both personally and professionally in life.

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Mia Semel

Campaign Manager

Before graduating with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies, Mia took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, recruiting, and leading campaigns. She is an active listener and effective communicator, specializing in fostering genuine connections and finding common ground among differing perspectives. She aims to find practical, creative solutions regarding sustainable development, biodiversity and the climate crisis.

Kira Baker

Campaign Manager

Kira recently graduated from the University of Florida and received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hopes to visit all of the National Parks one day!

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

Josiah Blakemore

Campaign Manager

Josiah has over 8 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. She enjoys refining her taste in music and visual art, engaging in mindfulness and meditative practices, and frolicking outside with her sidekick pup.

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.