The Selling Factory

How Sales Builds Resilience

Written by Grace Chen

Grace Chen is an alum of The Selling Factory and graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Currently, she is an Associate Consultant at IBM.

Photo by Engin Akyurt

When people hear the words “sales” or “salesperson“, there are several stereotypes that come to mind. These stereotypes include being pushy, commission-driven, and exaggerating a product or service 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 have first-hand knowledge on how a product or service actually helps people. Additionally, I take each experience in the sales process steps as an opportunity to continue growing professionally. 

Prior to accepting this position, I was interested in sales, but had preconceived notions about the sales strategies. I erroneously believed that sales development representatives just read off a script for cold calling back-to-back. However, I immediately realized that this position was different. Instead of blind monotony, our cohort learned how the platform benefits disadvantaged populations that lack access to professional development and educational opportunities. Our team provides outsourced sales services to showcase how the product can help these communities.

The key for sales development representatives is to focus efforts on organizations and people who need the services, instead of forcing a product or service onto others. I realized educational and career development nonprofits could use our program to help their students become stand-out candidates in a competitive applicant pool. In our current economy, most applicants have comparable qualifications. Our software increases the chances of getting hired because it teaches them how to sell themselves to an employer by highlighting their qualifications and performing better in interviews. Additionally, they are given access to a network of recruiters and hiring managers.

Learn From Your Mistakes & Pivot

People do not tell you how much rejection sales development representatives receive. I struggled with this at first. However, our SDR team instills resilience and grit from the first day of training. They teach us how to use these experiences to develop ourselves, whether we were changing our sales strategies or focusing on a different demographic. Furthermore, I was learning and growing professionally because of these experiences. Something you perceive as a “failure” is not actually a failure unless you give up. If you are persistent and learn from your mistakes, you will continue to improve and succeed.

My main takeaway from this SDR position is to remain resilient in the face of adversity. The sales process steps were definitely a learning curve. However, I discovered many new sales strategies and techniques 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 opportunities to better yourself. The lessons learned during my time as an SDR will help me in all facets of life, such as 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 compared to my previous positions. This position helped me develop 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 also learn valuable lessons as an SDR. I am confident these lessons will take me far personally and professionally. 

Understanding Gen Z

Are you looking to hire recent graduates out of college? Want to know more about Gen Z students’ concerns and desires as they enter the workforce? Read our full 2022 job expectations report.

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.

mia.semel@thesellingfactory.com

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!

kira@thesellingfactory.com

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.

jared@thesellingfactory.com

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.

ian@thesellingfactory.com

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.

damien@thesellingfactory.com

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.

brendan@thesellingfactory.com

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.

savannah@thesellingfactory.com

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!

zack@thesellingfactory.com

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!

josiah@thesellingfactory.com

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.

sueming@thesellingfactory.com

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 Slingshotfund.org 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.

adam@thesellingfactory.com

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.

brad@thesellingfactory.com