The Selling Factory

The Importance of Selling Yourself

Written by Ana Cristina Ruiz

A graduating senior at the University of Florida and sales development representative at The Selling Factory, she has a passion for learning about different cultures, food, and languages. Having the ability to speak Spanish, English, and Italian, she realizes the importance of effective communication. Although born in 1998, some of her all-time favorite musicians include the Beatles and Frank Sinatra.

Acquiring a job in today’s business environment can be extremely challenging. While getting a job has always been challenging, more and more young people are going to college and receiving degrees. This saturated market of recent graduates has created the need to redefine how people go about securing opportunities. But in no industry is this trend more prevalent than in the sports industry. 

According to Jason Belzer of Forbes, the availability of opportunities in sports has been steadily rising, from entry-level all the way up to the executive C-suite level. However, the number of applicants has been increasing as well. Belzer states that “While the number of professional sports teams has stayed largely constant over time, the addition of jobs created by the growth of technology – from system engineering to analytics and social media – has opened up thousands of additional positions that did not exist a decade ago” (Belzer, 2015) The rise in the number of sports opportunities coupled with the rapidly growing interest in the field has made it one of the most competitive areas in which to hunt for jobs. It is due to this intense competitiveness that receiving a job in sports has become just as much of an art as it has a challenge.

The jobs are in sales, especially as a sales development representative, which is entry-level sales. There is an unfair stigma regarding sales that paints all salespeople to be telemarketers or door-to-door disturbances. This isn’t the case in sports sales. In fact, sports teams are tasked with a variety of marketing and business development services that many could find challenging. Sports organizations are always looking for the next sales star, someone who can bring in tremendous amounts of revenue. It is for this reason that there is plenty of turnover in sports sales. According to Brian Clapp of WorkInSports.com, 53% of sports jobs are in sales. In other words, sales is basically the window to a career in sport (Clapp, 2016).

There is an important balance that exists in the sports industry, however, between what one has done and who they’ve worked for. Sports companies that hire college graduates want to see valuable resume experiences within the sports industry. This way the organization can get a sense of what kind of working knowledge the applicant has regarding working in the sports industry. But on a similar note, they also place significant stock on work experiences, not necessarily in sports, that provide essential tools and ability to be successful in the industry. For example, an internship that teaches a person the sales process steps, strategies for lead generation, and how to use technological tools for lead generation, such as Salesforce or Archtics, would provide countless benefits that could be applied to sports sales. Even if being a sales development representative isn’t with a sports organization, it is a valuable resume builder that helps employers understand a candidate’s qualifications. 

But what these two sides of the balancing scale have in common is the need for an aspiring sports industry employee to get experience in understanding the sales process steps and tools for lead generation. The quintessential task in positioning oneself to be a competitive sales development representative is overall experiences. But not just receiving experiences, but excelling within them. Sports agent Leigh Steinberg notes that one key to getting a job in sports is not only receiving internships but to actually stand out and be noticed while working with the organization (Steinberg, 2016). This is especially important in sales, where one’s implementation of the strategies for lead generation is literally documented in numbers. 

However, not all experiences are equal. One thing in particular that employers look at is how prepared an individual is for a position in sports. Not all learning experiences in the industry are going to provide an amazing experience. This is where the type of experience tends to trump just working in the industry. A position that prepares them for the exact day to day responsibilities of a sales development representative, which trains them on sales process steps, strategies for lead generation, and the use of lead generation technologies, is a far more valuable experience than just a basic sports position.

In a society where education is deeply valued and people continue to break the bank to receive their degree, education is not enough when looking for sports jobs. When it comes to sizing up the competition, what an applicant has already done or achieved triumphs. 

Positioning oneself for a career in sports is all about the experience. It is about what one can do to make themselves a better and more knowledgeable candidate. Contrary to what some may believe, just getting a sports organization on a resume is not enough to catch the eye of employers. Finding that balance between learning experiences in sport and learning experiences based on applicable skills is the most important concern for aspiring sports professionals.

References:

Belzer, J. (2015, December 17). Want A Job In The Sports Industry? Good News, Because It’s An Employee’s Market.

Clapp, B. (2016, March 23). 53% of Jobs in the Sports Industry Require This Skill.

Steinberg, L. (2016, May 16). 5 Keys to Getting Job In Sports.

Kira Baker

Campaign Manager

Kira is a recent graduate from the University of Florida where she 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 hope 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 led a psychology research lab on goal achievement and life satisfaction and 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. Through her creative and methodical vision, she engages both students and entrepreneurs to help them find their version of success.

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