Fireside Friday with Rachael Rohn
Sales Assembly: Give us your quick background in sales.
Rachael: I started my career in sales going door to door selling office supplies, printing, and promotional products. After grinding for 6 years in that space, I transitioned to a much better fitting fast-paced technology environment, joining Groupon as an outside sales representative in Chicago. I spent a little over 5 years at Groupon growing from an IC to a Divisional Sales Manager, then Regional Sales Director, and ending my tenure as the VP of Travel for Groupon Getaways. I spent the last year and a half growing the Provider network for Outcome Health; and just began my next chapter as the General Manager of the real estate company, Compass, here in Chicago in February.
Sales Assembly: What's your biggest accomplishment in sales or sales leadership?
Rachael: My biggest accomplishment as a leader has been seeing the incredible career growth of various individual contributors from my teams over the years. I’m talking about the reps and managers who have worked their tails off to learn and develop their skills and who are now helping others do the same as VPs of sales, directors, and managers across the U.S.
Sales Assembly: What's the best piece of sales advice you ever got?
Rachael: The best sales advice I got was from a fellow Grouponer, Paul Mancini. He told me to make the next call. So I did, and never stopped working a little more, and maybe a little harder, than everyone else around me. Thanks, Paul!
Sales Assembly: What's the biggest challenge facing a sales rep today, and how would you recommend they overcome it?
Rachael: A sales rep's biggest challenge is their own “head-trash”...that little voice in a rep’s head that says no, or I can’t, or that creates frustration, where it feels like there aren’t enough leads left to call. That voice stands in the way of a rep’s success more than any external force ever could. Get rid of “head-trash” by telling yourself there is a different or better solution. Believe that and stay positive until you find a different way to make the current situation work in your favor. Maybe that’s one more call, or a different sales angle to someone you called last week, or taking a 5 minute head space break. Eliminate the BS “head-trash” and the rest falls into place for success.
Sales Assembly: Do you currently have a mentor when it comes to sales, or have you ever? If so, what did they teach you?
Rachael: I am lucky enough to have a number of mentors in my life. The major mentors along the way have been my parents, Ed Hockfield (Chief Development Officer at Little City Foundation), who I credit for teaching me to love sales and make a career of it, Julie Szudarek (SVP and GM at Groupon) and Silvija Martincevic (VP and GM of Health Beauty and Wellness at Groupon), both of whom taught me about the power of data in driving my sales success and business acumen.
Sales Assembly: What's the best sales book you've ever read? What are you reading now?
Rachael: It's a tie...The Fred Factor, which taught me to do everything a little differently and better than what my clients may be used to, and Who Moved my Cheese which taught me to pay attention and adjust quickly in any circumstance. I just started Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord.
Sales Assembly: Best sales or business related articles, podcasts or newsletters?
Rachael: Some of my favorite podcasts are How I Built This, Science of Success, The Upside and The $100MBA Show.
Sales Assembly: What's the best advice you'd give to someone just starting a career in sales?
Rachael: Ask your buyer great questions, and genuinely care to hear their answers.
Sales Assembly: Do you see any interesting future trends as it pertains to sales?
Rachael: I'm reading a lot of interesting articles around Artificial intelligence and Account Based Selling that intend to speed up sales cycles.
Sales Assembly: What is a motto you live your life by?
Rachael: "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."