In Pursuit of Quota
In Pursuit of Quota

Episode · 1 year ago

Sales Is Always Personal - Blake Bedoya


Blake Bedoya never really understood what it meant to be in sales, but he found himself selling bicycles to billionaires. After learning to sell the wealthy, today he uses the same skill set to sell everyone.

Welcome to in pursuit of quota podcastwhere great sales people get their superpowers. If you are looking to addmore superpowers, check out pitch wise nyc dot com and join the sales. Speakeasy to connect with other sales leaders and founders Like Yourself Wayare a new podcast, so be sure to hit like and subscribe so that you don'tmiss any of Season one. For many middle school students here in the Tri Statearea, getting the golden ticket tow a free private school education can belife changing. As the son of immigrant parents, Blake Bedoya was one of thelucky few. This was just the beginning of Blake's journey to finding how tosell. Well, our host, Donny Die, spent some time with Blake to get the fullstory. When I was going into high school, I got accepted to a privateCatholic school, and that was my first experience. That kind of, you know,ironing shirts and wearing a uniform. And I really saw it as an opportunityto kind of be my best self, and I became a professional eso. But beingbeing kind of the kid of immigrants was that was that normal in the Catholicschool Or were you kind of the exception in that world? Definitely,definitely wasn't. So, you know, the very kind of Spanish Polish upbringing,but, you know, kind of on the surface, I I very much fifth e mold of a lot ofthe other student based that they had, you know, typically, very. I mean, itwas a lot of affluent, like kids on Do you know, I think I checked a lot ofboxes on paper and things that things like, you know, e O F programs. And AndI think there was a certain number of Hispanic students they had to let inevery year, and luckily I kinda came in under that. And it's kind of like whatManuel refers to is he got the Golden Ticket. You kind of feel that same way.Yeah, for sure. I mean, my folks aer truly hustlers, so I think they playedthe cards in every advantage that they could. I think if there was a if therewas ah advantage to being Spanish one... they would absolutely do it. Ifthere was an advantage to being published another day, they wouldabsolutely do it. So you know so really, your high school experience Waas. Youwere just kind of in a different world than even than even what you'reprobably accustomed to. So it was almost so. Did you. So how did youadapt to that? Like what? What What is that? What is adapting? Look like highschool, Blake. I mean, high school, Blake. I wanted to be I wanted to bethe toughest. I guess I could be. You know, it's sort of your intimidated byit. So you go to a really nice school. There's a lot of very affluent kidswith very nice cars. You know, that was definitely not my upbringing. So youyou kind of try to play the role as much as you can, So I didn't reallyspeak much. I kind of kept to myself and, you know, I definitely got throughhigh school without a ton of friends or close contacts that I still have today.I definitely felt a little bit like I was there on somebody else's goodgraces, so I didn't want to make a ruckus by any means. We definitely notimagine that, but I kind of always was making sure I didn't annoy anybodybecause I always felt like I could just get, you know Hey, why are you here?And they get plucked out and and sent back. Did you feel like there was anexpectation on your family or on you from your family? Thio. So what? Sowhat? So was that was the expectation that you do well in school, or kinda.How did that play out in your mind? I think early on, my parents realizedthat I was never gonna be a straight a student. That was just that was that.But I think there was an expectation that I would do well or that the justgenerally living in the United States afforded a opportunity to do very well.So, you know, I think especially from my mother's side in Poland and kind ofthat part of the world. Concrete professions are they're seen asvaluable. So things like you're a barber. You're a baker, a lawyer, adoctor. You know, the war comes these air still things that are necessarythere, you know, kind of required the concept of like, I'm gonna go tocollege for philosophy or psychology, you know, it just those weren't realthings. So, you know, explain that to... my parents just didn't go well. And,you know, they measured success by Are you contributing to society in that way?Are you a doctor? Are you a lawyer? Or even potentially, you know, Do you workfor a bank? It was just It was very old school in terms of how they thoughtabout the world. Was your first gig in kind of sales, or what? What did you doonce you graduated eso when I graduated school? My parents, I mean truly. And Ithink for the folks that have, like, riel immigrant parents, they get it.They had no idea what the hell to Dio. To them, a college degree is throughthe the end. And so there's really no contingency plan for what happensafterwards. So I graduated. My my parents literally just sat me down. Andwe're like, you are ah, white person in this country with uneducated in go toNew York City and sell stocks. And I was like stocks. I was like, what? Whatdo you What do you mean, stocks? And they were like, you know, and this iswith a very heavy. My father was like the stock market. A lot of fuckingmoney, stock market, you know, and I'm just like I I don't really know. I havea history degree. Yeah, not even that. But I just I truly wasn't sure what Iwas like, what? Even stock market there, like, you make a resume, you go. Youknow, and I was like, you talk to people, you know, I was like, All right,cool. So I I ended up in the situation where I was. I was in New York and Iwas literally going, like, you know, walking around with a little pamphletlike trying to figure out, like, where am I gonna work? And through my latertime in college, I was pretty athletic, doing things like cycling, and I wasvery into Iron Man at the time. And so while I was going through, I found somestores that were kind of the few stores in between. Job potential, opportunity,job potential, opportunity like, Well, if I'm in New York, I want to check outthis bike shop where this travel on store and, uh, struck up conversations.And one thing led to another, and my first job ended up being in ahtriathlon store, which it was like the only one in New York, truly. So Iwalked into this place and it was it...

...was a very it's not a cheap sport toget into and the idea of getting things at a discount. And at the time travelin in New York was very much what I imagine. Marathon running was in theseventies, like if you were a marathoner in the seventies, youprobably had like a mustache. You were running under a 2 30 you were just apsycho. And now obviously there's a component of, like charity andfundraising and personal challenge that didn't exist. There was like 66 to 20triathletes in New York. They were all crazy. They were all like, eliteprofessional level, and they all knew each other. So, you know, you kind ofwalk and you're like, Whoa, these are all real deal people. And I spoke tothe owner who was a young guy from Belgium, and I just kind of gave him ano bullshit sales pitch of like, I don't care what you have me do I'llclean your toilets. But you know, that's all I need is health insurance.How much longer was it before you jumped into sales? I was working at SPR,which was the name of the store and then one of the sales reps. And trulylike they don't come any better. You know, Being a being a territory rep forbrands is the hardest job in the world. You're traveling, you know, you eatwhat you kill. I had good relationships, all those guys. I never asked him foranything, and they kind of tried to keep some integrity because everybody'salways looking for the freebie. And he said, Hey, I know you're not going tobe in this forever but you're a good guy. Would you be open to continuing towork in this industry? But for somebody else? And I know this guy that's hiringand and I was like, No, no, no, no, no at the time. And one thing led toanother, and I ended up interviewing with a another business that dealt withbicycles sales. But it was luxury bicycle sales. So Forbes top 100.You're talking 2030 $40,000 bicycles so the same kind of guys that owned yachts.They will also purchase bikes for their home or homes. And they dealt one onone, not a ground floor. It was a by appointment only location and kind of arocky road to get there. But I ended up taking that job, and that was my firsttime working what I would consider to be, like, true luxury sales. And it wasone of those clients that ultimately... me into SAS. So on the luxury sales,Yeah. So how did so How would you characterize? So what is it, likeselling to the wealthy versus the rest of us? Like the, uh what was There wasa noticeable difference that you saw. Fundamentally. No. I mean, people ingeneral don't care. And this is Paul. The owner of that business. Kind ofdrilled this into me. And I still have this on my Lincoln. Like I trulybelieve it. People don't care how much you know until they know how much youcare. And when you're dealing with one on one individuals that air buying forthemselves, they're either looking to make They're looking to spend money tofix a problem or to be happy. It's one of those two. When you're selling toorganizations, there's consensus of buy in and because nobody's really willingto stick themselves out and ultimately, like take the win or downfall of asoftware purchase, Um, it's much harder to get that consensus or that kind ofgroup. Think to say, yeah, we're we're as a whole gonna benefit because ofthis purchase. But when you're dealing with individuals, um, I mean, it's allextremes. You got some people that were, I mean, truly like 2 to 3 of therichest people in the United States where clients and nicest people in theworld. And then you got people that had a little bit of money that we're notpleasant at all thio work with. I've had, like, you know, $100 bills thrownat my face, and then I've had people take me to Italy. Eso it's for buying abike, e mean pretty much, yeah, just to keep him company. So it people havedifferent means and people express gratitude in a number of different ways.And so, you know, people come in all kind of styles. The owner was verytransparent about kind of what it took to make that machine run. And in thelong run, I did not want to own that for me. I don't I'm not an entrepreneur.You know, if if you are, God bless you guys, like people want to work forthemselves. I'm not one of those people. I want to come in. I want to do areally great job, and then I want to cash out there, just, you know, clockout and go spend time with my family.

So it got to a point after a number ofyears of working with with that particular store where I had incredibleroll of decks of customers. I mean, just unbelievable. And e startedlooking. And then there was potential talk of maybe closing down the New Yorklocation and me moving up to Greenwich, Connecticut, where there was anotherlocation, obviously another, you know, wealth center of this particular area.I didn't wanna be in the same position 10, 20 years down the road. I wantanother adventure. I was a little too young, you know. I was 29 at the time,and I was like, It's time for something. That's a little felt a little bit likesettling. Is that is that fair? E don't know about settling. It was just Yeah,you know, I think that the immigrant kid in me kind of saw the people I wasworking with on a daily basis. I was like, Why are they so special? Like,why do they make this kind of money? And at the time, even, you know, a$200,000 annual income was something that was completely outside of thescope of anything I could relate to. You know, those were just those wereunique unicorns out there in the world that just happened to be visiting,being gracing me with their money and presence. But But I wanted, you know, Iwanted to see, like, what else is out there? When did you feel like you were really good at sales thatyou're going? I know what I'm doing. I know how to close the book. Like, whenwas that? When did you start to feel like some level of confidence? I mean,I'd say from early on, especially in the luxury sales market, you learn Thio,listen. If not, truly, listen, you learn to pretend to listen on. And asyou get better, you hone in on little things that somebody saying that youcan then tie what you're selling directly back to that need. And so it'swhen I started being able to really listen to people that that's when I waslike, Okay, I could definitely do this because if people start going andyou're acknowledging what they're talking about and you feel like you'reon their team, they're willing to open up to you. And it was a different kind of sales, and Istill carry to today. Is personal value...

...selling like when you're dealing withan executive, even at a company? Yeah, they're buying your software. But whatdoes this software due to their resume? What are they getting out of itpersonally? And people don't ask those questions enough, you know, with withprivate sales, that's a completely different thing, because you wanna asklike if you get this, what are you doing with it? How is this going toimpact your life tomorrow? How excited are you about this? And in softwaresales, it's just so transactional, and sometimes it catches people off guardwhen you like. cool. Okay, you do? Is what does it actually do for you? Like,do you get that next job promotion? You've been in your role for two yearsand you haven't moved up. Like what does this do when it comes to your, youknow, evaluation period? Are you gonna get a bonus out of it? So just havingthose kind of candid conversations, I think that's when it all kind ofclicked. And I was like, Okay, I can I can sell. But I still at the time didnot know that I was a seller. I I thought that I was just creatingrelationships and and ultimately trying to make people happy on. I know that'snaive, but like, I was a sweet kid in New York, and I don't you know, Idefinitely wasn't from from Very privileged home. So it wasn't until Idid my first like sales SAS interview. And I remember the c r. O of thecompany being like, What do you want to do? And I was like, I have no idea,truly no idea. They're like, Well, you could be a CSM or an A and I was like,I don't know what any of that means, you know, And I mind at the time was 31or no. 30 30? Yes, 30. There, like you could do CS or you could do a s. AndI'm like, I've I sold bikes toe like, you know, people that are legitimatebillionaires. I'm not sure what you're saying, but, uh, but what do you thinkI could Dio? And so I've kind of had this always naive approached, like, howcan I best help? Um, as I chose sales Ultimately, when theykind of explained the landscape because I sales has always had a much clearercareer development kind of process. You know, it's like BDR salesperson own abook enterprise sales director. How How...

...important was it for you to be abletowell, thio to make more money or to have, like, one of the things I hear alot is the excitement around uncapped income. Is that something that kind ofdrove you towards sales or was it I I needed more money. I mean, that wasjust flat out, but I was in a position that even even working within the bikespace, I was making more money than both my parents combined at the time.Like it's, you know, and that Zaveri rare for that industry. But there wasdefinitely was a chip on my shoulder where, like, I wanted to be successful.Thio kind of outshine. Maybe all of the people that, you know, kind of growingup didn't say that you would amount to much, so I definitely had a little bitof that, Dr. Yeah, that's kind of where the anger channeled itself into thatzone for interesting point, Then So two questions was that in high school? Wasthat in the Catholic school that you ran into that kind of feedback? Or wasit prior to that, or was it your personal world? No, I think I think alittle bit prior to that, but I would say mostly in high school, too. Okay,so it's just kind of this. So this kind of drive that that there were therewere people that just looked at you and just underestimated for lack of a lackof a better phrase or they created negative feedback. Yeah, negativefeedbacks. Good. I don't know if they underestimated, They just kind ofdidn't know what to do. with me, so I was always the you know, Do you feellike you were dismissed by them? In some ways, I mean, probably maybe emean it's but, you know, it's it's good motivation because it's a constantcheck. And I think as I got into sales and as I started making income, thefirst thing is just income, like, Am I making more money than that otherperson? I know? That's not, you know, a path long term happiness by any means.But when you're like 20 something and very competitive by background, you gota little bit of a temper. That's a great got every something, Um, but youknow, as as I've kind of settled down and got more mature in the sale space,I realized that I've exceeded or met a lot of the people that I went to schoolwith. And, you know, I'm I'm lucky to be amongst peers at this point. Do youfeel your ability to sell comes from...

...your nature or from training a littlebit of both? I mean, it's I don't think I'm an exceptional seller by any means.I've been extremely lucky due to, you know, right place, right time and greatpeople around me. Thio excel in the space, But I think that if you are selfreflective enough to know where that nature ends and your hungry enough totrain the stuff that where the gaps are, that's that's really that's really whatmakes exceptional self sellers. One question. Like to ask, sometimes is Doyou feel like anyone can sell? I mean, sure anyone could sell. I don't know ifif they could, you know, make a living doing it like that. But you know, it Zkind of like the What's that quote? Everybody has a plan to get punched inthe face like everybody's Everybody's in A until you have a pretty roughquarter and then you're in rum and then then you realize you what's the bestpiece of advice you've ever gotten as a salesperson, I'll put it back. Thio.Paul Levine had signature cycles. People don't care how much you knowuntil they know how much you care. I think that's probably the best piece ofadvice. Aan den. I think the most impactful thing that I've read wasthere's this incredible article called Coaching the Operation Room or coachingthe Yeah, coaching the operation room. And it's an old article from 2011 thatI read actually, in The New Yorker. My one of my mechanics at the time was thesubscriber. And it's about this surgeon in New York that was 45 kind of said, I can't get any better at surgery. Whyare all these athletes still at their peak working with coaches? And so hestarted working with a coach in a surgical room that would just videotapehim, and they would go through, and, uh, it kind of talks through the narrativeof how much it exposes you to get feedback. So for me, it's been, uh,continuing toe work with coaches because they'll keep you accountable.Yeah, they'll make you better. Do you ever regret going into sales? No, Idon't. I I don't I think I think it's...

...still very much in line with what Ihope to accomplish. And and as kind of aggressive and hard headed as I couldbe. I just wanna make people around me better. And whether that is throughsales or through, you know, potential leadership down the road. Uh, it's anopportunity I've gotten to where I am and I continue to based on hard workand good graces of others. And so I look forward to paying that forwardtruly. Like, you know, there's a There's a really smart kids somewherein a bike shop right now that is wondering what the hell he's gonna dowhen he's 30. And is he ever gonna be making more than, like $9 an hour? And,yeah, I look forward to hire him one day. Thanks for joining us. If youwould like to speak to Donnie directly, his email is Donnie at quota nyc dotcom. That's d o N n y at q u o t a n y c dot com Also be sure to check outpitch wise nyc dot com for exclusive content and to join the speakeasy tillnext time. Be well and hit Quota. Yeah,.

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