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 podcast where great sales people get their superpowers. If you are looking to add more superpowers, check out pitch wise nyc dot com and join the sales. Speak easy to connect with other sales leaders and founders Like Yourself Way are a new podcast, so be sure to hit like and subscribe so that you don't miss any of Season one. For many middle school students here in the Tri State area, getting the golden ticket tow a free private school education can be life changing. As the son of immigrant parents, Blake Bedoya was one of the lucky few. This was just the beginning of Blake's journey to finding how to sell. Well, our host, Donny Die, spent some time with Blake to get the full story. When I was going into high school, I got accepted to a private Catholic 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 opportunity to kind of be my best self, and I became a professional eso. But being being kind of the kid of immigrants was that was that normal in the Catholic school 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 of the other student based that they had, you know, typically, very. I mean, it was a lot of affluent, like kids on Do you know, I think I checked a lot of boxes on paper and things that things like, you know, e O F programs. And And I think there was a certain number of Hispanic students they had to let in every year, and luckily I kinda came in under that. And it's kind of like what Manuel 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 played the cards in every advantage that they could. I think if there was a if there was ah advantage to being Spanish one... they would absolutely do it. If there was an advantage to being published another day, they would absolutely do it. So you know so really, your high school experience Waas. You were just kind of in a different world than even than even what you're probably accustomed to. So it was almost so. Did you. So how did you adapt to that? Like what? What What is that? What is adapting? Look like high school, Blake. I mean, high school, Blake. I wanted to be I wanted to be the toughest. I guess I could be. You know, it's sort of your intimidated by it. So you go to a really nice school. There's a lot of very affluent kids with very nice cars. You know, that was definitely not my upbringing. So you you kind of try to play the role as much as you can, So I didn't really speak much. I kind of kept to myself and, you know, I definitely got through high 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 good graces, so I didn't want to make a ruckus by any means. We definitely not imagine that, but I kind of always was making sure I didn't annoy anybody because 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 an expectation on your family or on you from your family? Thio. So what? So what? 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 realized that 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 just generally 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 of that part of the world. Concrete professions are they're seen as valuable. So things like you're a barber. You're a baker, a lawyer, a doctor. You know, the war comes these air still things that are necessary there, you know, kind of required the concept of like, I'm gonna go to college for philosophy or psychology, you know, it just those weren't real things. 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 work for a bank? It was just It was very old school in terms of how they thought about the world. Was your first gig in kind of sales, or what? What did you do once you graduated eso when I graduated school? My parents, I mean truly. And I think 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 through the the end. And so there's really no contingency plan for what happens afterwards. So I graduated. My my parents literally just sat me down. And we're like, you are ah, white person in this country with uneducated in go to New York City and sell stocks. And I was like stocks. I was like, what? What do you What do you mean, stocks? And they were like, you know, and this is with a very heavy. My father was like the stock market. A lot of fucking money, stock market, you know, and I'm just like I I don't really know. I have a history degree. Yeah, not even that. But I just I truly wasn't sure what I was like, what? Even stock market there, like, you make a resume, you go. You know, 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 I was literally going, like, you know, walking around with a little pamphlet like trying to figure out, like, where am I gonna work? And through my later time in college, I was pretty athletic, doing things like cycling, and I was very into Iron Man at the time. And so while I was going through, I found some stores 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 out this 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 ah triathlon store, which it was like the only one in New York, truly. So I walked into this place and it was it...

...was a very it's not a cheap sport to get into and the idea of getting things at a discount. And at the time travel in in New York was very much what I imagine. Marathon running was in the seventies, like if you were a marathoner in the seventies, you probably had like a mustache. You were running under a 2 30 you were just a psycho. And now obviously there's a component of, like charity and fundraising and personal challenge that didn't exist. There was like 66 to 20 triathletes in New York. They were all crazy. They were all like, elite professional level, and they all knew each other. So, you know, you kind of walk and you're like, Whoa, these are all real deal people. And I spoke to the owner who was a young guy from Belgium, and I just kind of gave him a no bullshit sales pitch of like, I don't care what you have me do I'll clean 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 truly like they don't come any better. You know, Being a being a territory rep for brands is the hardest job in the world. You're traveling, you know, you eat what you kill. I had good relationships, all those guys. I never asked him for anything, and they kind of tried to keep some integrity because everybody's always looking for the freebie. And he said, Hey, I know you're not going to be in this forever but you're a good guy. Would you be open to continuing to work in this industry? But for somebody else? And I know this guy that's hiring and and I was like, No, no, no, no, no at the time. And one thing led to another, and I ended up interviewing with a another business that dealt with bicycles 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 on one, not a ground floor. It was a by appointment only location and kind of a rocky road to get there. But I ended up taking that job, and that was my first time working what I would consider to be, like, true luxury sales. And it was one 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, like selling to the wealthy versus the rest of us? Like the, uh what was There was a noticeable difference that you saw. Fundamentally. No. I mean, people in general don't care. And this is Paul. The owner of that business. Kind of drilled this into me. And I still have this on my Lincoln. Like I truly believe it. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. And when you're dealing with one on one individuals that air buying for themselves, they're either looking to make They're looking to spend money to fix a problem or to be happy. It's one of those two. When you're selling to organizations, there's consensus of buy in and because nobody's really willing to stick themselves out and ultimately, like take the win or downfall of a software purchase, Um, it's much harder to get that consensus or that kind of group. Think to say, yeah, we're we're as a whole gonna benefit because of this purchase. But when you're dealing with individuals, um, I mean, it's all extremes. You got some people that were, I mean, truly like 2 to 3 of the richest people in the United States where clients and nicest people in the world. And then you got people that had a little bit of money that we're not pleasant at all thio work with. I've had, like, you know, $100 bills thrown at my face, and then I've had people take me to Italy. Eso it's for buying a bike, e mean pretty much, yeah, just to keep him company. So it people have different 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 very transparent about kind of what it took to make that machine run. And in the long 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 for themselves. I'm not one of those people. I want to come in. I want to do a really great job, and then I want to cash out there, just, you know, clock out and go spend time with my family.

So it got to a point after a number of years of working with with that particular store where I had incredible roll of decks of customers. I mean, just unbelievable. And e started looking. And then there was potential talk of maybe closing down the New York location and me moving up to Greenwich, Connecticut, where there was another location, 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 want another 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 like settling. 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 was working 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 the scope of anything I could relate to. You know, those were just those were unique 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, I wanted to see, like, what else is out there? When did you feel like you were really good at sales that you're going? I know what I'm doing. I know how to close the book. Like, when was 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 as you get better, you hone in on little things that somebody saying that you can then tie what you're selling directly back to that need. And so it's when I started being able to really listen to people that that's when I was like, Okay, I could definitely do this because if people start going and you're acknowledging what they're talking about and you feel like you're on their team, they're willing to open up to you. And it was a different kind of sales, and I still carry to today. Is personal value...

...selling like when you're dealing with an executive, even at a company? Yeah, they're buying your software. But what does this software due to their resume? What are they getting out of it personally? And people don't ask those questions enough, you know, with with private sales, that's a completely different thing, because you wanna ask like if you get this, what are you doing with it? How is this going to impact your life tomorrow? How excited are you about this? And in software sales, it's just so transactional, and sometimes it catches people off guard when 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 years and you haven't moved up. Like what does this do when it comes to your, you know, evaluation period? Are you gonna get a bonus out of it? So just having those kind of candid conversations, I think that's when it all kind of clicked. And I was like, Okay, I can I can sell. But I still at the time did not know that I was a seller. I I thought that I was just creating relationships and and ultimately trying to make people happy on. I know that's naive, but like, I was a sweet kid in New York, and I don't you know, I definitely wasn't from from Very privileged home. So it wasn't until I did my first like sales SAS interview. And I remember the c r. O of the company 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 31 or no. 30 30? Yes, 30. There, like you could do CS or you could do a s. And I'm like, I've I sold bikes toe like, you know, people that are legitimate billionaires. I'm not sure what you're saying, but, uh, but what do you think I could Dio? And so I've kind of had this always naive approached, like, how can I best help? Um, as I chose sales Ultimately, when they kind of explained the landscape because I sales has always had a much clearer career development kind of process. You know, it's like BDR salesperson own a book enterprise sales director. How How...

...important was it for you to be ableto well, thio to make more money or to have, like, one of the things I hear a lot is the excitement around uncapped income. Is that something that kind of drove you towards sales or was it I I needed more money. I mean, that was just flat out, but I was in a position that even even working within the bike space, 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 was definitely 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 growing up didn't say that you would amount to much, so I definitely had a little bit of that, Dr. Yeah, that's kind of where the anger channeled itself into that zone for interesting point, Then So two questions was that in high school? Was that in the Catholic school that you ran into that kind of feedback? Or was it prior to that, or was it your personal world? No, I think I think a little 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 there were people that just looked at you and just underestimated for lack of a lack of a better phrase or they created negative feedback. Yeah, negative feedbacks. Good. I don't know if they underestimated, They just kind of didn't know what to do. with me, so I was always the you know, Do you feel like you were dismissed by them? In some ways, I mean, probably maybe e mean it's but, you know, it's it's good motivation because it's a constant check. And I think as I got into sales and as I started making income, the first thing is just income, like, Am I making more money than that other person? 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 got a little bit of a temper. That's a great got every something, Um, but you know, 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 school with. And, you know, I'm I'm lucky to be amongst peers at this point. Do you feel your ability to sell comes from...

...your nature or from training a little bit 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 great people around me. Thio excel in the space, But I think that if you are self reflective enough to know where that nature ends and your hungry enough to train the stuff that where the gaps are, that's that's really that's really what makes exceptional self sellers. One question. Like to ask, sometimes is Do you feel like anyone can sell? I mean, sure anyone could sell. I don't know if if they could, you know, make a living doing it like that. But you know, it Z kind of like the What's that quote? Everybody has a plan to get punched in the face like everybody's Everybody's in A until you have a pretty rough quarter and then you're in rum and then then you realize you what's the best piece 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 know until they know how much you care. I think that's probably the best piece of advice. Aan den. I think the most impactful thing that I've read was there's this incredible article called Coaching the Operation Room or coaching the Yeah, coaching the operation room. And it's an old article from 2011 that I read actually, in The New Yorker. My one of my mechanics at the time was the subscriber. And it's about this surgeon in New York that was 45 kind of said, I can't get any better at surgery. Why are all these athletes still at their peak working with coaches? And so he started working with a coach in a surgical room that would just videotape him, and they would go through, and, uh, it kind of talks through the narrative of 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, I don't. I I don't I think I think it's...

...still very much in line with what I hope to accomplish. And and as kind of aggressive and hard headed as I could be. I just wanna make people around me better. And whether that is through sales or through, you know, potential leadership down the road. Uh, it's an opportunity I've gotten to where I am and I continue to based on hard work and good graces of others. And so I look forward to paying that forward truly. Like, you know, there's a There's a really smart kids somewhere in a bike shop right now that is wondering what the hell he's gonna do when 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 you would like to speak to Donnie directly, his email is Donnie at quota nyc dot com. That's d o N n y at q u o t a n y c dot com Also be sure to check out pitch wise nyc dot com for exclusive content and to join the speakeasy till next time. Be well and hit Quota. Yeah,.

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