It gives me great pleasure to finally be able to reveal that F One will be starting its very first ‘Sales Academy’ on Monday 4th April.
It’s been over a year since it was first brought up as a topic of discussion in one of our weekly Directors meetings, but we are now in a position to offer three motivated, ambitious young adults the chance to enrol in a two-year, telecommunications sales course. The F One Sales Academy’s mission is to provide a positive, yet challenging environment for people interested in pursuing a sales career to thrive.
I think it’s probably a good idea to explain how I began in the industry, and my vision for the Sales Academy over the coming years, so here it goes…
I began my telecoms career way back in June 2007. I wish I could say I had always wanted to work in the communications industry from a young age, and that whenever my teachers asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always respond with, “I want to sell on-site PBXs to a variety of small to medium-sized businesses,” but of course, that would be a lie.
I, like the majority of 18-year-olds out there now, had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Having recently left college with a seemingly meaningless BTEC in sport, it seemed that the only option available to me was to jump into the world of work, and that’s exactly what I did.
I stumbled across an opening at a local telecoms company in Hedge End, Southampton where I lived. Being honest, I would have taken anything at that point. The fact that it was 5 minutes away from my Mum’s house and that I desperately needed money (mainly for beers, but also to keep my Ford Fiesta on the road), it ticked all the boxes for me at that particular moment in time. I’m not sure I truly understood what the job even entailed, let alone what telecoms was. It turns out, it was my job to call over 300 business owners a day, explaining how me visiting them to lower their telecoms bill was going to change their life… and all of that after just a single days training.
Picking up the phone and interacting with business owners at the tender age of 18 turns out to be a very daunting concept, as I discovered on my first actual day of telemarketing. After rearranging my stapler, notepad, and solitary pen in different formations on my desk over 1000 times (essentially doing everything I could to avoid picking up the phone), I realised there was nothing else for me to do except get on with it, speak with those business owners, and generate as many sales leads as possible. I’ll admit that I had no idea what I was supposed to say to those business owners, but by being approachable and non-threatening, I was able to strike up some decent conversations with these people, and I was doing ok.
It was all so new and alien to me, but the buzz I got when I managed to convert a cold lead into a potential sale was like nothing I had ever felt before (other than the odd important goal I’d scored on a football pitch in my heyday). Once I got a better understanding of the job role and the industry, I was captivated, and after just a week or two I knew that I wanted to be a sales person. One thing I will say at this point is that my desire to succeed in sales certainly wasn’t for the money at that time. I was on an £8,000.00 basic annual salary, and generated a whooping £5.00 in commission for every meeting booked… Wow!
Throughout my eight years with that company, I went on to try my hand at all aspects of the sales process. From cleaning the cold data and outbound telemarketing, through to field based sales and account management. Sales became my passion, and I wanted to immerse myself into the art of selling. This has stayed with me, and I carry that same passion and enthusiasm into work every single day at F One HQ. That thrill and delight of getting someone to buy into my business, and buy into me as a person, whether we’re making £1.00 or £1,000.00 profit, it simply cannot be beaten (with the exception of the birth of my daughter, Phoebe… I have to say that I guess or my wife will tell me off).
Looking back, I consider myself really fortunate to have stumbled across that job at the age of 18 and I have nothing but fond memories of my time there. The Directors and Managers instilled in me a groundwork, discipline, and work ethic that was critical not just for my future desire to run my own business, but also for my development as a human being, and as a man.
Jumping forward to today, and I feel that the time has come for me to provide others with the same opportunities that I was given all those years ago. I’m looking for recruits who have recently completed their studies and have little or no clue what they want to do with their lives, or those who have a budding interest in sales but don’t know where to begin. I feel that I can assist these individuals in becoming not only good, honest and reliable sales people, but also better, more rounded individuals in their day to day lives.
For the record, just because I love selling, please don’t judge me or my practices on films like ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’. I learned from a very early age that no matter what products you were selling, you had a much better chance of doing so if you were a nice, approachable and trust worthy person. This is something that I put at the top of my priority list when it comes to graduating our Sales Academy. People don’t want telecoms advice from a cheesy, pushy sales person anymore. For a lot of business owners, their company means everything to them. They want advice and guidance from someone that actually listens to what they need, rather than someone just guessing why it is they have agreed to see them. They want someone that considers their day to day obstacles and gives them good, solid support. By the end of this two year course, that is what the graduates of this Sales Academy will be doing without question.
I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished at F One so far, and I’d like to build on that in the future as we recover from a difficult couple of years for businesses throughout the country. From my perspective, the team we now have in place is unrivalled in our industry. Every single one of us strives to deliver the highest degree of care and support to our customers on a daily basis. I want to shift the public’s impression of our sector from one of high-pressure sales methods and pushy sales people, to one of consultative professionals that provide real, honest advice to small businesses all over the UK.
Graduates of the academy can expect to learn all aspects of telecoms sales, including:
– Advanced communication abilities (via email, over the telephone and in person)
– How to develop successful marketing strategies and campaigns to potential clients
– Effectively and professionally farm sales leads using a CRM
– Improved scheduling and time management
– How to master outbound telemarketing and generate quality sales leads
– Complete successful face to face sales meetings
They can also expect:
– An annual starting wage of £15,000.00, rising to £30,000.00 by the end of the course.
– In addition to their base wage, a generous commission package.
– Extensive training and support (from internal and external members of staff)
– An office in the centre of Southampton, with free parking and many other amenities
– Fantastic team building activities and company outings
– A favourable environment in which to grow and begin a professional sales career
If you know of anybody that’s looking for an opportunity like this, please ask them to get in touch. They can email me at email@example.com, or give me a call on 0330 221 1183.
Thanks for reading my first ever blog!
Lee New, Co-Founder & Sales Director at F One Technologies Ltd