“So when are you not working?” I ask.
“That’s a good question,” Brandon replies, chuckling. Brandon Omoregie is the Head of Training and Placement at AlwaysHired’s sales bootcamp. He’s telling me about the schedule he and his colleagues have been keeping since the beginning of the new year - leading classes during the week and weekends. They know how to hustle.It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day and there is nobody besides the AlwaysHired class in an office building in San Francisco’s SoMa district. We’re in a small, white-walled room with two rows of wooden desks on each side. The 16 students range in age and everyone is busy looking through LinkedIn, or editing their resumes.
“Good morning, class!” The energy in the room instantly changes, becomes charged and more alert. Gabe Moncayo, CEO and co-founder, strides between the desks to the center of the room. He’s wearing a light blue t-shirt over faded jeans, black hair cropped short. He rallies the class by opening up a conversation about our weekends and speaks with infectious enthusiasm as if Monday mornings were God’s gift to humankind.
“It’s the start of week 2,” he begins. “We’re going to transition from business training to sales training.”
Gabe walks about the room swiftly as he touches on aspirations while reviewing monthly recurring revenue, churn rate and performance analytics.
“There’s always a way to find creative, unique solutions to make sure everyone wins.”
I’m sitting in the back of the classroom and peer around to see what everyone is doing on their laptops. The 13 men and 3 women in the class all have Word docs open and are furiously copying notes as Gabe burns through his review lesson. I have never seen a classroom of any kind where every single student is actually taking notes, and not browsing Facebook or some online article. After a moment I understand why.
“All right class,” Gabe says. “Now you’re all going to sell me something.”
One by one the students stand up at the front of the classroom. The rest of the class turns their backs to the front so as to practice listening to the nuances of pitch and tone. Then Gabe, standing at the back of the room, delivers the prompt.
“Sell me a scarf.”
Where one moment ago we were learning the theory of sales, now we are witnessing it in practice. Ask questions to identify needs, repeat and identify need, repeat back to them as a hypothetical, close. A simple enough formula. Yet as each student takes their turn to sell something in a mock scenario, there is nervousness, minor stutters and flushed cheeks. The class delivers a round of applause after each scenario and we then review what went well and what could be improved, turning mistakes into learning moments.
Over the course of the rest of the day we alternate between lectures and exercises, learning and implementing lessons on question-based selling, the difference between salespeople and consultants and the sales roadmap. By the end of the day we are all delivering pitches for companies we came up with in small groups to a group of mock investors. Some pitches are more light-hearted than others, but all are delivered with impassioned zeal. This very same zeal, I think, will provide incredible value to companies in the near future.
With a 90% placement rate nearly everyone will soon be pitching real clients for real companies and finding creative, unique solutions to make sure everyone wins. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this sales bootcamp entails.
Tune in next week as Tomas shares more about his journey with AlwaysHired's sales bootcamp.