Bandalier alumni Scott Upham recently caught up with our CEO, Jeremy, to discuss his experience building a career with Bandalier. Keep reading to learn how Scott leveraged his SDR training to launch a new career – or watch his interview below!
Scott joined the Bandalier team in the summer of 2021. He knew he was ready for a career change, but wasn’t sure what path to follow. He knew from his experience with a not-for-profit that he wanted the opportunity to help people. As he searched, his family suggested that he consider a career in sales. Scott wasn’t so sure:
“I had that stereotypical thing against sales. But I thought, you know, I’ve got to make a change, I’ve got to try something new. I took some aptitude tests and it kept coming up as sales, sales, sales. I kept saying no, but finally, I took enough of them and thought I’d give it a try.”
After consistently receiving high marks in sales aptitude tests, he decided to try submitting a few applications. He planned to learn more about the field before moving on. Instead, he found an exciting opportunity to join the Bandalier team.
“When I reached out, I just thought I would give it a try and put my application in. I knew it was something I potentially could do if I became comfortable with it, but I didn’t have any experience at all. So I had my doubts as to whether I would even hear back. But someone from your recruiting team reached out to me. We chatted a little bit, and he assured me that this isn’t high-pressure selling. He was very, very good at making me feel at home and making me feel comfortable.”
Scott passed our interview process with flying colors and dove into Bandalier University. Thanks to his past experience with cold-calling and his family’s experience in sales, he had great background knowledge to build from. As he went through SDR training, Scott refined his skills:
“I was blown away by how comprehensive and how structured it was. And it was really, really great information. It made me feel like some of the stuff I already knew, but some of the stuff I didn’t. It made me feel really, really comfortable. Whenever we talked about objection handling, I was expecting to hear this really high-pressure, high-energy rebuttal, kind of arguing with the prospect. And what I was really impressed about was [that it was about] getting to listen to people and get them to talk and tell you about what they need. That was the focus of the entire training – tell me a little more about that, what makes you say that? Not arguing with anybody. Just getting to know them and the reason for them objecting.”
With his foundational skills established, Scott was ready to launch into his first inside sales role with one of Bandalier’s outsourced inside sales programs. We scheduled our first client meeting, and he received a warm welcome:
“I remember the first thing they were impressed about was that during training, I was asked to sell one thing I was comfortable with and one thing I wasn’t. So one of them was lipstick, and I had no idea where to go with that. So I improvised. Like, hey, tell me what you’re going to do. Are you going out? What are you hoping for in a lipstick? So they saw that video, and they were impressed. I remember during my first call, they shared a video and were talking about their weekend, and I thought ‘Now maybe this is the place for me’. I couldn’t have had a better experience in the first few weeks.”
Scott ramped up quickly and built confidence as he acclimated to his new role. Week over week, he exceeded his goals while looking for more ways to grow. Whether that meant finding new ways to get in touch with his prospects or testing new techniques with his team, Scott always had something positive to share.
“The first few weeks were nerve-wracking, but it wasn’t bad, it was just an adjustment. Learning how CEOs think versus loan officers versus marketing managers meant learning what’s important to each individual position.”
Within a few months, Scott knew that he wanted to build a career in sales. He started chatting with his client about opportunities to join their team, and they were eager to bring him on board. In early 2022, he moved on from Bandalier to go in-house with his client.
Over the past year and a half, Scott has continued to grow in his role. Alongside Bandalier alum Alex Acosta, they run the solution development team. Together, they’ve developed new strategies for connecting with different personas in the mortgage industry.
As Scott has grown in his role, he’s thought about what’s helped him succeed. For folks who have already started in sales, here’s his first piece of advice:
“It’s been a tough market. We’ve had our ups and downs. It’s about not letting the market affect your way of thinking, and not saying ‘the market sucks, there’s nothing I can do’. There’s always something you can do. It’s about collaborating with your teammates and coming up with different ways to think outside of the box and make this better. What can we do to improve our at-bats? And when we have at-bats, what can we do to increase our chances? That’s been the most rewarding part of it.”
For folks who are thinking about taking their first steps into the world of sales, Scott says:
“I am an introvert, and sales was the absolute last thing I thought I would ever do. I would encourage you, if you’re watching this, and you don’t think you can do sales, or you think it’s just this high-pressure go-go-go all the time, don’t listen to the negativity. Find out for yourself, explore it for yourself, and see if it’s a good fit for you. Take chances. Because if you don’t, how are you ever going to get better? Failure doesn’t mean a thing. You fail a hundred times in life, in your career, who cares. Just keep getting up and taking chances, that’s all that matters.”