We’re delighted to share our interview with alumni Chris Sampson! Chris joined our team in late 2021, and he’s had a unique journey – watch his full interview below or keep reading to learn more about how he changed his career with Bandalier.

Prior to joining Bandalier, Chris spent two years in the insurance world. He began building his sales skills while selling home and auto insurance for a large company. Before long, he and his family were ready for a new adventure, and they began traveling across America together.

As Chris traveled, he searched for opportunities that would help his career continue growing. However, few companies were willing to offer that flexibility, even for remote roles:

“I had run into a really big problem of getting to the final step of interviews, and then once people found out that I move … it was a deal breaker almost every time.”

Bandalier believes in flexibility – thanks to our structure, we can work with team members anywhere within the United States. Our team loves having the option to travel, and it was a major draw for Chris. Once we worked out the logistics, he joined our team and dove into Bandalier University. Although Chris had experience in sales, he realized that there was a lot more to learn:

“That experience going through Bandalier University, it was world-class. I went through corporate training [when I worked in insurance], and it didn’t hold a candle to what I did at Bandalier. While I did come in with some experience and some tools, it still was not the same as how I felt by the time I was done with Bandalier University.

I think the biggest thing was the tools that you learn – AB testing, strategies to get around gatekeepers. A lot of that type of stuff is not talked about. So those skills were huge and then also the self-improvement. The mindset that you can always do a better job, you can always be better, you can always improve something.”

Chris quickly put his skills to the test, launching into his first role in tech by joining a fast-growing sales team in the diamond industry. As he describes it:

“I knew very little about the industry – definitely not an expert, and not something that I would have been comfortable having a 15-minute conversation with someone about when making a cold call.”

He quickly began building out his sales process. With an entire region of the U.S. to prospect, Chris began pulling his own lists of prospects and finding the right folks to chat with. He owned his sales cycle: from the first phone call to onboarding to account management, Chris worked with new customers to deliver the best experience he could. The first phone call could be tough, though:

“A lot of jewelry stores are in their third, fourth, fifth generation. They’ve developed a lot of personal relationships in the industry, so to go to someone and say ‘Hey, you should use this online platform to buy your diamonds, here’s all the reasons why.’ A lot of time it felt like it didn’t matter what you said, because they had that 40-year relationship with a diamond dealer. Then you’d run into the whole “Why would I change the way I’ve been doing it when I’ve been successful for the last 50 years?” If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Despite those challenges, Chris quickly excelled in his new position. Within a few months of joining Bandalier, he began the conversation about opportunities to join his client’s in-house team. In March 2022, Chris moved on to his new role with his client – and he’s maintained the success that he found early on. By the end of 2022, he was in the top 3 of his sales team and received an offer to become one of the first account managers on his team.

Looking back, Chris has advice for people who want to follow a path like his:

“If you’re thinking about making a switch, do the proper research and make the leap. When I came across Bandalier, I looked into it, and thought it looked incredible – I made the leap and then it was actually better than what I was able to find on my own research. So if you’re thinking, if you’re considering it at all, go for it.”