Name: Joshua Evans
Industry: Business Development Consulting/Sales Training
Territory: North America
Specialist Areas: Sales Process, employee engagement, Client loyalty
Years Of Experience: 15
Attitude Statement: When people are enthusiastic about what they do, they incite passion in those around them.
Joshua is an independent sales rep specialising in business development consulting with 15 years experience under his belt. He has kindly agreed to be interviewed for the CommissionCrowd sales blog and share his experiences with us so that companies wishing to build a freelance sales team can better understand this kind of sales professional.
Hi Joshua, can you tell us where your career as a sales representative begin?
Joshua: My career in sales started way back when I was a child. I used to sell things door to door throughout my neighborhood. I even got into trouble once for trying to sell timeshares in my parents backyard at the age of 12. This eventually led to a career in professional sales in the Oil, technology, and software industries. From there I began consulting with companies to help them with their business development.
Can you tell us about the industries you work within and the types of companies you typically sell to?
Joshua: I now work within Engineering firms, Sales organizations, non-profits, and many others to help them develop their client engagement and increase their sales. I typically sell to companies that have a need and desire for motivation within their existing teams. It's easy for companies to see their sales slipping and be too close to the problem to fix their issues. Helping them pinpoint these issues and then working with them to revamp their efforts makes for happy clients.
What would you say is your proudest achievement in sales to date?
Joshua: (Besides my wife); I was working with a small software company in the O&G space. One of our largest potential clients had never done business with us before. With our average deal size at the time being approximately $100k, I was able to work steadily with them for a year resulting in implementing our solutions into 5 of their offices for over a million dollars. This changed the way in which the sales team approached opportunities with potential and existing clients.
What was the reason you decided to go it alone and become a self-employed sales agent?
Joshua: After discovering that my enthusiasm and passion were rare things in the business world, I realized that other companies would pay a LOT in terms of sales commission for people with my skill set and attitude. There's also a great sense of accomplishment in building something yourself without standing on the shoulders of others. With that also comes a sense of freedom behind all my efforts. With no one to answer to, I can take all the risks I want. This has lead to increased pivoting in my business, but lends itself to great upsides to success.
In your opinion what sets an independent sales agent apart from an employee?
Joshua: Attitude. Not everyone can work for themselves. It take a discipline that most people do not possess naturally. Having an internal drive to succeed is imperative to finding clients, working later hours, and building a sustainable business. No independent sales agent can get by with a mediocre attitude. You can ‘get by’. You have to work harder AND smarter. There is no difference being self-employed in the field of sales than any other industry.
What would you say makes a sales opportunity attractive?
Joshua: The opportunity to serve my clients. I say this because starting from an attitude of providing solutions (not selling a product) your clients view you more as an advisor. When I can start from an advisory position, I can make a deep impact on my client's business and make more money in the process.
Can you tell us about about the methods you use to prospect and sell?
Joshua: Networking is a huge part of my business, but referrals make up the majority of my work. It is important to not only over deliver for your clients, but it is also critical to ask for referrals! If you aren’t prepared to ask for additional business you are going to struggle.
What excites you about CommissionCrowd and how will their service benefit the self-employed sales industry?
Joshua: It seems like a great platform that puts companies in touch with freelance salespeople that can truly impact their businesses in a huge way. Good salespeople are worth their weight in gold and it is not always easy to find them. Having a place to find great independent talent can take huge pressures off of hiring constraints and budgets.
Do you have any tips for sales agents who are looking to break away from employment to become self-employed?
Joshua: Be ready to work harder than you’ve ever worked. Also, be prepared to make more money than you thought was possible at your ‘employer’. If you put in the effort and apply your skills you can succeed on your own terms. Go get the world!
Hear From Other Independent Sales Reps We've Interviewed
If you found Joshua's interview interesting and informative and would like to read about the experiences of more commission-only sales agents, then you may find the following sales rep interviews useful:
Interview with an Independent Sales Agent specialising in Leasing Asset, Capital Equipment, Finance Sales
Interview with an experienced self-employed sales rep seeking exciting Direct Sales opportunities
Interview with a highly experienced freelance sales agent looking for new opportunities to sell to SME's
Interview with an independent sales agent working within the Interior sales industry