Not every person is destined to work in sales. It takes a special kind of person to develop relationships and turn those into profits. It can also be stressful if you have a specific quota to fill. 29-year-old Azary Matanov of Toronto, Ontario, has a proven track record as a successful salesman and has a passion for the sales and marketing industry.
Azary Matanov obtained his undergraduate degree in marketing in 2013. Throughout his university education, Azary held a work-study position at his school’s athletic department. This experience and glowing references led him to obtain a position at a marketing firm immediately upon graduation. Azary created many marketing plans and completed a lot of analysis for a variety of clients. His ability to easily form relationships did not go unnoticed by management.
With support from his superiors, Azary Matanov transferred to a sales position at his company. Throughout his work, he has been named as the top salesman for several quarters and has acted as a mentor to many new salespeople both within his company and outside of it. He has also been called upon numerous times to lead marketing presentations at his old university.
While his work schedule is demanding, Azary Matanov strives to maintain a healthy work-life balance and makes time for both work and play.
How did you become interested in sales?
It wasn’t really my idea at first. I was always more interested in the marketing aspects and helping clients promote their brands and relay their messages to their target audiences. It was really through the coaching of the leaders of my company that encouraged me to move to sales. I learned I could make more money that way and it would be more challenging. I tried it out for a few weeks and I quickly found out that I was really good at it. I also found it really exciting to turn conversations into signed contracts. I like helping potential customers and providing them with solutions to their problems.
What does it take to be successful in sales?
First of all, you need the ability to make and maintain relationships. You can’t just call potential customers and say, “I’m calling to sell you our marketing services.” You have to find out about them as individuals and then you want to find out what problems their company is facing so that later on, you can pitch that as a sale. Aside from this, it takes being able to take that relationship and translate it into profits. And once you make that sale, the relationship doesn’t go away even though you’re passing clients off to the marketing department to work on their campaigns or projects. You want to check in with clients every so often to make sure they are happy and continue to maintain that relationship. This can then turn to repeat business and referrals, which ultimately is what you want.
How do you go about mentoring others?
I try to learn what their personal skills are and I encourage them to work within their comfort zones at first. There is a misconception that as a sales person, you need to be an extrovert and you need to be pushy in order to work in sales. This is not true at all. You need to be able to take your individual skills and apply that to sales. So, I first like to meet my mentees where they’re at and I take stock of their skills and personality traits that I believe will define them as a salesperson. For instance, I currently work with one of the newer salesmen at my company. He is relatively shy, but he is creative. So, I encouraged him to find creative solutions. On his sales calls, he usually now ends up bringing in employees from other departments so they can speak to what they do a bit better and then he is there to close the sales.
What trends in your industry excite you?
The fact that consumer behavior is constantly changing excites me. In sales, you constantly have to find new ways to target customers and attract them to your company. Traditional advertisements on television and in magazines used to do the trick, but today that doesn’t work. We all get so many spam phone calls that make people reluctant to pick up the phone. We get so many emails a day that are ignored. So, what’s the solution? You need to be creative and find new tactics.
What suggestions do you have for someone starting out in your industry?
I would say to try not to be discouraged when you can’t make a sale at first. There is a lot of work that you do that will not translate to a sale and if you aren’t expecting it, it can make you feel discouraged. You just have to keep trying.
Why is it vital to make time for work and play?
I make time for work and play so that I don’t burn out. Work can be stressful, so it’s important to make time for yourself too. I also try and look at myself at the end of the day and ask what will define me in the years to come? Will I only be remembered as a good salesman? I want to be remembered for other things, like looking out for my family or fulfilling my bucket list. Work shouldn’t be the only thing that defines you.
What do you do outside of work?
I spend time with my dog after work, which is great for stress relief. I try to stay active and jog four to five days a week. I also make sure that I make time for my family and we will all have dinner together on Sundays.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’m hoping to obtain an MBA so I will be working towards that goal soon. Eventually I would like to try entrepreneurship. With my background in both marketing and sales, I think starting my own company isn’t too far off.