Maureen starts by discussing her serendipitous entry into sales, stemming from a mix-up with Morningstar, a financial services company she mistook for a veggie burger brand. This amusing start to her career highlights the unpredictable nature of career paths and the importance of seizing opportunities.
Transitioning from teaching in Korea to sales in the U.S., Maureen shares how her experience as an educator honed her sales skills. Teaching middle schoolers in Korea, she learned to engage a tough audience, a skill she later applied in her sales demos. Maureen emphasizes the significance of being engaging and compelling in sales, drawing parallels between educating students and interacting with clients.
Finally, Maureen touches on her unique approach to work-life balance, notably her decision to live a nomadic lifestyle during the pandemic. This choice not only allowed her to explore new places but also brought a refreshed energy and perspective to her professional life. Her story is a testament to the value of integrating personal passions with career aspirations, demonstrating how a non-traditional approach can lead to success and fulfillment.
Name: Maureen Gallagher
What she does: Head of Sales – MSP
Noteworthy: Maureen Gallagher: 11 years in top companies like LinkedIn, Electric, Andela; a serendipitous start in sales after teaching in Korea.
The Long Game in Sales
Maureen Gallagher discusses the importance of long-term thinking in sales, emphasizing that persistence must be balanced with respect for boundaries and timing. She advises against overly aggressive tactics, such as persistently contacting someone who has expressed disinterest. Instead, she suggests focusing on long-term goals and relationships, particularly for sales development representatives (SDRs) aspiring to become account executives (AEs). This approach not only respects potential clients but also fosters sustainable success in sales.
Leveraging Teaching Skills in Sales
Maureen reflects on how her experience as an English teacher has influenced her sales technique. Teaching English to adults and middle school students in Korea, she relied on open-ended questions to encourage communication and engagement. This approach translates well into her sales strategy, where she uses similar techniques to engage clients and create a dynamic, conversational atmosphere. This insight highlights the value of transferable skills from different professional backgrounds in sales.
Adapting to Client Needs
An anecdote shared by Maureen illustrates the need for adaptability in sales. She recounts a situation where a contract was initially rejected by a CEO, leading to a reassessment of the client’s needs. By digging deeper into what the CEO truly valued, Maureen and her team were able to reframe their proposal, eventually winning the deal. This experience underscores the importance of not taking early agreements for granted and ensuring all stakeholders’ needs are thoroughly addressed in the sales process.
Effective Communication in Sales
Maureen Gallagher emphasizes the power of a well-timed pause in sales conversations, particularly after presenting commercials. She believes in confidently presenting the numbers and then allowing a moment of silence for the other person to react. This strategy highlights the importance of non-verbal cues and giving space for clients to process information, contributing to a more impactful sales interaction.
“I do love a pause after you present commercials. Like confidently present the commercials the numbers and then pause and don’t say anything until the other person gives their reaction.”
Long-Term Perspective in Sales
Caroline discusses the concept of “planting seeds” in sales, as advised by her mother, a seasoned sales professional. This approach underscores the importance of nurturing relationships and interactions over time, whether for repeat business, referrals, or recruitment opportunities. It’s a reminder that every sales interaction has potential future value, emphasizing a long-term view in the sales process.
“You’re planting seeds. And like for her career she’s been in the same industry selling to the same people, for 40 years… with every interaction is planting seeds.”
An Accidental Entry into Sales
Maureen Gallagher shares her unexpected entry into sales, starting with no prior experience or understanding of the field. She highlights how her competitive nature and ability to connect with people made sales a natural fit for her. This part of the conversation illustrates how careers can start serendipitously and evolve into successful paths.
“I had no experience with sales… It was just the company… selling their newsletters was apparently the job that they wanted to open up… so it was a natural fit.”
Authenticity in Sales Approach
Maureen stresses the importance of authenticity in sales. She talks about her experience at Electric, where her unique and consistent sales style was recognized and emulated. This segment of the discussion highlights the value of staying true to one’s personal style in professional settings, which can lead to success and become a model for others.
“Just kind of being myself on the phone… bringing my whole self to work has always been something that I’ve been doing.”