By Aysha Tayab
Karla Brennan, Director of Sales & Marketing, Ambassador Hotel
Driven by the passion to pursue a career that she loves, Karla Brennan has excelled as the Director of Sales & Marketing at the Ambassador Hotel for 2 years. Her efforts to serve as a mentor, friend, and team leader has established a solid place for herself within her 14 years in sales. As a family oriented career woman, being part of a family run business makes her proud to be a part of an organization that allows her to also be a part of the Kingston community. Her genuine persistence and empathetic approach is what helps her to maintain her customer's loyalty and happiness. Her advice for sales success is simple but effective: to be yourself.
"I think that a lot of people are afraid to be themselves because they think they have to be someone else. As I went on in my life and my career, I think that the more true that I am to myself the more successful I am. Nobody wants a version of me, they want to deal with me."
Michelle Bisson, Sales Manager, Kingston 1000 Island Cruises and Trolleys
As a Sales Manager for Kingston 1000 Island Cruises and Trolleys, Michelle Bisson expresses a sincere enthusiasm to be a large part of Kingston's vibrant culture of tourism. She appreciates the different dynamics that are presented to her in each project. Michelle is inspired to work within the tourism industry because of its non-competitive nature. She enjoys collaborating and building community partnerships that work together toward the same goal in making Kingston the highest destination for tourism. Her advice to maintain sales success is through continuous learning and education.
"Education doesn't stop once you've graduated. It's important to keep yourself up to speed and keep yourself sharp. There's many ways to do that. Of course so many things are available to us nowadays with technology. You can do research on the internet, you can read books."
Annette Gencarelli, Franchise President of Eastern Ontario, Aloette Cosmetics
Aloette's skincare products have helped women all over the world to look and feel more beautiful. For Annette Gencarelli, the products have empowered her to overcome her challenges with adult acne. Over the past 30 years, she has made some significant transitions through her journey with Aloette. Her transitions from customer to Consultant to Franchise President for Eastern Ontario's chapter has made Annette the true face of Aloette. Annette's firm belief in the product's success has provided her with a fulfilling career. She has established significant connections with her clients and 500 Consultants across Eastern Ontario. Her key to success in sales is to continuously be passionate and not to be afraid of showing that passion.
"Some shy away from sales because of that just that phobia that you have of being pushy. But when you're sharing something you love, you don't have to push it down anyone's throat. When you're being passionate, they can feel it."
Chris McLeod, Fragrance Specialist, The Bay
Although online shopping has become a pervasive aspect of the shopping experience, Chris McLeod navigates this trend through her innate ability to attract a loyal family of customers and friendships. For 13 years, Chris has fostered a sense of trust within her customer base through her ability to deliver professional advice that is aligned with her customers' requests and preferences. She values the meaningful role that fragrance can play in creating memories and stories. Chris believes that being a good listener has made her successful in sales.
"Fragrance to me should be fun, it can lift your spirits. I don't always season a fragrance between seasons. Because in the dead of winter, I put on summer like fragrances. It gives me hope. If you're going for a job interview, it can say something about you. If you're buying a gift for your son or your boyfriend or something like that and I ask 'well what does he wear now?' I ask a couple of questions to men or women. And then if you like those options, usually we'll see each other again."
Laura Anderson Brick, Automotive Sales Representative, KIA Kingston
After 12 years of working in the military, Laura Anderson-Brick made a positive change in her career by becoming an Automotive Sales Representative for KIA. When she took a course titled "Women in Automotive Sales," she knew it was the right fit for her career path. Laura succeeds in adapting and transferring her existing skills to the automotive industry. Her drive to build and maintain a rapport with her solid customer base motivates her to stay in her role for 20 years. Laura exudes an approachable demeanor through her an open door policy toward answering any questions that arise when purchasing a vehicle. She makes it her priority to ensure that her customers make informed decisions about their vehicle purchases. Laura believes that flexibility and maintaining balance between professional and personal life are key ingredients toward success in sales.
"Everybody has their own way of talking, speaking, what they focus on. I think it's talking to your customers and building a rapport. Spend some time during the delivery process. I like to go over everything to make sure that they're comfortable with their vehicles."
While interviewing these successful women in the business of sales, I was inspired to learn about their unique strengths. The overarching lessons I learned were twofold: the importance of enjoying your career and the importance of making personalized connections with your customers and clients. When you love what you do, it doesn't feel like work. But in addition to that, it also gives others a chance to share a part of that enjoyment. These women in sales have a strong ability to impart knowledge on their industry based on their happiness to fulfill their roles. In order to surpass the impersonal boundaries that the internet can often present, these women make it a priority to keep in contact with their customers and clients through phone calls, personalized hand written cards, and face to face contact. Their enjoyment in interacting with people ignites and fuels their ambition to nurture and cement positive business relationships. These extra measures they take resonate well with their clients and customers. As a result, the product they purchase is the added bonus to the quality service they receive from these passionate and women in sales.