Persistence, Grit and Determination

A few weeks ago I received a text from one of my clients, a hiring manager telling me how well one of my placements, Seth was doing at their company. That’s the type of feedback I love getting especially since Seth almost didn’t get hired by my client. Seth’s story is one of persistence, grit and determination. My client hires junior level sales people right out of college for their inside sales team. They are expanding and growing so quickly they decided to relocate college graduates since they had hired so many local people in their corporate office. He had most of the credentials my client was looking for: College degree above 3.0 GPA, determined, articulate, analytical skills, and desire to be in sales. My first impression was Seth would be a good fit. I could tell he was smart; he received a dual degree in law and history, went to school abroad for one semester in high school and one in college. After he graduated from college he went to China to teach English. Seth was working in a bike store even though he had a law degree because he decided he didn’t want to be a lawyer. He knew what he was looking for in his first “real” job he just hadn’t found it yet. Upon graduating Seth interviewed with numerous companies trying to find the right fit for himself and even turned down some jobs. He wasn’t having much luck though. That is until we called him with our junior level sales job for an “amazing” Google like start-up. He told me it was “everything he was looking for”. He told me the company not only had everything he was looking for but he also saw that the potential for growth with the company was unparalleled, and that was the most important aspect for him. We submitted him for the position and he had an interview with a few of the sales managers. They liked him, but decided to pass on him because they felt like he didn’t have the trajectory they were looking for; he still worked in a bike store even though he had a dual degree in law and history. They didn’t understand that he hadn’t found what he was looking for yet. I called Seth and told him they were going to pass on him. He was very disappointed because he knew he was qualified but somehow he failed to communicate that fact. He called me a few days later and asked if he might have another chance to talk to one more person. He said he really didn’t want to give up on the opportunity. His motivation was that he knew that this job was exactly what he wanted and he was willing to fight hard for it. I wasn’t sure if I should ask my client, but then he said he wanted this job so badly that he would relocate himself and that’s when I knew he was serious and I was willing to do whatever I could to help him. My client agreed to talk with Seth. He talked to him for a few minutes and then my client put him to a test – he asked him to put together a presentation about their product and present it to him in 24 hours. He gave him no information only to review the website for information. Seth went to work reviewing the website and learning everything he could about the product. He worked really hard to put together a great presentation. My client had someone else sit in on the presentation and they were both so impressed with his presentation they decided to move him forward in the interview process. Seth told me he was very thankful that I was able to get him a second chance and he appreciates his job even more because he knows how hard he had to fight to get it. What I like most about Seth’s attitude is he didn’t give up, he fought hard for what he wanted and now he continually works hard every day to prove that the company made the right decision in hiring him. I can’t wait to hear what Seth does in the next few years as I’m sure whatever it is, he will be successful. If you put as much determination and effort as Seth did into your job search, I’m sure you’ll find your dream job too. Let me know if I can help. Email me!    


Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.