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Rising Stars: Selling With Integrity

By Andrea Calabretta

Scott is still a student, but he's building his numbers as a sales representative while he finishes his degree. He believes in advocating for the customer, a skill he learned in his first sales job in the hospitality industry. Scott encourages students to start small and take the time necessary to practice the art of closing a deal.

Name: Scott Diaz
School: Davenport University
Major: Marketing Management
Years Out of College: 0-2
Title: Retail Sales Representative
Company: Verizon Wireless
First Steps

"My first job was washing cars at the age of 14. It was a lot of hard work for a high school job, that's for sure. After a while, I knew that I wanted to do something more lucrative and more people oriented."

From Then to Now

"My first sales job was behind the front desk of a small hotel. The job was an amazing experience. The hospitality industry shaped the basis of my customer service values system. I wanted my next sales experience to be just as fun and multidimensional. Now, I sell wireless communication products and services to customers in a retail environment.

There is a long history of a perceived disparity between sales and marketing, but in many industries the two disciplines are extensions of one another, and quite symbiotic. I always imagined that I would wind up in a more creative field such as writing, or following the family tradition of teaching, but sales is truly a profession that chooses its purveyors. Plus, salespeople have to be constantly creative at solving problems, and I get to educate and counsel my customers."

Challenges Faced

"In sales there are always challenges that exist between the columns of competition and ethical selling. The two issues are rather synonymous, but some salespeople try to take the easy road to sell against gimmicks. The rule to which I adhere is that if you cannot stand behind a product or service, and sell with integrity; then you have no business selling in the first place."

My Experience

"A typical day consists of selling and hitting goals through direct interaction, through word of mouth, and whatever way I can to create the demand. That is also balanced by trying to give the best customer service I can for different issues as they arise. I am not only a front line salesperson, but I am also the company's first line in the customer service front, and I take that responsibility very seriously. I consider myself to be a counselor, or a wireless advocate and a customer advocate and I think that is more inspirational than just being a mere salesperson."

Next Steps

"I am positioning myself to be the best kind of sales executive that I can imagine. Someone who is customer and sales oriented becomes very formidable in an organization, and I want to be the force that ties the two hemispheres of sales and marketing in a manner that can be applied across the board, to any organization, in every sector. I don't know if I want to get my Masters in Economics or my Law degree yet, but I have my choices narrowed to those two disciplines."

Advice for Others

"Don't underestimate the small, innocuous jobs like telemarketing, or any other opportunity that pays your efforts to close. Sales managers look for producers, and having more numbers on your resume speaks to the fact that you are comfortable being scrutinized for your production, but more to the point, you need a thick skin for sales. Being bilingual puts you in high demand, so taking foreign language classes will pay off. Learning to network early will put you ahead of the curve, and above all else, don't ever forget your customer!"

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