Have you ever wondered what Outside Sales Representatives do every day? Every sales job is different, and working at Sysco is surely a unique experience. Read on to find out how these two recent grads hatched their careers in sales at Sysco!
Rachel Thistle discovered her career ambitions early in life — she knew she wanted to have her own business. Sysco struck her as an organization that could be a platform for growth and self-development with an entrepreneurial culture. “Sysco stood out from the rest by offering unique rewards, growth opportunities and immersive training,” says Rachel. She applied to Sysco right after graduating, but didn’t get the job. That experience didn’t discourage her though, it taught her perseverance. She re-applied two years later and, after multiple interviews, she got the job!
Now there’s no stopping Rachel! She’s working on building relationships with vendors and customers, managing crisis, marketing and costing food, managing inventory, and so much more! Her role is very diverse and rewarding. “I enjoy the variety and customization of the customer service experience that makes each sale an exciting one. No two customers are alike and they require different products, services, and relationship builders,” comments Rachel.
Expect the Unexpected
Despite the detailed application process that prepared Rachel for a demanding and exciting role, there are still daily challenges on the job, especially when you’re working with people. However, Rachel feels confident she can always overcome her challenges because of the extraordinary support system at Sysco. “Sysco is constantly striving to build a strong sense of teamwork and inclusivity,” she says. These challenges and the supportive environment at Sysco taught Rachel organization, time-management, problem-solving, interpersonal and communication skills, among many others.
The best way of tackling the difficulties on the job is to commit to continuous learning. Luckily for Rachel, Sysco offers in-field training with mentors, videos on various topics and products, vendor training, in-class training, lectures and more. “Sysco immerses you into training from day one,” says Rachel.
In addition, Rachel describes the career path at Sysco as more like a web rather than a ladder. She can take her career in any direction she wants, and Sysco will support her through the process.
With so much empowerment, Rachel is fearless and optimistic about the future. She is looking forward to continuing her career at Sysco. If you want to follow her steps, Rachel recommends to be brave, take initiative, set goals, and remember that career development comes on the job at Sysco.
Robert Kaminogiannakis discovered two passions very early in life – food and sales. “After selling my first pair of jeans, I knew sales was exactly what I wanted to do,” says Robert. Even though he always envisioned himself being a lawyer, that sales experience served as a turning point for his career. As soon as he discovered his calling, he started looking for a company that would help him get fulfilment from his sales career. His talents and passions naturally came together when he got hired at Sysco.
Sometimes passion isn’t enough to secure your dream job — you need experience too! Robert’s experience working in restaurants, having knowledge and connections in the food industry helped him prepare for an interview at Sysco. Despite his well-rounded background, Robert still believes that there is a lot for him to learn. Even during the interview, he remained honest and humble. He didn’t try to pretend that he already knew everything, but rather made sure that he communicated his willingness to learn and eagerness to contribute to Sysco.
Put in the Work
Sysco welcomed Robert with an engaging and hands-on onboarding process. “Supplies and vendors come into the office and give instructions about the products, explain the benefits and train us on selling them. This experience makes the products so much easier to sell,” says Robert. These presentations happen bi-weekly at Sysco to make sure each employee is well-equipped to make the best sale and answer any questions that customers might have.
Even though Sysco felt like home right away, Robert admits that getting into the flow was challenging at first. The industry is extremely vast, the customers (chefs) are demanding, and the questions get challenging. “Compared to being in charge of selling just one product, at Sysco I need to sell many at the same time, which means keeping in mind the ins and outs of so many products at once.”
However challenging this might have been at first, this job definitely comes with perks. “Sometimes I feel confident enough to call a chef that I work with to ask for cooking tips! Some clients feel more like friends to me now”.
The most “dangerous” part of Robert’s job is all the food tasting he does during client and vendor meetings. “You have to be careful – during my first three months at the company I gained 10 pounds!” jokes Robert. But daily client visits and conversations are instrumental at building relationships and establishing trust.
Other encouraging parts of working at Sysco include the “Striker of the Month” initiative. Robert and his colleagues engage in a friendly competition every month that evaluates who sells the most, and the winner gets a small prize. At the end of the year, the “Striker of the Year” gets a special prize and praise from everyone in the company. Not to mention that this is a great way of climbing up the corporate ladder, which is exactly what Robert is planning to do.
Overall, Robert recommends working at Sysco for a number of reasons: