Our Sales Team are the first people prospects talk to when they reach out to ShowClix, and it’s often their knowledge, enthusiasm, and charisma that encourages prospective partners to look deeper into our system. Today, we’re thrilled to introduce you to Jess Ansel, one of our Sales Coordinators. Jess interacts with various businesses across a wide range of verticals every week and guides them through the many ways our system can benefit their events.
Jess graduated from Rutgers University in 2006 with a B.S. in Biochemistry. During and after her time in college, she loved finding odd jobs that helped make an impact on the world. For a time she worked in various psychology labs conducting studies and crunching data, often assessing how smell affected people’s moods and dreams. She was the supervisor at Rutgers’ call center, where she also lent a hand in tech support and fundraising efforts. She even wrote for a radio show called The Restaurant Guys. Eventually, the event technology world succeeded in attracting Jess’s steady interest when she discovered ShowClix, and, luckily for us, she’s since become a five-year veteran.
While Jess first joined our team in a Marketing role, she has now taken a place on the front lines as a Sales Coordinator. Having previously volunteered at festivals, Jess already had a love for live events. She not only wanted to help these event organizers produce successful, memorable experiences, she also wanted to assist her fellow salespeople in mastering our system’s features and becoming experts in their craft. When she’s not meeting with prospects or current partners, Jess can be found painting psychedelic landscapes when inspiration strikes!
Describe what a typical work week may look like for you.
I schedule a lot of my work in advance, so I usually have some meetings I’m looking forward to on my calendar with prospects. Since I work with businesses from all over the world, I tend to have a lot of phone calls and video conferences. I love feeling connected to so many different places at once. Plus, I get to talk to our partners from all different industries, so one day I may be talking to a holiday lights attraction, a New York Fashion Week special event the next day, then a racetrack venue the next.
Most of my work is connecting people with the right solutions. I monitor our incoming business requests every day and make sure event organizers get pricing quotes, demos, and all their questions answered. I spend most of my time helping prospects, but I also devote some time to checking up on current partners who may need new paperwork or business advice. Even with the 5+ years I’ve been in the ticketing industry, I’m still learning new things, and I love the chance to listen to event organizers’ challenges and offer suggestions or best practices.
In your role, you regularly speak with tons of prospective partners, and no two conversations are the same. Can you tell us about one of the most memorable interactions you’ve had with a prospective (or current) partner?
I once met with the team from Mischief Management, known for some of the most hyped fan events in the world, including BroadwayCon, GeekyCon, Con of Thrones, and LeakyCon. They ended up showing me their “secret superhero” jackets! These women had gotten custom-matching blazers that, inside the lining, showed their favorite superheroes. It was so cool. At the same time, they were sharing insights about how they built a world-class business by hiring and promoting dedicated volunteers right from their own events. It seemed like anything these women dreamed, they could make possible. But that, at its heart, it what I feel like all great events are. Some creative person dreams up an idea, or something they want to show the world and they build an experience based around that.
As a Sales Coordinator, you work closely with the rest of our Sales team, as well as other departments like Marketing and Client Services. What do you do to maintain strong communication with these and other teams?
I make sure to communicate for positive reasons, and not only when I have a need or a question. Sometimes I’ll share interesting news or events, other times I’ll chat just to see how someone is feeling at work. This way when I do have a concern, we already have a trusting relationship and it’s easier to get help. I also make sure to praise good work when I see it, as it helps everyone work together better. Positive feedback is just as important as negative; probably more so because it’s motivational. Most of my team is remote, so I use phone calls and video chat to keep things feeling friendly. Emails and Slack are great for a lot of things, but they tend to feel cold if that’s the only communication used.
What qualities do you think make a successful sales team?
There are three things I’ll say are important. First, a sales team should work cooperatively, not competitively. We learn so much talking to our partners day in and day out, but that knowledge grows even faster if we share insights with each other. Would I rather have the knowledge of one salesperson, or seven? I can compete with salespeople from other companies, but my own crew is like a team; we are stronger supporting each other.
Second, each salesperson should know their own strengths, and use them accordingly. If you are good with technical knowledge, then use that to give advice to our partners. If you’re good at a certain kind of industry talk, then try to work within that industry as much as possible. It’s important to know your colleagues’ strengths as well, so you can draft some help to cover your weak spots if needed.
The final important quality is to listen. Too many salespeople make the mistake of thinking they need to dominate a conversation and convince the prospect of a certain idea up front. But if you ask open-ended questions and let prospects share their perspective, you can learn how to help them a lot faster. It also shows respect for an event organizer’s knowledge and experience, which helps build a good relationship with them. Event organizers are more likely to work with someone they enjoy talking to!
If you weren’t working in ticketing, what other career might you see yourself in?
I’ve thought a lot about being a talk show host, or a radio host. I love discussing news, science, culture, and how all those things interact, so I think it would be super fun. Like, exploring the science of why cats are the most popular thing on the internet, or how smartphones affect people’s relationships. I studied psychology and biochemistry when I was in school, and I feel that I still think like a scientist a lot. My mind never stops coming up with questions for whatever I see around me.