Updated: Apr 11
Lynne Mwangi, a graduate of Commerce, Operations Management joined the Yusudi Sales Academy in 2020 when COVID-19 just hit Kenya. In February 2021, she officially graduated from the academy after successfully completing her 8 weeks of training and 6 months of paid internship.
A year later, Lynne has been able to grow her career from Intern to Relationship Manager to Branch Manager with the same company where she started her career in sales.
As I spoke to her, I couldn’t help but remember a quote from Steve Jobs, “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
Her story is a reminder that when you take a chance in life, the results will honestly surprise you.
1. How did you learn about the Yusudi Sales Academy?
I was looking for jobs online using job sites such as BrighterMonday and Fuzu. When I saw the Yusudi ad on Fuzu, I decided to apply. When I went through the description, the training first then the internship placement model caught my attention. At that point, I had applied for numerous jobs. Like many job seekers can attest to, for most applications you don’t receive any feedback and for the few that do, you are offered generic feedback that doesn’t highlight areas you could improve on.
What this meant for me was that through Yusudi I could get trained for the job I was applying for before going for the internship itself so I decided to give it a chance.
2. What problem were you looking to solve when you joined the Yusudi Sales Academy?
The cycle of life is to complete your education, graduate and then start working.
I had already graduated and now I was looking into finding somewhere to work. I personally don’t like wasting time, so I needed to be productive and joining Yusudi Sales Academy was the way to do it for me.
3. Given that you have an educational background in Operations Management, how did you make the shift to sales?
To be honest, I really didn’t want to do sales.
The job applications I was receiving were mostly sales so I used to skip over them and apply for other jobs like those in Human Resource.
When I finally decided to look at the Yusudi Sales Academy, I noticed that they focused on B2B sales. My interest was instantly sparked as this meant I would be approaching companies and organizations in my selling. This made me want to give sales a try.
4. Looking back at your journey so far, how has sales shaped you into the person you are today?
Sales has really shocked me. It has taught me a couple of lessons.
The first lesson is that you are what you feed your mind. Four years ago, I couldn’t even imagine doing sales but now I can sell. Continuous learning and having a positive attitude will influence your ability to sell.
The second lesson is that sales is about interpersonal skills. You need to listen more and talk less. You need to relate to and understand the customers’ needs so that you can offer a solution personalized to them.
5. Mental health is something that you are passionate about. Any tips or advice on how sales professionals can look after their mental health?
My number one tip is don’t take things personally.
Sales will expose you to different clients with different personalities. Some people you come across will be rude to you so you need to learn how to not let that affect you.
In addition, be conscious about the customer's space as that affects the kind of interaction you have with the client. For example, I remember calling a client very early in the morning on their end due to time difference which made the client upset. I recognized my mistake and apologized for it. So now I know simply asking, “When’s the best time to call?” can influence the interaction I will have with the client.
6. One year down the line, you are still with AMG Realtors, the same company that you were placed at. Tell us more about your experience there?
It has been amazing. It has been wonderful. It is a blessing. I am speechless about my experience.
If not for Yusudi, I don’t think I would have applied for a job at AMG. I am in an environment where I am constantly learning something new. My workmates have really been hands on and have helped me.In fact, I even forgot that Yusudi offers continuous coaching through the 6 months internship placement because my challenges were handled well.
It was a good decision to apply for the Yusudi Sales Academy.
7. What was the ah-ha moment that made you realize you could succeed in sales?
When I first sold my product, I knew I could sell. I had hacked sales.
Since we deal with international clients, I closed my first deal worth KES 800,000 via WhatsApp.
8. What successes have you been able to achieve working for AMG Realtors?
I have been able to grow my career and my exposure in a professional setting.
I have grown my career from an Intern to a Relationship Manager and now to a Branch Manager.
Coming from a fixed mindset of I couldn’t sell, Yusudi has really opened me up to a growth mindset which has enabled me to sell.
9. To what do you attribute your career growth to?
I would attribute it to three things: attitude, consistency and learning and unlearning.
You have a choice to either move to a negative attitude or maintain a positive attitude especially when things are challenging.
The second is consistency in what you do.
The third is learning and unlearning so that you can better your skills every day and sell more. Fill your cup with knowledge that will help you grow your career. You can even start your own business and start selling.
10. How would you summarize your experience in the Yusudi Sales Academy?
The trainers were very hands-on in helping us learn how to sell professionally.
The training itself was very welcoming and informative that’s why I am still at AMG.
When I joined the internship placement, I was able to incorporate what we were taught. It's the little things such as learning how to do presentations, especially using Canva that I still use today.
11. Parting shot advice for people considering joining the Yusudi Sales Academy?
Any person who thinks they can’t sell should consider Yusudi. I was once that person. Yusudi trains and guides you throughout your 8-month journey. So why not apply. You might get a company where you become the C.E.O.
Honestly, you will never know the benefits of sales until you join sales.
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