What traits do you think are important to be a good salesperson? Chances are passion, patience and persistence would make the shortlist. And that’s why it was the natural theme for Julie Levi’s episode of the Happy Marketer Connection podcast. Because Julie, the President of Progressive Promotions, is a consummate salesperson. She’s been hustling since her early teens, and has an innate entrepreneurial zeal to build and grow business through sales. If you’re thinking about starting your own company and need to build revenue, this is THE episode to listen to.
Hear from Julie what it takes to succeed as a salesperson and entrepreneur, what true persistence looks like and why it’s worth it, the ways sales has changed over the years, how to hire and support your business development team, and the sales lessons Julie’s family shares with each generation. And learn about how her business pivot helped ensure that we didn’t run out of Oreos during the pandemic.
To listen on Apple Podcasts click here.
To listen on Spotify click here.
- [0:13] Sue Frech, Happy Marketer Connection, Vesta
- [1:12] Julie Levi, President and Founder of Progressive Promotions
- Sue Frech interviewing Julie Levi on PASSION, PATIENCE, AND PERSISTENCE
- [2:18] Icebreaker: When did Julie realize she would be good in Sales?
- [2:34] 1973 Oil Crisis
- [3:02] The New York Times
- [4:09] What is Progressive Promotions?
- [4:24] American Express (AMEX), Avis Budget Group
- [4:38] Promotional Merchandise
- [4:46] Profits
- [5:01] Marketing Objectives
- [5:07] Pandemic
- [5:17] How did Julie start Progressive Promotions?
- [5:38] Douglass Residential College, Rutgers University, Raritan River
- [6:12] Hanes
- [7:05] College Licensing
- [7:42] Entrepreneurial, Blockbuster
- [7:52] Why Passion, Patience, and Persistence?
- [8:11] Barnes & Noble, Suppliers, Tenafly, NJ
- [8:43] Hoboken, NJ, Clam Broth House, East LA
- [9:17] Apparel
- [9:34] Cold Call, Ogilvy, David Ogilvy Shop
- [10:01] When did Julie change it from T-Shirt Express to Progressive Promotions?
- [10:24] Social Media Link to Vesta
- [11:03] Kraft Heinz, Kraft Mac & Cheese, A1 Steak Sauce
- [12:13] Jell-O
- [12:42] Jell-O Play, Disney
- [13:45] Sales Team
- [13:52] What is Julie’s sales process?
- [14:18] Prospect, Client
- [14:45] Email, White Paper, Google Alerts, LinkedIn
- [15:40] How has Business Development (BizDev) changed over the years?
- [16:54] University of Delaware (UDel)
- [17:11] Rolodex, Business Cards
- [17:36] CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
- [17:52] Automation
- [18:11] Merger
- [18:43] Annual Reports
- [19:24] Can Sales be taught or are you born with it?
- [20:29] Client Success, Account Management
- [21:20] Hiring
- [21:34] How do you know it’s time to fire someone?
- [22:42] Sales Pipeline
- [23:00] Community Powered Marketing delivers a new world of sales growth. Learn more at Vesta-Go.com
- [23:28] How has Julie pivoted during the pandemic?
- [24:51] Mondelēz International, Inc., OREO
- [26:07] American Express Open For Business Kit
- [26:31] Small Businesses
- [26:50] PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
- [27:07] KeyBank
- [27:43] What advice does Julie have for women-led businesses?
- [29:06] Sales Cycle
- [29:41] What other organizations does Julie go to for help?
- [29:50] Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO)
- [30:16] Harvard Business School (HBS), Owner/President Management (OPM)
- [31:19] Network
- [31:58] COVID-19, WhatsApp, Zoom
- [32:16] What positive story does Julie have to share?
- [33:00] Columbia University, Appletree Market
- [33:27] Negotiating
- [33:51] Fire Island, NY
- [35:35] Connect with Julie at the Progressive Promotions site or on LinkedIn
- [34:43] Thank you for listening! Subscribe to Happy Marketing Connection on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more
- [34:51] Connect with Sue on LinkedIn or Twitter at @SueFrech, and Vesta-Go.com
- Theme Song: Hello (Extended Version) – Paul Werner – provided by Jamendo
About the Happy Marketer Connection Podcast
Julie Levi, Progressive Promotions
Julie is the Founder and President of Progressive Promotions, a promotional products agency servicing Fortune 500 companies such as American Express, Avis Budget Group, KraftHeinz, Ogilvy, and TEVA in the US and in 62 countries around the world. She has a passion for entrepreneurship, mentoring, diversity and greatly enjoys inspiring others to succeed.
Host: Sue Frech, Founder and CEO, Vesta
Sue has spent her career redefining digital marketing in brand and retail marketing, Martech, and advertising, at brands such as Kraft and Glaxo-SmithKline. She is committed to creating fellow Happy Marketers through Vesta’s all-in-one online community building software, transforming the relationships between brands and consumers with Community Powered Marketing.