To borrow from The Beatles, Greg Lees got his sales career back to where he once belonged.
Lees hails from Harrisburg, Pa., and graduated from Quinnipiac College in Connecticut in 2005 with a degree in political science and legal studies. He found his way to Worldwide Express’ Harrisburg franchise in 2006. Lees says he was attracted to the sales job by its “unlimited income potential.”
“That’s kind of a big thing to draw you in, especially with all the debt you’ve accrued graduating,” he says. “I really like the team that was running the Harrisburg market, so it was pretty much the personnel there that brought me in.”
Lees worked in Harrisburg until 2008, when he took an outside sales job with another company. When that business experienced some internal buyouts, he got back in contact with Worldwide Express.
“Chris Nantista reached out to me and we set up an interview down in Florida,” Lees says. “He explained what the next step could be in coming back to Worldwide Express. It sounded extremely attractive, so I packed up and moved.”
He returned in 2012, as a major account executive in the Atlanta office.
Here’s more from him on life and work in Atlanta, and his enduring love for the Philadelphia sports scene.
My start with the company: “I was very green to the transportation industry, as well as to how we actually went about acquiring our leads. It was a little bit nerve-wracking, but it was something I adjusted to extremely quick, and I started to like that part of our job. … The first cold call I did was when I was on a field ride with the sales manager in Harrisburg. The first half of the day was me watching him do the cold call, and then the second half was him throwing me into the field to see how I’d be able to adjust. I know I butchered it pretty good the first time I went through that, but obviously that’s something that’s going to happen.”
The best part of my job: “I like our office dynamics. We’re not only competitive against the reps in the office, but we’re also competing against everyone nationwide. I played golf in college and I played sports growing up, so it’s nice to actually have a job where you kind of let that competitive edge take over. … I really enjoy coming to the office every morning. We’re a very cohesive team. What I mean by that is everyone is looking for everyone else to succeed. Everyone’s extremely helpful. There’s camaraderie and competitiveness with each other, but everybody wants to see everybody succeed.”
My approach to sales: “The biggest thing that we tend to do before we even approach a customer is to try to find a pretty significant need outside of cost. On the small parcel side, we deal a lot with companies that are headquartered here in Atlanta that may have 10, 15 branch locations. We bring a lot to the table in terms of invoice allocation and our enhanced kind of customer service. Our biggest thing is showing people that, outside of cost, there are a lot of reasons to do business with Worldwide Express. Once we get that implemented, it’s pretty easy for them to see the value that we bring to the table. It really just comes down to uncovering the right information during a cold call and really being able to show them the true value of how we kind of separate ourselves from everybody else.”
One of my more humorous sales calls: “I ran into it twice, where I was out cold calling, and walked into a lobby while they were getting ready to go into a meeting with their FedEx rep. So I’m going in there to do a cold call and introduce myself, and the FedEx rep will stare at me and say, ‘Do you work for the company as well?’ And I say, ‘No, we work for your competition.’ That’s happened twice in the last six months. It’s always a little bit humorous. They usually just chuckle. [The business owner] will give me a business card. It doesn’t get too awkward or weird. When you get into small parcel, there’s only two players left, so eventually it’s going to happen. You just laugh it off. And once you get back to the office, just start blowing up on the phone.”
My hobbies and interests: “I’m still a pretty avid golfer, so I do that quite a bit. There’s a ton of courses here in Atlanta, so it’s nice being able to play somewhere new almost every other weekend. They’re a lot more maintained [than Pennsylvania courses], and since you’re not encountering a lot of the snow and weather up north, the courses are much more pristine. Anywhere from the grass to the bunkers. I’m a big Phillies fan, a huge Eagles fan and Flyers fan. With the Atlanta Braves being in the NL East division, every time Philadelphia comes down to visit, we go to their games. It’s a little bit different being in a stadium and being some of the only Phillies fans.”