A decade ago, Jordan Colletti was as far from a career in sales as he could get. He was singing and playing guitar in a New Jersey rock group called All Rights Reserved. Colletti likens the lifestyle to the classic Bill Murray flick Groundhog Day.
“Every day is the same thing,” the 29-year-old says. (That’s him in the center of a band publicity photo.) “Touring’s fun, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not like what everybody thinks it is, unless you’re in a big band and you have the luxury of affording a tour bus. We had a conversion van with a trailer … and we’d have to drive eight hours a night to get to the next state, wherever we were playing. It was always hit or miss as far as how many people showed up, whether they promoted it or not. Some nights we’d play in front of five kids and some nights we’d play in front of 500 kids.”
After the band ran its course, the Brooklyn-born, Jersey-raised Colletti looked toward college, but says he didn’t want to attend an area school like Rutgers or Penn State. He’d been attracted to the West Coast during tour stops there, and says he fell in love with Arizona State. He graduated from there in 2008 with a business degree.
After a couple of years working for a health club chain, Colletti was looking for something else. He eventually landed at Worldwide Express, and Colletti is now a senior sales executive at the Phoenix franchise. He has hit big in several sales contests, including the Dash for Cash, Best of the Best and making consecutive President’s Club lists.
When he’s not out selling, he’s hanging with his wife, Diana, and their 4-year-old son, Brody. Here’s more from Colletti on life and work in Phoenix.
How I got to Worldwide Express: “I put my resume out there and I was getting a bunch of BS calls … just stupid stuff. And Tyler [Navarrette] called me, and it was actually refreshing, because he’s a pretty bright guy. … I knew that wasn’t a sales pitch. So we wound up talking over the phone for like 45 minutes. And we scheduled an interview. At the time, I didn’t even know how to tie a tie or how to wear suits or anything. I borrowed one of my friend’s suits and just went in there, and I guess the rest is history.”
My approach to sales: “I’m just real with everybody. I tell them how it is. I don’t hide anything. I’m just out there. My heart’s on my sleeve. If I don’t think it’s a good fit, I don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole. I just tell them right away, ‘Not for me. I’d love to work with you, it just doesn’t make sense.’ … These people know that I’m a real guy. If it’s something they don’t want to hear, I still tell it to them. … I’m going to tell them, ‘No, this doesn’t make sense,’ or ‘Yes, this does make sense.’”
The best part of my job: “Two things. First, the relationships that I build with my customers. The fact that my customers trust me, no matter what happens, is phenomenal. … They trust me because I build that relationship with them. I would say the second part of that is the fact that I kind of think like a business owner, meaning I manage my book of business.”
An odd sales moment: “I was in a territory and hitting some doors. One of the doors, I walk to the back and I get all this information, and I find out that it’s a lead. I knock on the front door and I hear the guy — he’s like, ‘Sorry, not available.’ But there was a little mail slip on the bottom of the door. So I literally got on my knees and I opened the mail slip, and I started talking to the owner through the mail slip. I was like, ‘Dude, bottom line, I know I can help you out.’ The guy was fascinated that I would do that, so he opened the door. And I wound up selling the account.”
My hobbies and interests: “I have a wife and a son, so all the hobbies I once had are completely on hold. My whole life revolves around my son. I’m obsessed with tennis, so we watch all Rafael Nadal matches. My son’s obsessed with Rafa. I give him tennis lessons, I coach his soccer team, I coach his basketball team, I play baseball with him at the park. We play hockey in front of the house. I give him swimming lessons in our pool in the backyard. He’s so athletic. … My biggest thing is I’m obsessed with 1950s culture, old-fashioned stuff. When I was growing up, my dad showed me all Laurel and Hardy movies, The Honeymooners, even The Pink Panther with Peter Sellers, Abbott and Costello, the Marx Brothers. I show that to my son, and my son loves all that stuff. The humor is just amazing because they’re just so silly. Laurel and Hardy, it’s constant slapstick. It’s the slapstick comedy that I love. The fact that you can make a complete mockery of yourself is the greatest thing to me.”