The Pareto assessment day opened my eyes to my own competitive nature, which I found actually really suits me. Being around like-minded people in that kind of environment really pushed me to put myself out there.Will Eves
With a 950% achieved sales target at one of the world’s biggest financial services corporations, an unbroken cold calling record as an intern and personifying the very definition of ‘fast career progression’, it’s fair to say Will Eves is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to sales.
Originally a Law graduate, things could’ve been very different for London-based Will, who confesses a career in sales wasn’t even on his radar until he accidentally stumbled across a graduate sales training course that ‘made the stars align’, as he rather poetically puts it.
Since finding sales, Will hasn’t looked back, progressing quickly from American Express intern in May 2011 to Consultancy Sales Strategist a little over a year later. By February 2014 he was made Account Manager, responsible for a staggering $200M portfolio in Global Corporate Payments. If that’s not a case of the stars aligning, we don’t know what is.
It was in this role as Account Manager that Will achieved one of the proudest moments of his career. After hitting an exceptional 950% on his yearly sales target within just 10 months, he received the President’s Club Award, marking him as something of a sales mastermind. “It was a really proud moment,” says Will, in his typically down-to-earth, straight-talking way.
The award, created to recognise the top 1% of American Express Global Corporate Payments employees, was a career defining moment that led to further promotion, propelling Will to his current role as Regional Manager of Southern Europe, which sees him manage Global Corporate Payments and teams across 12 countries.
It’s extremely gratifying and fulfilling to be able to tangibly measure your value to your company and to have people listen to the knowledge you have to share.Will Eves
But how did Will come to be such a high flyer in an incredibly competitive field? After graduating from Oxford Brookes University with a 2:1 in Law, Will found himself on the same dull and uninspiring path many a graduate treads, searching online for work experience and in-roads, when he unexpectedly stumbled upon Pareto Law. Impressed by the clients Pareto worked with - and fired up by the case studies featured on their website - Will was encouraged to enquire further and found himself signing up to an assessment day in his Dad’s home town of Chiswick.
He likened the assessment day to a high energy forum for outspoken people to put across their big ideas. Realising he had to fight to be heard in such an exciting and animated environment, Will was swiftly plunged into a fast paced world which, he soon realised, suited him perfectly.
After successfully passing the Pareto assessments in early 2011 and receiving the accreditation that he had qualified among the top 20% of their candidates, Will was excited to begin an internship with American Express in May of that year.
His internship gave him the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of the global corporation, spending time in each department to familiarise himself with the processes behind an incredibly successful financial services company. Despite being a self-proclaimed naturally curious person who loves to learn about all areas of business, Will stayed true to keeping his sights set firmly on a career in sales, which has since led him from success to success.
Known as one of the leading financial services corporations in the world, American Express is a huge organisation to start out in, and the prospect of standing out in such a vast global company must have seemed like an incredibly daunting prospect. However, it was a challenge Will embraced with vigour and passion: “I had that career minded aggressiveness,” he explains. “As an intern I loved the sales elements of the work - I actually set a cold calling record within the company that hasn’t been broken to this day.”
Without a doubt sales is a high risk, high reward career and if you think you have the personality for it you can really excel.Will Eves
Looking back at the success of his career so far, Will reflects on the very different path his life could’ve taken if he hadn’t found sales: “It’s likely I would’ve found work experience in an arena directly related to my degree and right now, at my age, I’d be in a dull, non-client-facing admin-heavy legal job within a law firm somewhere. I don’t think I’d have the career progression or satisfaction I have now.”
So what advice does this sales great have for anyone wanting to pursue the rollercoaster of a career that is sales? Will recommends taking the time to assess yourself and find out if you’re the right person for the job: “It’s all about personality, if you’re incredibly motivated, meticulously organised and a very curious person then sales could be for you. Without a doubt sales is a high risk, high reward career and if you think you have the personality for it you can really excel.”