Ask An MBA: Selling A Multi-Million Dollar Deal (Pt. 1)

WHAT'S IT LIKE TO: Sell A Multi-Million Dollar Software Deal (Pt. 1)

What is it like to sell a multi-million dollar software deal?

- James Y. 

Mark Zuckerberg started an empire as a teenager. 

Steve Jobs started one at 20.

So when my sales manager called me a “C-player” and did just about everything to keep me down, I ignored him. Keeping Facebook and Apple in mind, I set sights on building my OWN empire.

(Ok, we're not taking Billions here; more like a multi-million dollar one.)

And I did. Here’s how it went down:

That sales manager I mentioned was a real piece of work. Every month, his “pep” talk would quickly turn into a bash session. When you walked into the office you were greeted by “close the door behind you.” And when I heard those words, it propelled me back to my strict Dean's office from high school. Even how I dressed was fair game.

But I didn’t let him or those sessions beat me down or extinguish the inspiration from Zuck or Jobs. Instead, I chose to feel sorry that nobody taught him how to inspire and effectively lead. And went about my business. 

Thankfully, over time, a couple of small deals started to trickle in -- enough to buy some time and meet the people that would help guide me to my empire. Deep down, I knew if I kept working hard the path would light up.

One of those people I met, quickly realized that I had the potential to be an effective business professional. He took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. And most importantly, when I came to him with this BIG IDEA to sell a deal 100X the average company deal size, he told me YOU CAN DO IT.

Empires are built by finding someone that allows you to see the hope inside yourself. 


ask an mba

Evan Hoffman4 Posts

Evan is a Columbia Business School MBA and sales executive who's sold over 25 million dollars of technology services in is his career. Evan has expertise in sales, marketing, and leadership development.