A vision in velvet, Jamie B. has been kicking butt and taking names at Yelp since 2010, first as an Account Executive and now in her role as a National Account Executive. She started out selling fancy pajamas, but found her true calling helping businesses connect with their consumers through Yelp. What’s she up to these days? Well, a lot it seems…
What did you do before coming to Yelp?
Before Yelp I worked in collections at PayPal. I would call customers and request payment on their most recent, and sometimes embarrassing, Ebay purchases. Before that, I managed the West Coast Operations for a luxury pajama retailer out of New York. They specialized in fine European sleepwear selling at $399 a pop! I like to think I'm responsible for coordinating the wardrobes for hundreds of families in their holiday card photos!
How did you first hear about Yelp and the job opening?
PayPal was my first step into the tech world of employment, but I was always scanning the web for another opportunity that was a better fit for my personality. I came across a job posting for an Account Manager at Yelp and applied. During my call with Kayti (who is now our Director of East Coast Sales) she quickly identified my passion and quirky sense of humor and requested I interview for a different role. A few weeks later I was starting as an Account Executive.
What's your title at Yelp, and how long have you been with the company?
Currently, I'm a National Account Executive (NAE). I've been with Yelp since August of 2010, homegrown as an Account Executive, advanced through the Yelp Sales Development Program (YSDP) and promoted to NAE.
What comprises a typical day for you?
The first thing that I do when I get into the office is check and respond to my emails. I'm usually setting up meetings for the week, answering client questions and maintaining current client relationships. I call into the Southeast region, so based on the time change, I usually spend the next several hours on client calls and presenting our product to national brands.
I wrap up my day by communicating with different teams within Yelp to draft proposals for my clients and preparing for my next day to start all over, preaching the benefits of Yelp one brand at a time.
What's the best part of working for Yelp?
The best part of working for Yelp is the opportunity they provide. It's an incredible feeling to be the leader in the industry and confidently communicate that success to our clients. In addition, Yelp has always excelled at offering their employees amazing opportunities and the means to further develop their careers. For example, I earned the opportunity to move onto the National Sales Team which allows me the flexibility to work out of any office!
What is your favorite perk at Yelp?
Yelp has too many perks to pick a favorite, but if I haaaaad to – I'd say my favorite perk is the monthly gym subsidy. Everyone knows we have a fully stocked kitchen, overflowing with cookies, chips, and soda to give us an afternoon boost, so a gym membership is a must. Our gym subsidy gives me no excuse not to go all out for the best gym membership in town and lead a healthy lifestyle.
What has been your favorite memory at Yelp?
My favorite memory at Yelp was in February of 2011 when 12 deals earned me the elusive and beloved Bleeder Award. Every month, the Bleeder is awarded to the top Account Executive in the office. The winner receives the highest form of recognition by being immortalized forever in velvet and placed on the wall of Bleeders. A sweet gentleman in Mexico creates a velvet painting of your photo, holding the iconic Bleeder Belt to commemorate your success.
What separates Yelp from other places you've worked?
Yelp provides a different level of satisfaction than my other employers were able to provide for me. First, although sales team members can’t contribute any reviews or content, I use Yelp to find local businesses and believe in the product, so I tell my Yelp success stories every day (like finding a 5-star sunglasses repair shop that fixed my ray-bans same day so I didn't have to buy another pair). In addition, there's a level of personal satisfaction from the sales aspect of my job, which is elevated by the ability to provide my clients a solution that actually solves their business challenges.
Finally, what would be your one piece of advice for someone interested in your role?
Stay open-minded and ask questions. My role requires that I'm always learning, adapting, and revising my presentations to remain competitive and relevant to my clients. As my first career in the digital space, I like to think I'm an expert on Yelp and continue to learn more about the social/local/mobile space every day. As soon as you stop learning, you become stagnant – Yelp moves quickly so it's best to keep up.