Alina W. hails from the world of Cirque du Soleil. After growing up as a competitive gymnast and spending a few months traveling the world with the renowned production, she decided to hang up her leotard and pursue a career at Yelp. In sales, a committed work ethic and fantastic personality are essential for success. Alina’s competitive spirit and her ability to connect with anyone, both in person and over the phone, elevate the entire team to another level. She’s quite the sales superstar, and her hard work definitely pays off.
- What drew you to a job at Yelp initially?
I love what the company stands for — I am that person who looks for the best local experience, whether it’s in a foreign city or two blocks from my apartment. I want to spend my hard earned money on a great local business and wanted to be a part of a company that I could identify with. I also love the thrill of sales and how closing a deal gets my adrenaline moving just like I’m an athlete again.
- What is a typical day in the office like for you?
I usually get into the office around 8:15am after a short walk from my apartment in Lower Nob Hill. I grab a greek yogurt from the fridge and make myself a cup of tea and head to my desk. I’ve got some awesome teammates, so it’s hard for me not to indulge in some story swapping or a couple of jokes while I wait for my computer to load up. I’ll then check some of my favorite reports and see which business owners have logged into their accounts overnight or which businesses are newly listed to Yelp and add them to my pipeline. These are my favorite businesses to call because Yelp is fresh on their mind, and I like to be their first point of contact after they check out how much activity they’ve gotten in their business owner’s account or after just adding their business to our directory for the first time.
I think the most challenging part of the day is figuring out what to do next. I have a hard time picking out which initial businesses I’m going to call, but after I make a few calls, I remember my groove and get back into the swing of things. I think the most rewarding part of the day is being able to turn a conversation from an initial hard “no” to discussing Yelp advertising to a really excited yes — that means I’ve done my job really well, and that feels pretty good.
- How does this job fit your skill set and what are you most excited about as you continue to grow in your role and at Yelp?
As a former athlete, I am super competitive and I want to be the best with everything I do. Unfortunately, a lot of things in sales are out of your control, and it isn’t as calculated as sports was for me in what it was I needed to do to succeed. The thing that stays constant though is that work ethic speaks volumes at this job. Sometimes you have to remind yourself to stop listening to the noise and just keep your head down and work hard because that’s all you can control at the end of the day — the success will follow.
What I’m most excited about is continuing to develop my craft. There’s a lot of money to be made at this job, but you have to be patient and persistent and continue to own your own development in order to get better. The other thing I’m excited about is that Yelp is still a young company; as it continues to grow, more opportunities are created, so there’s always something to work for even if it’s not directly in sales.
- What’s your favorite thing about living in San Francisco? What are you up to when you’re not at work?
I love San Francisco because the city is so easily accessible to the outdoors. I’m only a short drive from camping in Yosemite or a road trip to Big Sur. I’m a true foodie (self-proclaimed?), so I love to check out all of the top-rated bars and restaurants, which is easy because I live in Lower Nob Hill: a grungy area that has the best diversity of ethnic options. On the weekends you’ll find me buying fresh produce and planning to make a cool recipe for dinner, which usually consists of some kind of seafood. I’m also a huge dog lover, and Ocean Beach is the best place to be with a picnic, a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and is where all the dogs in San Francisco go to play.
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