I’m Brian Jeffrey – retired salesperson, sales manager, sales trainer, sales management consultant, author, speaker… and I got into all this by accident.
I got into sales by accident!
I was happily pursuing my career as an electronics technician when the service department manager went for a 6-week course and left me in charge. Leaving me in charge wasn’t a good idea because I did take charge. I revised operating procedures and physically reorganized the department for better efficiency. The service department was located in the basement of a large, repurposed house. The company president came down one day, looked around, smiled, and left. When my manager returned and came down, he looked around, didn’t smile, and went to the president and suggested I be given a new career opportunity, preferably in some other company. The president called me up to his office and asked if I’d like a 20% increase in salary, a company car, and go into sales? For the first time in my life I could see the handwriting on the wall, and it said, “Unemployment looming” so I quickly agreed to go into sales.
After 8 miserable months on the road I was ready to quit when I discovered a book titled “How to Outsell the Born Salesperson.” It changed my life.
I found there was a method to sales, a system, and if I worked the ‘system,’ I’d get all the sales. Well, I didn’t get all the sales, but I got a lot more than I was getting before, lots more.
I started sharing my techniques with the other salespeople in the company. In time I became sales manager and my career took off. I ultimately started my own sales training and sales management consulting company with my life mate, Lorraine, (Salesforce Training & Consulting Inc), which became Canada’s premier sales training company (but then, I’m somewhat biased).
As you might guess, there is a lot more to this story, but no need to bore you. 😊
The Sales Wizard Story
It started as a bit of a bad joke. Somewhere in the mid 1980s, we were having a staff meeting to come up ideas on how we, as a small company, could stand out from the “big guys” at an upcoming trade show. Someone suggested I should dress up as a wizard and answer sales questions from visitors.
When the laughter subsided and the dust settled, the Sales Wizard was born. I’d like to tell you that it was a roaring success. It wasn’t! Once the visitors saw me in my wizard garb, poised high on top of a plastic milk crate, they took pains to avert their gaze and took the longest way around our booth as though trying to avoid me like I had the plague.
It wasn’t until weeks and months later that we realized we had stumbled on a winner of a concept. People didn’t remember me, but they remembered our company and we started getting calls from people (i.e. prospects) who wanted to speak to “The Sales Wizard.”
The rest, as they say, is history.
The “History” Part
Around 1985 Lorraine and I took a leap into the entrepreneurial world and started our own training business under the banner of Jeffrey & Jeffrey Associates. Our primary focus was sales training but frankly, we did almost anything that would bring in a dollar.
The problem with being Jeffrey & Jeffrey Assoc was that, unless you already knew us, the company name gave no clue as to what we did. Were we accountants, lawyers, architects, what?
So, we asked ourselves, what was our passion? The answer: sales training and sales management consulting. Voila, a new company name, SalesForce Training & Consulting Inc. (SFTC) was born.
We spent the next 20+ years building and running a highly successful sales training and sales management consulting business. Many of the e-books and articles on this site are the result of dealing with our client’s challenges. It was like having a living laboratory where we could develop and test solutions to real world sales and sales management problems.
In 2006, after 20+ years in the training business, we found the ideal person to pass the training baton onto, and sold SFTC to Mark Christie, who continues running it to this day.
During our years in the training business, we had developed a paper-based instrument to assess potential salespeople, so we started SalesForce Assessments Ltd (SFA) and embarked on a 2-year adventure to convert it to an on-line instrument. That business was on the verge of taking off when, in 2011, a California software company (Callidus) took a shine to it and made us an offer we couldn’t refuse, and SalesForce Assessments had a new owner.
Although I was in my 70’s at this point, I wasn’t ready to retire so Lorraine and I started yet another company, Quintarra Consulting, and we found ourselves back at square one with a company name that told people nothing. At this point we didn’t care, and we continued to provide sales management consulting under that banner until 2021.
Quintarra Consulting Inc was put to rest in 2021, and while we are no longer formally in business, I continue to provide sales management consulting to selected clients (I.e., people I like!).
And that’s the rest of the story (for now!).