Alyssa J Freitas

November 13, 2019

Friendsgiving Etiquette

I am so into November. It's finally chilly, I have my few Thanksgiving decorations up (still festive, but not time to go over the top for Christmas), and it's perfectly acceptable to cozy up on a Sunday afternoon at home near the radiator. Another reason I'm into November? So many opportunities to rely on etiquette to help us have a fun time. You'll remember from previous posts that the purpose of etiquette is to help everyone feel at ease, and today I'm excited to jump into Friendsgiving etiquette!
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Check out what you need to know when you attend a friendsgiving!

Find out what to bring

More likely than not the host will suggest dishes that will be good for you to bring (and if they don't, ask!). Please listen to them. They're coordinating a number of guests and have a view of the entire menu, so don't get too creative and diverge. If you do come up with another idea, bring it in addition to what you've been asked. 

Plan ahead

To make sure you don't put yourself in a scramble the day of the event, take a look at your calendar and block time to prepare whatever you need to bring. Show up on time, not too far in advance, and just generally make sure you're ready to be a great guest to help the generous hostess. 

When you arrive, be helpful!

When you arrive it is always good to offer a helping hand to your host. Ask if he or she would like assistance passing out hors d'oeuvres or taking other guests' coats. But get out of the way! Your host is likely to be slightly overwhelmed so be sure to asses what he needs and then move on to talk to other guests; you don't want to be underfoot while he is working.

Keep conversation flowing

If it is an intimate gathering and you know everyone this should be easy enough. However, if you do not know many other guests make an effort to introduce yourself and learn a little about them. Asking how they know the host, where they went to school, where they are from, what they last read, etc. can help get you started.

We all know the feeling of getting through the usual small talk with someone and not knowing where to take the conversation next. This can be particularly difficult when it's someone you don't know well and are unsure of his or her interests. Now is the time to pull out your inner investigator and use some questions to find common ground. Asking about travel experiences and plans, books, music, holiday memories and the like is a good way to start. Be an active listener and make follow up inquiries to keep the conversation going.

...And appropriate

When politics or religion or economic policy discussion comes to the table it doesn't bode well for the enjoyment of all, so avoid it! Yes, it can be fun to have a debate, especially when you are passionate about a subject, but a Friendsgiving dinner is usually not the time or place.

Help cleanup, but know when to leave

When the table is being cleared, ask once if the host needs help, ask twice, and accept denial on the third time. Sometimes a host can't help but begin to straighten up but still wants his guests to enjoy each other's company and linger at the table. Just remember that the host in charge of the meal and guests should follow his lead.

Figuring out when it's time to leave is an art that is somewhat difficult. You do not want to be the last remaining nor do you want to leave too early. If the host has put an end time on the invitation, then this is a straightforward indication of when you should begin to gather yourself. If there isn't a specific end time look to signals from your hostess such as if she remarks on the time or finishes clearing up.

Send a thank you note

There is nothing better then receiving a thank you note after working hard to host a party. Show your appreciation and drop a note in the mail the next day.

Check out more etiquette posts here and the posts that inspired a lot of the points here and here

Anything else you would add? Hope everyone who is attending a Friendsgiving has a fabulous time. 


-Alyssa J

November 6, 2019

How to Make Progress Every Day

Sales is a fun business. It's exciting and varied and I love the strategizing and creativity that's required. One of the challenges of being in enterprise sales is that things take time. A long time. You can work on a deal for months and maybe you'll win it and maybe you won't. The fact is, it can be hard to keep yourself motivated when you can go quite a while without a victory or a complete indication that you're on the right track.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Check out this one small tip you can use every day to ensure you're making progress

Since I'm sure this feeling is not unique to sales, I wanted to share the ways I've been staying motivated and excited and measuring my progress.

Utilizing your calendar for planning

I have a recurring calendar event every morning at 8:30 called "Schedule Day." In the details of the event I ask myself
What can I do to move my current opportunities forward today? 
What can I do to generate new opportunities today? 
When it comes down to it, these are the most important questions any salesperson can ask themselves when planning out their day. Depending on your role, you can modify these questions. The main idea is to get yourself thinking about how you can best use your time to achieve your goals.

Based on this (and all of the existing meetings on my calendar), I fill in my calendar with what I will do each hour or half hour to help me answer these questions.

Utilizing your calendar for reflection

At 6 every evening I have another recurring calendar event where I ask myself
What did I do to move my current opportunities forward today? 
What did I do to generate new opportunities today? 
What am I grateful for today?
I then reflect on my day and fill in the event with answers to these questions. By looking back at what I did for the day (the meetings I had, emails I sent, calls I made), I can see if I made progress that I'm happy with and it helps me think through how I can do better tomorrow.

This also gives you a great record of your small victories and is something you can look back on to help articulate your value and what you contribute/how you think through and make progress in your role. Whether it's your resume, LinkedIn, an interview, or a performance review, this is an easy way to collect the information you'll need to use again and again.

I also like to ask myself what I am grateful for over the course of the day. I tried to institute gratitude journaling into my routine in the morning, but I find that reflecting on one thing at the end of the day works for me.

How do you keep yourself on track and making progress? 


-Alyssa J

October 30, 2019

October 2019 Monthly Recap

October has been an action packed month, with tons of travel. It feels so good to have a few hours at home this Sunday to write this post and get myself together after being on the move!
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Check out what I was up to in October, with a lot of time spent in Disney

A professional highlight was opening the latest Women in Sales Everywhere panel. WISE is an organization I'm involved in in the capacity of content chair (check out our Instagram and blog!), and I helped connect Looker with WISE for our October event. It was exciting to kick off the discussion and my dream is to speak on a panel one day!

I've felt the happiest this month since moving to the city. It's almost like the summer felt like I was on vacation - like living in the city wasn't permanent. Now, when I'm taking walks in Central Park with Joe and hitting up the Met every free weekend, it finally feels real. Not going to lie, I teared up a bit looking at this view and realizing that my dream has become reality!

Mama and Papa came into the city and we visited Hamilton's Grange. Very cool to see where he lived and learn more about his life. That weekend Joe and I played quite a bit of Forbidden Island and Nina came for a visit too!


A local bar had a Disney movie trivia night, so you better bet we were there! We came in 4th place and were very proud of ourselves. Our team name (Put that thing back where it came from or so help me) was a big hit.

I headed off to North Carolina for a Women in Data event, and when I got back Joe and I went to the NY Historical Society for free Friday nights.

The following week I was in Atlanta for a happy hour and a few meetings, and that weekend I jetted off to Orlando for a weekend in Disney with Casey!




We went to Epcot on Sunday and I had a conference from Monday to Thursday. The conference was a great opportunity for me to perfect my Looker pitch and to refine my understanding of where we are in the data analytics space. All that aside...the conference closed down Magic Kingdom for us one night and I lost my mind! We got all the food and ice cream we wanted for free and I was so excited to go on the rides and meet characters. Major perk that comes along with all the travel.



I came home and had a hot second to rest, then the next day we headed to Jersey to visit with my and Joe's family. We also went to a Halloween party and made an interesting pair.

What has your month been like? 


-Alyssa J

October 23, 2019

Updated Minimalist Skincare Routine (+Daily Makeup)

Nearly three years ago, I got my skin in order. You can read all about my skincare journey here, and today I wanted to take you through the products I use on a regular basis that keep my skin in tip top shape. I also wanted to share my daily makeup, because that took some trial and error when favorite products were discontinued. Let's jump in!
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Check out my updated minimalist skincare and makeup routine

Morning

I still wash my face every morning with Herbalism from Lush and I don't know what I will do if they discontinue it. 

Next, I use the Eau Roma Water toner from Lush. The main draw is that it's rose water and I'm obsessed with anything rose scented, and I'm not sure if I'll repurchase once I'm out of it because I'm not sure how much it actually does for my skin. 

After that is Estée Lauder DayWear with SPF 15. It's perfectly creamy and a great base. 

Following that I use It Cosmetics CC Cream in medium with SPF 50. It's a fan favorite and popular product for a reason!

I love using a cream blush (powder just doesn't look as natural on me), but my favorite from NYX is discontinued and I would love any and all recommendations.

When I want to wear eyeshadow I use Tarte's Make Magic Happen palette and will add Maybelline's Define-A-Line pencil eyeliner. 

I've been using a sample eyelash primer from Estée Lauder before mascara and can't decide if it's actually a necessary part of the process. 

Next I use It Cosmetics Hello Lashes 5-in-1 Mascara. I got it from a friend and have a bunch of other sample mascaras in reserves, so I don't know how long it will be until I repurchase, but it is very good! Best mascara I've used for sure. 

For under eye concealer I use Maybelline Facestudio Master Conceal in light. 

Back to It Cosmentics for their Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder. I don't use this on a daily basis, but it is quite nice when I do!

For lips, I use Burtsbees Lip Balm and then I use bareMinerals Statement Lip Matte Liquid Lipstick in Naughty. The color is so perfect, and this is the one bareMinerals product that I've liked.

Night

I still use Lush's 9 to 5 cleansing lotion to remove my makeup. 

Again, I grab Herbalism to wash my face, and then some nights I'll use the Mask of Magnaminty from Lush or whatever sample mask I have at the time. I sleep barefaced and it works well for me to give my skin a break.

What are your favorite skincare and makeup products? Would love any recommendations for a cream blush. Please. 


-Alyssa J

October 16, 2019

FAQs About My Career in Sales

Hello my friends, I hope you're having a great week! I procrastinated and didn't write this post until the night before publishing, so I feel much more real time and chatty.
Click to read now or pin to save later to learn all about a career in sales

If you've been following for a while you may know that I just wrapped up the first quarter at my new job. I work as an Account Executive at Looker, a data platform company that is in the process of being acquired by Google, and cover accounts across all industries. Before that I was an Account Executive at IBM and I have been working for a sales training company since I was in college. Also, I'm the content chair for Women in Sales Everywhere...I'm recapping all of this confirm that I pretty much live and breathe sales, every day of the week (and if you want to learn how I manage multiple jobs, check out this post).

This means that I get asked a lot of questions from people who want to pursue a career in sales, are interested in learning how to make the move from one job to another, and more. While I would love to answer every email, LinkedIn message, and get on the phone with everyone, it's getting harder and harder to manage the time. That's why today I'm putting together a comprehensive post of my most frequently asked questions. Let's jump in!

Do you have any advice for getting into the IBM Summit Program? 

For those of you who aren't familiar, the IBM Summit Program is an amazing sales program for both college graduates and experienced professionals to become an account executive or technical seller at IBM. My top advice for getting into the program is to demonstrate your ability to listen carefully, present complex concepts simply, and make sure that you take into consideration everyone's ideas on your team. Keep this interview etiquette in mind and be sure to ask this question

How can I get on the team of my dreams after graduating from the Summit Program? 

Make yourself useful throughout the entire program. You're going to have a lot of down time between trainings, so reach out to sellers and managers on the teams you're interested in and offer your services. You can help prospect, identify events sellers should have on their radar, build call plans and do meeting prep, the list goes on and on. By being an asset before you're even hired to do anything you can make it an easy choice to add you to the team when you graduate. 

Why did you leave IBM?

I love IBM. Truly. And I think if I had joined a different team after graduating from the program I may still be there today. However, I didn't ask the right questions when choosing a team. I didn't get a full understanding of the development of the products and I didn't do a good job of making a change when I realized I wasn't in the right place for me. There are so many teams at IBM and although I considered making an internal change, I found an external opportunity at Looker that was such a good fit I couldn't pass it up. 

How can you pursue an Account Executive (AE) role if you don't have the typical background or you're fresh out of school?

You'll read a lot about how being a Sales Development Representative (SDR) and Inside Seller is important before becoming an AE. There is no doubt that you can build up a great skill set in those roles...however it isn't the only way to be prepared to take on an AE role.

I was lucky enough to have sales as a program at my college and that was one of the best things that ever happened for me. But, if you know you want to pursue sales there are so many other ways to gain the skills you need. You can get a job selling Cutco, you can sell advertising for your school newspaper, you can intern with sales teams at just about any type of organization. It's all about understanding a business need and how you can solve it. 

The best advice I have for overcoming objections from hiring managers about your number of years or type of experience is to dig in further before answering. Ask what skills they think are important to be successful in the role and then explain how you've been able to acquire said skills in your previous experience. 

How can I break into tech sales?

Everyone is talking about technology and it's one of the hottest places to be as a B2B seller. Networking and going on informational interviews to make sure it's what you actually want to do is the best first step. You can also attend events and listen to interviews with sales leaders in the space (and, of course, network when you're there). WISE is an amazing organization for this.

Do you have any questions for me I didn't answer? I'd love to hear what else would be useful for you!


-Alyssa J