This week, we recognize Katie Aldrich at Liftoff as Vendition’s Apprentice of the Week.  After graduating from San Francisco State with a degree in Communications, Katie went into copywriting and ecommerce.  With her consideration in entering Sales, she found a great fit at Liftoff and has already achieved 20% of her annual target since completing her apprenticeship this past week!

Read the rest to learn Katie’s story:

When it comes to sales, Katie shares she knew she’d be good at it based on her innate skills, even though it hadn’t been something she fully considered until a year out of college. “I knew sales was an opportunity I could leverage since I have the personality traits: working hard, taking no for an answer and still persevering, and I enjoy communicating, talking, and writing. Sales was a good opportunity to think about myself personally.”

Katie shares that she knew Liftoff was the right next step for her for a variety of reasons: culture and transparency were a few she mentioned.  “It comes down to culture—it was a no brainer.  I love the advertising and the digital world, and on top of that, the culture at Liftoff stood out to me.  Obviously it’s an apprenticeship, so you don’t know 100% it’ll be the long term fit, but I went for it.  Everyone was warm and welcoming.  The team was extremely transparent about expectations, and the goals you should be setting for yourself.  I found it super inclusive, and that’s a huge part of going to work every day.”

Coming from copywriting, Katie emphasizes, helped her land the role. “My boss asked in my interview, ‘How do you think your writing skills have evolved’ and based on my response, she told me that’s why I got it.  On top of that, coming from ecommerce, it was helpful in terms of outreach to ecommerce companies and leveraging those writing skills.”

At the beginning she found herself overwhelmed by the ambiguous-at-times adtech space–trying to figure out first how things worked before she could sell it. Katie shares that with time came more understanding, which allowed her room to have some fun with her process.  “Compared to now, I understand a lot more, which makes it more exciting, and I’ve found that you can get more creative with your outreach.  Understanding came after the first month, which made it a lot more fun to craft emails and reach out to prospects on LinkedIn. You really own what you’re talking about.”

Katie says that working with her coach Sam really helped with her confidence levels. “He’s a funny person, and he makes you feel very comfortable.  I found that a lot of the things he helped me most with were along the lines of, ‘How do I navigate this, I’m confused on X topic, and I don’t know how to approach it.’  His take was always, ‘Why complicate it, explain what you’re confused about to a coworker who can help, you’re new!’” Katie adds that he guided her on how to approach situations, given he was very quick to reply to her questions. “Even with a quick email response, he helped me simplify things and go in with more confidence.”

In becoming comfortable with creative outreach, Katie says she considers another win for herself is as simple as being actively involved with testing out new strategies.  In light of the times, Katie’s been tasked with including video components to outreach. Through her process, she’s figured out which types of companies to target with video outreach based on the success she’s seen.  “I did a few presentations with my findings to the team and now we’re implementing them!”

Katie’s advice to SDRs just starting out:

  • The number one mistake you can make is not trying. Katie advises, “Be open to every single opportunity that comes your way. If you go in full force and then you have a question, just ask someone.” 
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Katie says that a huge part of sales is you’re going to flop sometimes, so just take the chance. “If you flop it’s fine, it’s part of your growth process.”
  • Take advantage of the 3-month apprenticeship.If you’re unsure of sales, don’t worry, three months is not that long. It’s a great way to learn a ton, not just about sales, but tech in general. It’s so valuable – you’ll end up falling in love with it even in 12 weeks!”