Meet Erin Hallett, the North American Channels Sales Manager for Anritsu.
Her Superpower: She thinks outside the box using her deep technical knowledge to solve critical problems with technology solutions for her customers.
In honor of National Unicorn Day, we have been scouting for unicorns in the Ms.Tech First Class community. We did not have to look far to find Erin. She is pretty much a unicorn by our secret formula.
What’s the secret unicorn formula you ask?
Welp, it is one part theatre nerd, two parts math/science geek, with an engineering degree sprinkled in for good measure and you get a unicorn name Erin aka Gaga (we’ll explain later).
Erin has some magical lessons to share from her journey to unicorn status.
THE “GAGA” SAGA
If you told Erin 10 years ago that she would go on to become the national sales manager for a Fortune 1000 company, she might have called you cray. Well, maybe cray was not the word back then, but she’d definitely call you crazy since she had just suffered her most personal failure to date. After failing her last class in college, her prized engineering job offer for a consumer foods company in California was revoked.
That failure turned out to be a blessing in disguise (love when that happens). Rather, than take the engineering job she had been telling herself she had to take she was forced to pivot and pursue the position she ultimately had been wanting to get into all along – sales. She was one confused unicorn until she landed her first technical sales job.
Over the course of eight years, she quickly advanced her career becoming a National Sales Manager of a Fortune 1000 company at 28 years old leading teams of up to seven and doing business all over the world. That is BOSS!
However, the saga continues and here’s the Gaga part – spoiler alert!
She quickly climbed the ranks of this male-dominated field seemingly confident and boldly busting out her heels and blonde hair at contractor sites. She stood out, and was affectionately referred to by her fiber optics clients as “Gaga.”
During this journey her biggest obstacle was herself. Like many of us, she was dealing with imposter syndrome at every stage. Thankfully she developed some incredible strategies to overcome confront her imposter syndrome and continue on her growth trajectory, and like the Unicorn she is, she is sharing them with us…
SOME OF ERIN’S RULES TO LIVE BY:
- Step up & stand out: “Take risks and put yourself out there. No one is going to invite you to step up.”
- Build a support system: “Imposter syndrome is real. Had I not have the support system that is now in place, I would not have had the confidence to go into a management role or take risks. I have focused on surrounding myself professionally with people who have served as mentors and teachers.”
- Be coachable: “Without listening to these people, I would not have continued to grow and advance. These people have been colleagues, managers, HR staff (they give great management advice), my employees, my channel partners, my customers, and others in my industry. I am honored to have a rich professional life full of great people. Moreover, in return, I have done and will do all that I can to support them.”
- Have no shame & play to win: “All of my mentors have told me that since I started sales at 22, I have never been afraid to pick up the phone or reach out to someone new. I love business development and finding new customers to help with products or services that I have supported throughout the years. I have worked to become a trusted advisor to customers and partners. I have not been afraid to respectfully question business practices and suggest an improvement to senior management and executives.”
- Make time to stay engaged: “To further your career, don’t work 12 hours a day on your job and neglect networking. I find that I have popped in and out of this activity for the past few years (including my involvement in Ms.Tech) missing opportunities to continuously grow outside of my very specific professional space. ”
AT MS.TECH, WERE ALL ABOUT SHOWING UP AND TEAMING UP.
Here’s a time when Erin showed up for her client…
Collaboration is what we do in the channel business, every day! The first channel partner that I managed at my previous job was an example of a great collaboration. We grew double digits year over year, for four years. This was a huge success for both of our companies due to us working together to show our mutual benefits to the customer base. It was a lot of planning, training, and trust.
Also, a time when Erin Hallett showed up and collaborated with a Ms.Tech member to deliver results…..
Several months ago, Morgan Allen (Founder of Venueist) asked for product feedback on the beta version of her solution. Morgan conducted a thoughtful product feedback interview with me. She used this data to help iterate on her early product direction. In the process, she helped match me to the unique wedding venue of my dreams that also fit my tight budget. If you are engaged or know someone who is, please check out Venueist. A huge thank you to the Ms. Tech community for teaming me up with Morgan!
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