Based in Yelp's Phoenix office, Account Executive Charles Z. beats the AZ heat with a stay-cool attitude. His hard-work-pays-off approach has brought him much success as part of the Yelp Sales Team, and he doesn't plan to kick up his heels any time soon. Although I'm sure it would have been fun to be a globe-trotting volleyball superstar, we're glad Charles made the decision to join the Yelp team - and so is he!
Q: What did you do before coming to Yelp?
A: I was a college volleyball player at Northern Arizona University and worked small jobs on the side in a variety of industries. It was difficult to find something that worked with my schedule because I played volleyball year round and was traveling so much.
Q: How did you first hear about Yelp and the job opening?
A: Funny story: I thought I had applied for Yelp Summer Sales Internship but was actually in the interview process for the full-time Yelp Account Executive. Since I was still a junior in college I wasn't eligible for the position so I waited a year to be able to interview for the AE role. I got a job offer from Yelp to start in the summer of 2011 and actually turned it down to play volleyball in Europe. When the Europe thing didn't pan out I reached out to Yelp to start my career.
Q: What's your title at Yelp and how long have you been with the company?
A: I started with Yelp in September 2011 and have worked my way through the Yelp Sales Development Program (YSDP). I am currently an Account Executive and have my eye set on moving on up to a Senior Account Executive.
Q: What comprises a typical day for you?
A: I get into the office, check my emails from the day before and then immediately hit the phones: setting up my calendar for the week with appointments and pitches. I always try to have at least two appointments on my calendar for each day to speak with potential clients.
Each day, I make a high volume of calls to local businesses within my territory to explain the ins and outs of Yelp. Every call is different. In one, I might continue a conversation with a business that I have previously spoken with or I might be connecting and educating a decision maker who may not have much exposure to Yelp advertising.
I try to keep the energy up on my team by finding new and creative ways to share the Yelp story with business owners. I love telling my clients about experiences with small businesses that I have encountered in my travels across the United States.
Throughout the day I focus on showing business owners how people are searching for local businesses and how, in turn, Yelp can help the small business grow.
Q: What's the best part of working for Yelp?
A: Hands down the best part of working for Yelp is the people that work around me. They are all passionate, smart, creative and helping the foundation of small businesses grow both online and within their own communities. Since I moved here from California, working at Yelp has made it easy to make great friends and build relationships.
The second best is hearing a business owner say, "Yelp has transformed my business."
Q: What is your favorite perk at Yelp?
A: Besides working in the beautiful sunshine of Scottsdale, Arizona, it has to be eating as much as I can from the five different kitchens. Yelp also has a gym subsidy that helps me stay active and work off all the Yelp-wiches!
Q: What has been your favorite memory at Yelp?
A: My most memorable time at Yelp was at the end of the last day of the month. While everyone else was packing up their desks for the monthly move (we like to switch up our desk arrangements to keep things interesting in the Phoenix office), I closed my final deal for the month, giving me my best month ever (BME) at the time. That earned me a promotion to Junior Account Executive, so the next day I started making commission.
Q: What separates Yelp from other places you've worked?
A: Other places don't radiate the same passion as everyone in the Yelp Organization. There is one goal at Yelp: to connect people with great local businesses. With this mentality, everyone is working towards the same goal of helping the company continue to grow. In other environments I have been a part of, it was difficult to get everyone on the same page. I think this is one of the reasons Yelp is so successful.
Q: Finally, what would be your one piece of advice for someone interested in your role?
A: Challenge yourself. Challenge yourself to become a better person in every aspect of your life. Learn to set a schedule, learn to work hard and learn how to create a career out of an opportunity when it is presented. Yelp can provide all of this for you.