In this month’s edition of Humans of CP, we are talking to Raffi Yardemian, our VP of Sales. Raffi graduated from York University, and has worked in Sales for more than 20 years. He recently joined CP with a clear vision to streamline the sales process and expand our client base. Today, we’re speaking with him to learn more about his position, and his interests outside of the office.
What do you do at Customer Portfolios?
I am responsible for new business sales and revenue. This includes working with a group of Business Development Representatives who are responsible for introducing our brand to prospects. They also set up initial sales meetings, where one of our sales executives will demonstrate our capabilities and our solutions. The hope is we can continue the dialogue and the relationship from the first meeting to a successful sale, and ultimately add a new client to the strong CP customer base.
What is the last movie you saw in theaters? What was your impression?
The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith. I loved the movie, and I’m glad I saw it in theatres. It was an inspirational movie about just how motivated and disciplined you need to be to make it in this world. The adversity that the individual faced, and how successful he was, is something I cannot fathom. I also like the fact it was based on a true story. I always recommend it to salespeople. From a life development perspective, it resonates with a lot of different people.
What is the top destination on your travel bucket list?
I’ve never been to my country of nationality, Armenia, but I will finally be going this summer. My son plays point guard on a US-based basketball team, and this year, the World Games are in Armenia. It will be a great opportunity for him to play, but also for the whole family to travel and see the country.
Who is your go to band or artist when you can’t decide what to listen to?
Either The Eagles or Genesis. I have also always loved Phil Collins; the song In the Air Tonight has always resonated with me. Growing up, it was one of the first songs I could understand and correlate the lyrics to a story. So, I gravitate towards Phil Collins, because it’s somewhat nostalgic. And Hotel California has always been a great song.
What is the one thing that should be taught in school that is not already?
There are two things: sales and personal finance. Colleges and universities are starting to teach sales, but there is no training in sales that they specifically go to school for. There is no degree in the science of selling. There are intelligent individuals in the sales realm that need to understand that true selling is a science, instead of the common misconceptions; car salespeople are not your prototypical salespeople. Consultative sales is an art and a science that should be taught, at least at the post-secondary level.
Personal finance: There’s got to be a better way to prepare the next generation for how to manage their money and plan for retirement. Right now, that work is being done by financial planners. Within high school and college, students should learn how to manage debt, manage their finances, and how to build on retirement. Costs continue to go up; the cost of housing, education, etc. It's hard to get ahead in the world without a plan.
What has been your biggest challenge at Customer Portfolios so far?
Trying to articulate and communicate to our clients and prospects all the different services we provide. We need to delineate small, medium, and large engagements and know which products and services to sell to each. We need to have both the content and the detail about the services, and get that content into manageable bite-sized messages to use in the process. We have a wide variety of capabilities, but we need to learn how to communicate their value correctly, especially when most of that initial conversation is over the phone.
To see more faces of our company, be sure to check back each month to see our reoccurring blog series – the Humans of CP.