How I Went from Wine Sales Connoisseur to Account Executive


How I Went from Wine Sales Connoisseur to Account Executive

by Marc Gilchrist

"How I Went from" is an ongoing blog series that highlights our employees' different journeys to InterWorks. The results are pretty diverse, but each story is special in its own right.

When I was young, I used to always imagine what my job would be when I grew up. A veterinarian, paramedic and tour guide were just some of the ideas I pictured. Who knew I would become a salesman like my dad?

Called to Accounting?

Hearing about all its parties and societies, I went to university thinking that it would be fun to study accounting. I was halfway through the degree when I realised it wasn’t the right fit for me. This was a turning point for me in that I discovered my true calling was in sales, so I took half a year off to work in retail. Upon my return, I completed a commerce degree and majored in marketing as it was the closest thing to sales. My favourite classes during my study were related to the psychology behind marketing and sales, as well as a few electives in IT. Once completed, I secured my first sales job selling Coca-Cola on the phone. This is where I learnt to love hearing the word “No” and how to turn it into a “Why not?”.

Quarter-Life Crisis

Eventually, I came to a turning point in my life where I felt burnt out selling a product I was no longer passionate about, so I decided at the age of 24 that June 11th would be my last day at Coca-Cola. I then spent the next two weeks planning a last-minute Europe trip. It all began with a one-way ticket to Amsterdam. After spending a week there, I travelled to Manchester to visit family. In the next three months, I travelled to 21 countries and made connections with hundreds of new people. Oh, did I forget to mention I did the whole trip solo?

This is where I truly cut my teeth in sales. I had to up my confidence and energy tenfold to socialise 24/7! Not to mention I was dealing with language barriers as well … that made for some funny stories. On my return to Australia after four months on the road, I had a new outlook on life and knew where I wanted to be. This led me to securing a role as a wine sales representative.

From Wine Newbie to Connoisseur

For someone who had only drunk a few red wines in passing with family, there was quite a learning curve for me in order to sell wine. But this didn’t deter me—I employed the “fake it til you make it” mentality and asked everyone one who would listen for help. After a year of driving around to all sorts of different clubs, pubs and liquor stores in different demographics, I felt pretty confident in my wine knowledge. The alcohol industry is lots of fun with many boozy events to go to. Running staff trainings was definitely my favourite event, as everyone would walk out of that room with new knowledge and a big smile. I can definitely say that I found a love for wine, not just in the product itself but its entire story, especially the people involved in its creation and consumption!

Secret Passion for Technology

Having my dad as a role model my whole life, I had always aspired to follow in his footsteps one day and sell software like he did. So shortly after his retirement from IBM, a new member of the family began their journey in software sales with InterWorks! Even though I had spent my whole sales career selling consumer goods, I had always quietly been quite a geek with a passion for computer hardware and gaming.

After reading up on InterWorks during the interview process and seeing similarities between myself and many of the people I had spoken to, I couldn’t wait to start. Although it took three months to get my final offer due to the uncertainty of COVID, we are here now! Data is proving to be an amazing space that I honestly never pictured myself in when I thought of software sales, but I’m super glad to be here! Looking forward to the adventure ahead!

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More About the Author

Marc Gilchrist

Account Executive
How I Went from Wine Sales Connoisseur to Account Executive When I was young, I used to always imagine what my job would be when I grew up. A veterinarian, paramedic and tour guide were just some ...

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