Rich Reutti: Sales Expert & Career Coach, Tell the World: “Stay Hungry for Learning & Always Seek Out Mentors”
Rich Reutti is a corporate sales veteran with 34 years under his belt. He’s held every position in sales, including leadership and marketing roles in corporations large and small. He has helped multiple companies build millions of dollars in sales in just 12-24 months. Today, he’s passionate about sharing his sales and career knowledge with the next generation.
Rich’s Original Story: “Stay Hungry for Learning & Always Seek Out Mentors”
Unfortunately, these days no one is taught how to set up a career plan, land that first job, become an outstanding and valuable employee, and craft the career of their dreams. They are also not taught one of the most vital skills that we all must master: listening skills. Because of this, I started a training business focused on helping raise up the next generation of business leaders, using proven techniques. My calling is to pass these learnings along to the younger generation so they can lead us into the future.
I was raised right outside of New York City in a little place called South Orange New Jersey. My father had his own business which I worked in until I was 22 years old. That’s when I started my sales career. I was fortunate enough to have mentors along the way – my dad was in the marine industry and knew the value of mentorship, so he always gave me time to work with friends of his, high-value sales people who could show me the path. They taught me how to create a career plan, how to land a job, how to be an outstanding employee, and how to pursue my dreams. Unfortunately, I was not taught any of this in school. It all came from mentorships.
When Covid hit in early 2020, the company I was running had to close down their facilities due to a lack of demand. As a result, I wound up unemployed, without health insurance, and with two kids in private university. A short time later, I ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. During that period of time I did some significant soul-searching and came to the conclusion that it was very important for me to pass on my knowledge to the younger generation as it was passed on to me, since no one in regular academia teaches the skills required to succeed and build a life of your dreams. At that point I realized this was my calling. This was what I was put on this earth to do.
I only recently started getting paid for what I do. In the beginning, I had to give my services away willingly so people would understand the value I bring. As with my earlier career, I found it important to find mentors who could guide me along the path and get me up to speed faster than if I were to bump into all the walls myself. Mentorship, in my opinion, is something we have lost in the business arena. It’s also incumbent on us to bring it back.
I’ve had two significant challenges as I started up this venture. Number one was finding a way into the customer base. Number two was building credibility with that customer base. This is where the mentors have had a significant impact on my success.
I got a B.S. degree in marketing from a private university in New Jersey. I will say I was fortunate enough to have a dean that brought us into the SBA to work with fledgling businesses in the area. So when I graduated I had real-life experiences that allowed me to show my acumen to potential employers. However, the real skills I am teaching, the ones young professionals really need, were all taught to me by mentors and not in standard academia.
The biggest advice I can give to young professionals is to stay hungry for learning, and always seek out mentors. Do not be afraid to put your money on the line to step into outstanding mentoring relationships. One of the single best skills everyone should engage in, and continually grow throughout their lives, are listening skills. We have been given two ears and one mouth for a specific reason. Yet most people live their lives never really hearing what those close to them, or those they work with, truly have to say.
Find more from Rich Reutti via his mastermind, 4 Secrets to Building a Successful Sales Career.