When you join Adobe’s sales and consulting team, one thing is clear—there’s no shortage of opportunity! Each year at Adobe’s Worldwide Sales Conference, select Adobe employees are honored with the “Of the Year” award, which highlights their outstanding performance and demonstration of Adobe’s core values. Today, we feature one of these winners—Jason Van Namen, Senior Global Named Account Manager, who shares his tricks of the trade and what it takes to be named Enterprise Sales Representative of the year.
What is your recipe for success?
First you have to sell yourself, then the company, then the product or service—self, brand, product—in that order. People buy from people. You need to earn the respect, trust, and credibility from a client before they’ll buy anything from you.
I live by a lot of things my grandfather taught me. He immigrated to the U.S. from the Netherlands with nothing but two Dutch clocks and didn’t even speak the language. He eventually started a successful wholesale floral distribution company, along with my father and his brothers, who joined the company and helped it thrive for nearly 60 years.
He would tell me, “Persistence always perseveres” and “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” You also need discernment—knowing what works and what doesn’t, how hard to push and when to back off. I always keep persevering.
I believe that Adobe performs well if our customers perform well, and they perform well if we serve them well. We lead by how we serve. I rally my team to share that same vision. And I rely heavily on the great people at Adobe. I bring in the right people at the right time to help do the selling with me. If you know your Adobe ecosystem, lean on it, and delegate responsibility, it’ll work. And the customer appreciates it.
What is the most important quality to doing your job well?
It’s about understanding the client’s needs and helping them solve problems. I also realize it can’t be done by one person—it’s all about the team. Everyone is instrumental to a successful outcome.
What advice would you give new people at Adobe?
Make good use of all the tools and resources Adobe provides. The system within Adobe works. Embrace it and manage your business as if it were your own—Adobe gives you that opportunity.
How do you deal with setbacks/failure?
It’s how you respond to a mistake or a setback that’s important. If the client’s answer is no, then maybe the timing isn’t right, or I need to alter my approach. I try to learn from my mistakes and then focus on what is achievable. And there’s always room for improvement.
What is your strongest asset/quality?
I truly believe Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. My passion is to help our clients solve problems, to influence change and transformation at large enterprises—that means the most to me. I’m also very driven, but for a purpose. I value being able to succeed, helping the team to succeed, and ultimately contributing to the client’s success. It’s not just about a paycheck.
When interviewing a potential new member of your team, what is your favorite question to ask?
I want to know what gets them up every day, and understand what drives them. I ask what their ideal job is, and why they want to work for Adobe. The answers to those two questions tell me how to approach them and/or coach them.
How do you fuel your creative side?
I’m a fitness junkie and love to do things outdoors, specifically swimming, cycling and running. I’ve completed a full Ironman, but I don’t have time for that now, so I try to schedule a half-Ironman each year. My wife, Nicole, and I also love to travel. Every five years for our anniversary, we go big and travel somewhere on our bucket list. Coincidentally, 2017 is our 20th anniversary and Australia has been on our list!
On a perfect day off, what do you do?
First I’d sleep in until 6 am (as opposed to my normal 4:45 am) and go on a 3 to 4-hour bike ride. Then I’d sit down to my wife’s amazing blueberry pancakes. After a little down time, I’d play pick-up basketball or soccer with my boys. After a mid-day nap or some quiet time, I’d take my wife out to a delicious restaurant and then sip a glass of wine on the porch together.
I believe each of us is put on this earth for a reason, and we are meant to do the best we can with the gifts we’ve been given. Adobe is my “calling” for now and I’m enjoying every moment. It’s not just about performance, but rather about doing the best we can with what we’ve been given.
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