Meet the Team: Jonathan LeJanuary 20, 2022
As Transparent Energy continues to grow and thrive, we are mindful that our success – and that of our customers – depends on our great people. Jonathan Le, Manager of New Business Development, is someone who wears the mantle of “greatness” with humility and pride.
Jonathan, tell us about what you do at Transparent Energy.
My official title is Manager of New Business Development. I started as a Business Development Associate with a couple of other folks at the company and really absorbed all of the learning opportunities. The work was hard, but I leaned into it, and got amazing support from the team, including company leadership. I take a lot of satisfaction in the fact that I “made it” through that early learning period. I was hungry to absorb everything I could and make my mark, and Transparent Energy allowed me to do just that.
So, today, as a lead in new business development at the company I do A LOT of outbound sales calls. There’s a lot more to it than “smiling and dialing” – it’s really an art and a science.
Can you tell us more about what it takes to be successful in this role?
Well, you definitely have to develop a “thick skin.” People aren’t always happy to hear from you or open to exploring the topic of energy procurement, but that’s ok. We’re all human, and we all have jobs to do. I’m not always happy to receive a cold call either. A little empathy goes a long way.
But that’s where experience comes in. Understanding who that person is on the other end of the line and what their responsibilities are is key, and that means doing your homework before you call. I have a friend who likens sales to being at a party – if you see someone you like, you don’t ask them to marry you then and there. You take small steps. That’s what it’s like on the phone. On occasion, you time it just right and find someone who is ready to transact, but most of the time it’s more a matter of starting a conversation, asking questions about how they are currently buying energy and contract timing, and building interest and trust. Staying patient is key, being a good listener is crucial, and then planning your next point of contact to keep things moving forward is critical.
What goes into being excellent at new business development?
You know that saying in real estate – location, location, location? In biz dev, it’s “persistence, persistence, persistence.” You can’t give up, but you can’t be a total pain in the a*! either. That’s where the science of selling comes in. At Transparent Energy, we have an amazing team, people in all sorts of roles with years and years of energy procurement and energy market expertise. So I’m not in it all by myself. I can leverage the great Market Reports we develop and share those with all of my prospects. I can brainstorm with different sales leaders at the company to better understand specific drivers in various geographies and industries to hone my approach, right down to how best to structure an email.
That’s actually one of the most rewarding parts of my job, collaborating with the team here to stay fresh on all aspect of energy that will help my prospects be successful, whether that’s pricing signals in the market, new and better ways to procure green energy, or insights about suppliers’ products and terms. There really is never a dull moment in energy, and if I can convey enthusiasm and knowledge on the phone with my potential buyer, and follow it up with a steady stream of insightful and objective market data and best practices, more often than not, we’ll eventually convert that prospect into a customer.
And once we have them as a customer, most stay with us for life.