People of PressPage: Ioana Vieru
A certified historian turned sales professional who knows yoga
Our Sales team is made up of some talented and driven people, and Ioana is no different. Being independent from a young age and studying history in two different countries, we were very curious to see how she ended up doing sales in the Netherlands. And while we’re at it, she throws in a meaningful life lesson too. Meet our merry and outgoing SDR Ioana!
Could you describe briefly what your role is within PressPage?
Together with Johana, I work as an SDR in the Sales team. My main activity is to contact potential clients and introduce them to PressPage. I try to trigger their interest to have a presentation about our newsroom platform. What we usually do is warm up new contacts with emails. Some emails are about success stories of clients in their verticals, others about PR challenges they may face. The research we do prior to contacting them generally involves checking their website and news section, and checking the LinkedIn profile of the contact person I’m trying to reach, to see what they do. Usually I place a call with at least one issue that I spotted that PressPage might help them with.
At the University of Bucharest, I did a Bachelor of International Relations and Affairs, which I followed up with a Master’s in Global History and International Relations at Erasmus University Rotterdam. So technically I’m a certified historian. History is a passion of mine, but I don’t see myself pursuing a career in that field (sorry mom and dad!). I didn’t think I would end up in Sales either– I never really thought it was something I could do. I had the image of salespeople like they are portrayed in the movies, for example Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street. When I was working as a team coach for a customer service team, the company was looking for people to do sales. I didn’t think too much about it and just took a chance. During the interview the lady asked me to sell her a pen and she was quite impressed. I figured, if somebody else thinks I can do sales, then I guess I can do it. I worked in sales for about 2 ½ years before I started working at PressPage. When I came here, I didn’t know anything about Dutch work culture. I was prepared to sit at a desk for 8 hours and not talk to my colleagues except during lunch. Being able to be my usual self at the office is so amazing. I have had quite a few meaningful conversations with my colleagues and of course I do a little victory dance when I book a meeting with a new client.
In my job, interpersonal skills are the most important. You have to be a person who likes to communicate. Not just having a conversation, but really know how to read between the lines. You should also not be afraid to pick up the phone. Handling objections is not as big of a part of the job as you might think. Making ten calls to reach the right person takes up way more time.
Three things you didn’t know about Ioana
When I was 13 years old, my parents left to work in Italy. My grandmother raised me until I was 15. After that I was on my own. This experience had a big influence on me in the sense that I am very independent. Living on my own at 15 gave me the option to live large, since my parents were taking care of the money and I could do what I wanted. But instead I focused on my education and tried to make my parents proud. The nice thing is that I get to visit my parents a lot – I may have been to Rome over 30 times. Still, the city amazes me when I’m there.
When I was in my early 20’s, I was a classic party girl and I was pretty self-involved. Looking back, I think I was trying to protect myself. This all changed when my boyfriend gave me a book called The Introduction to Buddhism, when I was 26. There was a phrase in there that really resonated with me: “In a romantic relationship where you expect your partner to act in a certain way, and they stop behaving in that way, you see the relationship as not working anymore. It is like an economic transaction. You give to receive. That is not what love is.” Reading this really changed my views. Usually we don’t want to give up on our views and beliefs. We grow with them and caress them. But now, a couple of years later, this has totally changed the way I see human relations. It made me realise that nobody but me is responsible for my happiness. So now I am one of those people in corporate life that does yoga, eats clean etc. It has become quite a cliche, but it really works.
Back in Romania I did quite a lot of volunteer work. I helped with sorting out donated clothes and cleaning parks and forests. I’m looking into taking up volunteer work here also. There are a lot of places that try to help out refugees, so I’m checking that out right now. Sorting donations is something that I can do well. There is a whole system for sorting you need to learn. You go home with back pains, but it’s totally worth it. Plus you get to be with total strangers for a common goal. Usually that is a great experience where you meet all kinds of amazing people.
The secret dream of Ioana
I see these nomads that are entrepreneurs, and they are traveling the world. I would love to do that for a year or two, but I’m not sure I’m cut out for that. By the time I’m 40, I would love to buy a house in Greece and turn it into a touristic place. A couple who I am friends with would like to do this as well. The guy is a cook so he could take care of the cooking. I would do the administrative work. I would love to live in Greece and enjoy a more quiet and simple live.
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