In a conversation with Brandon Harris, VP of Sales at Otter Public Relations located in Orlando, Florida, one truth keeps rising to the surface: This is a man with an exceptional moral compass. So now, some of you are thinking, “Salesman? With a moral compass? Right!?” Well, it’s true, but I’ll let you be the judge.
Growing up, Harris couldn’t help but absorb some good old fashioned ethics and morality as the son of two military parents. Even though he refers to himself as a “typical military brat,” one can quickly see through that facade to a poised demeanor with subtle charm and impeccable sincerity. And as he’s talking, you almost get lost in his words because the stories he tells about his fascinating career journey are well — downright remarkable.
Discovering a knack for sales
Believe it or not, Brandon discovered his innate sales ability about age 17 when he was moving from one dead-end laborer job to another. Outdoor jobs in the scorching Florida heat for minimum wage weren’t exactly premium gigs, but they paid the bills. And then one day, he saw an opportunity to work inside, in the air conditioning for a $2 per hour raise, so he decided to go for it. For a seventeen-year-old, this was a tremendous upgrade — for a while.
Brandon says everything he believes about how sales should be, and everything he has worked for professionally takes him back to a few key lessons he learned at this first job. First of all, he discovered he was ‘scary good’ at sales. So good that when he realized the company had used him to dupe hardworking people, he wanted nothing to do with sales for a long, long time. The other valuable lesson that stuck with him is realizing his morals and ethics should never conflict with his career. And from that point on, he adopted the philosophy that he has a responsibility to make sure what he’s doing benefits the customers at all times.
Finding his place at OtterPR by changing the image of sales
These days, I guess you can say Brandon is pretty particular about where he works. Even though OtterPR is a firm barely eight months in existence, it is growing and morphing at warp speed, and Brandon is an important part of these changes. He spends his days preparing and planning for this growth with co-founders Dr. Jay Feldman and Scott Bartnick. By studying the current sales process, Brandon is currently building out a sales team that will best suit OtterPR for the long haul. For a guy whose first sales job taught him to loathe everything about it, Harris has rekindled his love for sales by realizing he can change the unscrupulous salesman image. He strives every day, above all else, to create a reputation for sales that puts customers first.
Along with his unmatched reputation in the business, Brandon’s ‘sales is a team sport’ mentality attracted OtterPR’s top two. Brandon’s desire to eradicate all toxic sales practices and reinvent the salesperson’s image is a little seed of something special that sets him apart from others in his field.
But Harris will tell you sales isn’t something someone can study in school. It’s the only job in the business sector that does not need a formal education or college degree to support, and there’s no manual for teaching it to others. Instead, having a penchant for sales is a skill that’s tied to one’s character and personality and having the desire to genuinely help people. And now we’ve come back full-circle to that ‘military brat’ with good manners and impeccable character.
Taking on a dirty little truth about sales
Another dirty little truth about sales Harris wants to abolish forever is the boys’ club atmosphere. In his vast experience, Harris has met many talented and successful women in sales, but they never progressed past a certain point. Despite their accomplishments and skills, many women in his field never get promoted to management or get the big raises.
This unwarranted inequity is a huge issue for Harris. He says part of changing the image of sales includes changing that antiquated view that women can’t make it in a cut-throat business. Harris would argue that sales shouldn’t be cut-throat. He would also say that women make excellent customer-oriented salespeople because they are more compassionate and not just focused on making the sale. Sound familiar? Harris is passionate about working in positions where he can support women in jobs proportionate to their talent and contributions. For Harris, this goal is a crucial part of his plan to make sales a respectable and ethical career.
Harris has always been in jobs related to sales or developing better sales teams, and one thing is true across the board — many times, he started at entry-level and built his way to the top. This fact leaves one to conclude that there is room for people who possess a moral compass in sales. If there weren’t, Brandon Harris wouldn’t be where he is today.
Aligning professionally and morally with OtterPR
One thing is for sure, Harris is a vital part of operations at OtterPR. His experience building outstanding sales teams has helped the company grow to a 7-figure+ business in a very short time.
At OtterPR, Harris feels he has found a place that fits all of his expectations. He believes in the mission and the projected path the company is taking, and he is proud to work in a positive work culture, not the toxic sales environment he avoids at all costs. And he also takes pride in working for a company that values fairness and equality in all business aspects.
Brandon Harris is a man who is changing the image of sales by allowing his moral compass to guide him. He’s come a long way from the seventeen-year-old telemarketer who grew to hate that he was so good at closing the deal. Today, Harris knows that what he’s selling aligns with his beliefs and goals. And you can bet, Dr. Jay Feldman and Scott Bartnick are thanking their lucky stars Harris’s moral compass led him OtterPR.