Starting his sales career at just 16, it's a safe bet that Pouya Haidari has had extensive experience within his field. Climbing the corporate sales ladder from salesman, to manager, to director, to VP of Sales, at just 23 years of age, Pouya found himself earning multiple-6-figures per year and managing 5 regional sales offices of 60-70 sales professionals. By 24, he was happily declining multiple 7-figure partnership offers from companies and brands across Canada and the United States to focus on his own entrepreneurial endeavour. Pouya now focuses on teaching other salesmen and entrepreneurs how to tap into their full potential, and surpass goals they once thought completely unattainable. Having worked alongside and mentored by some of the world’s most successful salespeople and entrepreneurs, Pouya has combined all he’s learned with his experiences to offer a truly unique and multifaceted approach to his training programs. With an impressive coaching portfolio of over 500 sales professionals, building high-performing sales offices for organizations across 7 different industries, and generating $49.3 Million in client revenue within 24 months, we simply had to learn more so we caught up with Pouya to discover his best advice for young entrepreneurs.
Q: Thanks again for taking the time to do this with me. First things first - I am sure our readers would love to learn more about you. How did you get here? What experiences, failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your growth?
Pouya: My pleasure, thank you for having me. That’s a great question, how I got here is a decade long journey of working 16 hour days, 6 days a week coupled with a lot of self-development. My challenges and setbacks haven’t ever really been in my work, but in the pursuit of the right path. What I mean by that is, it was always easy for me to do record sales numbers, move up the corporate ranks, or generate millions of dollars for my clients. The difficult part of the journey is staying the course. If you can master yourself, I believe you can master anything else. The most instrumental thing to my growth has been keeping my eyes on a larger vision for my future along the way, and staying disciplined in that pursuit.
Q: Just like the readers I am very curious - what made you choose sales as a career?
Pouya: Well, being born and raised in the middle east in an area that was not doing financially great.. I saw a lot of examples of what I DON’T want my future to look like. I believe you learn just as much from examples of what you don’t want as you do from examples of what you do want, maybe even more so. Once I migrated to Canada at the age of 10, I developed a burning desire and hunger to become successful not just for the financial reasons but because I had the opportunity now. I almost felt as if I was chosen. Naturally, where I saw a lot of people becoming millionaires and so on was in business. I knew sales is a fundamental part of business, it generates the top line revenue which is the most important line on the statement. I also knew that mastering sales would open opportunities for me in ANY industry regardless of a college degree or experience in that space. I saw sales as my way into business, and as a very valuable skill long term. Thankfully, I was right.
Q: Obviously you’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the online industry, but how did you come up with the idea for your latest venture? Do you have any advice for others on how to monetize their expertise like that?
Pouya: Yes, I’ve not only worked with some of the biggest names in the online industry and celebrities you would all know but also with Multi-Billion dollar telecom companies and other brands whom I have directly built sales teams & channels for. The idea for my latest venture came from a very simple place, it would be selfish of me to restrict my knowledge and expertise to select companies and sales professionals I worked with directly. I decided to become the #1 sales expert in the world and to help millions of people change their financial futures and create opportunities for themselves as I did. My advice would be very simple, figure out your circle of competence and what you have a natural inclination towards. Find the top 3-5 experts in that space doing what you want to do, offer to work for them for free and gain a valuable internship experience at their expense. Learn all the lessons, the good, the bad, the ugly. Then, you can make the correct judgement and step out on your own to monetize your expertise.
Q: What are the key steps you have taken to grow throughout your entrepreneurial journey? What advice do you have for others on how to take their businesses to the next level?
Pouya: On a personal level, I have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into myself. I believe in proximity to power meaning you have to invest in yourself in the form of mentors, business conferences, books, etc. As you grow, your business will also grow with you. The opposite is also true.
Q: Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened along your journey?
Pouya: That’s a tough one… A decade in business means A LOT has happened. I’ll tell you one thing that was very interesting to me, as I got closer to powerful individuals and successful entrepreneurs and started to be in the same circle I realized they’re only human. Now that may seem obvious, but it struck me to see people I admired from afar and realizing they are not special at all. That was the moment it really clicked for me, that not only all the dreams and goals are possible… but that it’s only a matter of time.
Q: What do you believe to be the most important element of sales & succeeding at it?
Pouya: There are a lot of elements that go into sales, known and unknown. I believe the most crucial parts of sales are the top of the funnel and the bottom of the funnel. The middle which would be the sales process is also extremely important, but not as important as the top and bottom. The top of the funnel is your lead generation and client acquisition, that is oxygen for your business. The bottom of the funnel is converting those clients and closing the deal. Without an exchange, a close, a deal getting done, nobody wins. You lose, your prospect loses, and the economy loses. Now, how you “succeed” is by making a commitment to the top and bottom of your business funnel.
Q: What are other sales, marketing and social media tips, strategies and tactics of value to fellow marketers and entrepreneurs?
Pouya: As for fellow entrepreneurs, I would say when it comes to sales it is a very incentive driven space and salespeople including the greatest among them are hyper focused on incentives. Be very careful what you incentivise, because you WILL get exactly that. Take some time to ponder that, it’s everything. As for marketing and social media, there are of course a million different strategies and they evolve by the day but the core principles always remain the same. I believe in principles and choose to live by them. The core principles of marketing and social media are to be authentic to your message, add real value to people consuming your content, and do not be short-sighted. The long term game is what you want to play.
Q: In one sentence, what’s the best advice you'd give to someone just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
Pouya: Work harder on yourself, than you do on your business. Everything else will take care of itself.
Thanks so much for taking your time to do this with us. Wishing you all the best!