Meet Zara: Sales Leader, Globe-Trotter, Empath, Mom

  • Published:
    Oct 25, 2022
  • Category:
    Apprentice All-Stars
“Being successful in sales boils down to three main things: sincerity, ethics, and asking. If you can master these principles, you will be unstoppable in all you do.”

Get to Know Zara

What motivates you? My kids are a huge source of motivation for me. In addition, I’m extremely goal oriented, and live by deadlines. I feel a certain level of adrenaline when I’m working on a new project, and no matter how difficult, I commit to seeing it through to the end.

Whenever I encounter challenges and want to give up, I think of my kids and they put me back on track! I’m a big believer that with our family’s support, there’s nothing we can’t do.

What’s your work superpower? Empathy. I always try to see from others perspectives, and make it a point to listen. People need to know they’re being heard — not just talked to.

Being empathetic benefits both my team and clients. I think it’s especially crucial in sales. We need to be able to listen to people and not just push our agenda on them. That’s how trust is built and long-term relationships form.

What’s your non-work superpower? Planning and organizing. As a mom of two little humans who are just 14 months apart (they’re two and three years old), everything I do needs to be planned. And I’m not just referring to vacations, I’m talking about everyday tasks. From meal planning to naps, grocery shopping, target runs and beyond, a daily schedule is a must. This helps me stay organized, plus my kids love it too because they always know what to expect each day.

“I’m a big believer that with our family’s support, there’s nothing we can’t do.” 

How do you spend your free time? Mostly with my husband and kids. Every weekend we try to do something fun, whether that’s going to the zoo, local fair, trampoline park, cooking/baking etc.

One week before my daughter’s first birthday, the shutdown happened and two months later, I gave birth to my son. So, both of my kids spent the first years of their lives cooped up, and now we feel like we’re making up for lost time. We want to give them as many opportunities as possible now.

On top of that I’m also a makeup artist, and I enjoy all things beauty and fashion. I love glamming people up for their big day and special events. I’ve also been redecorating my home. I just redid my daughter’s bedroom in a fairy and butterfly theme and it looks stunning! I’m ready to tackle every room in my house — and this goes back to what I mentioned earlier about seeing a project through to completion, and how this provides me with an adrenaline rush.

Where do you like to travel? I’m obsessed with Dubai, it’s my #1 place. I’ve been there five times and I love it! I could live there. There’s such a great balance between work and play. One of my favorite memories is base jumping off of Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world! It was super scary, but intuitively I knew I’d be okay. And I have to say, seeing the world from a view that high is truly unbelievable — simply breathtaking!

I also did a seven-course culinary tour at the Burj Al Arab Hotel. We started at an underwater restaurant and then ended up at the top of Burj Al Arab at night. It was magical!

Behind the Scenes: A Day in the Life of an Apprentice SSE

What’s it like to be a sales rep at Apprentice? A typical day involves me participating in various activities that build long term success such as:

  • Developing and tweaking my sales strategy
  • Researching prospects and getting to know their pain points
  • Identifying ideal customers and generating leads
  • Planning outreach activities to engage existing and new customers, and build a sustainable pipeline
  • Preparing quotes, proposals, and working on RFPs
  • Mastering our tech stack including Salesforce, ZoomInfo, and Outreach

My number one goal is to build a pipeline, so most of my activities center around this. I’m motivated by our solutions, and how we can take care of our customers and help expedite the delivery of life-saving medicines.

Zara’s Story: A Personal Connection to the Life Sciences

I feel incredibly blessed to be selling life science technology that’s truly revolutionary. Apprentice is built to help get therapies to the patients who need them the most, sooner. 

This resonates on a personal level because my dad passed away from cancer in 2014. During his treatment, his doctor told us that there was a trial drug that could potentially shrink his tumor. He chose to participate in the trial after going through several rounds of chemo, radiation, and surgery.

Unfortunately, there was a production shortage during the clinical trial, so he wasn’t able to move forward. Oftentimes, we look back and think, “Would that treatment have saved his life?” Maybe, maybe not. But because of the shortage, we’ll never know.

And I’m just one story — there are countless others like mine. That’s why I’ll never leave life sciences, because I have a personal connection to this mission and am here to do my part to help get drugs to market sooner.

I’m selling technology that’s changing the way medicines are produced, with the core goal of getting life-saving therapeutics to patients faster. That alone is a rewarding feeling with every deal being closed, be it mine or my team members.

“Apprentice helps get therapies to the patients who need them the most, and I have a personal connection to this mission — which is why I’ll never leave the life sciences.”

Fun Facts About Zara: Rapid Fire Edition

We asked, Zara answered. Here are some fun facts about Zara:

When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in healthcare sales? I was sort of thrown into it! My background is actually in accounting and finance. When I was in college I worked at a bank and was responsible for selling bank promotions and products when customers came in to make a deposit, withdrawal, or other transactions.

Within two months, I became the number one rep in the Metro Boston market— which had 17 branches in the area. I realized I had a knack for talking to people and connecting with them in a meaningful way. Sales seems to come naturally to me, and I love building relationships with people.

What about your job inspires you daily? Innovation. And I’m not just referring to our suite of products which are truly inspiring — I’m also talking about our need to be innovative in how we approach sales.

Every customer has different needs, and this means I need to tailor my approach to them. I enjoy being creative and finding novel ways to connect with prospective customers and clients that keeps them engaged, informed, and allows them to organically understand the value of what we offer.

Where were you before joining Apprentice? Prior to joining Apprentice, I sold revenue management software for life sciences. And previous to that I sold track and trace serialization solutions for five years across the full supply chain from manufacturers to wholesale distributors, and contract manufacturers and packagers — all the way down to the hospital level.

I’ve been in pharma sales for nearly a decade and I love it. I don’t see myself leaving the industry.

What work experience stands out for you in recent memory? One of my long-time mentors taught me about the three most important rules of sales: SEA to sell.

Here’s how it works:

  1. S = Sincerity. Listen without an agenda and recognize it’s not about your needs, it’s about the needs of your prospective customer. 
  2. E = Ethics. Don’t try to talk someone into something. Listen to what they want and sell them what they need.
  3. A = Asking. Serve others by asking questions that will assist them in making informed buying decisions.

All of my personal success from sales comes from adopting this methodology. It allows me to be empathetic, lead with authenticity, and make decisions that are centered around what’s right. It’s simple, and it works!

What excites you the most about working at Apprentice? Angelo’s vision! Apprentice is centered around patient care. It brings modern technology to pharma manufacturers so they can speed up the process from start to finish, without sacrificing quality or safety.

As a result, patients get the medication they need sooner — and ultimately help save lives! That’s why it’s so easy for me to go out, speak to prospects, and close deals because I know what we offer is game-changing for both customers and manufacturers alike.

What are you looking forward to the most at Apprentice in the coming months? Working alongside our team to improve sales processes, enhance the customer/prospect experience, and implement positive change.

What’s the title of your autobiography? “Full-Time Me.” I’m full-time in everything that I do. It never stops — between being a mom, wife, employee, sister, daughter, cousin, friend, etc., life keeps me on my toes. And friends and family often come to me to solve their problems, I guess it’s because I have the empathetic “mom energy.”

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Accept what you can’t change and only allow yourself to stress over the things within your control. This advice is simple and true, and if you follow it then you’ll save yourself from unnecessary stress and anxiety!

If you had a time machine but could only use it once, would you go back in time or into the future? Where and when would you go? I would go back to my childhood to relive time with my family, especially my dad. He was an amazing father who gave my siblings and I the best childhood. He worked his entire life, barely took time off, and since he’s passed on he’s missed out on many of his children’s milestones.

My sister became a radiologist, my brother is the co-owner of the Verizon stores in New England, and my other brother founded and recently sold a meal prep company in Nashville called “Eat Well Nashville,” and just launched his own Vodka line “LA Vodka.” He was also featured in Inc 5000 and Forbes 30 under 30. All of our achievements hands down are credited to our parents and dedicated to our dad.

Are You Our Next Apprentice Spotlight?

Want to work with brilliant and dedicated sales executives like Zara? Check out our open positions today! 

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