Getting to Know You: Jeremy Fetzer, Sales Executive

Jeremy Jacob Fetzer, known to family, close friends and some colleagues as Jake, grew up in a middle-class family in Elgin, Illinois.

After high school, Jeremy enlisted in the US Navy, where he served honorably for three years of active duty service, followed by five years of inactive duty service. After being honorably discharged from the military in the year 2000, Jeremy attended Northern Illinois University while working a part-time job. This allowed Jeremy to finance 100% of his education. He graduated from their College of Business in 2005.

Upon entering the working world, Jeremy Fetzer moved into sales, which proved to be an area of business where he thrived and earned widespread recognition. As he developed a mastery of the high-pressure/high-reward vocation of sales, he wanted to share what he had learned with others. As such, Jeremy took the time to mentor other salespeople, teaching them the latest skills of the trade and imparting his experienced wisdom not only about the art of sales but about life in general.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jeremy Fetzer dealt with new stressors unlike he had ever encountered before, much like countless others all over the world. Jeremy shows a great deal of courage by openly acknowledging his complete mental and emotional breakdown during the pandemic. Later, he discovered he suffered from undiagnosed severe depression, anxiety and PTSD. The cumulative strain led him to take a fresh path; one where the active cultivation of good mental health is part of a balanced lifestyle. These days, he works hard to care for his mental health and encourages others to do the same. His drive to help others and continuing mentorship of young salespeople has led him to develop a detailed coaching program that emphasizes combining fiscal well-being with good mental and physical health. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jeremy has faced many tragedies and challenges, including an acrimonious breakup, financial difficulties, and the death of some of his close friends and loved ones, but has overcome them thanks in large part to putting a great deal of work into becoming mentally healthy. He is currently compiling all the wisdom he has accumulated over the past two and a half years and drawing on it to write his first book, tentatively titled ‘MindfullyEmotionallyBornAgain.’

In his free time, Jeremy Fetzer enjoys spending time with his young son, listening to music, gourmet cooking, traveling, and playing or engaging in outdoor sports activities, such as golf. He also takes pride in his ability to participate in charity and fundraising events through the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion in Naperville.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

In essence, I want to help people so they can better navigate the challenges presented to them during the course of their careers. I’ve learned a lot through the years from both my professional and my personal experiences, and I want to pay that forward. Through my coaching program, my goal is to aid the development of productive mindsets and skills in my clients.

What defines your way of doing business?

My way of doing business concentrates on acquainting myself with the buyer, and making sure the buyer becomes acquainted with me. A big factor in any sales transaction is the buyer’s perception of the salesperson—how they hold themselves, how they’re  dressed, and of course, their business acumen. It’s the job of every salesperson to represent their company and their products. Regarding the day-to-day operations of the business, I spend a good deal of time taking notes to understand the pain points of my clients, as well as their pressing needs. Taking the time to understand these things is critical to the process, because that’s how a salesperson develops a workable proposal and budget which incorporates all necessary requirements. Ultimately, that’s how the sale is made.

What keys to being productive can you share?

Clean living and maintaining physical and mental health with mindfulness, exercise, and a healthy diet is paramount to success. Continued growth as a person should always be sought through reading, furthering one’s understanding the world, and staying up-to-date with current events. This will help any aspiring salesperson educate clients. Or, if the client in question is already knowledgeable, it will help to demonstrate an expertise on relevant matters. It’s important to appear knowledgeable when dealing with prospects.

Tell us one long-term goal in your career.

I want to improve my management of high-pressure situations and dealing with all forms of negativity healthily, and pass that knowledge on to others. I also wish to improve my mental and physical health and experience all of the benefits that result from that. According to findings published by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, healthy eating, when combined with daily exercise, proper sleep hygiene, and practicing mindfulness can measurably increase an individual’s focus and productivity in the workplace.

How do you measure success?

When my client expresses that they have received a strong return from conducting business with me, I know that I’ve succeeded in my efforts. I want to help my clients increase their bottom line and expand their business. Referrals are a good metric for success. When clients recommend me to their associates, I can rest assured in the knowledge that I’ve delivered good service.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?

Developing healthy coping strategies to deal with stress, anxiety, or depression is of fundamental importance to workplace performance. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows that some highly effective strategies for coping with job-related stress are setting realistic goals, making a comprehensive list of priorities, working without interruption, seeking input from others about stressful situations, and taking regular breaks. People need to cultivate effective coping strategies such as these to deal with high-pressure positions.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?

To those members of the readership contemplating a career in sales, I give the following advice: Be aware of any mental baggage you might be carrying with you, as it may negatively impact your job performance. A degree of mental baggage is unavoidable; what matters is how one deals with it. A study from the University of Miami’s Toppel Career Center illustrates very well how unprocessed anger, low self-esteem, self-doubt, and a predilection for mistrust can result in negative outcomes in the workplace, especially when it comes to collaboration and common interactions with clients and co-workers. Therefore, it pays great dividends to be actively aware of your mental health, and of any pressure you happen to be experiencing. Take care to assess these factors accurately, even if you’re not used to doing so, and don’t be afraid to seek outside professional help if you think it’s necessary. Also, surround yourself with positive, supportive people, and try to avoid allowing toxic people into your life.

Who has been a role model to you and why?

My oldest brother has always served as a wonderful role model. He’s twenty years my senior, and he’s lived a very clean and healthy life. He takes excellent care of his physical and mental health, and he donates a good portion of his time to charity work and church involvement. He has also built a lifelong reputation for honesty, dependability, and reliability. People know they can count on him. I do my best to emulate his example.

What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

Deliver on your promises, without exception. Salespeople make a lot of promises about the future. It is paramount that those of us in sales stand by our promises and put our clients first.