Jon has made quite the career for himself at Groupon after transitioning from Customer Service to the National Sales Team…and you can check him out on Spotify, too!
Tell us about your job!
My role is Enterprise Relationship Manager. I work with national retailers and own the alcohol and magazines categories.
What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?
Just about every year there is a major challenge that pushes me to stretch out of my comfort zone. Groupon is always changing, so just being around for the multiple changes, competitors, public perceptions (good and bad) can be looked at as a challenge by itself, but there are a few specific examples I can think of: I was the first person to have the role of CS Resolutions Team Representative exclusively for National deals. This required me to help develop what the position would do, what was required of it, and how it should handle national offers and customer issues, which needed to be interacted with differently from our local process.
I then worked on some rather large deals in the company history like Toys R Us, the first Starbucks campaign, Target, and many more. Then I transitioned to National Sales & Account management from CS, without any prior sales experience; learning to sell and navigate merchant relationships on the fly was a huge challenge, but also fun and rewarding. I felt like I finally found a role where I could use my skill set not to just make customers happy, but make a different kind of customer (the merchant) more successful in their business goals.
Have you won any awards here?
President’s Club 2014 and I was selected to the Merchant Development Mentor Program in 2017
Can you write a Groupon haiku?
Reach the tipping point – –
That’s a two thousand ten Joke – –
A cat has no name
What do your parents think you do?
My mom said, “Keep clients satisfied,” and my dad said, “You never really told us, but isn’t it something to do with selling things for discounts on Groupon?”
Tell us about your involvement with Groupon Volunteers.
Admittedly, I could volunteer more frequently; every year I just try to be a better person (in a million ways) I do feel that service of all kinds is important because it helps me maintain perspective for what really matters and what life is all about at the end of the day. Plus, sometimes I get lucky and highlighted in articles like this.
What were you up to before joining Groupon?
I was a Guest Services Trainer at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. I followed my girlfriend at the time (wife now!) into Chicago’s snowpocalypse of 2010/2011 after she told me about this great new company called Groupon that offered her a job.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
I write songs and spend a lot of time on my music project which is on iTunes & Spotify! Feel free to plug that all day!
If you could do another job for a day, what would it be and why?
Storm chaser, not a joke. I’m too fearful to do that over and over but I am fascinated by tornadoes.
What’s your favorite local business?
Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
People don’t usually believe that my music project is really me.
“In the corporate world, it’s hard to find an environment where people are really looking to do their best work with a bigger picture mindset, that’s what we have here – the people are special.”
What’s your proudest Groupon accomplishment?
Two things I am particularly proud of:
1. Starting my career with Groupon in Customer Support and transitioning in less than two years to National Sales/Account Management without having any prior sales experience. I earned the respect and trust of the department through my role as National CS Resolutions representative and really learned the importance and impact that networking can have on not just my career, but life in general. I was brought into a very intense sink-or-swim environment without a sales foundation and managed to navigate those challenges and win presidents club my 2nd year in.
2. Working on the very first Starbucks campaign. That campaign sold between 1-2 million vouchers in just a few days. It was a big deal for the company and had a lot of eyes on its performance, both internal and external so being part of such a massive project was exciting. After it ended, Rich Williams (prior to CEO) wrote an email to the company and referenced a few dozen people by name, mine included, which was a really proud moment for me.
What inspires you?
Authenticity. I’m not a big “rah-rah” kind of personality, but I am inspired by people taking action through passion and I believe authentic and honest motivation is infectious.
What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?
I was relatively young when I started here and remembered thinking that movies about office/business life didn’t really live up to how daily Groupon life was.
How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?
This is tricky, given that I work in the Enterprise Division. While we do work with national retailers, not every merchant has an employee base of 5,000 people. There are several businesses I work with consistently that can reach customers across the country and provide them services continuously. While they may have a large reach, they are still family-run businesses who are as concerned with developing relationships with their customer base as the local pizza restaurant on the corner.
What’s the oddest thing you’ve seen happen at the office?
It could be between the T. Rex roaming the halls, seeing Ashton Kutcher in the lobby, Steve Harvey visiting the office, holding Olympic events in office during the 2012 games, the parade we had for the guy who lived off of Groupon for all of 2010, the day we went public, or the unveiling of all the conference room names.
Your role may exist at other companies, so why Groupon? What keeps you excited to come to work every day?
Groupon itself is unique and made up of so many creative, entertaining, intelligent, and driven individuals. On any given day, you never know what you will walk by, or what will walk by you. In the corporate world it’s hard to find an environment where people are really looking to do their best work with a bigger picture mindset, that’s what we have here – the people are special.