Brianna Elefant, Chief Revenue Officer of Voray, speaks with Nicole V. Cramer from Forbes
When asked what keeps her going as the Chief Revenue Officer of Voray (a company looking to put authenticity back into networking), and in her life, Brianna Elefant points to perspective. She says, “One problem can never be big enough to bring you down. Problems aren’t stop signs, they are guidelines.” Lauded as an agent for effective change, as well as being a compassionate listener (according to colleagues and clients), Elefant is a testament to the validity of this approach.
Nicole V. Cramer: How do you relate fear to success?
Brianna Elefant: Fear is the thing that can kill your ambition, your motivation, and your determination if you let it get hold of you. If you want to succeed, you must embrace traveling through fear.
Charting a course through fear to add value to the world and then executing that plan attains success. Success has had different meanings at different points of my professional journey. It’s not about achieving a specific title or salary; It’s about the growth and process. It’s getting out of my comfort zone to expand and challenge myself to try new things and to take risks. I have to take those leaps of faith to evolve, adapt, grow and find success. Success doesn’t just hit you — you need to go after it.
Cramer: Tell me about a fear that you have overcome and ways that moving past that fear helped you reach your current success.
Elefant: In the past, I was afraid I was being passed over for promotions and not moving as quickly in my career as I wanted. I realized that I couldn’t expect people to read my mind or give me something I hadn’t requested. I just expected my boss to know I wanted new challenges or extra responsibilities. I learned I had to be vocal about what I wanted, be my own best PR agent, and show people I was serious about taking my career further. You need to speak up and communicate with actions and data.
Cramer: You specialize in two areas of business that are often accompanied by feelings of fear: pitching/sales and contract negotiation. What advice would you give a young woman who has been challenged with fear in tackling one of these two skills?
Elefant: If you don’t believe your pitch, no one else will either. You need to sell what you’re passionate about and your authentic self will come through. Now, passion is a loaded term. Ideally, if you’re selling retail technology (for example) you are super interested in that space. But you can also look at the bigger picture: Are you interested in helping others be successful? Are you passionate about solving a real problem for companies? Focus on the value that you’re bringing to people. People come across as “sales-y” because the client doesn’t believe you are honest in what you’re saying you can do and it’s obvious you don’t care about what you’re selling. It’s important to identify the pain point to be able to articulate how you can introduce solutions with real authentic value.