Maura Schreier-Fleming is President of Best@Selling. Maura works with business and sales professionals to sell more and work more productively. Her presentations and consulting focus on the skills and strategies that immediately produce results.
She is the author of two books: Real-World Selling for Out-of-this-World Results and Monday Morning Sales Tips. She writes a sales column for Allbusiness.com which is read by 80,000 readers each month. An engineer by training, she has appeared on numerous radio shows to discuss selling and business.
Maura’s clients include Fortune 500 companies: Fujitsu, UPS, BBVA Compass Bank, Ebby Halliday, and the Houston Texans.
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
I was blessed to have a wonderful family with loving parents and great sisters. My career has been influenced by a series of random events that contributed to my success. I was interested in sewing and studied Textile Chemistry in college. That led to attending Ga. Tech which resulted in my studying auto mechanics at night when I got my first car! With an engineering degree I worked for Mobil Oil and loved it. My interest in sales started in college when I sold a sorority raffle ticket and thought selling was fun. Mobil combined my interest in technical components and sales. I had great mentors in the oil business and that led to my interest in starting my own sales training and consulting company in 1997.
Was there any turning point in your life that changed your journey? If so, what was it? Please tell us the backstory behind it.
I had an unfortunate experience at Chevron working for a very difficult boss. Today he would have been considered abusive and fired. Back then, I figured out that working for a bully means you must stand up for yourself. I developed my strategy and followed through. What happened? He backed off, gave me a raise and I think finally respected my work. Most of all, he channeled his temper at others, not at me!
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say “YES, go for it!”
I have a very supportive husband. He was raised by a strong woman and truly appreciates what I do. Along with him, I’ve always had others who believed in me. What motivated me to start my own business was that I got tired working very hard for someone else.
Everyone has their own set of challenges when starting an entrepreneurial journey. Still, the most essential part for others to learn is how you deal with those. Would you like to share with us your challenges and your coping mechanisms?
My biggest challenge starting BestatSelling.com was realizing that just because there are 24 hours in the day doesn’t mean I have to work all of them. I was slowly burning myself out with 16 hour days. Entrepreneurs must realize that they are their most important customer! Nutrition, sleep and exercise are essential components of sales success. Sleep doesn’t take you away from work. Sleep allows you to be more productive when you work!
While the global pandemic of COVID-19 is associated primarily with adversities, it has also brought about a true boom in startups, with successful entrepreneurship in many countries. The pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. Would you like to share your experience on a personal and professional level?
I am such a fan of Zoom and other remote access platforms. I am delighted when I think of all the time I have saved from travel. Technology is an entrepreneur’s friend. Challenge yourself to figure out how you can be more productive and embrace technology.
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
I am proud of being Mobil Oil’s first Female Lubrication Engineer in the USA. I am proud of the top ratings I receive as a speaker on sales at conferences. I am even prouder of the success I’ve enabled in my clients.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
Wouldn’t it be nice if EVERYONE treated EVERYONE with dignity and respect?
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?
It’s not where you start that counts. It’s where you finish that does.
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women’s leadership today?
It’s not bragging if it’s true. (another one of my sayings that I tell women) Take credit for your work so you get considered for more leadership roles. Remember, if you are asked to do a “big” job, that person thinks you can do it! So say yes.
With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
Work hard. Believe in yourself. Make a lot of mistakes, just make different ones so you learn and grow from the experiences.