Healthy Finance

Sell yourself, via networking

Written by Theresa Campbell

Executive director values leading Villages group of commissioned sales executives and entrepreneurs 

After enjoyable interactions with a group of Ocala businesswomen, Joanne Murray was inspired to become active in The Villages chapter of Women on a Mission to Earn a Commission (WOAMTEC), touted as a premier networking group for established businesswomen seeking to grow their company’s bottom line. 

The Villages group was formed three years ago, and Joanne took over as executive director in July 2018. 

“I got involved in WOAMTEC because I wanted to meet women who knew their worth and were not afraid to be successful commissioned sales executives and entrepreneurs,” says Joanne, who notes members build their businesses through an interchange of information and sharing referrals.

“Relationship building is a key ingredient,” she adds. “Building rapport and trust increases the opportunity to earn more business for everyone. In this group, women can be themselves in a stress-less environment.” 

The wife, and mother of three sons and six grandchildren, Joanne’s varied work history includes working as a high-fashion model for 20 years, followed by 20 years in banking. She earned two master’s degrees in business/professional management, and human resources management. 

She recently began her own coaching and consulting business. “My passion is to reach out to women who have been through some sort of abuse or domestic violence. The focus is on helping women get unstuck.” 

Joanne’s advice


What are your tips in being productive in selling yourself for your career, in relationships with people, on a job interview?

Dispense with fear. An interview is an employer’s effort to get to know YOU. Equally important is that the interview is your chance to evaluate the employer. 

Be unafraid to ask pointed questions and endeavor to have an open and free conversation. 

What advice do you have regarding how to build rapport with others to succeed in your job?

Always be open to suggestions of others. Be wise and value the advice of fellow employees. Never assume that you know everything about your performance in any aspect of the job.

What’s important for commissioned salespeople to do to get ahead in today’s marketplace? 

Network, network, network! Get out into your community and attend local events. A start of a conversation is the gateway to building relationships. When you earned their trust, the business will come.

Any personality traits that are a must? Such as smiling, kindness, giving compliments?

The most important personality trait in this business is self-confidence. You should always be genuine, pleasant, and show a positive attitude with a smile.

What do you hear the most from people of what they need help with in their lives or careers?

Guidance to resolved issues in business they don’t have personal knowledge of. In addition, dealing with an inability to know where to find the answers.  

How did you go from modeling to the banking field?

I started my modeling career at 15 years old because my mother couldn’t get me to wear a dress and act like a girl. I was an absolute tomboy. It turned out that I was very good at runway modeling, so I made a 20-year career of it. At 35, I began to get tired of the business. Not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up, I registered with an employment agency. I felt that if I was going to make a career change it would have to be then. Before I got home, they called and asked about a banking position, and I decided it would be an exciting change. So, 20 years and three kids later, I made another career change, and as part of my career development, I became an executive director of WOAMTEC.

Any advice you’ve given your sons or grandchildren about selling themselves to teachers, classmates, and in their relationships with others?

To be firm but humble, and it’s better to compromise than to fight. The greater the number of your friends yields fewer enemies.

Share more of your personal passion to start a coaching/consulting business to help abused women. How and why did this come about?

I have always had a desire to help and minister to abused women, because I was once an abused woman. Having successfully survived, I have a responsibility to assist others with my knowledge and compassion. I feel that coaching provides abused women all the resources needed for them to grow into successful survivors. It is my hope that they will all become just as successful entrepreneurs.

About the author

Theresa Campbell

Originally from Anderson, Ind., Theresa worked for The Herald-Bulletin for many years. After experiencing a winter with 53 inches of snow, her late husband asked her to get a job in Florida, and they headed south. Well known in the area, Theresa worked with The Daily Sun and The Daily Commercial prior to joining Akers.
“I finally have my dream job. I’ve wanted to work for a magazine since I was a teenager, and I’m very excited to be here,” Theresa says. “There is such positive energy at Akers that it’s infectious.”
Theresa has three grown daughters—Julia lives in San Francisco, Emily is in Austin, Tex., and Maria is at the University of Central Florida.

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