At a startup like Hotel Engine, every day brings something new — new faces, new feature launches, new strategies, new customers. But only a few can remember where it all began, and Regional Director of Sales Jordan Epstein is one of them.
Jordan originally started at Travelers Haven, from which Hotel Engine grew as a sister company, at the beginning of his career in 2012. Though he lacked any formal sales training, he quickly developed a customer-centric attitude and a knack for building meaningful connections, which have catapulted him to success in his career — in parallel with the explosive growth of the brands he got his start with.
Read on to learn more about Jordan’s journey with Hotel Engine, his advice for fellow sales professionals, and what it’s been like to watch a company grow from 10 employees to 500.
I had an interesting beginning with Hotel Engine. I was actually part of a company called Travelers Haven, which is where Hotel Engine stemmed out of. So technically I’ve been more or less involved since inception, but it wasn’t until about two and a half to three years ago that I came full time to the Hotel Engine organization.
It’s been a wild roller coaster ride, but it’s been incredibly exciting. There’s so much that can change when you’re involved with high-velocity startups. One of the things that stands out to me is the different challenges that come up with each step of growth. The challenges we dealt with when we were a small, 10–12-person company were very different than when we were a 50-person organization, not to mention now, when we’re a 500+ employee organization. Also, when you’re talking about scaling, we have very ambitious goals here at Hotel Engine. To hit those very large metrics, we have to think big.
I’ve had multiple roles within HE. When I started off, I was an Account Executive. I got my boots on the ground with really understanding what our customers were looking for — understanding the problems that come up when large-scale businesses are thinking about managing their lodging program across the United States, which can cost them millions of dollars.
Due to my success and my expertise, I’m now in a Regional Director role. I work with our reps, our managers and our customers to make sure that we’re having the best possible conversations to unpack the needs, wants, priorities and problems of our customers, and ultimately help our team drive our sales forward. It’s about making sure that we’re doing the right things, that we have the right strategy and the right process to get the best outcomes for both us and our customers.
There’s a lot to be excited about here at Hotel Engine. The current opportunity that’s still in front of us is massive. As an organization, we have a great culture and if we all buy in to the big goals that we have, the world is our oyster. We have the right leadership in place, the right team and the right product to really take this thing to the moon.
Accountability is one of the top things you should be thinking about. We have a ton of support and a ton of coaching, but ultimately, it’s you that’s going to make the biggest difference in your success. What are you doing every day to get better, hit your goals, identify gaps, create ways to be more successful?
The second thing is to really understand your customers. A lot of times people are very focused on their product and its value, but ultimately, the customers get to dictate what they deem valuable. Just because something is valuable to one customer doesn’t mean it will be to another. Having meaningful conversations and asking great questions is one of the most important things you can do as a sales rep.
First and foremost, my family. I have an incredible wife and we have a nine-month-old daughter. She’s the best. When I’m not working, I’m trying to spend time with them. Outside of that, you know, I live in Denver, CO, and there’s a reason I live here. It’s because I love the outdoors. Everything from camping, to hiking, to biking, to skiing, to fishing. Those are the things that fill me up, those are the things that get me excited. Those are the times that I can take a deep breath and be present.
I grew up in the school of hard knocks when it comes to my career. A lot of people ask me, “Where did you get trained? Where did you learn how to do this?” I don’t have any formal training. I’ve learned everything through my own effort and leaning on peers and resources to be successful in what I do.
Patagonia. I took a stellar trip there and was absolutely blown away by the landscape and everything that place has to offer. Hawaii is a very close second.