Cody Veibell’s entrepreneurial journey began at 19, selling alarm systems door-to-door in Kansas City, eventually rising to the role of Executive of Sales for a smart home company. After a short retirement, he joined Suntria, a venture-backed company specializing in solar solutions. Cody generates revenue through commission-based salespeople, prioritizing customer experience and leveraging advanced technology. Despite initial doubts early on in his career and challenging moments, he persisted, driven by a determination to prove skeptics wrong. His commitment led to success, transforming tough weeks into improvements and marking the start of thriving business.

How did you get started in this business?

I began my career at 19, selling alarm systems door-to-door in Kansas City, Missouri. Falling in love with sales, I navigated the ups and downs, growing personally and professionally. Eventually, I became the Executive of Sales for Vivint Smart Home, leading through four transactions. After a six-month retirement, I joined a venture-backed company to resurrect and build.

Suntria, the company I’m with, is owned by a venture capital fund. They found me on LinkedIn due to my sales background. After six months of retirement, I explored various opportunities and chose Suntria because the venture fund prioritizes both employees and customers, aligning with my values for the next phase of my career.

How do you make money?

We utilize commission-based salespeople to generate our business. They employ various methods, such as lead generation, online strategies, or door-to-door approaches. Our focus is on providing an excellent customer experience. Through advanced technology, we aim to offer the best solar systems at the most competitive prices over the system’s lifetime. We’re also working on additional products and services to help customers save money in the long run.

How long did it take for you to become profitable?

My first sales experience was door-knocking in Utah. After some success, I was recruited to sell alarm systems in Kansas City for the summer. Despite initial challenges and contemplating quitting after two tough weeks, I decided to persist. The turning point was my determination not to prove my parents, who doubted the opportunity, right. Once I committed, everything fell into place, and I began to enjoy and excel in my sales role.

When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?

My initial experience in sales involved door-knocking in Utah, where I achieved some success. Encouraged by this, I moved to Kansas City for a summer sales opportunity. However, the reality was challenging, and the first couple of weeks were tough. Contemplating quitting, the defining moment came when my parents expressed doubts about the opportunity. Determined to prove them wrong, I made a firm commitment. From there, everything fell into place—sales picked up, and I began to genuinely enjoy my work.

How did you get your first customer?

In the first two weeks, I only sold three alarm systems each week, earning $600 upfront. Despite making more working for my dad, I made a firm commitment and decided I was all in. There was no option to quit. Even if my parents asked, I was determined to say it was awesome, and from that point on, my worst week in sales was an improvement.

What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?

Our primary marketing strategy is currently door-to-door, where we acquire the majority of our customers. We leverage our CRM to track customer data extensively, enabling us to re-target them for future opportunities and offer the most cost-effective solar solutions. Additionally, we’re developing technology, including apps, to provide real-time quotes on our website and enable customers to order their solar system immediately. We’re also working on technology to enhance visibility and KPIs for our sales team, focusing on thorough data tracking and analysis.

What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?

In the last few months, while each day has brought numerous decisions, I wouldn’t categorize any of them as exceptionally difficult. Managing a company facing challenges, you anticipate dealing with a lot of issues. I don’t feel overly affected or find anything too challenging; the decisions just feel right, making them relatively easy.

What do you think it is that makes you successful?

The key is to never reach a point where you think you’ve ‘made it’ and can relax. It’s crucial to love the process of continuous improvement and enriching lives. Satisfaction with our efforts is important, but we shouldn’t become content to the point of stagnation. True success is found in progression – personally, in careers, and in families. Money is a byproduct of time, effort, and helping others. Success is an ongoing journey of constant personal progression.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

The most satisfying aspect for me is witnessing employees experience job security and confidence in their roles, despite the challenging expectations we set. Seeing individuals grow, develop, and excel in their careers, especially during our 350% growth last year, is immensely rewarding. Additionally, conducting stock options workshops for our employees, offering them the opportunity to own stock options, adds a special dimension. Knowing that our team will benefit from their hard work and dedication when we transact is truly gratifying. We’re striving every day to ensure that when the time comes, everyone feels proud of their accomplishments and contributions to Suntria.

What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?

We aimed to be a billion-dollar company, and we’re well on our way. With upcoming initiatives, we’re poised to enter the multi-billion-dollar phase. What excites me most is achieving this with a team I love working with, guided by the right intentions and principles.

What business books have inspired you?

I’m a simple reader, often picking books based on current challenges. Two favorites are ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie, emphasizing the value of relationships, and ‘The Strangest Secret’ by Earl Nightingale, reminding me of the power of positive thinking. Success, to me, is basic—show up, work hard, maintain a positive attitude. These books reinforce the fundamentals that success is about mindset and actions. If you believe in your capabilities and work towards your goals, that confidence will shape your reality. Applying these principles can be life-changing for anyone.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I’ve always been smart with money, but looking back, I wish I had been more educated early in my career. I would have been more prudent in my spending and focused on saving and investing. Now, with our employees, we prioritize financial education. We provide opportunities for aggressive 401k plans and offer coaching to help them make informed decisions about their money.

Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?

You can find us on any social media platform under Suntria. We have customer-facing Instagram and Facebook accounts, as well as a sales-facing group. Feel free to reach out to me anytime there or through the website.

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