The Story Behind the Broker Battle Champion
“I think I’m the best because I understand my clients very, very well,” said Anthony Truglia, an Account Manager at CapFront. “I listen to them, I ask the right questions, and I really try to dive very deeply into what it is the problem that they’re facing, and I try to find a solution to it to the best of my abilities.”
Truglia uttered these lines in a calm baritone voice on the red carpet at deBanked CONNECT MIAMI just hours before the inaugural Broker Battle in which he had been accepted as a contestant. The contest was designed to showcase the top brokers taking real but hypothetical questions and applying their knowledge live on stage.
At the time, Truglia had no idea how it was going to be conducted, not to mention that the other highly qualified contestants had also projected equally similar confidence in the likelihoods that they were going to win. It was anyone’s game at that point and the suspense was palpable. There had never been anything like it.
“I’m definitely going to be watching that,” said Manny Yosipov of Advanced Recovery Group during a show floor interview before it took place. “I’ve never seen a broker battle, never heard of a broker battle.”
“Broker Battle is huge because it shows the level that you can reach of talking to these clients, dealing with objections, and just selling in general,” said Joshua Hillian, Creative Director at Advance Funds Network. “I think a lot of people have the wrong idea of sales–but at the end of the day it’s question-based, customer focused, and that’s what it’s about.”
Hillian’s colleague Irving Betesh was slated to go first in the Battle later that evening. Betesh, like others, said that they had been preparing for this day well in advance. There was an overwhelming desire from all of them to showcase not only their technical knowledge but also their friendly diagnostic qualities. This was an educational opportunity for everyone.
When it finally kicked off, Truglia and Betesh squared off against fellow contestants Corey Digi, Stanley Mitchell, Danielle Rivelli, and Mike Brooks.
By the time Truglia went on stage, which was last in the order, the four judges and thousands in the audience had already heard five impressive performances. But Truglia delivered, earning a near perfect score that sent him to the final championship round against experienced veteran Danielle Rivelli. And when that close matchup was completed, he found himself wearing a gold belt and holding a big check that duly crowned him as the Top Broker.
For those that didn’t know him, Anthony Truglia was simply the man that had put on the most impressive performance, an Account Manager at CapFront who won the hearts and minds of his peers. deBanked wanted to know more as he was little known to the editorial team until the day of his victory. It turns out he’s got an interesting story.
Truglia was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut and got his education at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He interned for a paper company that he said was reminiscent of Dunder Mifflin in the hit sitcom The Office, where he got a taste of doing sales. There, he discovered his own inner drive but paper was not the business he wanted to be in. “I was very young and I’ve always been very ambitious, always trying to accomplish something,” he said. After that he aimed big and actually launched his own coffee business, which ultimately didn’t pan out. Truglia followed that up with real estate, which he enjoyed, until he met someone that changed everything for him, a mentor that was making a name for themselves in the world of small business financing.
“See, I know most people when they get into this industry they’re just thrown into the gauntlet, they maybe have a team lead that gives them some supervision and some pointers, maybe you go through like a training for a month with a group of people, but I actually got one on one training with Justin Friedman,” Truglia said. Friedman, as one might already be familiar, is currently the Head of Sales Training & Development for Enova International, the parent company of one of the largest small business lenders in the country. At the corporate level, one could confidently say that he is among the best of the best.
That was in 2018 for Truglia, where that one-on-one training included roleplay rehearsals, ones that eventually resembled the format of the Broker Battle he’d partake in nearly six years later. Truglia’s career has led him to CapFront. He speaks incredibly highly of the company and its CEO Zack Fiddle. If one suspected that Truglia’s time in the business had led him to slow down or retreat to back-office work, they’d be wrong. Truglia says that he’s on the front lines making about 150 customer calls per day on average.
“…my job is to contact [inquiring clients] as soon as possible to get a feel for whether they’re interested, if they’ve already been funded or not, but also just trying to figure out what it is they’re trying to accomplish really, try to gauge their urgency, gauge what their comfortability is, and see if we can find something that they will be comfortable with,” he says. “But also it’s a fine line because people’s aspirations are oftentimes not anywhere close to what they qualify for. And unfortunately, not a lot of people are aware of what lenders look for so that’s where we come into play.”
To get ready every morning to do this job he’s up at 6am and off to the gym before he even has his first cup of coffee. Then it’s game time, a lifestyle he’s accustomed to that doesn’t require anything else to pump him up.
“I’ve just gotten to that point where I’m very confident I know what I’m talking about. I’ve heard every question asked and I just practice it so daily that [outside motivation] is not really needed anymore,” he says.
Truglia is also confident that the type of role he fulfills is here to stay, that even lurking AI technologies are not something to fear.
“I definitely think that AI is not going to take away sales jobs because I’m one of those people that thinks that people enjoy talking to human beings. They don’t like talking to robots,” he says. “I think there’s something about—even if [an AI] sounded good, and you know it’s not really a human deep down, there’s no connection. So there’s no loyalty generated. I think people naturally like to talk to people, they like the personal connections relationship.”
But in real life, one might not be the only person that a potential client is considering and how they make a final decision to move forward could entirely depend on the best vibe that they feel.
“I always tell clients, ‘check out our company, myself on Trustpilot’ and stuff like that, do they always do that? Sometimes, not always. But from a psychological standpoint, I think a lot of times it comes down to how professional you are, how polished, your tone—just the chemistry that you can develop in that first call is what usually decides if this is somebody that you enjoy speaking to.”
This entire thought process ultimately played out on stage where his approach, one which included warmly thanking the judges for their imaginary call and the reaching in for a fist bump to close a deal, wooed the judges in his favor.
“[My team was] all very ecstatic for me,” he says. “And I thank them very much deeply for it. They were certainly rooting for me.”
Sean Murray is the President and Chief Editor of deBanked and the founder of the Broker Fair Conference. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on twitter. You can view all future deBanked events here.