Smarts + Experience + Listening = Greatness. The Magic Formula.

Smarts + Experience + Listening = Greatness. The Magic Formula.

Be Sociable, Share! Tweet People often ask me how I was able to make my last business successful. What special skills and capabilities did I bring to the table? How was I able to make the Inc 500 list for several years and manage continued fast growth? Having a big ego definitely wasn’t the skill that made it happen. So what was? For corporate leadership, I was good at finding people far smarter and experienced than myself, and then I listened to what they had to say. Groupthink, and the opportunity to have others evaluate, give me feedback, and tweak my smartness and stupidity as I built strategy – and executed on it – was the only reason I was successful. Notice that there are three parts to the above statement. Three very important parts that need to be in sync for it all to work. I was very good at finding people far smarter and experienced than myself, and then I listened to what they had to say. Woo Hoo. Three Parts. So What? Each statement means nothing on its own. If you hire smart and experienced people but don’t listen to them, you’re greatly limiting your opportunity for success. If you hire people who “haven’t been there and done that”, or just don’t “get it”, and then take their advice, you could be headed for failure as easily as greatness. I’ve seen both happen on a regular basis. In addition, note that I said “smarter and experienced”. Intelligence without experience means they still have to go through the process of learning what works and what doesn’t. They have to have...
72 Interview Questions to ask a Sales Rep

72 Interview Questions to ask a Sales Rep

Be Sociable, Share! Tweet Last week I posted about 20 questions to “see” during a sales interview.  This week, let’s get a bit more absolute and talk about questions you can really ask.  When you talk to an account exec it’s great to understand what makes them tick.  It’s good to remind them that there are no wrong answers to these questions (although, in reality, there can be).  It’s good to put them on the spot and see how they react. With that said, here’s the list of questions I use when I’m interviewing someone for an account executive role, account management role or a business development role.  You’ll notice that many of them help you align the interests, goals and personality of the prospect with your company culture and offerings.  I’d love to take credit for all of the questions, but they are really a mix of my own questions plus questions I’ve heard others ask over a long period of time. 72 Interview Questions to Ask a Sales Rep Do you prefer to find new accounts or farm existing accounts? What motivates you as a sales professional? What traits do you believe make up the most effective sales representatives? What sales quotas are you accustomed to? How comfortable are you with cold-calling? How long was the average sales cycle at your previous jobs? Who were your most profitable target markets at your previous jobs? How would you describe your sales technique? What are some common hurdles you’re facing right now as a sales representative in your current position? Can you give me an example of a complex...
20 Questions to “see” during a Sales Interview

20 Questions to “see” during a Sales Interview

Be Sociable, Share! TweetHiring an account executive is tough.  Really tough.  Can they prospect?  Can they build a relationship? Can they close? Interviewing an account exec allows them to do to YOU what they do best – sell.  It’s very easy to fall into the trap of liking the guy in front of you.  They’re trained to make you like them. Their whole career revolves around getting people to like them.  Especially during an interview.  So how do you tell whether the person in front of you is going to actually be good for your company? It’s really important to turn normally qualitative facts into quantitative analysis.  What does that mean?  Instead of going by “feelings” you have during interviews, look at various approaches and characteristics that are important and have a checklist or scoring list of whether the candidate accomplished what you want. In another blog, we’ll get into some questions you have to ask.  But first, examine the process the candidate took to get in front of you.  How aggressive were they?  What did their resume look like?  How was their cover letter written? Did they reach out to your company in multiple ways and at multiple levels?  Answering some of these questions will tell you a bit about how the candidate opens doors. While you ask your questions, look at their behavior and presentation.  Are they dressed the way your company dresses?  Do they mirror your body language?  Do they answer with concrete examples or vagueries?  Do they think about questions before answering, or jump right into it?  Do they have a lot of comfort words like...
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