I recently met an incredible veteran enterprise salesperson and I noticed how much the engineers admired her. There were three things they said about her that stayed with me:
- Shared commitment: She would always ask the engineers, “Can you build this?” And would never sell anything without getting confirmation that they could. It’s more common for sales to sell ahead of anything that might be coming out of engineering — so this was a really magical thing.
- Learning mindset: When she didn’t understand a technology concept that the engineers had managed to ship, she would tell the engineers, “Explain it to me again.” Over and over until she got it. So that she could explain it to a prospect with integrity, and could be ready for the next big thing to come along.
- Real kindness: They were all traveling in Las Vegas. And there was an Elvis impersonator all alone on the street who wasn’t gathering a crowd. She took the microphone from him and started singing and dancing — resulting in about a hundred people gathering around the (real) street performer.
Pretty cool, huh? —JM