Awhile back I interviewed Brian Kent for the NC Technology Association (NCTA). Retired Army sergeant & officer, Brian is now CEO of K3 Enterprises, a Fayetteville-based company he founded in 2005 to help tech companies work with the US Department of Defense.
This Veterans Day, with many vets in the job market, it seems appropriate to refer back to that conversation. I asked Brian, When you left the Army, which major adjustments did you have to make upon entering the civilian business environment? His surprising response:
"Probably the biggest adjustment...
Earlier this month I listened to a webinar by recruiter Gary Stauble. His focus was on building the habit of ending today by planning tomorrow. Not new, but worth repeating.
Gary was talking to recruiters, but his point applies equally to sales people & job hunters. The fastest, most effective way to start a productive day is to have your plan in place when you approach your desk. This way, you immediately begin productive activities, so you're more efficient & effective.
This habit also reduces anxiety, which increases happiness. Multiply that increased happiness &...
I've done a lot of reading & spent untold hours in negotiation, sales, communications, & recruiting classes. Here's my synthesis from decades & centuries of sages:
Think from the other person's perspective.
Tah-dah! That's it. That's my big advice to apply across or to prevent most people problems in life. It's the beginning of productive interactions.
Which key pieces of wisdom have you culled over your life's experiences, the books you've read, the advice you've heard?
I'm an extrovert. Extreme. But even I am daunted by walking into a meet-&-greet room filled with strangers. Anxious to see a familiar face, my eyes dart hither & yon around the little pre-formed groups.
Like it or not, this is the life of sales people & job hunters. I've noticed 4 uncomfortable moments:
Starting the interaction
Breaking off an ongoing conversation
Bringing someone new into your conversation
Interrupting an ongoing conversation. I think this is the MOST uncomfortable of those 4 moments, so here are a few pointers:
First, take a deep...
I recently had a long chat with CoaLogix's entertaining & insightful CEO, Bill McMahon. CoaLogix is a Charlotte-based company whose solutions decrease polluting emissions from coal-powered plants.
Here's what Bill feels are the key ingredients for success in leadership roles:
"1. Experience. You have to have it or you have to get it. In my case, I didn’t have the experience but I had friends who did.
"2. Trust. The management team must trust each other and your customers must trust you.
"3. Open communication. We have a saying here that we stab you in the front. If there’s...
Here's the last of my 3 rules for making networking events low-stress & high-impact.
Rule #1 for working the room is to be welcoming. Rule #2 is to be memorable.
Rule #3 (of 3) Working a room: Be nosey
At least, that’s what my son called it when I chatted up his high school friends. Dale Carnegie's classic, How to Win Friends & Influence People, would call it "showing interest."
Being nosey boils down to one thing: Ask QUESTIONS. Yes, I know that I also focused on asking questions in Rule #2, being memorable. But that was a different kind of question, one whose...
With a little forethought, you can make networking events low-stress & high-impact. Rule #1 for working the room was to be welcoming.
Rule #2 (of 3) Working a room:
One of our goals at business events is to be remembered in good ways so that prospects & clients will call us. Here are some simple tips for being memorable:
1. Dress appropriately but distinctly. An easy way to do that is to wear COLORS that aren't dark blue, brown, gray, or black. Use color to be easily found & identifed among the crowd of somber suits. So if you’re a man & must...
Joe Sullivan, Richmond cloud sales manager, asked me through LinkedIn what I look for in sales candidates. I answered his question from the perspective of what I look for on resumes or other profiles BEFORE I know anything else about the sales professional.
Here's what I told Joe:
Successful sales statistics, such as consistently being on or above quota or in the top 30% of peers
Success hunting into new logos, into greenfields, and/or for non-brandname companies
Job stability in the industry for which I’m recruiting
Having sold into the territory for which I’m recruiting
Lots of people dread networking events & mingling with strangers or near strangers. But, with a little forethought, these gatherings can become low-stress & high-impact. The real key to working a room successfully is to focus on those around you rather than on yourself. Here's how to start.
Rule #1 (of 3) Working a room:
Being the welcomer rather than the chatterer should take the pressure off. You do NOT have to carry the conversation or be an entertainer. Just invite others into your conversation, into your space. They will be grateful that you're making...
May 18, 2012 (Wrightsville NC) Today the North Carolina Association for Staffing Professionals (NCASP) named Mary Storms to its Hall of Fame. Mary is owner of STORMS Associates, a firm that recruits sales talent for technology companies nationwide. Hall of Fame membership is recognition of long-term contribution to NCASP and to the recruiting and staffing industries in North Carolina.
In presenting the award, Past President Jonathan Weiner noted especially Mary’s contributions as NCASP’s former Communications Director. In that position, she led a joint effort to reformat and expand...