By: Kati Hanna – Consultant, The Mettise Group
Early in my professional career I was fortunate enough to learn one of my most treasured business lessons… often the person that can make things happen for you is not the owner or CEO of the company.
As a consultant working in a National Sales Director capacity for one of my clients, a primary focus of mine was building and growing the business. In my role, I had many opportunities to meet with C-Suite key decision makers from various industries and companies. However, it was my experience with a sales team assistant that transformed my thinking in life and business.
During a busy market where customers came to our new sales agency’s showroom to purchase new product, I spent time personally training and onboarding the new sales reps. Although I spent time with each sales rep training them on the product and company, I was also very intentional to include the sales assistant in the training. I had developed a working relationship with him prior to ever meeting him since he was the person that answered my calls when I phoned in. Each time we spoke, I treated him with a great deal of respect and authenticity. I knew even though he did not have a fancy title, that he had an important job. After all, he was the person that put you through to the owner, provided missing information to customers, and sales reports to me. While I knew some of his job responsibilities helped make my work easier, what I did not realize was the direct impact he would have on our sales.
On the third day of this market, he brought over one of his personal customers and introduced her to me. He stayed and helped write one of our largest orders at that market. Over the course of the next three years, this customer became one of our top key accounts. It was a few years later that I found out from the assistant that the reason he introduced his customer to me was because of the relationship I intentionally took the time to build with him. He appreciated my efforts and willingness to see him for more than an assistant. He went on to be the Sales Director for his sales agency, and we worked together on many large client transactions over the course of the next several years.
The impact he had on my client’s sales was nothing compared to the impact he had on how I continued to value and be intentional with each of my business relationships. Over the years, I’ve always made sure to value each person in an organization no matter what their title or job responsibilities are and it has paid off enormously for me.
A growth strategist guru, Kati Hanna has managed over 75 projects in a wide variety of industries during her 25-year career. She focuses her efforts on working with leadership teams to define goals and high-potential opportunities for growth; and managing key growth initiatives, marketing efforts and organizational implementation. Learn more about Kati.