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October 08, 2005
Venture capitalists want order makers, not order takers
New York venture capitalist Ed Sim explains that the sales team of a young start-up company needs to be hungry, motivated and unwilling to take "no" for an answer. Instead of waiting for the phone to ring, the salespersons need to be out making orders, not just taking orders:
"One of the fundamental criteria that any startup needs to look for is hunger. If you are a sales rep at an early stage company with no name, no brand, and an unproven product, you better be hungry, make your calls, schedule your meetings and not take no for an answer. What this boils down for me is the difference between "order takers" and "order makers"... So whatever you do when you hire your next group of sales reps, make sure they have the qualifications but more importantly make sure that they have the hunger and desire to win. Make sure that you have "order makers" and not "order takers."
That reminds me of one of my favorite films from the early 1990s, Glengarry Glen Ross (based on the play of the same name by David Mamet), in which Alec Baldwin plays a hyper-manic salesman who tells his underlings that the secret of being a great salesman is as easy as A-B-C: "A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing." (There are so many other great Mamet lines that it's hard to pick the best one - "The leads are weak." The leads are weak? The f*** leads are weak? You're weak").
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