How to Search For an Executive Sales and Marketing Job
In Chapter 4 of 16 of his 2010 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, online media sales executive Geoff Hamm shares the job search process he uses to find great jobs. To identify an opportunity, Hamm looks for great product and compatible culture. Once he identifies these, Hamm then qualifies each using his business and personal network. This provides him honest insight, feedback, and introductions that further the matchmaking process.
Erik: So as a sales executive that’s made a few big job changes over the last ten to twelve years what do you look for when interviewing at companies and assessing new potential opportunities? Geoff: First and foremost the product, as a sales guy I think the number one rule is if you don’t believe in the product you can’t sell it. Second and most important and I’ve learned this over my career because I’ve been at a few different companies where I’ve had some tough challenges, is culture. And I really look for companies that have a really kick-ass product who like to run at a hundred miles an hour, really work hard but play hard and really celebrate success, so if they can focus on that you achieve great things, it’s when you get politics and personal agendas involved that it becomes pretty disruptive to the organization and so I try to avoid companies that have political environments or, you know, you get a sense of that when you talk to people within the company and then you start doing your due diligence outside of that to really see if this is a good place. You can pretty quickly sniff out whether you’re going to face those challenges and if I sense that I typically don’t go to that company. Erik: And how do you load your network when looking at those potential employment opportunities? Geoff: There are a lot of key people, you know, a handful that I always turn to who’ve been in it as long as I have or maybe even a few years longer and those are the people that I always bounce those ideas off of because nine times out of ten if there’s a position open I may know the person that left the position or I certainly know someone’s that’s inside the company or somebody in my really close network of friends is one of those positions that knows somebody within the company, so you can very easily tap into that network and quickly find out if you know “Is this place legit?” Those things I focus on, “Is the product real? Is it as great as they say it is?” and, “what’s the culture like?”