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Nancy Zhu commented on

The Curiosity Bug

I often wonder what got me here to begin with? How did selling become my profession? I honestly have no idea other than to stay I stumbled into it. I got hired into a quick growing start-up and they gave me the title of Director of Strategy. At the time my background had only ever been government contracting as an Air Force Officer - where selling or even profit wasn't part of the equation or conversation. What I quickly came to realize was that Director of Strategy means "figure out how to make us money, please".

If you're similarly minded to myself this actually doesn't seem daunting, it sounds fun. It's a puzzle, a problem solving exercise riddled with complexity and nuance. In order to embrace something like this you just have to be curious. You have to want to ask all the questions first (without jumping to a conclusion in your own head), dive into the details, gather as much analytics and data as you can and filter it without being biased. You have to really trust your process, refine it with others input, and continue to let your curiosity lead you to your answers.

Of course, once you have some answers and you start implementing some actual strategies you need to be open to adapting to what your actual customers are saying. How are they looking at the problem that you're supposed to be creating value for? We come back to asking questions again. That's why I call it the Curiosity Bug; it's always on your mind, the questions and fact finding never stop and you search for that place that you can add value. To me that's what a great sales person does - they seek to know and by doing so they build relationships, they find where the value can be added, they close the deal because they understood the situation better than anyone else.

Well said, Andrew. I believe curiosity is one of the most important traits of a great sales person - thanks for sharing your process and how to optimize one's curiosity!
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