People that have known me for any length of time have heard me say this more than once. I still believe it to be the case, although recently I’ve evolved my thinking to include the ‘owners’ of a business.
The simple reason is that a founder of a company has been there since the beginning. They’ve seen all the gyrations, been intimately involved in building the product or service, sold the first few customers, answered the investors questions, taken on heaps of constructive and critical feedback, and described what they do (or intend to do) at countless social events. Pile on top of all that: they wouldn’t be founders if they didn’t have a passion that ran far deeper and more animalistic than anyone else around the table.
Like I said, recently, I’ve evolved my thinking a bit on this. I now include people who truly “own” the business. By this I mean those people that posses the ownership gene.
This set of people develops a sense of the company’s history regardless of how long they’ve been there, they fearlessly try and try again to describe what it is the company does at each and every family/social/cocktail/sporting event, they roll up their sleeves and get involved in challenges beyond their job scope and description, they think about new ways to expand, increase, grow and generally go faster everyday. Every business needs a team of people like this if they hope to succeed. People that have an insatiable need to talk to end users, prospects, skeptics, and basically anyone who will take the time to listen and give constructive feedback. They use every opportunity to talk passionately about what they’re doing, where they fit amongst the competition, and why their product or service is more awesome than the other guy’s.
Once these people truly understand, are deeply passionate about, and can describe the company’s place and position in a holistic business sense, they then become the best salespeople in the company.