I had read a post from the Marketing Headhunter not too long ago, about Assessing “the Vision Thing.” A great list of ‘interview questions’, I thought.
But I’m not going to be doing interviews. I know what I’m doing. I’m a tactical guy, not a vision guy anyway.
And I pressed on.
Later that week we had a visitor meet with us. “So why do your customers buy from you?” he asked.
Damn, I knew the answer isn’t supposed to be the salesman’s answer … but I felt it coming out of my mouth. “Well, we offer a competitive price & product”, then mumbled something about high quality.
Doh! How lame!
My brain went back to Harry’s post. How was I supposed to answer the question?
First I have to justify my dorky answer: In smaller B2B businesses like mine, your brand is the sum of everything you do. And those things happen organically to satisfy the customer. It’s like ants building a colony, not a lioness pouncing on prey. Price, product, & delivery are basic, but very important parts of what we do.
But Harry Joiner says the leaders he looks for need to have vision. If he is testing his candidates’ strategic literacy, this has to be a common problem:
“My point here is that there is a difference between doing the right things, and doing things right. Candidates are expected to do things right. Tight execution is simply the price of admission these days.
However, as we have all learned by watching Google, Microsoft, Disney, and Apple redefine and grow their businesses, the right people asking the right questions can have a much greater impact that just a few thousand dollars in recruiting fees.”
Go ahead and study some of these questions. It’ll make you better prepared when someone asks how your company prevails, or what your marketing really does. Here is a zinger from that list:
If you left your company today, how would you compete against it? I freaking love this question because most e-commerce candidates simply think in terms of just doing more, better, faster, and cheaper. I’ve got news for them: Someone’s always going to do things better, faster, and cheaper. How can you do things more intimately with your customer??