Thursday, September 8, 2011

5 Questions for Steven Trompeter

 Nearly 10 years ago, The Great Steven Trompeter left his Sales position in a well-established organization. He joined an industry with an average tenure that matched his years on Earth. Truly the new kid on the block, Steven established himself among his tenured peers in under a year.

Today, he is among a rare breed of Millennials that has served a company for the aforementioned extended amount of time. 

Mr. Trompeter is a man of intense competitive drive, unquenchable creative desire and an astounding sense of humor. He was kind enough to give us a few minutes of his Happy Hour as the labor day weekend beckoned.

1. You are a successful, seasoned sales professional. What advice would you give to a young person starting a sales career in this day and age?
First off, thanks for the compliment. It’s always nice to be recognized. Before I gave them any advice I’d ask them this question: Why do you want to be in sales? It’s the key to understanding whether or not you’d be great at it. There will be a lot of different reasons but ultimately it should lead back to this answer. I want to be in sales to control my own destiny! To me, SALES is the heartbeat of any company. It’s the most exciting place to be because it all starts with your efforts and when you taste success there’s nothing like it! Back to your question, for a young person starting a career in sales today here would be my advice:
• Start building your professional network immediately
• Being prepared is the ultimate sign of respect
• Embrace social media for business purposes
• Set goals and hold yourself accountable
• Understand that nobody cares what you want to sell. They care about their business problems and if what you are selling can be a viable solution
• Don’t be afraid to fail! In fact, expect it, embrace it and learn from your mistakes
• Become a student of sales - attend seminars, read books, follow blogs and become an industry expert in whatever field you’ve chosen
• Sell with integrity
• Learn to keep the door open even when you want to slam it in someone’s face
• Seek advice – look at your sales team and develop mentor / mentee relationships to advance your learning curve. You don’t need the company to assign one to you. Find one yourself, take him or her to lunch and build that relationship
• Continuously educate yourself on your clients and prospects line of work
• Have a vision and learn how to articulate it
• “CLOSING” is for losers. OPEN relationships and business partnerships that will grow for an entire career, not just one sale

2. As an incentives consultant, are you seeing trends in the way companies are encouraging staff results?
A few key trends that are moving to the forefront of our industry are:
• Eliminating programs that live in silos and developing a total rewards strategy that ties into business objectives
• Making the reward and recognition experience social
• Instant / timely recognition
• Equitable global recognition

3. What do you feel is the key to employee engagement?
A strong leadership team
• Transparency on the status of your company
• A shared vision for all employees
• Providing a career path for your employees with plenty of opportunities for them to understand how they are doing
• Set up consistent programs to gain feedback from your staff
• Show your employees how their opinions matter and how you have listened

4. You have worked for the same company for almost 10 years. This is rare for a young professional. What’s the secret to your tenure?
I get this question a lot. I believe it’s a combination of my personality and the sales culture I am a part of at Michael C. Fina. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by some of the most talented, sincere and engaged professionals in my industry. The Fina family, our leadership team and our extremely committed employees of Michael C. Fina have helped me grow as a professional and as a person. The old expression “to whom much is given much is expected” is the way things work around here. There is an unwavering level of trust and support from the top which allows you to have the feeling of being an entrepreneur but with a proven system and financing behind you every step of the way. It’s been an amazing challenge and one that I am very proud of. Additionally, working at a privately held, family run business fosters a culture of reciprocal loyalty. Anyone who tells you they haven’t thought of leaving their company or explored other options is full of it! I believe the key is to make your own grass greener and keep pushing yourself to be the best you that you can be. Most of the time when people switch jobs it’s in the quest for something more and that "more" isn’t always money. It could be a different team, new leadership, better market position etc… Then they get to that new company and two years later it’s the same story. I don’t begrudge anyone who makes a move that they believe will put themselves and their family in a better position for success. At the same time, I encourage people to put their best work on the table. Push hard and you might just be surprised how doors open up for you.

5. You are a Boston kid. Do you feel the recent run of championships will take away from the working class, underdog mystique that has made Boston so hard edged?
DK – somehow I knew a question like that was coming my way from Mr. California-lovin… Not at all! I believe that grind it out, get it done mentality will never leave our sports community (or the people who are from Boston for that matter). Of course, it’s fun to be the underdog and climb up to championship status but I also think that gritty chip on your shoulder mentality will allow us to protect the sports dominance we have created. Cue the Duckboats!

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