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Friday Interview: John Sweeney

This week, I met John Sweeney, who helps companies to find more clients and manage their marketing data. He has a wide experience in all aspects of company management from marketing, hiring, team building and finance.

So tell us what is it you do.

I get involved in service businesses looking to grow their enterprise customer base . My particular skill is finding big clients for small businesses. I sell services to some of the world’s most recognised B2B brands.

What do you think are some of the greatest challenges in sales?

The greatest challenges in sales are to master the ‘soft skills’ needed to be truly  successful in modern selling. The majority of people working in sales can talk about their own products, the competitive landscape and suggest solutions to potential customers. This approach will yield some results but given that this information is already available to internet to savvy prospects salespeople today have a new role to play in the sales process. You are face to face with a prospect who seems to know as much as you about what you are selling. Knowing how to manage this situation is your greatest challenge and greatest opportunity.

Are there any individuals that you look up to in terms of work ethos?

I’ve met and worked with many great individuals in business. I particularly admire anyone who has created and built a business from small beginnings. I know from personal experience the effort required to get a business off the ground. Behind every successful small business is a story of courage, resilience, stubborness and innovation.

Are there different sales strategies for small businesses vs. larger corporations?

Absolutely! The differences are too numerous to cover here but the scale of resources a large company can call upon give them huge advantages. A small business has to pick a winning strategy and execute it fast or it will soon be out of business. Large corporations with their deeper pockets have more options. Geoffrey A. Moore described this reality and how to overcome it his legendary book “Inside the Tornado”. A must read for budding entreprenuers.

What are your next steps? Will you be setting up another business?

I have no plans to set up another business at the moment.  I’ve recently been appointed Sales Director for a company called Qbase. Qbase are already well established in a number of markets. A period of rapid growth is anticipated as more and more companies seek to address the challenges of managing their marketing data in the cloud. My role is to find new customers whilst building a sales team and infrastructure to maximise this opportunity.

Twitter: @jnsweeneytweets

John is one of the mentors at the Migrant Business Accelerator.
If you wish to help migrants become entrepreneurs and change their lives for the better, get in touch with This Foreigner Can Social Enterprise.