In this episode of Sales Hacker, Ben recapitulates his first days in the company, the company’s core services, the challenges they faced during the pandemic and are facing now, given the recession and other global events. Ben and host Sam Jacobs talk about the importance of trust and support in a crisis, both internally and externally. Ben discusses how you can be a realistic yet motivational leader and how giving and asking for feedback is critical for a manager to move his team and operations forward.
Name: Ben Dietz
What he does: Ben is the general manager of Mintel.
Noteworthy: Ben began his career in logistics and supply chain with ConAgra Foods, then moved into supply chain consulting, and eventually pivoted to sales when he joined Mintel. He has held seven different roles across two continents through his 14 years at Mintel, during which Mintel has tripled in size.
Where to find Ben: LinkedIn
⚡Business development at its core is listening to customers and giving them what they need.
And the great thing about business, as Ben explains, is its universal nature. When you work in a company such as Mintel that operates across various continents, you come across different nationalities and languages, but that diversity is a power, not a barrier. ”For me, being in Europe gave me a heavy boost of confidence because even if you’re speaking a different language with them, if you have a solution helping build their business and helping build their personal brand, you’re onto something.”
⚡Moving up the career ladder requires openness to taking risks.
Although Ben attributes his professional success to luck, his dedication confirms that luck happens when preparation meets opportunities. ”I’ve always been vocal to the board and our owners that whatever the most difficult challenge we as an organization have at that moment, I want it.” But, he also says that his experience and skills were often not enough. Therefore, he believes business growth depends on the willingness to seek help and advice. ”Have a sense check, ‘Okay. What I’m doing, is it working?’ Share that willingly with others, but also be seeking advice from what other organizations are doing. That has been immensely useful.”
⚡Availability and proactivity lead to long-term business partnerships.
Client/customer preferences may change, but one thing remains the same, and that is that they want to know you are there whenever they need you. ”We’ve seen when you have fast response times to customers that have questions or when you don’t, and you’re being proactive, the results from a retention standpoint, and then the growth on top, they come.”
Mintel’s Scope of Services
”Think about any brand that you interact with any day — food, drink, beauty, or some form of technology. Any of those consumer-facing brands partner with us to understand the trends driving consumer behavior, which ultimately drive consumer demand so that they can learn and understand what products and services they want to innovate.
And then, on the back of those innovations, how do they want to message those products on the other side? […] So we help brands understand where’s the market today and what they should be doing about it from their innovation standpoint.”
Trust Is Critical in Times of Uncertainty
”I focus on it daily to make sure I have that trust amongst at least my management team, which of course, can then cascade. So they’re right now keeping me honest on what the temperature of the team is. And right now, it is heavy adversity.
I’m trying to remove any other distraction or potential project we had that we were going to look at launching or pushing the teams, going through different training; it’s all hands on deck at the moment.
We have weathered these storms multiple times in the past. So, at the moment, what I’m trying to do from a motivation standpoint is not necessarily working on the business as much as it is very much in the business and with the teams; so there’s a sense of camaraderie, and we’re all working through it.”
Never Stop Looking for Ways to Support Your Customers
”We’ve got thousands and thousands of people that we can be supporting. We know where we best win. We can easily see which accounts are potentially more at risk than others. So if anything else, beginning out and helping our customers because they’re worried [is always going on].
Two days ago, I joined a call where it was going to be a positive conversation. The night before, that company laid off 1200 folks. So the conversation, of course, adjusted quite a bit. But we still approached the call, ‘Okay. How are you doing?’ And then, ’How can we be supporting you and your personal brand at the moment, but also then supporting the broader business?’”
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