Our Fireside Fridays series is where we have the opportunity to sit down with top B2B revenue leaders for 7 questions and get a behind-the-scenes look at their recommended best practices, their background, and factors that have contributed to their success. This is our interview with Mathew Focht, CEO at EMERGING.
Give us your background in sales
I have been in sales since college, working with developers, restaurants, and entertainment concepts. Over the past 20 years, my role has transitioned to leading teams that provide services to the restaurant and entertainment industry. These experiences include co-founding or founding a series of companies: Emerging Concepts, Consolidated Concepts, Tipzyy, Acutely, and few others. Collectively these companies work with over 65,000 restaurants in their respective areas.
What is the biggest challenge today facing a sales professional, and how would you recommend they overcome it?
Today’s market demands require you to be dynamic and adapt to changing needs. You have to find your customer’s most significant pain point and meet them there. If you diligently work to solve a customer’s most significant challenge or pain point, you will earn their trust. Having their trust will translate into a mutually beneficial relationship.
What’s the best sales or business book you’ve ever read, and why? Are you reading anything now?
Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine. Success in sales is more about the mental state than most people understand. Right now, I am reading Scale by Jeff Hoffman and David Finkel.
What companies, brands or influencers in the industry do you follow and/or respect most, and why?
I respect Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Sam Walton. They all dreamed big and achieved something that changed the world. They didn’t follow a detailed business plan but were guided by a big goal. They dreamed and focused on executing their goals every day despite failures along the way.
What’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting a career in sales or revenue overall within B2B tech?
Start with cold calling people. You have to learn not to fear rejection; you need to experience rejection to know success. No product or service you sell is perfect; focus on the relationship. If you develop a relationship, you can overcome challenges to product or implementation and work together to optimize the client process and ROI.
What’s a mistake or fail you vividly remember from your journey in business, and what did you ultimately learn from that experience?
I was the first Red Box operator in the US with an exclusive agreement at colleges across the US. I had over 500 colleges requesting machines; however, the Redbox technology wasn’t ready for the market. There were many problems for customers, and I didn’t legally challenge Redbox to fix them. I didn’t reach out to experienced people who might have given me advice on how to survive these early challenges. Instead, my agreement ran out, and Mcdonald’s bought Redbox and forced them to fix the machine issues. Redbox was later sold to Coinstar.