This is our interview with Max Lowenbaum, VP of Sales at Hireology. You can follow Hireology at @Hireology.
Sales Assembly: Give us your quick background in sales.
Max: I have spent the last 13 years in sales and sales leadership. I started selling, but immediately felt a stronger desire to see others on my team achieve and became focused on becoming a leader full time. I was fortunate to be an early Groupon employee, manager and director and owe a lot of my success to the great people I met and worked with during my six years there.
Sales Assembly: What's your biggest accomplishment in sales or sales leadership?
Max: I have been able to work with over 1,500 sales professionals in my time as a leader, and I can honestly say that my relationships with them supersede any individual accomplishments. My wife is a (great) sales person, my Dad is a sales person, my best friends and favorite people are sales people. Everyday I continue to be inspired and energized by the sales people around me, and it is their accomplishments that I am most proud of.
Sales Assembly: What's the best piece of sales advice you ever got?
Max: My dad always says, "attitude is everything," and I think the most common mistake new salespeople make is not focusing on what they can control. People no-show appointments, budgets and timeline changes, but if you show up everyday and consciously try to be the best version of yourself, you always have a shot.
Sales Assembly: What's the biggest challenge facing a sales rep today, and how would you recommend they overcome it?
Max: I think it's standing out. There is no doubt that sales is a numbers game, but automated prospecting systems have made it easier than ever to overwhelm prospects with content. One of our core values at Hireology is "create wow moments" and while part of our focus is to wow our colleagues and make this an amazing place to work, we are constantly pushing our team to wow our prospects. With so much templated outreach, you can stand out by being thoughtful and making it fun to get a cold email or call from you.
Sales Assembly: Do you currently have a sales mentor, or have you ever? If so, what did they teach you?
Max: I am fortunate to have a lot of people who have invested in my career. I already mentioned my Dad, who I talk to everyday. I have also spent the last six years, across two companies, working everyday with Julie Brinkman. Julie is our COO at Hireology and has made an indelible impact on my life and work. The biggest lessons I have learned from Julie are the power of vulnerability, the necessity to trust yourself and to do what you know is right.
Sales Assembly: What's the best sales book you've ever read? What are you reading now?
Max: I really like The Sales Acceleration Formula, by Mark Roberge. I am currently reading Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke.
Sales Assembly: Best sales or business related books, articles, podcasts or newsletters?
Max: Jeff Brandwein, one of our sales managers, has a blog called Wake Up! It's Day One. It's incredible and so is he.
Sales Assembly: What's the best advice you'd give to someone just starting a career in sales?
Max: Take some time to understand why you want to sell, boil it down to a word or sentence that really means a lot to you. Print it and put it in places where you will see it to remind you to stay driven and focused on your why, especially after bad days, weeks and even months.
Sales Assembly: Do you see any interesting future trends as it pertains to sales?
Max: I still think getting in front of prospects is crucial. I love tech, but what I love even more is momentum. There is no better way to get someone really thinking about buying your product than getting in front of them without distractions. Then you can listen to them, read their body language and hopefully create some momentum to move the deal forward before the meeting is over.
Sales Assembly: What is one of your favorite interview questions, and how would you answer it?
Max: We have a question in the Hireology system that is: "What is one misperception people have about you?" It can be pretty awkward to ask, but is really telling, and I always appreciate candidates that answer it and show some vulnerability. I think the biggest misperception about me is that I have it all figured out. When I first started as a sales leader, I thought I always had to be "on" and polished. Over time, I realized that it's OK to be scared, nervous or even wrong. It is in those moments that I have grown the most.