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IT is a fast-paced business. Things change daily. Crises arise on a regular basis. If you want to provide valuable IT resources, you need a particular kind of person doing most of the work. These people are doers. They are the front liners who don’t wait for permission to solve a problem. They are eager to tackle the next challenge, and they bring positive, confident energy to the workplace. You need these people working for you directly, and you need them running businesses that work alongside yours. Today, you’re going to get a little help in finding these people who can help drive your managed services success.
There’s an old interview technique that can help you find doers during the hiring process. It goes like this. You have a group of applicants waiting for their interview. In the waiting room, you have a “peer” employee looking to strike up conversations. Anyone who shies away from these conversations is far less likely to be a doer. Assertive people will not only engage, but they’ll probably try to find out more about the company from the inside perspective available to them.
Of course, this technique won’t help you when you’re cultivating partner businesses. Finding doers among them might require more time and effort, but the first tell is the easiest. Did they contact you? Have they followed up with you after the first contact? Any business that isn’t putting deliberate effort into their communications with you is either lacking assertiveness or is not interested in a strong relationship. It’s an easy sign that you can do better.
Despite your efforts to find doers from the outset, you won’t always succeed. Sometimes you’ll find that an employee or partner is not assertive enough for your liking. That’s just part of business. When you have a problem like that, remember the value of doers and keep an open eye for new opportunities. If you really want to grow your business in the best way possible, you are going to have to back your managed services marketing with doers.
The new problem that can arise when you seek out doers is that you can run into destructively aggressive people. This isn’t to say that all aggression is always bad, but chances are you’ve worked with someone at some point in your career who was detrimentally aggressive. You need ways to discern an active doer from someone with too much aggression. Thankfully, there are a few key tells.
Both assertive and aggressive individuals are likely to take charge of a conversation and act quickly. The key differences are in how they frame their action to the people around them. An assertive person might respond to a question promptly, but an aggressive person will be more likely to redirect the conversation altogether. This is an attribute of dominance, and the aggressive person is more concerned with their agenda than the general conversation. This makes aggressive people more likely to be dismissive or interrupt when you speak. They will also often be more condescending. Most of all, aggressive people will be less interested in collaboration.
In terms of interviewing, you can make these distinctions with a few specific questions. For starters, you can ask for examples of assertiveness. You want to pay close attention to their answer and try to see if their responses show signs of aggression. You can also ask classic conflict-resolution questions. You want to check their answer for genuine concern towards the feelings of the people involved.
Bolstering your ranks with more doers is an essential step. You’ll find that productivity and positivity both soar, and the doers will help you push your business to be the best version of itself and fully utilize your MSP marketing efforts.
Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL and Fort Erie, ON-based Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.