How to answer a question

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As technical experts, sales engineers are asked questions all day long. Via phone, email, web conference or in person your typical sales engineer gets bombarded with questions from all directions.

To the layman, answering a question is easy… you just reply with the answer. As it turns out, there is an art to fielding questions and most people never learn how to do this really well.
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Which is more important to an SE… trust or respect?

In 1997 I moved to San Francisco and joined a Java tools start-up called Infoscape. They had never hired a sales engineer, but that was ok because up until that point I had never been a sales engineer.

I learned a lot on that job, most of it the hard way. One of the easier lessons was shared with me by a more experienced sales engineer named John Kotch who joined our team about a year after I started.

One day as we we discussing the sales engineer / sales rep dynamic, John told me

“It’s important for the customer to trust the sales rep and respect the sales engineer.” Read more of this post

So… what do you do?

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

–Albert Einstein

Eventually you will find yourself at a cocktail party where someone asks you:

“So… what do you do?”

“I’m a sales engineer” is the obvious answer. This usually leads to a confused stare. Read more of this post