Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with
helps you in your leadership.
Name: Keith Rozelle
Title: Sales Director
Organisation: Sales Marvel
30+ years in B2B Technology Sales to Fortune 500 firms such as HP, EDS, BT and a whole host of SMEs.
I’ve sold products and services from £50/month to over $1billion and I believe the principles of selling are surprisingly similar, no matter what you’re selling.
The ability to build Trust with customers is a vital leadership quality and the ability to articulate difference and stand out from the crowd is vital if you want to succeed in this increasingly complex world.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
To continue to deliver business performance when people are struggling
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I believe "leadership" happens at all levels in an organisation - it's a state of mind, not a badge or a job title.
I believe I've been a leader ever since I started work back in 1982 - I was an apprentice with BT during the day and a DJ 4-5 nights a week as well!
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
These days, I start every morning having breakfast with my wife, Tracy. Most days, we have lunch together too.
Most of my work is carried out remotely in my home office where I've invested extensively since the pandemic.
My work is focused on revenue generating activities (RGAs) and I block out and prioritise all such work to ensure it happens.
Any supporting, non-revenue generating activities I deal with on an ad hoc basis or delegate to support staff as appropriate.
I have just published my first eBook "How to Sell Virtually" which focuses on delivering an excellent meeting experience over video.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
I received some sub standard work from a partner of ours and had to reject it and request it be done all over again, putting a client deadline at risk.
The person I'd issued the work to spoke English as their 2nd language and had misinterpreted my request.
The lesson I relearmned was:
Communication happens when the other person understands.
I should have tested their understanding of my request beforehand but I didn't. Fortunately, we still met the client deadline as there was some slack built into the process.
Just as well!
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It's nearly 100 years old and is just as relevant today as when it was first published.
To treat people as you would like to be treated, with respect and fairness and a listening ear is at the very core of my value-system. It builds trust and that trust creates a ROR - Return on Relationship - which is most often measured in financial terms.
In creating great business relationships based on Trust, I have won business that, on paper, other companies should have but didn't.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Stay true to your values and don't let anyone make you compromise them.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
I had committed a large deal to close in time for our end of half year. On the very last day, there was 1 change that needed to be made and signed by the client.
The client was on holiday and, in fact, already on her way to the airport. I phoned her, explained the situation and she agreed to meet me in the lounge to sign-off on the deal.
I believe I showed leadership in making sure the deal got signed - despite the logistical challenge - and delivering on my commitment.