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Management Motivations: Work hard together to develop life-long successful relationships

Management Motivations is a new series of articles by Quectel’s senior executives that explores their management styles, approaches to the challenges of further developing the company and what drives them to lead and succeed.

I prefer to hire people who are recommended to me by those who are familiar with our standards-based model. Word of mouth from people about someone they have good reason to be impressed with is far superior to hiring an unknown through a headhunter.  To then foster that newly hired talent, a manager must be willing to roll up their sleeves and get in the trenches with them.

The most important tasks are those that management can demonstrate as being the priority for the role being hired.  At Quectel the objective of expanding head count is to grow market share by capturing competitor accounts.  This means it is the role of management to play an active part to insert the new salesperson in an engagement with the target accounts.  Management’s role is to use our Rolodex to leverage our industry contacts for these introductions, and to broker the handovers.  This comes with (in non-COVID times) early morning flights to meet with those customers that a new salesperson may need a hand to win, and to take an active role in dealing with the key issues.  In a Chinese company with its HQ in Shanghai, we tend to have a lot of late-night/early morning calls to get that customer what they need. My basic investment in my people is in sweat equity to join them in the heavy lifting required to move market share figures under them.  I value the relationships with those I have had the opportunity to work with and share that part of their lives. These life-long relationships are an important reward that at this late stage of my career is especially meaningful to me.

Being in a global marketplace brings you into contact with so many excellent people, all working hard towards a common goal. Cooperation and collaboration are a key Quectel advantage. I recognize, appreciate and respect the amazing work my colleagues perform on projects related to US OEMs in China, India, Korea, and many other global locations. Our customers are exceptionally well served in those key markets, as our team is amazing. We track these efforts and the quarterly percentage of our revenue that is Asia-based R&D, either through a subsidiary or an ODM.  That global cooperation revenue continues to grow impressively, in large part due to our massive sales and support presence in those critical ODM and off-shore R&D locations.

For continued growth and success, the key is preparation. If a device maker OEM is going to take time out of their busy day to assemble a team to review Quectel’s road map, we cannot just roll in and shoot from the hip.  We must first have our analysts go to all publicly available sites to research the customer’s portfolio so we can then speak to the redesign schedule intelligently. We must review the press releases describing the areas the company wants the market to know about so we can play a role to support. For shipping customers we must review what their sales have been so we’re aware of their impressive growth and can congratulate them on their frequently quite amazing success.

In addition, we must update the status of each program where our module is being integrated to ensure there are no open items where they are waiting on us. By putting the emphasis on preparation we can, in a limited time, get through a lot more material and use our busy customers’ time efficiently, so making the meeting worthwhile for them to have joined. Most importantly though, we need to really understand why the company is meeting us, so that what we have prepared touches as much as possible on why they allocated the time to see us in the first place.

I love nothing more than the time spent with customers and co-workers, especially when these relationships evolve and we can spend time in more informal settings such as at a nice dinner. When I am at home I try to work off those dinner meetings with hobbies centered around various sports.  Sales is after all about winning, so I need to have the fitness to out-work my competitors!  I am an avid follower and loud parent at my son’s sporting events, and also have an auto-shop where I occasionally lend a hand on a long awaited muscle car restoration.