Interview with Pam Maines and Vanessa Deutschmann of Empower Energies
Part 1 - Sales vs. Business Development
Part 2 - A Passion for Clean Energy
Part 3 - Women in Clean Energy
Part 4 - Bonus Points
Part 1 - Transcript
Catherine: Do you think there’s a difference between sales and business development?
Pam: I do, we’re not order-takers so we, we need to interface with the customer. We need to listen to their needs and requirements. We need to be compassionate and, and passionate about their needs. We need to be empathetic. That’s all part of business development, not necessarily sales. And I’ve seen both sides. Somebody who’s, you know, just an order taker who’s like, you know, checking the boxes versus somebody who’s really engaging with the customer. [inaudible].
Catherine: So does the conversation need to change? When I do recruitment, I’m constantly asked for hunters, hunters, hunters, hunters. So are people having the wrong idea of what they need in their organization to actually bring deals in?
Pam: I think this syntax may be off. I think when people say Hunter, they mean something else. They mean something like eagerness, earnestness, urgency. Those are qualities that I look for because you want somebody who’s going to be a self-starter. I tell people who are in this organization when they’re running an opportunity, they’re the CEO have that opportunity. Sure. So they have to get people excited. They have to rally people internally to get behind their opportunity. So if you want to call that a Hunter, call it a Hunter. That person is probably going to be more successful because they’re good at tapping, you know, finance to pay attention to their deal, first operations to engage in a customer conversation. Those people aren’t necessarily tagged with those responsibilities and getting those people to help you on your deal. That’s essential.
Part 2 - Transcript
Vanessa: I just think someone won’t be very happy doing this work if they don’t have a genuine interest in it.
Vanessa: We need people to be really, really successful selling solar. Not just empower energies, but any company doing this work, we need to produce results. We need to produce them fast. Because our energy profile needs to change as quickly as we can change it. So there’s no question that we need people who can produce results. Instead of thinking about someone being a Hunter. I like to think about somebody who has incredible tenacity toward that goal.
Part 3 - Transcript
Vanessa: Women are really underrepresented in the solar industry.
Vanessa: I think it’s a matter of first raising the awareness and having the conversation and then making sure that we’re creating relationships and structures in this case for women that allow women access into the conversations, into the relationships, into the mentoring relationships, that frankly men have had available to them with maybe not even being aware of it in the past.
Catherine: Getting women into a business as a headhunting exercise. It is not an advert exercise. That has been absolutely my, my experience is that I guarantee you if I put a business development manager role in solar in New York city tomorrow I would get a hundred applicants and ninety would be men. I would a hundred percent guarantee it because when you want to change a conversation, I think you have to go out and change the conversation. You can’t expect the conversation to be changed just sat on your couch.
Part 4 - Transcript
Catherine: So bonus points if on the resume you have sales figures,
Vanessa: Bonus points if you can talk about why this particular opportunity that you’re interviewing for would fit into your growth and development as a professional, no matter how long you’ve been in your career or in the business
Catherine: Bonus points if you have achievements, bonus points, if you show progression within the companies that you’ve been in.
Vanessa: If in your interview you demonstrate a self awareness about what makes you good at what you do.
Catherine: If you value networking
Vanessa: If you’re nervous about the interview. Bonus points if you just name that and own it.
Vanessa: Ways to identify a rockstar someone who comes in the room and is able to very quickly establish a rapport and a relationship with me as your interviewer.
Catherine: A rock star is a person that can comfortably talk on their resume and in an interview about their achievements without coming across as arrogant.