William Gilchrist, the founder of Konsyg, has more than 10 years of experience in sales throughout the United States and Asia-Pacific. He loves the adrenaline rush of taking a new product and helping new prospects advance their systems.
What’s your story?
Sales has been my life for the last decade. From selling memberships for publications in China, to student seats for a high school in Chicago, to multiple software campaigns in Singapore to global advertisements for Google and on to building sales teams for startups; I have seen every layer of the sales process as a representative, team lead, manager, Director, Vice President and beyond. I have seen great sales leadership that has inspired me to grow. I have also seen strong gaps in sales leadership which have also inspired me to build systems to further support a true appreciation for the Outbound seller.
What excites you most about your industry?
Sales is an exciting trade. It isn’t too dissimilar to being a professional athlete. Like an athlete, you have your statistics, seasons, team and an overall goal which highly impacts the broader organization. To be in technology sales is even more exciting because you are able to attach innovation into your sales process and work with very interesting and unique products. As engineers of the world build impactful technologies, the need for sales athletes to take it to market and place it in the hands of the consumers will always be necessary. The adrenaline rush of taking a new product and helping new prospects advance their systems is unlike any other trade I have seen in business.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was a student ambassador as a child and began my Asia Journey at 13 in China. I was able to watch the Hong Kong – China return ceremony from Tiananmen Square in 1997 and told myself as a boy that I would always have a connection with Asia. Born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago. The son of a children’s book illustrator and a public school administrator, education and having a global lens was always a focus in my youth. Travelling to Europe and Latin America was common for us, but Asia truly influenced me in more ways than these other regions.
Favorite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore by far is the best city on the planet to do business in technology in my opinion. A melting pot, safe-zone that allows a free flow of ideas and maintains a healthy balance of East/West influence allowing all cultural comfort zones to be addressed. Every flight out of Changi Airport is an international flight, majority of expats and locals are at a minimum bi-lingual and it is a 4-hour flight away from half of the world’s population. The strategic advantage as a business hub in Asia is very clear.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
If your sales manager has never sold before, then he/she doesn’t have the answer either.
Who inspires you?
I draw a great deal of inspiration from a few areas and people in my life. My mother for her creativity and abstract thinking which has been invaluable for my personal progression. My father for his ability to navigate issues with a calm and calculative demeanor. I also draw inspiration from a host of mentors I have around me who I look to (almost like a habitual student) on a weekly basis for insight. Most of all, I get inspired by looking at the passion of others. If you are the best chef, boxer, banker, technician, anything where I can see someone is passionate, I get inspired beyond belief to do the best of what it is that I do.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I have been reading a variety of books on habit change. The idea of linking good habits in place of bad habits and attaching these habits to something that you already do as a good habit is very powerful. Confusing right? Example: Let’s say you always forget your keys when you leave the house. Instead of just putting the keys in front of your door, just simply hold your keys while you are brushing your teeth in the morning. (linking habits)
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would focus more on self-improvement in the sales trade more than working to please the whims of corporations. In sales, the perception is that we are a replaceable resource and are only defined by our sales number. Instead of trying to prove worth in the eyes of the firms, I would focus more on being a better overall salesman. That adjustment has paid off dramatically.
How do you unwind?
Tibetan Bowls, Essential Oils, very long walks and disappearing in Bali. I also listen to binaural beats at night when I sleep.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Ubud, Bali and Lombok are the 2 top destinations for me to get some relaxation time. Fresh coconuts, beautiful scenery, crispy duck with a Bintang is possibly the best.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Cracking the Sales Management Code
Shameless plug for your business:
Konsyg is a safe haven for the global seller. Our managers have sales experience, and we believe in the true value of developing top-tier sales talent. We are currently used by many MNCs and startups to carry out specialized sales operations globally. We are white labeled, so you may have been sold by one of us without knowing. Our operations and offices span across many regions and we are here to develop real sustainable revenue for the world’s technologies.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.