Questions for Managers

This is another post in my continuing series of good questions to ask managers you may be hiring to run a business.  These come in handy whether you are sitting on a Board of Directors for a business and need to interview executive candidates, running a piece of business or a small shop.

The Question:

We’re strangers sitting next to each other on an airplane.  How would you convince me to give this business a try?

This question gets to the heart of whether this candidate can effectively sell your business.

In the business world, I’ve witnessed many problems that stem from having managers in place that cannot sell the business.  They don’t understand the business’s value proposition, don’t know or seem to care why clients voluntarily part with their money to buy the products or services.

Having such a manager is bad news.  It will very likely destroy value.

What’s even worse is when the manager would not choose to use the product or service if they were not employed by it.  The tendency of such a manager is to remake the business to suit their own preference as customer, while ignoring or changing what it is about the business that makes it valuable to its existing customers.   This also destroys value.


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