It’s not What you know, it’s Who you know
In a typical organization, who is having a slightly better role, the Sales or the technical folks?
For a salesperson, his objective is to get more revenue for the company. Thus he will find more potential clients to sell his products. The salesperson keeps on finding potential clients. Network with people and start to sell to WHO he meets. However, once he gotten the sales deal. His job is more or less settled. He will hand over the sales deal for his back-end team to deliver, either a product or service. It’s the Who you know to clinch more deals. The sales person needs not to know the mechanics on how to build the product or how to deliver the service.
This technical team, on the other hand, is the team that receives the order and has to deliver the service, product on time and meeting the client’s requirement. Thus the technical team is good at what they are supposed to deliver. They know the WHAT very well and can customize to the client’s needs fast and efficient.
To have more WHO factor will get you to know more people. Rich Social skill tends to get things done easily. You can be a well business person and focus on higher level. Look on things farther and further.
To know the WHAT factor well, will only ends up to be a JOB for you because you know the mechanics well. People will come to you for the techniques / tactics.
If the sales person can clinch the deal, he could outsource to another team that offers a more competitive pricing to deliver his products or services. Thus the WHAT is not so critical because he can always find someone to deliver for him.
Let’s say you are in your late 40s or early 50s, and you are retrenched in corporate world. What are you going to do? Your income stopped suddenly, is it easy for you to get another job? Organizations will tend to look for staffs that are more energetic, with drive and more important, cheaper than you. It’s a true business fact, that by the time you are in your mid 40s or early 50s, your pay is almost in the high range category. It is difficult for you to get another job that pays the same salary.
It is not what technical skills or management skills that you know that enables to get the next job. It is your constant networking that the WHO factor can assist in getting you another job in the corporate organization.
Lessons Learned: Be more social savvy as you progress along the career and social path. It’s not what you know to get things done. It is WHO you know to get things accomplished.