Nies on talking to potential customers: We try to determine in what areas do we generally have some experience and background. Then we begin talking to customers about what we have helped other people accomplish and the economic and other advantages that those companies are gaining. Just to give them some realization that we can deliver a lot of value and we are bringing a lot of value to companies like yours, including your competitors. From that, we simply open and say, ‘Rather than us tell you what we may be able to do for you’ we go into the inquiry mode ‘What is it that you would like us to provide for you, or if not us, someone else? What are you looking for? What do you believe will help you in your business to gain competitive advantage?’
Nies on hiring: We try to recruit and staff based on attitudes, beliefs, convictions and so on. Then we try to help develop the skill and know-how. We’re much more concerned about how they view the company’s function and how they view their role within the company than we are in their skill or natural intellectual capabilities. That doesn’t mean that we don’t want highly skillful, knowledgeable people, but it does mean that if they have a great deal of skill and knowledge but simply do not harmonize with what we’re trying to do, they can become more of a problem than they are an advantage for us.
What we do is try to communicate what we stand for and why we’re trying to do what we’re doing. If the people don’t buy in to that, then we suggest that they make themselves available for opportunities in the marketplace at large. I’m zero in my career for trying to change people’s attitudes and beliefs.