By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
“How I Work” is one of my favorite recurring features in Inc Magazine as well as via Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work Series, and recently several sales experts (including Anthony Iannarino, Dave Brock and Trish Bertuzzi) participated as well.
Periodically moving forward, we will feature a new B2B sales, marketing or business leader here answering what have become the standard “How I Work” questions. You can catch up on everyone we’ve featured thus far in the “How I Work” series here.
This week I’m thrilled to feature Babette Ten Haken, founder & president for Sales Aerobics for Engineers. She focuses on helping manufacturing and engineering-intensive companies improve customer retention and success. She serves on numerous advisory boards, is a Six Signa Green Belt, and has won numerous awards for her outstanding blog and overall contributions to the B2B sales world.
Babette, suffice it to say, gets stuff done. Here in her own words is how she does it.
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Current Computers: Lenovo ThinkPad T450s
Current mobile devices: iPhone 6s with a clear protector over its rose gold and white exterior. It’s kinda big and sometimes doesn’t fit into my handbag very well. However, I love it. I’ve walked in a lot of manufacturing settings over the years. Gotta have that protector (if they even allow you to carry a portable wireless device/ camera onto the plant floor –getting rarer and rare these days due to security).
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without: Twitter, LinkedIn, HootSuite, SnagIt by TechSmith, DropBox, iPhone News app – I always start my day by reading the news, Gmail, Dlvr.it, Google Analytics, WordPress (my blog is my pulpit), join.me especially for spontaneous pop-up “conference calls” where words simply aren’t sufficient to explain stuff.
What’s your workspace like?: Anyone who knows me understands I was trained as a scientist. So my workspace is neat and well-organized (except for when I’m creating and there are piles of paper and reference material all over the place!). I have 3 solid-oak, old-fashioned 6’ school desks (with drawers!) configured in an island, I have my VariDesk® standing desk which I always stand at during conference calls or when I’m giving a webinar, my computer with big external monitor, oh and my Herman Miller Mirra-2 desk chair which has absolutely saved my life and back and energy, then there are my books, my Elmo stuffie and red polka-dot Minnie Mouse hat, an abacus, pictures of my family and lovely French impressionist prints to keep me inspired.
What do you listen to while at work?: Nothing. I work in silence. Here’s why. I would listen to Bach and Mozart (OK, and Allman Brothers Live at Filmore East). Except I also am a classically trained musician. I end up distracted by the music and singing every instrument’s part. I leave the music for later, to relax and enjoy.
What’s your favorite To-Do List Manager: Google calendar and iPhone Notes.
What is your best time-saving short-cut or hack?: Each day, I do some yoga exercises before I start to ponder and create. Otherwise I’m walking around in a daze, in spite of Peet’s coffee.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?: Asking the one question that matters the most so people can make that hard call.
What are you currently reading?: Jill Konrath’s new book More Sales Less Time, White Trash by Nancy Isenberg (hey, I’m always considering all the perspectives), the latest in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series, Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port, Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
What’s your sleep routine like?: I get to bed by 10:30 PM and am up by 6:45 AM.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?: Two quotes from my original, wonderful industry mentor. “If it ain’t fun, don’t do it” and “After you’ve done everything there is to do once, make your next career move.”
Anything I haven’t asked but these questions inspired?: Most of us have a defining moment. It’s not about why we chose our career. It’s better than that. It’s all about who we are, why we are and what we do. Most of the time, we were young and dumber than a rock when the moments that defined us occurred. Figure out yours. Inspire yourself all over again.