Big news from Light The Night 2021

On Saturday, November 6, a team from Cox Consulting Network joined with the Austin community to fight cancer and “Light The Night” at The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s annual walk.

After postponing in-person events for over a year, the atmosphere was full of excitement and spirits were high. Hundreds of participants lifted glowing red, yellow, and white lanterns for a dazzling effect around Mueller Lake Park. As a “Bright Light Sponsor,” CCN team members also handed out flashlights throughout the evening.

Andy and JJ Cox hand out flashlights before the walk. Photo courtesy Greg Harrison.

Thank you for helping to make an incredible impact

Over the past year, the CCN team has been hard at work raising awareness and personal donations. In October, our third annual team event, Beer Beats Cancer, raised over $10,000 for the cause!

In addition, CCN committed to donate 50 cents for every hour billed by its network of specialized finance, accounting, and HR consultants, generating over $20,000 to Light The Night.

Altogether, the CCN team was able to raise $40,831.69, more than doubling its $20,000 target! This incredible achievement is truly a testament to our generous network and many leaders who found creative ways to get their communities involved. Thank you!!

CCN Team Contribution

Freia (right) the Light The Night “Honored Hero” for 2021 celebrates in style with her Irish dancing team. Photo courtesy Greg Harrison.

This year, several CCN team members also participated in the Light The Night Executive Challenge. Over the course of 8 weeks, 26 Challengers in the Austin area raised $194,000 for the LLS mission. CCN Challengers, Andy Cox, Tammy McCarty, Leanne Noskey, and Delena Spenser raised $31,707 combined.

Overall, the event brought in a total of $720,000, just shy of its $800,000 goal. Since its founding in 1949, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has invested nearly $1.3 billion bringing us closer to cures and supporting local families affected by blood cancers.

Total Event Impact

Join in the Fight Against Cancer

Although the Light The Night is over, donations are still open through the rest of the year. It’s not too late to contribute.

Don’t want to miss the excitement for next year? Contact us to learn more about joining the CCN team (or starting your own) for 2022. It’s a great way to build comradery and make memories all in support of a great cause.

CCN welcomes Kim Horkavy, Strategic HR Consultant

We’re excited to welcome Kim Horkavy as our newest strategic HR consultant. As a true HR subject matter expert, she will work closely with Tammy McCarty to tackle big picture HR issues and help companies navigate through key stages of organizational growth.

A specialized background in scaling and growing companies

Kim launched her career in marketing before earning her MBA in London, England, where much of her studies focused on organizational behavior.

Back in Texas, she went on the hunt for an opportunity to put her specialized knowledge to work growing and scaling a business. She landed at a local publishing company called Community Impact which had just hit 50 employees and was ready for someone to start their HR program on the right foot.

“She’s got the background and the track record that shows she’s able to help scale an organization.”

Tammy McCarty

Under 13 years of Kim’s HR leadership, the company grew from 50 to over 200 employees. She built the HR organization from the ground up and launched 29 new newspapers, including expansion into Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Phoenix, and Nashville. During her time there, she helped open and oversee human resources for the Community Impact Printing Plant and also facilitated a key merger/acquisition in Tennessee.

“There’s proof in the pudding,” says Tammy McCarty, CCN’s president of strategic HR. “The organization grew under her leadership, and she progressed from HR manager to a C-suite executive with a seat at the table … she’s got the background and the track record that shows she’s able to help scale an organization, even in a difficult industry.”

Kim’s HR consultant roles at CCN

After her success at Community Impact, Kim could have accepted any number of executive jobs around Austin. Instead, she’s chosen to expand her career as an HR consultant, sharing her skills with as many companies as she can.

“You see a lot of growing companies get to a point where things have become so duct-taped together —before you know it, everything is breaking,” Kim explains. “I want to help organizations streamline their HR function to focus on what’s important. You shouldn’t be worried about HR systems getting in the way of doing business.”

“I love getting in and fixing problems, and that’s exactly what CCN’s consultants are hired for. I’m excited by the variety of projects and people we serve, and I get to learn from one of the best.”

Kim Horkavy

Kim goes on to explain that a love of learning continues to play a key role in her success: “I love a challenge, and I’m a big learner as well. Yes, we have proven strategies and frameworks, but every new relationship requires a deep dive into a new organization and culture … I customize all my approaches to those specific companies and situations. I’m excited to be able to lean into that natural talent and put all of my skills to good use at CCN.”

“That’s exactly what we’re looking for,” agrees Tammy. “When you hire CCN, you’re not getting a cookie cutter approach. We’re invested in understanding clients’ needs and providing highly customized, effective services.”

As she begins her time at CCN, Kim is excited about a consultant lifestyle in a culture where she will be engaged and challenged according to her unique skills.

“She’s a great example of the kind of subject matter experts who can really make an impact for our clients. She’s exceptional talent — the best of the best.”

Tammy McCarty

Let’s get to work

If you find your business caught against the unique challenges that come with rapid growth, don’t hesitate to contact CCN. We’re happy to connect you with top strategic HR consultants like Kim who can help you find answers and chart a path forward. Send us a message or call 512-900-2152 to get the conversation started.

In the meantime, you can also connect with Kim on LinkedIn or shoot her a message to welcome her onboard.

Hiring with CCN’s Expert HR Recruiters

When we launched our new HR Direct Hire program at CCN, our experienced HR recruiters took the proven elements from our successful practice in finance and accounting, and customized them to fit the unique challenges of HR. This “Direct Hire” model features:

  1. Subject Matter Expertise: CCN recruiters are experts in their field. They know exactly what kind of talent a client needs because they have inhouse experience and industry perspective.
  2. Collaborative Experience: CCN recruiters work closely with the client to get a thorough understanding of their needs and culture. We save clients time by acting like part of their inhouse hiring team.
  3. Unique Hourly Pricing: Clients can choose to take advantage of our hourly pricing model to save thousands of dollars compared to traditional contingency search pricing.

So how does this unique model impact the recruiting experience? Let’s take a step by step look through our typical process to find out.

“[We] make sure there aren’t any unanswered questions or missing details … So far, our clients have been eager to interview every single candidate that’s made it through our in-depth vetting process.”

Tammy McCarty, President, Strategic HR

Traditional agencies vs. CCN’s HR recruiters

In order to appreciate CCN’s HR recruiting model, it’s important to understand where the industry is coming from. Especially in today’s hot labor market, candidates are fewer and farther between. Many companies are desperate to attract and hire top-notch talent.

Often, traditional agency recruiting firms are taking shortcuts, simply posting job orders and passing on whatever resumes they can get their hands on.

This fast-paced approach might feel more productive, but it sacrifices quality in favor of quantity. This means that the client spends more time filtering resumes and interviewing candidates who aren’t qualified. That places an undue burden on the client, and at the end of the day, the client might not get exactly what they need. Ultimately it could even lead to higher turnover down the road.

CCN’s expert HR recruiting process

To deliver top quality, CCN’s HR recruiters follow a proven process that’s customized to the unique needs of each client. Throughout the process, their specialized industry expertise directly translates to excellent talent, efficient searches, and cost savings.

1.  Client intake

CCN’s industry expert HR recruiters schedule a one-hour intake call with the client before every search. This in-depth conversation helps reveal the nuts and bolts behind the job description and many of those culture fit “intangibles” that are critical to a successful placement.

“We talk about the organization and their business goals. We want to know where they are currently, and where they are going,” explains Shanon Holley, one of CCN’s experienced HR recruiters.

“Outside of typical benefits, compensation, etc. we need an understanding of who they are,” adds Tammy McCarty, president of CCN’s strategic HR services. “We need to understand their culture, fit, mission, and values. What are the opportunities for career progression? How will their performance be measured? What is the company leadership style? What are the team dynamics?”

2. Customized candidate background questionnaire

Next, CCN’s HR recruiters customize a background questionnaire based on the findings of the client intake call.

This serves as a valuable tool throughout the search process to help drill into any gaps and validate that candidates have the skills they need to perform.

On the candidate side, this detailed questionnaire helps applicants completely understand the scope of what they will be responsible for. “I’ve had candidates come back to me and say that the questionnaire uncovered requirements that they weren’t aware of, and that they no longer felt qualified,” says Tammy. “This is a critical step in filtering through candidates to identify the best of the best.

3. Candidate search

As soon as the questionnaire is ready, CCN’s recruiters “hit the streets” to find the perfect candidate for the open position. Of course, this includes job postings on Linkedin and other platforms, but the most valuable work happens behind the scenes, combing through our rich networks of personal contacts and passive job-seekers.

Once a candidate has been identified, we invite them to apply and complete the candidate questionnaire.

4. Screening interview

After an application has been accepted by the CCN team, they schedule a one-hour in-depth screening interview with the client.

Because CCN utilizes industry expert HR recruiters, they can drill in to ask all the tough questions they need to assess qualification and fit.

“I wouldn’t hire someone I wouldn’t personally want on my own team …. or for a C-level position, I wouldn’t hire someone if I didn’t have complete confidence that they have what it takes to help the company succeed.”

Shanon Holley, HR Recruiter

A one-hour interview might seem like a lot of work before a candidate even talks to the client, but Tammy explains that this is all part of the ‘pay to play’ model: “we need to see how interested they really are and how much effort they will put into the process. They have to show they are committed and that they personally believe they are a really great fit for the role.”

5. Submission of candidates

After an applicant has made it through the in-depth vetting process, CCN’s HR recruiters submit a “candidate summary” to the client.

Tammy explains that this valuable document is much more than just a resume, it includes everything they need to know about the applicant: “Our candidate summary makes sure there aren’t any unanswered questions or missing details. At this point, the client can be confident in scheduling an interview… in fact we’ve got an incredible success rate when it comes to our top picks. So far, our clients have been eager to interview every single candidate that’s made it through our in-depth vetting process.”

6. Follow-up and hiring

CCN’s HR recruiters continue to work alongside the client to help manage the rest of the hiring process, including scheduling interviews and putting together offer letters.

“By this time, both the client and the candidate have been through an incredibly thorough process to help identify the best possible fit, and both parties are very invested in the relationship,” says Tammy.

“So far, we haven’t had a single candidate turn down a job offer. Our acceptance rate is 100%.”

Tammy McCarty, President, Strategic HR

Let’s get started

If you’re interested in finding the perfect fit for an open HR position, don’t hesitate to contact us. CCN’s experienced team of HR recruiters has the subject matter expertise and the proven process to facilitate a positive search experience and deliver exceptional results.

Thank you for supporting #BeerBeatsCancer!

Last week on Thursday, October 14, we had an incredible evening at Hops & Thyme in Lakeway, TX. After taking a break during the pandemic of 2021, we were excited to resume our third annual fundraising event to support Light the Night Austin and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Over $10k raised to support LLS

Together with 80+ guests, we set out to verify a very important scientific hypothesis: that beer can beat cancer.

After some careful collection of data, the answer was a resounding YES! Between ticket sales, raffle, and silent auctions, the event racked up over $10,000 for a great cause (double our pre-pandemic total from 2019!)

Ticket Sales and Donations: $3k

Raffle and Silent Auctions: $7k+


Thanks to the efforts of our generous volunteers and sponsors, we’re proud to say that all of our costs for the evening were covered. Every single dollar we raised together went straight to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). This money funds valuable cancer research and supports families affected by blood cancer right here in Austin.

A huge thank you to everyone involved!

We’re so grateful for local businesses and organizations who pitched in to donate some incredible auction items and beer for the event. These sponsors included Hops & Thyme, Twisted X Brewing, Wild Bunch Brewery, Dripping Springs Distillery, Wakanine, Tito’s Vodka, Fitzhugh Brewing, Face to Face Spa, Mantis Massage, Baldwin Beauty Schools, and Iron Wolf Distillery.

Several other individuals generously contributed jewelry, gift cards, and even a getaway to a beach house in Port Aransas.

Join the fight against blood cancer

#BeerBeatsCancer is just one part of our company’s commitment to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and we’re already gearing up for the annual Light the Night walk happening on November 6, 2021.

In addition to funds raised at #BeerBeatsCancer, CCN is donating 50 cents for every hour billed — already totaling over $17k to-date!

You can support the cause by donating to LLS or joining our team to walk at Light the Night 2021.

Have a small business or community group? Whether it’s to raise funds or simply participate in the walk, Light the Night is a great cause to rally around. Feel free to reach out to learn more about LLS and the many ways you can contribute.

CCN welcomes Lesa Theurer to the finance & accounting team

We’re glad to welcome Lesa Theurer as the newest addition to our finance and accounting team. Lesa is responsible for managing the expansion of our growing consulting team in new markets, including Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and beyond.

With an MBA in accounting, Lesa has over 10 years of direct industry experience. She started her career as an accountant and business consultant, spending the last eight years recruiting and managing consulting teams.  

Serving clients with a consultant-first approach

First and foremost, Lesa is already bringing huge value to the Cox Consulting Network because of her ability to attract and connect with talented consultants.

“I love connecting talented professionals with companies where they are going to be engaged and add value.”

With Lesa’s industry experience, she enjoys communicating with clarity and transparency to her clients and consultants as opposed to selling to the market. She can build trust and confidence within her business relationships to serve them best.

“You don’t have to be a salesperson to win over a great consultant, and as a matter of fact, they’d prefer that you don’t,” explains Andy Cox, who built his consultant-first network from the ground up since 2018. “You just have to communicate with clarity.”

Combining big company experience with small business boutique service

Lesa’s latest experience includes almost 8 years with Robert Half, specifically within their global consulting arm, where she managed a team of consultants.

At Cox Consulting Network, Lesa is looking forward to applying her big company systems and organization to a smaller, more personal environment.

“She brings the rigor of big company experience to our network, which is going to be great,” says Andy.

Big picture perspective and industry expertise

For Lesa, consulting isn’t just about putting out fires and filling temp roles; she approaches every project with big-picture perspective that only comes with experience.

Lesa has partnered with all types of clients to meet and support their needs by taking a proactive and transparent approach.

“We are helping our clients solve problems, not prolong them. We love to see our companies back on track and growing.”

Ready to get started?

You can help us welcome Lesa to the network by shooting her a message or connecting with her on Linkedin.

Whether you’re looking for interim or project-based finance and accounting support, systems integration support, or want to uplevel your team long-term, we’re ready to provide the support you need for success.

CCN’s expert consultants are poised to solve your business’ most complex, high-level challenges with our people-centered approach and tools and processes designed to solve any issue. Contact us to get started right away.

CCN welcomes Shanon Holley, HR recruiting

We’re excited to announce that Shanon Holley has joined the CCN HR recruiting team.

Shanon brings over 20 year’s experience in human resources for a variety of industries. She considers herself a “utility player/leader” and has led HR teams and departments to the next level, driving business outcomes through strategy and execution.

She speaks “HR” and has a unique ability to engage with candidates and continue those relationships through networking. She has a proven track record of successfully building high performing talent recruitment pipelines and optimizing workplace culture.

6 Questions about HR recruiting with Shanon Holley

1. What’s your specific experience with HR?

When it comes to HR, I’ve worked with everyone from large public companies to small startups.

I’ve done it all. I’m the “utility player” and leader. I worked my way from the ground up, so I’ve stepped into every single HR role. That means I know what kind of skills and personalities candidates need to be successful in those roles.

I’d say my sweet spot is employee engagement, culture, and coaching and development.

2. That combination is key isn’t it? how do you go about making sure that a candidate is the right fit for a client?

Culture is key to an organization’s success. CCN has tools and resources to determine technical qualification, but understanding culture-fit has to come with experience. We engage with candidates and conduct thorough behavioral interviews specific to the client’s culture to ensure fit. I usually know by the end of the interview if they are a good fit for the client.

3. These days a lot of companies are desperate for talent. We’ve heard stories of recruiters making job offers without even performing an interview. How is CCN doing things differently?

It’s all about due diligence and vetting, and to do that you have to have that deeper knowledge and expertise around HR.

We do a drill-in questionnaire before we even get on the phone with a candidate. It’s specific to HR and tailored to the client’s needs. That determines who even gets the interview.

By the time a candidate is presented to a client, they have been thoroughly screened by our subject matter experts and are qualified for the role and a fit for the organization. We’ve already done the homework upfront. We’re not going to waste their time with a candidate we don’t personally believe in.

4. In addition to serving clients well, I hear you also go above and beyond for your candidates. What does that look like?

I am not a traditional interviewer. I form connections with candidates that allow for direct, collaborative conversations. The candidates that I engage with may be my next team member or client, so it is imperative to make a lasting impression on behalf of the client and CCN.

If they get an interview with the client, I call them afterwards with feedback, being transparent and honest and delivering those messages. Nobody likes to hand out rejections, but I don’t hesitate to provide constructive feedback that will help them move on to the next opportunity. Even if they are not right for one particular role, I’m engaging and creating a relationship with them.

6. You’ve got the ability to do a lot of different HR work. Why HR recruiting?

Everyday I get to talk to like-minded HR professionals, and sometimes they are smarter than me, and I have clear takeaways from those conversations and relationships… I get to talk about what I love!

Let’s get started!

If your company is looking for exceptional human resources talent, Shanon is excited to get your HR recruiting search started! Call 512-900-2152 or send us a message.

If you’re looking for new work opportunities or simply want to welcome Shanon to the team, you can connect with her on Linkedin. You can also sign up to join our network online.

Come to “Beer Beats Cancer” on October 14!

Help us fight cancer by simply enjoying craft beers! We’re back with another Beer Beats Cancer event to help raise funds with the CCN “Light The Night” team.

We’re looking forward to a great evening filled with great food and local brews, live music, raffle, and auction from 6-9 at Hops & Thyme in Lakeway.

Beer Beats Cancer 2021 poster

Each $30 ticket is a tax-deductible donation to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), and admission includes a commemorative pint glass with craft beer from local brewers like Twisted X Brewing. (Wine is available for our non-beer drinking supporters.)

Delicious food, ciders, and more are also available to purchase on-site from Hops & Thyme.

All are welcome, so please invite your friends and help prove that Beer Beats Cancer!

RSVP and share on Facebook

RSVP and share on Linkedin

Meet Freia, Austin’s 2021 Light the Night “Honored Hero”

Freia was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 8. She and her family had just landed for a family vacation in Sweden when her parents noticed something wasn’t right. After several trips to the hospital, her family heard those awful words: “Freia has cancer.”

Today, Freia is almost done with her treatment and is already helping to encourage others as Austin’s Light the Night “Honored Hero.”

You too can help raise funds and support families and patients like Freia through Austin’s 2021 Light the Night event! Visit our event page to donate or sign up to walk with our team on November 6, 2021.

We also hope you will join us fun community event on October 14 called “Beer Beats Cancer.” We’ll gather at Hops & Thyme in Lakeway for great food and local brews, all in support of cancer research and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Selling to the C-Suite: A Conversation with Tammy McCarty; President of Strategic HR Services at Cox Consulting Network

Rana Salman, Ph.D.

Find the original article here:

As we continue our blog series today, we're talking to Tammy McCarty, President of Strategic HR Services at Cox Consulting Network (CCN). Tammy has more than 24 years of experience in executive roles, ranging from leading HR organizations to various sales and marketing executive positions.

Thank you, Tammy, for taking time off your busy schedule to share with us your advice and recommendations on how sales reps can engage with executives effectively and add value throughout the sales process. I appreciated your insights and authenticity throughout our discussion.

1. Tell me about your background.


Spent 24+ years in leadership roles in HR, sales, and marketing. “My degree is in communications and organizational design. During college, I was focused on HR and completed an HR internship before graduation. I’ve been very blessed to have a fantastic career, spending 24+ years in leadership roles spanning multiple industries. Early in my career, I've stepped into large roles overseeing HR for companies with thousands of employees distributed worldwide. In addition to HR leadership roles, I also led sales and marketing teams for numerous organizations.”

"Throughout this journey, I learned that for me to be highly effective, I need to 1) understand the industry that I’m in, 2) the business that I'm part of, and 3) what drives revenue. So, I approach every leadership role with this mentality.”


2. Tell us about your typical day as an executive.


Includes internal and external focus. “My typical day as an executive is interesting because I'm running a business. I'm managing consultants assigned to projects, and I'm also managing clients by partnering with my client’s C-suite.”

Internal day-to-day-activities“A typical day for me can be anywhere from being on calls with consultants, recruiting consultants, managing the business and the projects, and making sure things are going as planned. As part of the executive team, I participate in strategic meetings to determine, 'What is our messaging? What's our brand? And how are we positioned for future growth?’ ”

External day-to-day-activities. “Another part of my day also includes being in strategic calls as the HR executive for my clients and discussing strategic planning with their executive team members.”


3. Why do you typically get involved in deals?


Identify needs and gaps; ensure sales rep is a good fit. “I usually get involved in deals to 1) identify our needs and gaps, and 2) ensure that the sales rep, their solution, and their organization are a good fit for us. You can have everything that I need, but if there's no confidence and trust in the particular salesperson, I'm probably going to go with a different option. The old adage that anybody can sell anything is not true. I think that relationships are still critical in sales.”

Ensure organizational fit. “Also, the organizational fit is vital! When I purchase from someone, I’m partnering with them to achieve some goal, and I need to make sure that not only is the sales rep competent, but that I understand what their leadership team looks like; what their track record of success is; and how innovative are they?”


4. When do you typically get involved in the sales process?


Early phase; defining needs and requirements. “I’m involved in the early stages of defining our needs and the key requirements to move forward.”

Regular check-in with my team and in the final stages. “After that, I typically hand it over to my team so that they can identify some potential solutions or providers. I have regular check-ins with them to ensure we are in alignment. And then obviously in the final stages, I’m involved because I’m one of the final decision-makers.”


5. What are some preparation tips you have for a sales rep before meeting with an executive like yourself?


Research the organization and the people that are attending the meeting. “You need to research the organization. You need to know what we do, identify our strengths, and understand who the key players are. If you have a meeting with me, I expect, at minimum, that you've looked at my bio on the company site, which will lead you to my Linkedin.”

Use your network to learn about your buyers. “I would also expect that you looked to see if we have common connections and reached out to some of them to learn more about me. By doing your research, you will be able to position your offering in a way that matters to me.”


6. What do you expect from a salesperson meeting with you?


Don’t want to be sold anything! “I already mentioned the importance of doing your homework. I also expect not to be sold to by anyone. I recently sat in a meeting with a sales rep, and they were hard selling. They weren't listening; they didn’t ask questions; they came in selling and talking about how great their solution is.”

Actively listen to my needs. “I expect you to come in that first meeting knowing something about my business, as well as using that time to listen and learn about my needs, and then come back and share how your solution can help meet some of my needs. I want you to listen to me, and if you identify some needs as we're talking, that's great. But coming at me with solutions without understanding my needs and my problems, that's a hard sell.”


7. What questions do you usually ask sales reps during the sales process?


Rep’s tenure and their success in company & organizational structure, especially around post-sale. “I want to know their tenure and the type of success they've had in their role. I want to understand more about the organizational structure, especially around post-sale. I want to know, ‘Are you going to walk in and walk away as soon as the contract is signed and hand us over to someone else. ’ I want someone to be accountable if things don't go as planned; hence I don't particularly like the business model that says, ‘Hi, I'm Joe. I just sold you. You won't ever see me again, and I'm handing you off to someone.’ ”

Specific questions on how they address problems. “I also want to be able to ask the rep specifically, ‘How are you going to address X, Y, and Z?’ I want them to think on their feet when I have very pointed questions related to what my needs are.”

Examples of similar clients. “I also usually ask about other clients. If it's a system, I'm going to ask about their implementation process. I'm going to get specific. Based on my own research of their offerings, I'm also going to ask them questions to make sure that what I'm seeing is real and allow them to close any gaps.”


8. What have differentiated sales reps that have won your business versus those that lost?


Smart, know their product, transparent. “Assuming that the products are comparable, the sales reps that have won my business are smart, know their products inside and out, and own any limitations and bring them to the table so that I'm aware of it. Transparency is critical to me. A salesperson should not want to win every single deal. They should be as selective as a client is because not every customer is a good customer.”

Responsive and follow through with promises. “Another attribute of reps that won my business are those that are responsive and follow through with their promises; they're organized and on point, and they know my business and understand it.”

Accountable and cultural fit. “As I mentioned earlier, sales reps that won my business are those that stay on the account and hold themselves accountable to the outcomes. Another differentiator is culture fit. Just like there's a culture fit for organizations when they’re hiring employees, there's also a culture fit when you're buying. I need that rep to be a fit with my organization and my team. Culture is critical.”

Regular follow-ups. “Follow-up is also an important differentiator. Reps that have won my business conducted regular follow-ups using different channels (e.g., phone, email, etc.). They're the ones that check-in regularly and stay on top of their game, adding value to every interaction. My advice to reps is that you need to be relevant to your customers. If you're not, you're going to lose a deal.”

Good manners. "Finally, manners matter to me! How you treat people matters to me! It's important to me that I work with people that treat others with respect and empathy, and that applies to vendors I work with."


9. What would put a deal at risk?


Hard selling, not responsive, inaccurate information, sloppiness. “There are several things that sales reps can do to put their deals at risk. I've already mentioned a few, including hard selling and being unresponsive. Another thing that can put a deal at risk is when reps provide me inaccurate information. Sloppiness in anything they send me on the front end is going to cost them the deal.”

Pushy and doesn’t respect internal processes. “Also, reps that are pushy and don’t respect our internal processes can put their deals at risk. For example, when I give directions to a sales rep on our selection process and explain the steps we'll go through, I expect that rep to follow them. If they start copying other people in the organization, go around my team, or ignore the process I've outlined, they will lose the deal. That behavior is not a sign of a good partnership! It demonstrates to me that the rep is not invested in building a high trust relationship. All they want to do is sell that deal!”

Sales pressure tactics. “Another absolute that can place deals at risk is when reps put me on their timeline and their company goals instead of my timeline, and they use pressure tactics, such as: ‘Hey, we got to have this done by this date, or we're not going to hold this pricing.’ These types of behaviors backfire on the reps.”

Thank you, Tammy, for your time and for sharing your perspective and expertise. 

Rana Salman runs Salman Consulting, LLC., focusing on partnering with sales and sales enablement leaders to achieve outcomes through people, process, and sales training. You can reach her at [email protected] . Follow her on LinkedIn & Twitter

Help end blood cancer with CCN

Beginning this month, CCN has begun to set aside 50 cents for every billable hour and has already raised over $1000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Since 2013, CCN Founder Andy Cox has been involved in the fight against blood cancer, and today, he and his team are already gearing up to join the annual Light the Night event in October.

Below, Andy shares how he first got involved in LLS and how you too can join the fight…

How did you first find out about blood cancer?

Back in the late 90s, I was a regular blood donor. I agreed to be on a national marrow donor list, a database that helps get you matched up with someone who needs a transplant. They told me there was a super low chance I would be contacted, but about a year later, I got a call.

I found out I was a potential match for an adolescent who needed a bone marrow transplant in Europe. At first, I was 1 of 16 or so potential matches. I went in for additional blood and testing, then I was 1 of 8, 1 of 3, and then I was it.

“For me, seeing what the families go through is what really makes the difference. No parent wants to hear that their child has cancer.”

In February of 2000, the patient flew into Houston for the transplant. The thing you have to understand about marrow transplants is that they are usually a last resort — the last thing doctors will try to save a life. Once they start killing off the patient’s white blood cells, the donor is the only chance.

That whole experience really opened my eyes. I never did interact with the actual family, but in that hospital you see lots of parents really struggling.

The transplant successfully extended the patient’s life, but later he ultimately succumbed to cancer. After that, I got busy in my career and raising a new family, but it certainly left a mark.

What got you involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society?

It wasn’t until 2012 that I got involved with LLS in Austin. A coworker of mine just moved into the market, and she was a survivor of blood cancer. Her friends and family had formed a Light the Night team for her back home, so we created a team to support her here in Austin too.

That was a great experience, and it instantly refreshed my memory, seeing that there are a lot of people going through these incredible challenges. They could be coworkers or neighbors close to you, and you might not even know it. I wanted to continue to help out as much as I can.

After that, I was a team captain, then moved into the Austin Light the Night committee, and then joined their board three years ago.

What do you find so compelling about the fight against blood cancer?

For me, seeing what the families go through is what really makes the difference. No parent wants to hear that their child has cancer.

Kids are so resilient that they often continue to play through treatment. They’re still just kids and often keep that optimism, but behind every child cancer patient, there are parents who are on an emotional roller coaster. All you want is for your kid to have the best options, but it’s so hard to know.

You start empathizing with these families. You want to know how you can help, what you can do… well what you can do is end cancer!

Can we really end cancer?

It sounds like something that can’t be done, but we’re making incredible progress, and LLS is right in the middle of that research and innovation.

The amount of FDA approvals that have happened in the last few years is exponentially higher that it used to be, and these are treatments that can help avoid chemo or radiation.

“we’re making incredible progress [towards ending blood cancer], and LLS is right in the middle of that research and innovation.”

Recently a blood cancer survivor spoke at an LLS meeting. He was given a new pill, and literally within months, he was cured of cancer. He was almost embarrassed to say he had cancer, because he never had any ill effects—no chemo, no hair loss, or anything. It felt like a magic pill.

Stories like that don’t tug at the heartstrings as much as suffering families, but that’s exactly the point! That’s what we want the future of blood cancer to look like. That’s why we’re raising money for research.

How can others help in the fight against cancer?

Blood cancer affects all ages, all ethnicities, all age groups. Research is expensive; this is all about fundraising. We need money and we need volunteers.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a great organization that is leading the charge. An extremely high percentage of every dollar given goes to funding research and helping people locally. They run very lean and are very effective.

Money raised through Light the Night also goes to direct patient support services right here in Austin. Of course, cancer treatment is expensive, and hugely disruptive to family life. LLS has programs to provide financial assistance for medical bills, transportation, or even utilities.

I can’t think of anything better to do with my time than to help move this forward.

What is Light the Night?

Light the Night is an annual fundraising event that happens in Austin and other cities across the country.

“No matter where you are the mood is the same. Although there is certainly a memorial component to this event, it’s also festive. There’s a lot to celebrate… is a huge, awesome, emotional experience.”

The actual ceremony starts around dark. They present awards for teams, and they have the “honored hero” come up to share their story. Finally everybody has a colored lantern: white is for survivors, yellow is for remembrance, and red is for all the supporters. Everybody who is holding a white lantern moves into the center to the “circle of survivors.” They all raise their lanterns up, and it’s a huge, awesome, emotional experience. Then all five or six thousand people all do the walk with their lanterns with fireworks at the end.

How can we get involved?

By all means, sign up to join the CCN team or create a team of family and friends! You can make a donation to the event or host a fundraiser of your own.

I think it’s a no brainer for companies of any size to participate. There are a lot of reasons for an employer to do an event like this. It’s a great cause, a great opportunity to market if you want to, and a great way to bring your employees together and build comradery.

There are a lot of great charities in Austin, and I understand that. We want to find those people who have a passion and are connected in some way to patients and survivors. Don’t be afraid to ask around, and you will be surprised just how many people you already know who are connected in some way.

At the end of the day, we’re here to end blood cancer.