“We want to be on the edge of technology all of the time. We think long-term.”
The CEO of Ericsson, one of the world’s leading telecommunications companies, has some serious networking practices worth noting. Hans Vestberg, who was offered the hot-seat on the first day of the New Year of 2010, has always emphasised the importance of being a team player, a good leader and, above everything else, a stellar networker.
Hans has been a loyal employee of the Company since 1988, when he was first hired for ‘Ericsson Cables’ at his hometown of Hudiksvall, Sweden. Since then, Hans has been able to bring some global experience to the table, having held various management positions for the company in China, Brazil, Mexico and the USA. His experience serving as the Chief Financial Officer of Ericsson from 2007 to 2009 taught him all he needed to know about telecommunications market. His foresight earned him the hot-seat a year later.
Vestberg has often spoken about a digital revolution that is marking the cards, and he was one of the first business leaders to cite that 3G and 4G will dominate the world markets by 2020. His leadership and financial foresight has earned him the rank of being ‘the sixth most powerful man in wireless’, by Fierce Wireless. He is also an active member of the Leadership Council of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
On his 51st Birthday, we would like to celebrate his legacy by listing out some fool-proof networking tips that we have picked up from this powerful businessman over the years.
Know yourself and know your product
As Vestberg has stated repeatedly, one of the most important tips to making the right decisions for your business starts with knowing yourself and knowing your product. To him, this means identifying and accepting the good and bad of your own capabilities and personality and trying to work these to your advantage when it comes to selling your product. You also need to know every minute detail about your product, so that you’re ready to face and counter any questions or doubts that may arise regarding it. So the trick is to always be on your toes so you can sail through any situation.
Be one with your team
The second pointer in Vestberg’s networking mantra is being one with your team. The more the voices, the stronger your case. It is important to note everything about your team, from their weaknesses to their working styles to even their individual knowledge, and most importantly, formulating a common goal for the company. Once this has been established and well-etched into the brains of each member, networking with outsiders becomes ten times easier. Another advantage of forming a good bond with your team is that each individual has their own talents and their own contacts. Once you put your head together, there really is no stopping you.
“You have to get to know your team as individuals and identify those variations in skills and mentalities; it’s the only way to ensure an all-encompassing skill set and strategy,” says Vestberg in a self-published article.
Stress on the advantages of your product or service
Be it a product or a service, Vestberg emphasises the need to speak about how it will benefit the customer. For instance, when it comes to his own company, he would sell their new network services by saying, “Digital education is one very important example where we clearly see that we can bring education to children around the world in a way that's simpler, much cheaper, and much more efficient,” as stated in an interview with Light Reading. Or, he would speak about how health-care can benefit from it. Whichever angle you use, it should be convincing enough for your customers, making them believe that more than wanting, they NEED that particular product or service.
Know what works to your advantage
Ericsson recently merged with CISCO, where they have agreed that a business and technology partnership between them should generate additional revenues of $1 billion for each company by 2018. When asked about this merger, Vestberg said, “We are the wireless No. 1 in the world and Cisco is by far the No. 1 in the world when it comes to IP routers. Together we can create innovative solutions.” (as stated in an article by Reuters)
Hence, Vestberg understood the benefits of collaborating with an equally profitable firm, so as to increase the market value and shares of his Company. Like Vestberg, it is important to note when to hold off on your own and when to join forces with similar businesses and individuals, so that it works in the favour of your company.