105 – Land and Expand: Connecting the Human Network | Craig Storie

105 – Land and Expand: Connecting the Human Network | Craig Storie

Craig Storie (@CiscoStorieis a Select Account Manager with Cisco, a multinational technology conglomerate that develops, manufactures and sells networking hardware, telecommunications equipment, and other high-technology services and products. He is responsible for selling the company’s complete range of hardware, software, and service technology solutions in the Indianapolis market.

He received his diploma from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology but never felt the true calling to be an engineer. With an engineering background, Craig began a challenging search for a sales role. His connections through the university became the catalyst for his sales career, a first glimpse into the power of a connected professional network.

At Cisco, his role comes with the expectation of profoundly understanding every project and every client. This in-depth knowledge empowers what he calls his “infectious attitude,” built upon the ideals of honesty, humility, and transparency. By gaining respect from his customers, he has become their trusted adviser.


  1. Build Connections: Careers are long. If you start thinking about the sales you’re going to make over the next 20-30 years, it will become apparent just how important your network is. Both internally and externally, you need to be able to call upon people when you need help but to do so, not only do you have to build the connections in the first place, you have to give first before you can expect to receive.
  2. Become a Trusted Advisor: We’ve all heard the mantra, “people buy from people they know, like, and trust.” While I don’t fully subscribe to the “like” part, the trust part is paramount. So how do you build that trust? The first thing is to know what you’re talking about. By studying your industry and the buyers in that industry, you should be able to discover the question you need to ask to make them think. That will open the door for good conversations, but then you have to prove to them that you will have their back after the sale is made. Remember, careers are long.
  3. The Grass Isn’t Always Greener: Whether you’re in a startup or an established company, SMB or enterprise, inside or outside, it can always seem like someone else has it more comfortable than you. And maybe it’s true, but so long as you’re in your current role, you need to focus on the objective in front of you. Comparing yourself to others is a recipe for disaster and will lead you to continue chasing the mouse.

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