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Ask the Sales Expert: Shana Carr, Southwest division president of MC2


shanacarr

Shana Carr, Southwest division president at MC2

MC² is nationally recognized in the exhibit and event marketing industry. The company specializes in design, production and management of integrated marketing programs including exhibits, environments and executive briefing centers.

Shana Carr, Southwest division president at MC², has 20 years experience in the tradeshow and event marketing industry.

How should account executives target prospects in this new economy?
In the current business climate, account executives need to differentiate themselves by being smarter than their counterparts. Staying on top of their client’s and prospect’s company, industry and happenings is key, as well as staying abreast of the business climate and trends within the tradeshow and event industry.  Social media is also a great tool for staying educated as well as positioning themselves as thought leaders.


What do you believe is the number one trait necessary to succeed as an account executive?
Being a good listener is definitely the number one trait you need to be successful. The old days of the “sales pitch” are gone. Listening and understanding the challenges of clients and prospects, and being able to offer potential recommendations/solutions will set you apart.

What is the biggest challenge facing sales professionals today?
Relationships don’t play as big a factor as they used to in retaining clients. More upper management involvement and the insertion of procurement in the process has made it a lot more difficult. Complacency is not an option today in the exhibit industry. Sales professionals have to always keep their eye on the ball.

What personal attributes are important to building a book of business for the long term?
Aside from pure sales talent, diligence is the one characteristic that nearly all account executives must possess. The ability to stay level-headed throughout the sales process is also a key ingredient. Other than that, the desire to always be learning has never been more important than it is today.

From your perspective, what should veteran account executives be aware of in order to survive and thrive in the industry?
Keeping up with changing trends in the industry is absolutely vital for account executives. But in some cases, that is not enough. AEs must not only stay abreast of what’s going on, they must also adapt to it. Discussing trends with your sales team can also prove to be a great advantage.

 

Shana Carr began her career at ExhibitGroup/Giltspur as a project manager and estimator before becoming director of sales. She was a general manager for Derse before joining MC2 as general manager. Now, as division president for the Southwest Division, she brings a passion for the business and a well-rounded, multifaceted background to the overall management of the group, which includes the Las Vegas, San Francisco and Kingman facilities.

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