Zach Selch spent 20 years heading Global Sales for 11 start-ups and and one $500 million dollar company after being a Regional Director for several companies including heading South Asian sales for a Fortune 1000 corporation. Zach Lived a total of 25 years as an expatriate. Zach has sold to more than 135 countries.
In 2021 Zach started working full-time as a fractional and interim head of Global Sales and Sales Coach for VPs of Global Sales, to indulge his passion for building new sales organizations, through his company Global Sales Mentor. Zach also runs a podcast and a vlog on Global Sales and has lectured on the subject at MIT and LBS as well as published an Amazon Best Seller on Global Sales. Zach now helps over a dozen companies with their global expansion, either as fractional CEO, or fractional VP, by coaching the leadership or as a board member.
Zach grew up living in a 29 foot trailer on cinder blocks in rural Pennsylvania, led men into combat as a Seargeant in an airborne recon unit, and is a certified bbq pit master from the University of North Carolina. When he isn’t working he tries to send time with his wife and family, walks his corgi, boxes, lifts weights and cooks.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Zach Selch: I always wanted to be a VP of international sales.. I grew up very poor, and I always wanted to travel. when I was 11 I got a job selling in a flea market, I sold factory second welcome mats and cutting boards, and I had this sudden idea that if I could sell them, I could sell anything, and I could leverage sales to see the world.
I put together a plan that I followed pretty well – I served in the military, went to school, got a job that nobody else wanted selling used medical products in Africa and then in Eastern Europe, leveraged that to get better jobs until I was a VP of Global Sales… and after 20 years of that I decided i was a bit bored.
So I founded a small practice that provides two primary services – I serve as Fractional VP of global sales (or a board member) for companies that need help growing and want somebody to do all the heavy lifting and I coach the VP of global sales or head of global sales to help them sell better.
Picture a person who was really good at sales, and was promoted from regional sales manager for ohio to being the VP of global sales, and suddenly everything falls apart because he knows how to sell, knows the product, but doesn’t know how to sell internationally. I help him bridge that gap and cut the learning curve by months or years.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Zach Selch : The best way to prepare for a recession in one country is to spread the risk by expanding globally, When one economy is down, another economy is up. If we focus on the US and maybe Canada, we are allowing the recession to set our strategy and throw us around
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Zach Selch : Spreading the risk expanding into markets with varied economies is a strategy that works for companies in this situation.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Zach Selch : I was doing a great deal more face to face selling, and now i need to adjust to more remote, in many cultures, not being able to build face to face rapport really makes it harder, but we have found tricks and tools that make this possible.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Zach Selch : We can’t let a little thing like a global pandemic or a recession keep us from hitting our goals.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Zach Selch : There are still businesses, especially complex and enterprise B2B in growing economies, that require face-to-face interaction, and we have to balance that.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Zach Selch : Around nine hours.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Zach Selch : I work with several teams due to the nature of my job, and most of the team members are talented and intelligent people who are in new situations that are unfamiliar with them. Because I have done virtually everything that the various team members need to learn how to do, from identifying the correct markets to finding channel partners to driving sales growth through building partner competency, I can teach through story telling
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Zach Selch: My biggest challenge right now still is the limitation on travel and how that impacts the face to face element of building business rapport.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Zach Selch: I am working hard on new client acquisition, so most of what i am doing to learn new skills is directly related to new client acquisition.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Zach Selch: I have never had somebody quit who I didn’t ask to quit (2 people that i can think of in total). fully 80% of people who have worked for me over the past 35 years have reached out to me at one time or another and asked if I had a place for them on my new team. I have hired a half dozen people to work for me after having changed jobs.
Why? I know i can’t give people everything that they want, there will always be more money or more fun or something. I tell people from the beginning that I will help them prepare for their dream job, whether its with me or not, and When we are done working together, they know that they can take the skills I taught them and move on to a better job that will bring them closer to their dreams.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Zach Selch: I’d like to be able to pick high tech founders who would deliver the product that they promise. I have had very bad luck with that over the years.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Zach Selch: I am working to grow my practice. If I acquired a new client every month indefinitely, I would be thrilled.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Zach Selch for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Zach Selch or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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