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Ask the Sales Expert: Mike Sorgani, vice president of sales and marketing, ITN International

Mike Sorgani has served as ITN International’s Vice President, Sales & Marketing since 2006. During his tenure with the firm, ITN International’s revenue has grown from $5 million to $7 million annually.

Sorgani began his career in the event industry in 1976 and has occupied key positions at several registration and lead management firms. He is a frequent speaker at industry events such as the CEMA Summit, ESCA’s annual meeting, EXHIBITOR and EXPO EXPO!

ITN International is the premier provider of mobile data management and information exchange solutions for the Event Marketing industry. As a “Touch ‘N Go” event solutions company, ITN specializes in Near Field Communication.

How should account executives target prospects in this new economy?
Use a targeted approach. Learn as much as you can about the prospect to ensure their needs fit your offering. There is so much competition out there today that prospects are leery of the salesperson who “can do it all.” Find a wrinkle or a hole in your competitor’s offering somewhere and go after it.

What do you believe is the number one trait necessary to succeed as an account executive?
Number one is easy, honesty. It doesn’t hurt to also be a hard worker.

What are the biggest challenges facing sales professionals today?
Competition, without a doubt. You must have a compelling story and learn how to tell it intelligently and succinctly. People have no time to listen to “pitches.”

What advice can you offer to an individual who wants to pursue a career as an account executive (sales)?
Go to medical school!

What is your greatest accomplishment?
My Daughter. This is an easy one.

What personal attributes are important to building a book of business for the long-term?
The ability to pick yourself up after getting knocked down. It’ll happen way more times than you may think.

What should veteran account executives be aware of in order to survive and thrive in the industry?
The exhibition industry is VERY slow to change. You and your company must be patient and in this for the long haul.

Sales prospecting is a hard job. What keeps you motivated and focused?
The wins! There are not many things in life that are equal to that feeling when you win a piece of business you have worked long and hard to win.

Did you have a mentor? If so, what was the one piece of advice he/she shared that you cherish today?
I was never smart enough to have a mentor.

Is there anything we left out?
Keep swinging!

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