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Colorado's Most Powerful Salespeople: Mark Steller

Mark Steller, 46

Business development, Catamount Constructors Inc., Denver

WHAT HE DOES: Develops new business by opening doors and creating a comfort level and affinity for Catamount Constructors. Project types include apartments, retail development, senior living and restaurants.

SALES PRODUCTION: Steller’s efforts translated to roughly $70 million of Catamount’s volume in 2012, and roughly $80 million in contracted or committed future work.

BACKGROUND: In addition to his bachelor’s degree in construction management, Steller has a master’s degree in counseling. He spent most of his career on the operations side – preconstruction and project management – allowing him to engage in in-depth conversations with prospective clients.

SALES ADVICE: "Seek the prospective client’s candid unpacking of their vision, their perceived challenges, their concerns," Steller advises. "This leads to a larger sense of what is needed and facilitates a sense of how what they’re looking for intersects with your capacity to assist."

ON CLOSING: "After discovering as much as possible, including listening extensively to the prospective client if given an opportunity, focus your proposal (preparation, development of materials, selection of a team) on what is uniquely needed. Prepare to a point that the interview could transition in terms of content to the next step."

SALES PHILOSOPHY: "The best precursor to a potential business opportunity is a relationship facilitated naturally, without the 'pinch' of an agenda," Steller says. "This isn’t always possible, but it enables a conversational dynamic – which, when an opportunity does present, enables a more authentic discussion."

HANDLING A ‘NO’: "If interest is not reciprocated, keep the tone noble at your end. Don’t allow a single conversation to define the potential future course of the relationship."

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