Deno Anagnost & the It Factor (~35,000 views on LinkedIn )

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me what makes a great salesperson, I wouldn’t be posting on LinkedIn–I’d be playing my second round of golf for the day. Every company needs great salespeople and therefore, the topic of how to spot and recruit those who’ve got the secret ingredient is a hotly debated one. We all want people with the “it” factor on our team.

Distilled down to its essence, the “it” factor begins with the ability to immediately connect with people, drawing them in. Over the years, my best salespeople have embodied a diverse array of qualities, but they all had one thing in common: they had “it”.

Deno Anagnost was one of them.

On a spring day in 2007, he walked into my office for an interview at the ripe old age of 23. With two years of radio sales under his belt and no experience in sports, he boldly announced that he was a great salesperson because he’d “had cancer and kicked its ass.” Now, he declared, he could “do anything”.

I not only heard the power behind the statement, I could feel it. His tenacity and desire to succeed was palpable, and he was charming to boot. I thought to myself, “If all my salespeople had what he’s got, we’d be just fine.”

I hired Deno on the spot and watched him dominate for two great years.