Q&A With Ali Miller Farnsworth, CEO of Technology Solutions Group, LLC.

Tell us a bit about Technology Solutions Group, LLC. 

We are essentially contract sales reps, or sales-as-a-service for techies. Generally, tech people do not really enjoy selling — or can’t sell, and love the idea of having someone else help bring their product or service into the marketplace. We do this via face to face local sales calls with IT budget holders.

What gave you the idea for your business and how did it start?

The company was formed because I kept calling on CIOs and CTOs who didn’t necessarily need the one thing I was selling, working for a company, but they would ask me, “do you have anything else?” I would say no. As a salesperson, I was leaving money on the table, as well as not solving their problem. I decided I wanted to create a company that would be like a manufacturer’s rep firm for IT services companies.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

Everyday I am out meeting people I’ve never met before either to network or to represent the products that we carry. I love the spontaneity of meeting new people and constantly networking.

What are your keys to making yourself productive?

Well, ours is highly a sales function, and the trick is to keep prospecting at all times, even when your pipeline is full. I cordon off days just for prospecting, and the rest of my team does as well.

Tell us one long-term goal in your career.

My career goal is to grow my company to be an international one, or to take a similar role in a corporate setting which would involve managing partners and Reps and a large team.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?

Follow-up is absolutely the most valuable lesson. Following up and doing what you say you are going to do shows integrity. This is key, and so many people are missing it. And it is such a simple thing.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?

My advice would be if you find a niche that nobody else is fulfilling, go for it! One of my favorite tenets in life is “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” Go for it!

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

I love spending time with my family, and have hired out housework and other daily functions so that when I’m not working I can actually spend focused time with my kids. I also have a personal goal of more international travel, so travel is always on the docket for me!

Name a few influential books you’ve read and/or websites you keep up with that you’d recommend to readers.

True North and Scaling Up.