Paweł Montwiłł chats with us about his stimulating Squiz role, his responsibilities to both his clients and his company, and ending 2016 on a high note.
Squiz: Hi Paweł. How was your holiday break?
Paweł: It was brilliant! I had a wonderful time. In Poland, we start celebrations on Christmas Eve, so we had a big family dinner and continued celebrating over the next few days. I also just recently bought a PS4, so I had a great time playing Battlefield 1 with my kids and online with my colleagues.
It was also very productive because I had a prospective client call me on 28 December, wanting to come in to see our office in Szczecin and how we worked. We were able to close the deal the next day, so it was a great way to end the year.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve been at Squiz since April 2016, as a senior business development manager (BDM). Generally, my job is to work closely with potential leads, understand their challenges, and identify the kinds of solutions we can offer them.
I love the statement, ‘A good salesperson helps their clients succeed in the workplace’. It’s my job to help them grow within their organisations, do their jobs, and hit their targets. You need a wide range of skills as a BDM in the IT world – you need to be very business-oriented and also have technical skills – but ultimately, you need to understand people. It’s all about building these relationships that often last for months before anyone signs a deal.
What attracted you to work at Squiz?
I was looking for a company that had a great culture, with open-minded people, and that gave you the freedom to do your job. Squiz offered all of that. The fact that Squiz has a wide portfolio to sell and had already worked with many prestigious clients showed me that there was a great future at Squiz. The office here is also pretty amazing, so that’s a bonus!
Do you remember your first day at Squiz? What was it like?
I had worked on my own for the last few years, so straightaway, I remember enjoying the atmosphere of working with a team. There’s a sense of scale and synergy you get from working together as a business that you can’t really get from working as a freelancer. I really started to feel that from the first day – and I knew I was in the right place.
What is your typical work day?
I have two kinds of work days: when I stay in the office, and when I’m travelling from Szczecin to Warsaw.
Because the majority of our clients are based in the capital city, I often travel the 540 kms to meet with any prospective clients. We usually go up as a team – we have a minibus – and the trip takes about five hours. The great thing about working at Squiz is that I can still live in Szczecin – it’s quiet, it’s spacious, and it has great entertainment – and do business in a big city like Warsaw.
My busiest day was at the end of November last year. I started at 8am with back-to-back meetings and conference calls until suddenly, it was 3am, and I was preparing presentations for the next day. It paid off, though, as I secured a new client from our meetings that day.
What’s been your proudest achievement while working here so far?
The deal I mentioned earlier was probably my proudest moment. After nine months here, I sold a large project that included Squiz Matrix to an international client in the travel industry. It included 12 language versions and multiple features, so it was a big deal.
When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Like most kids, I wanted to be an astronaut. Very quickly, however, I jumped into the digital world. Straight out of school, I started an online magazine on role-playing games, and in 2003, I began running my own digital agency.
I’ve always been very passionate about being an entrepreneur. And, as a sales guy, I still am. You mostly rely on yourself and have lots of challenges you have to tackle.
What advice would you have given yourself 10 years ago?
I would tell myself to not stay too long in a work environment that’s stifling your success. Find better people to work with. Sales is your strength – stick with it and be the best you can.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like playing board games with friends and online multiplayer games such as Battlefield 1 on the PS4. As a sales guy, I love competition and challenges; without them, I get bored pretty quickly.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
This is a bit different, but I would like to have the power to release someone’s true potential. Everybody has a unique set of talents, values, and abilities, but many people aren’t able to truly uncover them. I would love to have the ability in a single moment to empower people to be the best they can be – like flipping a light switch.
Finally, what was the last movie you saw, and would you recommend it?
One of the last films I watched was The Big Short on Netflix. Christian Bale plays Michael Burry, an eccentric hedge fund manager; I thought he was amazing in the role. Steve Carell also proves that he’s an actor who can play more dramatic roles. It’s based on the financial crisis of 2007/2008, and I loved it because it’s about people who could stand back and see the situation in a different way and succeed against all odds.
As a sales guy, I can’t not mention the classic Jerry Maguire – I love the famous quote “Show me the money!” Everyone in sales needs to watch this film, because at the end of the day, our job is about bringing money into the company.
Thanks Paweł, and see you on Twitter!
Paweł will be tweeting his week at work at @lifeatsquiz from 9 January to 13 January. Follow along to see what he gets up to on a daily basis in Poland.