Rice Jones Letter of Recommendation Questions
- Please indicate to which group you are comparing this candidate (e.g., co-worker, MBA graduate, etc.) – 100 words
What characteristics or attributes best describe the applicant? – 150 words
- In what area is the applicant most exceptional – 150 words?
In what area(s) does the applicant need improvement? Describe the applicant’s awareness of these areas and response to constructive feedback – 150 words
- How would you describe the applicant’s interpersonal skills and the impression they make in meetings, presentations, or other interactions? Is the applicant effective when working in a team? 150 words
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Rice Jones Letter of Recommendation Example – 1
1. Please indicate to which group you are comparing this candidate (e.g., co-worker, MBA graduate, etc.) – 100 words
I have known Prajakta for the last one year. Prajakta leads a team of 3 sales engineers and I am her direct supervisor. She is the Sales Lead for Pressure Pumping Product line of Baker Huges in the MENA region.
2. What characteristics or attributes best describe the applicant? – 150 words
I think Prajakta’s most outstanding attribute is perseverance and quick learning ability. Prior to coming joining the sales role, she worked as a field engineer with Baker Hughes. She had never done sales or business development, but because of her engineering background, she had a good command over technical know-how.
Initially, she struggled to convert that knowledge into a good sales pitch. I saw how hard she worked and took guidance where needed to eventually become a good salesperson. I was really impressed by her quick transformation from an engineer to a business development person and in the last 1 year, she has brought many upsells for the company.
That is why I believe she is a quick learner and has the willingness to put in the hard work where needed. Now she is driving our new technology portfolio in the Middle East and very capably leading a team of 3 sales engineers.
3. In what area is the applicant most exceptional – 150 words?
I think Prajakta have exceptional relationship building and networking skills. As a sales lead, her relationships with our clients like TOTAL and OXY helped us increase our footprint in UAE.
In the current quarter she snatched a competitor job outside her product line and then she collaborated with another product line leader to execute the same. She took the complete initiative of this project from start to end and engaged herself with a diverse team to perform this scope which added an extra $ 400 K revenue in the company’s account. The client was extremely happy with her as they saved cost by hiring one company and there were less logistical challenges in the project.
There are times when the company does not have a valid contract but our clients trust her and because of her relationship she secured many upsell opportunities for us.
4. In what area(s) does the applicant need improvement? Describe the applicant’s awareness of these areas and response to constructive feedback – 150 words
Prajakta has a strong personality and great sales skills but at times she trusts clients so much that she struggles to have hard negotiations. I believe she can become a better leader by improving on her negotiation skills.
In 2019 client, ADNOC asked for additional services. Prajakta committed to additional service without negotiating the scope of service or its cost. when they ran their first job with our tools and the tool failed. The moment our tool started facing issues client started blaming Prajakta and Baker Hughes.
After the incident, I gave her feedback to improve her negotiation skills and never shy away from asking to be paid for the honest hard work you are doing. Else people will always take advantage of your trust and seek free services.
5. How would you describe the applicant’s interpersonal skills and the impression they make in meetings, presentations, or other interactions? Is the applicant effective when working in a team? 150 words
Prajakta has an influential personality and is good in her interpersonal skills. She collaborates with and encourages everyone in the team to achieve success in the project.
She showed exceptional collaboration and managerial skills while closing $8 Million project with TOTAL in UAE. This was the first unconventional fracturing campaign of high-pressure high-temperature wells in UAE. Prajakta worked with 3 different product lines within Baker Hughes to get all deliverables on time. She deployed our newest technology by convincing customers of its advantages and then she provided extensive technical support to TOTAL and went above and beyond to develop good relationships.
It helped us earn customers’ trust and the client was happy. This first unconventional project’s success opened up new doors for our company. I feel she has great potential to work with diverse teams and perform under pressure.
Rice Jones Letter of Recommendation Example – 2
1. Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (50 words)
I am Pawan’s direct reporting manager. He is responsible for generating Sales leads from Saudi Arabia & Qatar and developing business in new geographies such as Egypt and Uzbekistan. Pawan is also responsible for managing the channel partner in Qatar and coordinating with channel partners in UAE and Oman.
2. How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?) (500 words)
After working for 3 years with Pawan, I believe Pawan’s principal strength is his exceptional networking and relationship building skill.
I have first hand experienced and leveraged his skills while working with him for several projects across Middle East. One such instance i fondly remember was, when we were working together for closing a project deal in Saudi Arabia from our client SABIC. To get the project, we were in dire need of a local ‘reliable’ site contractor since it was the first time that Godrej was going to do site installation in a ‘foreign’ country. For this, rather than directly pursuing the time-consuming activity of searching & evaluating vendors, Pawan invested in building a strong relationship with the end customer by providing extensive technical support during bidding phase and went above and beyond to develop a good working relationship. Pawan’s effort helped us earn our customer’s trust and in the end the customer itself suggested us local reliable vendors to partner with. This helped us to close on of our first and biggest foreign installation projects worth $ 3 million.
Pawan is also someone who thinks out of the box. While working on our market penetration strategy for Egypt, we faced the challenges in getting local insights to orient our marketing outline as per the country. It was proving tough to directly approach the government owned energy sector and any other partners to get these insights. To overcome this obstacle, Pawan went outside of the conventional thinking and approached Indian Embassy in Cairo. It was a long shot but the commerce attache of the embassy turned out to be quite helpful in breaking down some of the barrier for us and we were able to interview Egyptian energy companies to get valuable market insights. Equipped with this information, we were able to analyze the Egyptian market and develop a good marketing strategy in the country which have paid great dividends so far.
While working with him in the same team from quite some time now, I can definitely vouch for the fact Pawan is a great team player. Overall, Pawan’s ability to relationship management skills, and thinking out of the box to solve challenges set’s him substantially apart from his peers in similar roles.
3. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (500 words)
One important constructive feedback that I have given to Pawan was regarding his negotiation skills.
Pawan can get a bit conservative while closing large size deals. For instance, in one of the projects when we were bidding to a client in Qatar, our company was strongly placed to win the contract based on our exclusive technical expertise required for the project. Pawan also had an informal confirmation from one of our chinese partners involved in the project that the client was not considering any other competitor for the contract due to our technical expertise and the critical nature of the contract.
Despite knowing that there was very little competition, Pawan went in with a very conservative bid. He became cautious while deciding the pricing strategy for the contract. He was reluctant to take risk of charging a premium for our expertise and improve the overall margin of the company primarily because he was very keen to bag the project very quickly. Although we eventually succeeded in bagging the project, I believe our team could have done a better and a lot of money was left on the table.
After the deal closure, I applauded Pawan’s efforts to convince the client about our technical expertise and strength of his professional network to get us the informal information from other partners. However, I told him that to succeed as a future business leader he needs to be confident in his abilities and not shy away from tough negotiation especially when you have the leverage. As a leader he should know when and where to command a premium not only for the expertise but to cover up for the projects where our margins were razor thin due to high competition.
I believe winning tough negotiation and not leaving money on the table is one of the most important skills of a business leader. Pawan has worked upon this feedback very positively and in recent engagements, I have seen a marked change in his confidence and willingness to push harder in the negotiation.
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