Surviving Outside Sales

Navigating the Ups and Downs of Outside Sales: Insights from 20 Years of Experience | SOS Ep. 334

August 15, 2023 Mike O'Kelly Season 1 Episode 334
Surviving Outside Sales
Navigating the Ups and Downs of Outside Sales: Insights from 20 Years of Experience | SOS Ep. 334
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Are you ready to acquire some hard-earned wisdom from more than 20 years in the sales trenches? 

This episode promises to equip you with valuable insights and tangible strategies to navigate the rollercoaster realm of outside sales and prospecting. We talk about the harsh reality of potential buyers who say yes and then back out, the sheer unpredictability of the market, and how the ultimate control lies within your hands. We stress the vitality of networking, championing an abundance mindset, and the power of more sales conversations to keep you on top of your game.

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If you are in outside sales and have had any of the following:

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Speaker 1:

The Surviving Outside Sales podcast, hosted by Mike O'Kelly, presented by Sales Builder Academy. The goal is to survive and thrive all phases of outside sales, whether you're getting in, dominating or getting out. Surviving Outside Sales. Now on with the show. Welcome to the Surviving Outside Sales podcast. I'm your host, mike O'Kelly. I hope everybody is having a fantastic start to their week and want to let you know the live business of sales, live webinars on LinkedIn is rolling right along this Thursday at noon. Last Thursday we had a fantastic showing About 40. Some people showed up live, about 170. So they were going to attend and look, that's kind of how things go. And one of the things I was going to talk about today is when you are putting yourself out there, when you're doing things, when you're reaching out to people, a lot of people are going to say yes and something's going to come up and they're not going to be able to make it. So if you're out there prospecting and you are inviting people to events or you are sending out marketing materials or you're trying to get the attention of your buyers, it's not going to work for everybody and even if people sound like they are interested, things are changing rapidly. People say yes, people say they're ready to go, they're all in, they're really excited, and then something happens and they can't make it. They can't sign up, they can't buy your product. That's going to happen. You just have to shrug it off. It is part of the industry and it's part of your world. Now Happens to everybody. Deals will fall through in the 11th hour or the 12th hour. It'll happen at the last minute. Deals will pull through. You didn't think we're going to pull through at the last minute. There is a lot of unpredictability with how people will react and respond, but what you just have to focus on is what you can control. It's you in the market. That's the only thing you can control. You can't control anything else. You can't control if they're going to say yes. You can't control if they're going to buy your product or service. All you can do is offer, let the market respond and act accordingly. So this Thursday we're going to be talking about prospecting, and so it is a solo webinar and I like to have conversations with people. Contrary to what you might believe, if you're listening to the podcast and I've been talking by myself for a while you might think that I really enjoy the solo episodes. I don't, and the reason why is I enjoy the conversation with somebody else who's got equal experience or more experience in the field than I do, because it brings up topics and it brings up thoughts that have been buried deep in my head for a really long time, and that is the reason why I like to have sales conversations. It's the reason why I do the podcast is because I'm trying to remember everything that I can Think about it. I have 20 plus years of experience in this industry. I can't remember every single win. I can't remember every single loss. There's just too many to count. There's been too many sales calls, too many interactions. It's just too much. What happens is when I have more sales conversations, it jogs my memory and it pulls it back to the forefront, and that is how I stay mentally sharp. It's one of the things that I really, really recommend to sales professionals is have more sales conversations, not just necessarily with buyers, but with colleagues, with friends. Reach out to people. So this Thursday is going to be about prospecting, and really, with prospecting, you're not just prospecting for business today, you are prospecting for business in the future and you're prospecting for relationships in the future. When I first started in the medical sales world. I was in dermatology and I didn't think that it was very important to network with other people competitors, people in the industry et cetera and then I realized how small the industry kind of feels and I realized that I needed to be more open to the fact that the people that I interact with on a daily basis could get me another opportunity. That office that I am trying to sell product XYZ to may not be a good fit, but I want to reserve the right to come back when I have a product that does. And I think early in my career there was a quid pro quo. I definitely was guilty of that. I definitely felt as if I needed to get something in return. Every single time I did something and if I didn't, I kind of wrote off the person or I wrote off the experience or I said I'm never doing that again. That's a limiting mindset. If you've been listening to the podcast, you know I'm not a big fan of limiting mindsets. There is abundance in everything. There is abundance of opportunity out there. You just have to open your eyes and understand and having a growth mindset, an abundance mindset, it will allow you to shrug off if you have a negative interaction or a disapproved, disagreeable interaction or something that doesn't go your way, it's not the end of the world. Ok, it's not the end of the world. One decision will not break you. Ok, just realize that one decision won't break you. So if you take that mentality that one decision won't break you, what you'll start to find is that you'll start taking more actions. You'll start reaching out to more people. You won't be afraid to have those conversations and those tough conversations, because you need to have tough conversations with prospects, buyers. When you network with people, you really need to show force, and I use force in air quotes. You need to show force in the fact of you're not going to be a push over. You're not going to allow the market to dictate things to you. You are going to read the market, but you're not going to be a pushover. And there's a key factor in that If you are a pushover and the market sees you as a pushover, they're going to take advantage of you, and the way that they take advantage of you is they don't buy from you. They try to get things for free. When you have serious business people like when I have business with serious business people I never have to worry if they're going to try to get something for free. They're never asking me for discounts, hookups, deals. They're like, how much is it? And I tell them like cool, I'll send over the payment information, the credit card information, we're good to go. They're not asking for handouts, none of that. Because they understand how business works, because they don't want people to do the exact same thing in their world. Everybody's trying to get everything they can and squeeze everything they can and be very selfish. And the one thing I'm just kind of mentioning to you right now is it doesn't matter what you are doing in the sales world. That kind of mindset, it will cripple you in the long term. You have to be abundant. Abundant with your giving, abundant with your time until they prove that they're not worth it. But you got to give them that chance and you have to give that buyer chance. But then once you realize hey, this might not be worth my time, don't give it a second thought. Water off your back, say you know what. It just doesn't seem like this is something you're interested at this time. I would like the right to reserve to come back and check in with you a little bit later If you're telling them that. I know that the phrase is you're never supposed to use check-in, follow-up etc. But you can use that when you're basically like, hey, I'm going to kick this can on the road about six months. Is that fair? Thank you so much. Everybody who's been listening. I really do appreciate it. August is always a very difficult month. Kids are going back to school, people are on vacation left and right. My wife and I are going to be finally taking another vacation. We took one in August. We're going to be finally taking another vacation. We took one in May and we're going to be taking our last vacation of 2023. We don't have any more vacation for the rest of the year. We have a lot going on, so we're going to take just a couple of days. It's nothing crazy. We're going to take a Friday and a Monday off around the Labor Day weekend and then we're going to head to the beach, some family time, but that's when we're taking our vacation. But I know that a lot of my friends, a lot of my coaching students, a lot of my clients are off for these next couple of weeks because kiddos go back to school. So this is kind of the time of the year. So realize, when you're out there and you're prospecting, that people are probably going to be off. So give them a little leeway. If you're communicating with them, if you're marketing them, if you're responding to emails, people are busy. Okay, people are busy and I am sometimes impatient. I want everything like readily available. I want to send an email. I want somebody to respond as soon as possible. That's just my nature and it might be your nature as well. Just realize things take time. Rome was not built in a day, and neither is your business or your sales career. One thing I'm going to ask is please share this with somebody, download, share the episode with like-minded individual and please give the show a rating. It really helps with the algorithms. It really helps to spread the podcast to other people. If you do believe we've gotten a five star, I'd appreciate that. I want you to do it honestly. Somebody gave me a one star the other day and I laughed it off. I just thought that was hilarious that somebody would leave a one star where it's a free program or I'm literally giving my time and my insight, and somebody said that's a one star. So I think it's hilarious, I laugh, but if you think it's a five star this podcast. If it's helping you, I would just ask to spread to other people so it can help others as well. Thank you so much. I really do appreciate it. If you like the episode, you want to have a conversation about sales and anything about that, dm me on LinkedIn that's the best way to contact me, or go to Mike O'Kellycom. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Hope you have a great rest of your day and we will see you tomorrow Surviving outside sales. Bye, bye.

Surviving Outside Sales and Prospecting
Receiving One-Star Review and Seeking Support