Surviving Outside Sales

Securing Your Future in Sales: Navigating Uncertainty and Embracing Accountability| SOS Ep. 344

August 29, 2023 Mike O'Kelly Season 1 Episode 344
Surviving Outside Sales
Securing Your Future in Sales: Navigating Uncertainty and Embracing Accountability| SOS Ep. 344
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Here's a hard truth: no one is irreplaceable, even Jamie Foxx, who was swapped out for a body double mid-film due to illness. Companies, as I learned the hard way in my pharmaceutical career, often prioritize their bottom line over some of their most loyal employees. I've seen top sales reps denied transfers and quickly replaced. It's a stark reminder that in the world of sales, it's essential to take control and secure your own future. Prepare for uncertainties, keep an eye out for opportunities outside of your primary job, and consider a side hustle. 

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Where are...

Speaker 1:

The Surviving Outsidesales 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 and host, mike O'Kelly. I hope everybody had a fantastic Fourth of July week. I took the week off from the podcast. I had several projects I was working on, so I just want to take a little bit of a break and really do appreciate everybody who's been listening, because actually last week was one of the top downloaded weeks, so perhaps people were missing the podcast coming out and we're catching up on old episodes. But I digress. So today's topic you know we're talking about the business of sales and that is what I'm going to be talking about till the end of time and also talking about your career progression. So recently I don't know if you've been following this, but Jamie Foxx, the actor, the superstar, has been ill. He was in the hospital. There were conflicting reports If he had a stroke, he got sick, whatever, and so I guess over the weekend he was spotted on a boat waving his hand. So a lot of the reports were wrong. But the reason why I bring up Jamie Foxx. He was in the middle of filming a movie and there was only eight days of shooting left to go, and he is the star of the movie. He had to go to the hospital. You would think that the movie studio would wait, but they didn't. They used a body double and they'll figure everything out with AI and with CGI later. Jamie Foxx is in a hospital, presumably with reports said, struggling and fighting for his life, and yet it was business as usual from the movie studio. I want you to think about that. As big of a star as Jamie Foxx is, nobody sat around and nobody waited. So the question has to be asked why do you think companies are going to sit around and wait for you? Why are we still believing that companies truly are invested in all of their employees? Quite frankly, they're not. The way that business is working in 2023, it's moving way too fast. Companies have to hit their numbers, so there's a lot of pressure put on executives and, as much as we'd like to think and as much as they would say at corporate meetings, we're in this together. No, no, we're not, and they don't treat you like family. They will get rid of you faster than to make your head spin. This reminds me of when I started with a pharmaceutical company back in the early 2010s. The top sales rep of the company wanted to get transferred to New York City. He said, no, we don't let our sales professionals transfer. So he quit and my manager, who was the manager of this number one rep, was terrified absolutely terrified to call his bosses and tell him that this rep had quit, because anytime a rep quits, the manager always gets blamed fairly or unfairly gets blamed. So he was very nervous to do this. The first words out of the regional director's mouth was how quickly can you get a body in the field? Folks, you have to look out for yourself. When you were starting to think about your career progression, I want you to think of Jamie Foxx and I want you to think of the example that I told you Number one sales rep at a company company doesn't care. When can you get a body in the field? Jamie Foxx, eight days away from rapping a movie that he is the star in, has to go to the hospital for an emergency. Studio's like it's costing us money. Let's just keep shooting. We are replaceable in corporate America. I don't care who you are. You're replaceable. So the question is now, after you've come to the realization that you're nothing special, and I don't think I'm special. It's one of the reasons why I don't want to be in corporate America. I was sick and tired of the games. I was sick and tired of the politics. I was sick and tired of the shady deals, the handshake deals done behind closed doors that weren't privy to the sales professionals even if it was happening within my territory, I wasn't finding out about this. The negotiations from some of the top reps to cherry pick top accounts that was in my territory. I was sick of it, so I made plans. Point of this is you should as well, you need to take control of your career and realize it can be gone at any moment and you may or may not have done anything wrong. There used to be a time and a place where you had to do something really wrong to get fired. Now it's just downsizing. Now it's just your name on a spreadsheet. And here's the caveat I want you to know the executives don't necessarily view you like that. There are some good companies out there, but when push comes to shove. I'm going to tell you this. I'm going to tell you this again I've never seen a director of sales, a VP of sales, die on the sword. I've never seen them quit in order to save sales reps jobs, the territory manager's jobs. I have never seen it and I probably never will. I told you weeks ago about the dermatology company that let go of all their entire 45 or 50 sales professionals. Everybody was gone. They all kept her job. Everybody else lost their job. Why, well, the CEO has to write the ship. They were hemorrhaging cash and they have a new product coming out in January. They're also, I believe, publicly traded and that company was recently purchased. I'm sorry, they recently purchased a company. So I highly recommend you start keeping your eyes peeled for other opportunities. And here's the thing. I hate the word, but you're going to know what I say. I mean you're going to know what it is when I say it Sales aside hustle, okay, find a side hustle. Find something you're passionate about or you can make money, and who knows, it might be something that can replace your salary. Find two side hustles that pair together. Find affiliate programs. I have coaching that talks just about this, called sales escape plan. If you're interested in coming up with your sales escape plan. Send me an email, mike at surviving outside sales, or shoot me a DM on LinkedIn. If not, I'm going to have resources that are going to be available by the end of the month, start of August, that are going to go through your sales escape plan Possible ways that you can make more money. There's not many. There's not many people in this world that get rich or get wealthy or financially secure from one income Shoot. Look at professional athletes. Nowadays, lebron James makes about 80% of his money off the court. So take control of your career. The first step is to wake up, and I'm not saying that negatively, I'm just saying the first step is to wake up and realize that your job is not secure. Your career is not secure. You are always going to be walking on eggshells because you never know when your company is going to be sold. It's going to be bought by a competitor. They're going to lay off the sales division. Trust me, I've been through this three times. It's not fun. The amount of anxiety that happens. It's not fun and I absolutely hate it, and so I just wasn't going to participate anymore. So reach out to me if you want to discuss. I'll do a free strategy call with you. If you want to know more about the sales escape plan. Shoot me a DM on LinkedIn or shoot me an email. Mike at Surviving Outside Sales, if Jamie Foxx I go back to, it's so ridiculous that Jamie Foxx gets pushed aside. What do you think they're going to do to us? Thank you so much. I really do appreciate it. I hope everybody is having a great start to the week. Hey, if you didn't catch the episode with Kent yesterday Kent Harshbarger please go back and watch that episode and listen to that episode. Kent is one of the best sales professionals that I know and he just keeps getting better and better every year like a fine wine. And it's really hard to do in his line of work because his quota just gets expanded and he's in one of the most competitive markets in the medical device world, which is lasers. It's one of the most competitive markets. It's one of the most cutthroats you will have. I know he has because I've heard it. He's had competition talk negatively behind his back to physicians and he still comes through on top. So go back and listen to that episode or catch any other episodes that you may have missed. Again, thank you so much. Please download the episode, share it with like-minded individuals and keep the conversation going. And find an accountability buddy where you can talk to and say hey, what are you doing in your career? Start brainstorming with each other. You never know where that might lead you. Thank you so much. I do appreciate it. Hope everybody has a great rest of your day and we'll see you tomorrow. Thanks for watching.

Surviving Outside Sales
Encouraging Engagement and Accountability