Surviving Outside Sales

Strategies for Thriving in Outside Sales and Beyond: A Discussion with Mike O'Kelly | SOS Ep. 347

September 01, 2023 Mike O'Kelly Season 1 Episode 347
Surviving Outside Sales
Strategies for Thriving in Outside Sales and Beyond: A Discussion with Mike O'Kelly | SOS Ep. 347
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Show Notes Transcript

Surviving the tumultuous world of outside sales is no walk in the park. 

From dealing with sudden layoffs to navigating career changes, it’s a long game full of setbacks and opportunities. Join me, Mike O'Kelly, as I share my own experiences of charting out a long-term career plan, overcoming setbacks, and creating my own path. We dive into the importance of not jumping on the first job opportunity that comes your way and the value of having a secondary income stream.

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

- New to Outside Sales
- New to an industry, new product, new territory - any type of change
- Experienced, but have lacked training and business development
- Seasoned but feel like you have hit your ceiling and need a reboot

If any of those descriptions sound like you or someone you know,

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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 and your host, mike O'Kelly. If you were in sales and I were to tell you that over the course of your career, you are going to absolutely crush it and you're going to have some setbacks throughout, but in the end it's all in all, it's going to be extremely positive, you're going to make a lot of money and it's going to be really low stress. As far as seeking jobs, looking for jobs, wanting jobs, would you freak out in the short term if you lost out on an opportunity? Probably not, because you've got that macro goal for your career and for what you're trying to accomplish. I want you to remember that, okay, because there have been a lot of layoffs recently in the sales world, especially in the medical, pharmaceutical, dental, eye care space, and I know that a lot of people are probably freaking out and I can tell by some of the things that they post on LinkedIn. I feel for each and every one of those people that that happens to, because this has happened to me several times in my career. You get the email hey, we have an all hands on deck meeting and we need to talk, and you get on in your VP of sales, the president of sales, the CEO, hops on and says we've got bad news. I've been there several times. Okay, I know what you might be going through if this is happening, but just remember, this is a long game. Your career is a long game, all right, and early in my career I hopped on one of the first opportunities that I could. Now I don't regret it because it led me up to this point. Every decision that I made has led me up to me right here, behind this microphone, speaking to you right now. So I do not regret that and I don't regret that at all. But when I advise my students and when I advise people in the sales world, I tell them just learn from my mistake, don't just hop on the first thing, because you quote unquote need a paycheck Now. A way to not hop on the first thing is to have another stream of income. So if your first primary stream of income goes away, you can make ends meet until you find that opportunity that you really want. And another thing is have a long term plan. If you don't know what you want in your career, you are just going to look for the next thing that comes along. You need to understand the career progression, your career path and how you get there. I recommend to all of my students and everybody that I talked to at my speaking engagements five to 10 to 15 year plan, no matter who you are and how much experience you have. Something I spoke at the medical sales college in Charlotte and a lot of those graduates are about to head off into the world and they are going to start their careers. I told them it is never too early to start and the reason why is, before you know it, you're going to be drinking through that fire hose for the next two to three years and you're going to look up and you're going to think to yourself oh my gosh, I can't believe how fast those couple years went. It happens you just get so busy and Q1 turns into Q2 and Q3, q4 and then boom, you've got another year, and then that cycle repeats itself quickly and all of a sudden you're thinking to yourself wow, I can't believe, I've almost been here for three years. So a five year plan really isn't that long. Ten year plan is about right. 15 year plan 15 year plan you can create if you like. The sweet spot I found is a ten year plan. Where do you want to be in a decade? And I want you to ask yourself that when do you want to be in a decade? If you are going through any kind of tumultuous time, any turnover, any kind of doubt in your career, I want you to ask yourself what do I inevitably want to do? Because I know it's not just make a paycheck. So what do you want to do? What do you want to do in 10 years? I let everybody know what I wanted to do 10 years. I want to own my own businesses. I want to call my own shots. I want to wake up in the morning, I want to go to bed on my efforts and my efforts alone. I don't want to have anybody mandating, dictating, requiring me to do anything. And the reason why is I'm a self-motivated person. I'm very creative, I like to create, I like to build. Hence the Sales Builder Academy, sales Builder Blueprint, sales Builder Everything. By the way, I've got the Sales Builder Blueprint out right now, if you are struggling, if you're going through some change, if you're new to sales, the Sales Builder Blueprint and the processes and systems are going to help you get your business on track that you can build upon. Think about it as your foundation. So right now, if you're going through some of that change, it's a great time to invest in your future and to start rebuilding your sales business, how you operate your processes and systems, so that when that next opportunity comes along, you are ready to rock and roll. If that sounds like, you reach out to me, mike, at Surviving Outside Sales, or you can go to the surviving I'm sorry, excuse me SalesBuilderBlueprintcom and learn more about the options that I have for the Sales Builder Blueprint, salesbuilderblueprintscom. But you can look back, or I look back on my 10 years and I told people by the age of 45, right now I'm 44, and I've basically been doing my own thing for almost three years now. Three years ago was my last W2 position and since then it's just been creating, creating own companies, being a founder and kind of figuring out okay, what's my next 10 years? And that's what I wanted to figure out what is my next 10 years? Well, I've told people and I've made it public, especially on this podcast, that for me 55 is when I want to retire. I want to retire at 55, and by retire it means I'm not done with what I'm doing. It's just I don't feel by 55,. I want to make sure that I don't feel like I have to go do stuff and I don't really feel that anyway. But I want to Like, I wake up in the morning, I get really excited. I get excited for the week. I get excited for Mondays. I kind of get disappointed on Friday afternoons because I do spend time with my family on the weekends. And it's not because I get disappointed because I have to spend time with my family on the weekends, but I build up so much momentum through the week that I feel like I lose that for the weekend. So that's kind of why I get really all excited. In about 3.30, 4.00 on a Friday, I'm rocking and rolling, my creative juices are flowing and all of a sudden it's like bam, I have to stop for several days and then kickstart it back up on Monday morning, and so I'm very excited at what I do. But I started that plan back when I was 34. And just so you know, I didn't know that it was going to be the sales builder blueprint. I didn't know I was going to start to be one of the founders of a sales technology company, rhythm AI. I had no idea that that's what was going to be. However, I knew that that's what I wanted to do. I knew that those are the risks that I wanted to take. I wanted to jump off that ledge. I wanted to walk away from millions of dollars guaranteed because that's the comfort zone. Now, looking back, you could say to yourself well, maybe that wasn't the wisest decision, but again, it has led me to where I am today and I wouldn't change that for any other time in the world. I wouldn't change that for anything in the world. I've mentioned before in this podcast as well, my wife and I are opening retail stores health and wellness, restore, hyper wellness. We're going to be opening our first store this fall or early in the winter. That is part of the plan. That is part of the revenue stream, the income stream to get me retired by 55. I came up with a plan. I used somebody else's process and somebody else's system, invested in their franchise and now I'm opening my own. So the point of this is if you are struggling right now and as a reminder, let me bring it back. I've talked a lot in this episode. I want to bring it back to the main point, which was change. If you're going through change right now, don't worry, everybody goes through change. It is how we handle that change and how we take action towards a better future that will dictate your level of success. If you just go with the motion, if you just go with the flow, if you just update your LinkedIn, you put your open to work banner on LinkedIn and maybe you send out a couple posts hey, I need help You're going to get the scraps. But if you take action and you actively look for things to do, if you actively take control of your career, you're going to be shocked at how simple it is to find the next phase, to find the next opportunity and to move towards that end goal. Whatever you want in the next 10 years, I would say if you're in your 20s right now and you're not quite sure, just build out a 10-year track. If you're in your 30s, do the same. If you're 40s, do the same. Each one of your tracks should look different. Obviously, in your 20s, you're not thinking about retirement age In your 30s? Neither are you doing that, but you could possibly be talking about family planning. How does that look In your 40s? You do think about it. I do think about the fact that I am closer to 65, the traditional retirement age. I'm closer to 65 than I am the legal drinking age, so I'm 23 years post the legal drinking age. I'm only 21 years, or less than 21 years, away from the quote unquote retirement age. I don't feel as if I'm old, but I do prepare for it and I do think about that. Those things have to be in your mind. You can't just block them out like, oh, that's not going to happen. If you do, if you just float, you're going to be in your 50s and possibly your 60s and you won't have a solid plan. And I'll be thinking about you then. Hopefully that doesn't happen. Come up with a plan, figure out who you are. Figure out what your DNA is as a person, as a sales professional, as a human being all the above. What do you want to represent? What do you want to represent? Who are you? How do you want to conduct your business? How do you want people to respond when they talk to you, when you're around them. Are you a giver or are you just a taker? Do you believe in networking full time or do you just believe in networking when it's an opportunity for you? You have to ask yourself some really tough questions, but I know that if you do that, you're going to get some good, clear answers. And clarity is the key to life, it's the key to sales, it's the key to relationships. Think who you are, what you're trying to do, what you're about, why you're doing the things you're doing. You can figure that out. You're gonna be just fine and head of the game. If you wanna reach out to me and you want to talk through this, I'll do a free strategy session with you. Reach out to me on LinkedIn, linkedincom, slash in, slash, mic, dash, o-k-e-l-l-y. I'm gonna put all those up in the. We'll just do it right now, right there, all right. Linkedincom you can follow me on Instagram. Also YouTube, of course. Right now you're on MyCoKellicom. So if you want to just reach out to me, you can go to MyCoKellicom, slash connect, and or you can go to LinkedIn and shoot me a DM. Most people I'll tell you this, most people shoot me a DM on LinkedIn. It's the easiest thing to do. Just shoot me a DM. If you're not connected, let's connect and just send me a message, say, hey, I'd really like to have a conversation. I've done that with almost about a hundred sales professionals so far and I mean I enjoy doing it because I know I'm helping people. People come in lost and at least by the time we're done after a 30 minute call, they are. They have a little bit more clarity and they kind of understand now which direction to go, and it's really helped them. So I'd love to be able to do that with you. I'd love to build a stronger network, a little connection with people that are listening to the show. So reach out to me. Micah's arriving outside sales. I'm gonna ask you to download the episode. Please share it with like-minded individuals and kind of ask people hey, what are you? How are you preparing for the inevitable? What's your 10-year plan? Things like that. Take control over your career, but also understand that there are opportunities out there. So don't just jump at the first thing that's willing to offer you a base salary or a nice package, because when you do that you're gonna be possibly missing out on the right type of opportunity and we don't want that to happen. So thank you so much for listening. I really do appreciate it and we'll see you tomorrow surviving outside sales. Bye-bye.