Surviving Outside Sales

Journey through a Sales Career: Mike O'Kelly's Insightful Strategies | SOS Ep. 350

September 11, 2023 Mike O'Kelly Season 1 Episode 350
Surviving Outside Sales
Journey through a Sales Career: Mike O'Kelly's Insightful Strategies | SOS Ep. 350
Surviving Outside Sales +
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you sick and tired of being stuck in the same old sales routine? 
Craving a winning strategy that will supercharge your sales career? Well, buckle up, because in the latest episode of Surviving Outside Sales, yours truly, Mike O’Kelly, is ready to impart some serious wisdom. I’ll be walking you through the three pivotal phases of a sales professional's career: breaking into the industry, conquering the market, and most importantly, crafting a strategic exit. I'll give you a sneak peek into my group coaching course, packed with tools and resources to help you land that first job and make a name for yourself in the challenging world of sales.

Support the show

To connect with the show: Subscribe, Download & Share!

Would appreciate a 5-Star Rating if deserved on Spotify & Apple Podcasts!!!

Connect with Mike:
Mike O'Kelly
LinkedIn: Mike O'Kelly | LinkedIn
IG: Mike O'Kelly - Sales Builder
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,

Check out the blueprint at
Want to start a side hustle? Make an extra $2-$10K/month

Join my team selling coffee & wine HERE.
Where are...

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 live. I'm your host, mike O'Kelly. Today is the first time I've ever done this a live podcast episode. Now I know if you're listening to this later through Spotify or Apple. This can be released in 10 days from when it's actually shot, on Thursday, august 24th. I know that you're not going to get as excited as you might be, but this is live so I can take questions from the audience. So there are people watching right now on LinkedIn live from the business of sales webinar series so people can ask me questions if they have any, and we're going to get started. So, if you're new to the Surviving Outside Sales world, if you've been listening for a while, you know there's three tenets, there's three legs of the stool that I talk about, and that is every single sales professional, no matter who you are. There's always three phases of your career. The first is going to be getting in. You've got to get that first job. You've got to get that first opportunity in that industry and you have to start your career somewhere. And as you navigate your way through, you have to dominate. Why? Because sales organizations really do not pay people who don't perform. It's kind of the little, it's the only catch 22 in the sales world. You don't perform, you're out of a job. And then once you dominate and you can learn as much as you can, you can be as good in your craft as possible. Every single sales professional has to have a plan to get out. Now, getting out is a lot of things to a lot of people. Getting out could be getting into a new role in management, so you're getting out of the field. You could become a trainer. You could leave the industry together. You could go start a business. You could start a coaching business. You could get into something completely different. So getting out means a lot of things to different people. But no matter who you are I don't care if you're 25 years old or you're 65 years old you can't be in the sales business forever unless you own your own business. You can't. At some point you have to get out as you age, as my dad said when he got close to 60 years old he said. I know that my days are numbered because there's not a lot of people out there that wish to hire a 60-some-year-old person for a sales role. He told me outside sales is a young person's game. There's a physicality to it where you need to be young, you need to be able to hop in and out of cars, you need to be on your feet all day, and there is a physical nature to it. Trust me, I'm in my mid-40s now and I started feeling it in my late 30s, having done it for so long, so I get it. So I created and started my Getting Out Plan a decade ago and it took me six to seven years to start to put the things in motion. But I started working on my plan well before I even got out, and I recommend you do as well, especially with the current market. There are sales organizations that are being gutted left and right. I mean you name some of the big names Pfizer Abbey, even smaller ones. They're just letting people go. Bristol-meyer, squibb, I think, had a big layoff. All these organizations are laying people off. What is your backup plan? I hate when I see the posts on LinkedIn about needing a job and needing an opportunity. In my view, you need to pick yourself up, get off the mat. Like I said, get up from that loss and get going again and then create your plan. Get back on your feet and then create a plan to never allow that happened again. Happens once, shame on you. Happens twice, shame on me. Okay. So if you're listening right now and you've gone through restructurings and you've gone through reorgs and you've lost your job the first time, it happens yes, it's unexpected, it's like a knockout punch that comes from out of nowhere. It happens a second time. You should have been prepared. Are you preparing and what is your plan? I'm going to roll back to the getting in part. So if you're listening right now and you're wanting to get into sales, I have a group coaching course that meets once a month. In fact, we're going to have our first meeting at 1.30 this afternoon and talk about getting in, how to find the right role, get your resume ready, linkedin excuse me get your LinkedIn profile, et cetera. If you are interested in that information, dm me after we're done here. If not, you can go to my website. It is sales entry plan. That is mycokellycom m-i-k-e-o-k-e-l-l-ycom slash sales entry plan, and you can get more information about that and that is a resource for those looking to get into the sales world, looking to get their first job, looking to get into that industry and they just don't know what to do and they need more specificity. And once you're getting in, the first thing you have to do is you got to get that role, you got to get that experience, and then I would bust your tail, do everything you can Study at nights, at night, read sales books. I'm going to be creating resource that has the top books that I recommend, that I have read, that have really helped me throughout my career, so that you can kind of have a cheat sheet or guide on what to do but start consuming information. Don't just say I'm going to listen to Mike okay, you need to say I'm going to listen to Mike and I'm going to go listen to guys like Alex Tremosi, grant Cardone, you know, tony Robbins when it comes to mindset. I'm going to listen to all. I'm going to go read all of these different books. I mean, one of the best books in sales that I've written or not written that I've read is Daniel Pink to Sell as Human. In other words, everything we do in a day is sales Point being. I'm going to have a lot more resources on my website. Right now, my bandwidth is very tight. August has been one of the craziest months of my life. I'm hoping September will give me a little bit more time to do creation, which I love to do. I love to create. I love to create courses, pathways, processes, digital products. I love to do that and so I'm going to have as many resources as possible there All right. Now, getting into the dominate part Now that you've got the job, you're going to have to scale your business, okay, and there are ways to do it and there's ways not to do it. A couple of days ago in LinkedIn, I talked about the sniper approach, or the sniper method. You don't want to use the shotgun or the spray and pray. You don't just want to start shooting everywhere and blindly and hoping you hit a target. You want to focus on your target with precision. That comes with planning and that comes with education and it comes with expertise, and there's a certain way to do that. I also, I'm going to be building out courses specifically to that dominate group. And then, of course, I mentioned before the, the getting out portion, which is the escape. Okay, I call it the sales escape plan and I help sales professionals build their plan to get out of sales, to escape what they're doing or to get into something much better. But all of those three phases and the surviving outside sales world are going to happen to everyone and it doesn't matter. The first thing is having a growth mindset. It doesn't matter what phase you are in getting in, dominating or getting out. You have to have a growth mindset. You have to be a sponge. Assume you don't assume you know nothing. Treat every conversation you have with somebody in sales as if you believe that person knows everything. Hang on every word. Network like crazy. Meet as many people in the sales world as possible and put yourself out there, open and available to meet other people. One of the mistakes that I had for a few years was I really closed myself off. This was almost my year, 30 year old to like 33. There was about a three year period where I really closed people off. I woke up, I worked my tail off, I had blinders on, I had that tunnel vision and I just worked, worked, worked, worked for about three years and I was successful. But other people were getting promoted. Other people were growing faster than I was and I didn't understand it. It's because I was not leveraging my network. I was not leveraging any of the resources or opportunities that were open to me because I didn't see them. I wasn't allowing myself to see them. I had a limiting mindset. Although I was working really hard, it was very limiting and it was very closed off. Open yourself up, form partnerships, get to know people, invest in yourself, find a mentor, or two or three. I have several mentors, I don't just have one. Again, it's about getting different influences. Two people could say the exact same thing and one person it might sink in the way they said it, the phrasing they use, the tone of voice. So don't just listen to my voice. I'm the complete opposite of a very pushy sales coach. I tell you, hey, I'd love to work with you, but then hire somebody else, work with more people. Don't just work with one person and think, all right, cool, I'm good for the next five, 10 years. Constantly invest in yourself. You're going to have to elevate your skill set every single year that you did the previous year and the previous year and the previous year. It's never been easier, because with technology, we can now reach out to more people than ever before. In fact, one of my sales coaching groups they're based in South Africa. One of the guys I talked to, he's based in the Philippines. That could never. That wasn't even on my radar three years ago. That's the kind of opportunity you have to be open for, you have to be willing to invest in, because, in order to dominate, just showing up is not going to be enough. Sales is like being a professional athlete. Professional athletes, they work on their diet, they train in the off season, they get adequate sleep, they work on their nutrition. I might have already mentioned that. They work on their body, they practice and then they get into the game. The game for us in the sales world is the actual sales calls. What are you doing currently that separates yourself, that elevates your game right now? What are you doing on your own time? Do you get home from work? Do you put on Netflix and you watch TV for four hours and you binge? Look, if you need to decompress on one or two nights, I get it, but if that is your overall mentality, you are really robbing yourself. Trust me, I did this for about three years. This is like. There's like a gap in my sales career, which I call it the lost years. I would get up early, I would work late, I would get home, I would crash. I would have a couple drinks, I'd watch TV until I was so tired that my eyes just closed. I'd wake up and I would do it again. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. I was working in my business way too hard. I wasn't working on my business. There was no future planning. It was all about short-term effort. If I went out that day and I made 15 sales calls, that's the only effort I got out of. It was those 15 sales calls. I didn't build relationships strong enough with my market. I did not build enough goodwill with the people that I was working with. I didn't build any super close relationships. It was all transactional and that's not going to get you anywhere. Transactional relationships are great. The deal is done, see you later. Nobody cares. That's not going to get you to where you want to go. You want to build advocates. You want to build advocates people that are wanting to sell for you. They're vested in your success. There's a way to get there. That is one of the courses that I'm going to be building out. It's the sales advocacy method and I'm going to call it the sales advocate builder how to build advocates that will sell for you, because the goal in sales is not one to one, not one person, having a conversation with one person. Those days are over. Your competition is not doing one to one, it's one to many. So if you're out in the field and you are having a conversation with one person, you need to build a network of people that are talking about you to other prospects, simultaneously garnering business. When you're not there. Some of the most important decisions of your life, some of the most important interactions you're ever going to have, some of the most important things that people are going to say about you they happen when you are not in the room. How do you get the best foot forward? You have people in those decision making rooms that are selling you Because, at the end of the day, people do not buy the best products 90% of the time. 10% of the time. Yes, I know I don't. I never buy the best product. I buy the product and I buy the person attached to it. That, I believe, is going to create a better future state than I currently have today. I don't care if you're the industry leader. I don't care if you've been doing it 100 years, I don't care. And I'm here to tell you that when I've gotten coaching students, when I've gotten companies that want to consult with me, they've never asked me how long have you been doing this? They don't care. They believe that I will help guide them to a better future state, because that's all I talk about. Nobody has ever asked me how long have you been coaching, how long have you been a corporate consultant? Nobody, not one, because it doesn't matter. So if you're walking in and you're talking about we're number one in the industry and we're blah blah, nobody gives a shit. Okay, excuse my language, I know this one over LinkedIn. I'm probably getting in trouble for that. I can say that on my podcast, but I don't know if I can on LinkedIn. Oops, hey, this is what happens when it's live, it's raw and it's real. By the way, one of the things of my podcast is I don't have a script. There's zero script. I have a topic and then I'm just pulling things from the back of my mind. Two years ago, when my podcast started, that was really difficult. That was really difficult to just create stories or create topics just out of thin air, but I've been doing this. This will be probably in the episode three forties, maybe three, 50 by the time this comes out. I've been doing this a while. This has allowed me to get better at what I'm doing right here. It's allowing me to get better on camera, which I will tell you is very difficult, but I will tell you this too. One of the reasons again going back to building your own podcast or being better as a virtual sales professional my face-to-face human interactions are strengthened because of how much better I've gotten on camera. When I first started, I was horrendous. If we're scaling on one to 10, I think I'm probably about a seven right now. I think I can even get better. I was like a two, maybe a one and a half when I first started. In fact I'm trying to pull up. They're in the cloud and I'm having difficulty downloading them but my first zooms when I was doing the podcast were laughable, absolutely laughable. It's very cringe-worthy when I look at it. Point being, you got to again going back to the beginning. You've got to go all in. You can't half-ass this. Okay, no-transcript. If you want to go all in, let's have a conversation. I might be able to help you. I might not, but it's worth the conversation. I'm willing to give you 30 minutes of my time and if you're willing to give me 30 minutes of your time, let's see if we can put you in a better future state. Because if you're working for a company right now and you haven't gotten any business training, of course they teach features and benefits, but I'll tell you this just getting better at knowing features and benefits is not going to close business and you really want to dominate. Seth, I appreciate you being here in Nashville, tennessee. Hope you're still watching the three phases of sales Doesn't matter where you are. You can always get better. Whether you want to get in, then once you're in, you need to dominate. You need to come up with a plan to dominate and then, when you're dominating, you need to plan your exit strategy. You can't carry a bag and promote products out in the field forever. It's going to come to some people earlier and it's going to come to some people later. I played minor league baseball for two years. One of my roommates in college, he played in the big leagues for seven seasons. My baseball career ended at 24. His baseball career ended at, I think, 35. Just like baseball the sales world, the outside sales world. Your end date is going to be completely different from somebody else's, so it's time to take action. What are you going to do today to make sure you are prepared so that, if your company ever says we got to let you all go, are you going to be able to build the life that you want? I want to thank everybody. Thank you so much. This was actually kind of fun to have some live feedback during the podcast. Let me know if anybody has questions. I will take a few questions for a few minutes. There is a little bit of a lag from StreamYard to LinkedIn of about 30 seconds, so I will give it a couple minutes. You can go to mikeokellycom. I've got resources there. I'm building out new things on the website every day and I'm a one man solopreneur, so I'm spending about 15 different plates. If you'd like to go check out, this is a cheap plug. If you'd like to go check out the store, mikeokellycom, slash merch you can see some great products here. Oh, that way, yeah, mugs, beer, steins, tumblers If you're interested in one of those, help support the show Would absolutely appreciate that. All right, no questions right now. So I am going to wrap this up. I want to thank everybody who's listening again. If you got any value out of this, please go to Apple or go to Spotify and rate the show five stars. It really helps with the algorithm, it helps expand this to other audiences and it helps the search. There might be somebody out there that's looking for the Surviving Outside Sales podcast. They've been searching for it but they didn't know how to find it. You could help them do that, and the higher the ratings, the more ratings that there are, the more five star ratings, the more it's going to get exposed to other people. So thank you so much. I really do appreciate it. I hope everybody has a fantastic day and we'll see you next time. Surviving Outside Sales and the business of Sales Live every Thursday on LinkedIn at noon. Eastern Cheers.

Surviving Outside Sales Phases and Strategies
Building Relationships and Leveraging Sales Opportunities