Surviving Outside Sales

Revitalizing Stagnant Sales: Prospecting Strategies and Celebrating Achievements | SOS Ep. 356

September 20, 2023 Mike O'Kelly Season 1 Episode 356
Surviving Outside Sales
Revitalizing Stagnant Sales: Prospecting Strategies and Celebrating Achievements | SOS Ep. 356
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Are your sales stagnating, or worse, flatlining? What if you could revive your sales by attracting at least 10% new customers every month? Brace yourself for an enthralling episode of Surviving Outside Sales where we reveal game-changing strategies for prospecting and market canvassing. We're spilling the beans on how to be an exemplary prospector, reducing stress about individual deals, and keeping your growth on an upward trajectory. 

But that's not all. This episode offers practical advice on how to make your presence felt in your market rather than just broadcasting your message. Learn how to fine-tune your prospecting techniques using powerful tools like Google and other search engines. Also, we introduce you to Rhythm AI's prospecting tool, available to you for a free 14-day trial. Lastly, as we relish breaking our July download records, we share insights on the importance of setting goals and celebrating achievements. Grab your headphones and gear up for a power-packed episode, promising practical insights and actionable strategies to transform your sales journey!

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to Surviving Outside Sales Podcast. 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 Surviving Outside Sales podcast. I'm your host, mike O'Kelly. I want to thank everybody who has reached out to me in regards to my father and the episodes from last week. If you're new to the podcast, this is the first time you're listening. My father, who is in sales for almost 40 years, 30 plus of that in the medical sales world passed away over a week ago and so last week was processing it, and if anybody has had any death in the family, they completely understand what I've gone through and what my family is going through right now. But my father was a perpetual professional and he believed the best way for me to honor him is to get back to work, as he used to say. The show must go on. So thank you to everybody and the show will go on, and the best way that I can honor my father is to do the best shows that I possibly can, and I can be the best father, the best husband, the best sales advocate that I can be and teach the next generation of sales professionals, and that is exactly what I'm going to do. So I did a lot of thinking and I did a lot of I don't know, retrospect is the right word but I thought about okay, what is the podcast and what am I doing? And so I looked at metrics and previous episodes and it looks like July is going to set an all time record for downloads, which is great. But as far as doing five days a week, I thought how do I want to structure the show and how can the audience get the most out of it? Because it's all about the audience. It's all about you listening right now. It's not about me. This is not the glorification of Michael Kelly. Okay, this is about the audience and people will listen if it's entertaining and people will listen if they're getting information out of it and if I'm not providing any value, it's not just lip service from some guy who used to be in sales and people may or may not know who they are in a personal level. So I really want this to be something that stands out from other podcasts and I think other podcasts right now. The audiences. They like salaciousness, they like the mystery. I mean, I think number one outside of Joe Rogan, I think some of the number one podcasts are murder mysteries and who done it and things like that, like disappearances, which I think is actually pretty remarkable, that that is kind of what's leading the podcasting world. But in our little corner of the world, our little pocket of the world in outside sales, there's not a lot of outside sales podcasts out there, but and it's a very small niche, and that's okay, because I'm not focused on trying to have the number one sales podcast. That'd be great, but I'm not focused on that. What I'm trying to do is bring actionable topics to the outside sales world. And so I started thinking and I started breaking down some of the challenges of an outside sales rep, being an outside sales professional, and I'm going to start tackling the biggest things that I know. And so the topic today is going to be prospecting. Okay, it is the topic that I know a lot of people dislike prospecting. But if you're not bringing people into your business, if you're not recruiting more people, if you're not gaining, you're losing. There is no such thing as maintenance. Okay, your numbers might look the same month to month. If you're not growing, if you flatlined or you plateaued, your numbers look like they're staying the same, but they're not Because you're having a churn. You're having some of your customers, some of your users are leaving and you're getting new people. So what appears to be everything looks great, you actually have some decay. So that's why, if you are not growing, if you're not exponentially moving the needle, if you're not pushing the ball down the field, then you are going to struggle in the long term because there's that internal rot, internal decay of your business that you can or cannot perfectly see. So prospecting is vital. So I always go back to this one statistic that I remember from the restaurant industry, the service industry, and that is every month you need to have at least 10% new customers. Every month you have to have 10% new customers. So you're basically gonna be having 100% or almost all your turnover in 10 months. In theory. I know that there's people that will never leave People like brands, and they will stick with it through thick and thin. But in theory, and a lot of times, what you have to do is you have to practice theory when it comes to building your business. So you create the theory first. Then you go out and you make it actionable and you see if those two things match up. You can have a great theory. You could theorize a lot of things about the sales world, about your business, about gaining customers, but if you are not going out in the field and testing your hypothesis, your theory, what have you? If you're not testing it and it's not accurate, it's not gonna work. So you have to theorize what you were doing. Then you have to go out and you have to do it. So prospecting all right, I am a ferocious prospector From the standpoint is, I'm always reaching out to new people, I'm always willing to have conversations, I'm always looking for more people. And what happens is, when you are an excellent prospector, when you have got prospects and you have got a lot of people in the pipeline, what happens is you don't necessarily stress out a lot about those individual deals. So I'll give you an example. Let's say you've only got two prospects, okay, and those two prospects they're kinda interested, they're on the fence. If that's all you got, you're gonna stress out about that and you're gonna put pressure on that natural buying journey because there's only two of them. However, let's say that you have two, those same two prospects, but you've got 25 people in your pipeline. You have so much going on to distract you, to keep you busy. You're not focused on those deals, you're focused on your process. You're focused on allowing the process to take place. You're not trying to muscle the deals done. You're not trying to squeeze the deals done. So the first rule of prospecting is bring as many people in from your ideal customer profile, your ICP, as possible and continue to prospect. No matter how many deals you have, no matter how busy you get, no matter how much business you have, there's always room to prospect, okay, because you are going to have customers or clients that are just going to fall off. They're not gonna need you anymore, they're not gonna need your service. So you have to continue moving forward and you have to continue aggressively going after it. You have to be fanatical, you have to be unrelenting. As a prospector, I have to give props to my buddy, brandon Millette. Brandon was on the show back in, oh, between February and April I can't remember the month, but Brandon was a good buddy of mine that we've worked together in the past and he is now a top realtor in the city of Charlotte and this guy is a fanatical prospector. It's unbelievable, in fact, it's so funny. I was at a kid's birthday party yesterday and we're at a public park and Brandon's business card is up on the message board. No other business cards are there, but it's the public parks message board and Brandon's business card is stuck in the little corner and I thought it was amazing. Brandon was not there at that party, by the way, so the fact that his card was there was just hilarious, because he is everywhere. And that's what you need to think about when you are in your market. You need to have the image, you need to have the reality, and other people need to think that you are everywhere. You are canvassing your market. Okay, so the first step is finding out who you're going after, but then the second step is canvassing your area, not with your message, but with your presence. I'm not a big spout your message off everywhere, but people need to know who you are and they need to know what you do. Now I don't wanna be a hypocrite. I need to do a better job of canvassing my market, and so I've had a little chance to recalibrate and I've had a little chance to get a spark and a little fire in my butt because my father is passing. I had a lot of time to be able to break up the inertia of everything that I was doing. I worked less hours than I normally do. I was over at my parents house a lot and it gave me a lot of chance to think about what I was doing and the direction that I'm taking, the various businesses that I'm building, and that has allowed me to give a very honest look at what I've done, and I'm more critical of myself than others are going to be, or even the market is going to be Okay, and so you can be honest with yourself, and if you're listening right now, I want you to be honest with yourself how good are you as a prospector? Are you actively looking to bring more people into your world who may or may not know you at this time? If the answer is no, you need to start doing that immediately and you need to figure out how you can do that as well. You need to look at your day, examine your day, examine what your messaging is, and then examine the processes that you go out. I mean, if you're out in the field, you are meeting people dozens of new people a day, maybe hundreds of people a day. What are you doing during those interactions? I'm screaming from the mountaintops what I do. I don't have a lot of face-to-face interactions during the day anymore. A lot of it's done by Zoom. A lot of it's done by social media. What I'm doing behind the scenes is I am ferociously creating content that I can put out there to the market. Again, I'm trying to canvas the market with me, michael Kelly and what I have to offer and who I can help. Just with the podcast alone, I probably get about a dozen people every couple weeks that reach out to me and they want to have conversations. Well, to me that's not enough. I want to have at least 50 to 100 people that reach out to me. That's what I need to do. I need to up the ante Prospecting. The key thing to do with prospecting is, first of all, if you're out there in the field and you're driving around, you understand the keywords. Think about keywords. When I was in dermatology sales for a really long time, I would like to look at keywords skin, dermatology, medical, anything that had to revolve, those words that sounded like hey, I'm a dermatologist, I'm a skin center, anything that was like med spa, something like that, anything that dealt with the skin. I tried to have my eyes open, because not everything is going to appear on a Google search. We think that Google is the end all be all. Google will show you about 90 to 95% of your opportunity. There's 5% to 10% of opportunity that may not be exposed through Google. A lot of times there might be some lag in Google as well, because not every business does a perfect job of advertising online. I know it's changed. I know it's 2023. I've been out in the field in three years, but there was still in 2020, there were dermatology medical offices that did not have web pages. They did not have a website, which shocked me, absolutely shocked me. But there are still going to be some old school people who just don't have a website. If you're just simply relying on A, a list your company gave you, or B, just Googling things, you're going to miss out on a small portion, but that small portion could be your leg up on the competition. That could be the difference between you hitting quota and not hitting quota. So, number one keep your eyes open when you're driving around. Again, stop focusing on listening to music and all the other BS. Listen to podcasts, preferably the surviving outside sales podcast in every episode. Other than that, listen to podcasts that make you smarter, that make you better and push you to strive for something bigger than yourself. Other than that, you should be role playing, or you should be talking to team members or a coach or somebody that will help you during the day with your business. That's all you should be doing in the car period and but while you're driving you're in a stoplight. Look around. When you see medical offices, you see offices with law firms, you see banking centers, whatever you sell, there's always little clusters. If you've noticed this I was in the medical field for a really long time there's always medical offices usually stick together, and so when you're in one of these offices, go to the board at the front and see what other clinics are in there. Don't just go to your clinic. Ask the person there hey, what else is in this building? Do you know of any dermatologists? Do you refer out? Have you heard of anybody? They're asking questions, but always just realize there are businesses and there is opportunity moving into your market daily. So you gotta try to open up your eyes. You also wanna continually do searches. I would do a search at least once a week. So Google is still a great resource and, by the way, we have a fantastic prospecting tool on Rhythm AI. If you wanna try it out for free, you can Go to RhythmAIcom. Try it for free 14 days. There's a prospecting tool. It does tie through Google but, like I said, 90 to 95% of businesses are on Google, so it's gonna give you a great opportunity of businesses that have opened, have websites that you may not have searched, but check weekly. I used to always check weekly, usually on a Thursday or Friday when I was preparing for my following week. Check Google and see if any new clinics have opened up. Search social media and see what pops up. Check some of your competitors social media, yes, stalk your competitors. See what they're posting. See if there's any link to other clients or businesses you may not have known of. Start searching organizations. Seek out the organizations that your prospect could be a part of. See if they have any notifications. You're out there in the field every single day. Utilize technology to ramp up your ability to find new people. Start asking questions. If you don't ask questions and you're not actively searching, you're not going to be able to prospect. You're only going to think of that limited subset of people that you currently know about. But I'm here to tell you and I'm screaming from the mountain tops there are more people out there than you realize. If you're in territory sales, you are limited by the territory you live in. But there are still businesses that are opening left and right. That's the one thing we do not have a shortage of in this country, which is great. We don't have a shortage of businesses. They're opening left and right. I'm opening another one in Rock Hill in the next several months for store hyper wellness. I know I'm going to get bombarded with people trying to come in and sell me stuff. I might buy some stuff, who knows. Point being, prospecting is the lifeblood of the future success of your business. Prospecting is not the present success, it's the future success. So everybody wants to have a great future in sales, everybody wants to crush it and everybody wants to live the life that they want through sales. You've got to become a great prospector and you have to build it into your daily process. You have to prospect every single day period and if you are not, eventually you're gonna fall behind. Thank you so much. I really do appreciate it. I had mentioned that I was gonna be building out Sales Escape Plan by August 1st. That is gonna be delayed. I apologize. I'm not using my dad's passing as an excuse, but I did lose about three weeks in July, so I'm gonna try to have that out. I've had several people reach out to me on LinkedIn to request information about it. If you're interested in Sales Escape Plan, as a reminder, it's for those individuals who need help navigating their career. Perhaps you're stuck in what you're doing, you are looking for something different or better and you wanna know what some options are, or you just wanna have somebody guide you and coach you through navigating some type of change in your career or setting your goals for the future. If that sounds like you, then just DM me on LinkedIn and ask about Sales Escape Plan and I will shoot over information that I have and then that's gonna be released. But I am gonna be putting out a preview on my website, hopefully by the end of this week. It's gonna be Sales Escape Plan preview. It's gonna have a video. It's gonna run through Everything that you're gonna get in the course. There's gonna be three different levels of. There's an online course. There's going to be a done with you where I sit down and I help you do your plans and then there's gonna be a done for you. Or as if you want me to take all the information you have and then come up with a plan for you, I can do that as well. So people have been inquiring about all different types. So reach out to me on LinkedIn and if we're not connected and you're listening to the show, please just reach out to me and say, hey, I listened to the show. I'd love to connect. I'd love to get more ideas and tips. I have daily sales tips. I'll be posting every single day of the week, seven days a week. I have reinstituted my process and putting content out so you can use LinkedIn as a great source. But thank you so much, everybody who's been listening, I really do appreciate. July was a incredible, incredible, incredible month. It broke the record for most downloads on the Surviving Outsides Sales podcast. So I like breaking records and you know that's what we try to strive every day. Every day, I try to strive to get better and so thank you so much. I really do appreciate that. Please share this download and share with the like mind individual and talk about your prospecting, talk about your process and get a little bit better with each and every single day. Thank you so much. I do appreciate it. I hope everybody has a fantastic rest of your day. This has been Surviving Outsides Sales. We'll see you tomorrow, bye, bye.

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