Surviving Outside Sales

Mastering Q4 Sales and Embracing Professional Transitions | SOS Ep. 360

October 26, 2023 Mike O'Kelly Season 1 Episode 360
Surviving Outside Sales
Mastering Q4 Sales and Embracing Professional Transitions | SOS Ep. 360
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Strap in as I, Mike O'Kelly, take you on an exhilarating ride through my journey of surviving outside sales and mastering the Q4 sales period. Picture Q4 as the Super Bowl of sales - the stakes are high and the tension thicker. Drawing from my experience of setting up a brick and mortar business, I know the sweat and toil that's involved. But the real question is - are you equipped to seize the opportunity when your customers are ready to spend this Q4? Let's dive into the strategies that can help you leverage your resources and time to maximize this potential gold mine of a quarter.

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Speaker 1:

The Surviving Outside Sales podcast, hosted by Michael 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. It has been a minute since I've recorded a podcast episode and, as I mentioned last time on the last episode, that I was burning the candle to both ends and sometimes you have to do that in the sales world, in the business world, you have to do what it takes and you have to go all in and go after what you want to do. You have to clear out the noise, you have to get rid of your distractions. You have to clear the deck of some things that are not revenue generating, which I had several of them. They were fun projects but they were not revenue generating projects. But I still wanted to hop on here and give you some of my thoughts on a lot of things, but also really discuss Q4. We're coming to the end of October. Q4 is almost 33% done. Going back, I think a year ago I started talking about what Q4 really represents is kind of the playoffs of sales. The playoffs of sales is the playoffs of business, and it doesn't matter what type of sales, what type of business you are in, it is the playoffs, okay. So think of this as kind of like the divisional round, and then next month, november, is going to be the championship round, and then you've got your Super Bowl, you've got your World Series, you've got your championship game in December. But a lot of what you do today is going to dictate how you succeed in December. And it's really interesting. The last several weeks I've been burning the candle at both ends, trying to get the restore hyper wellness franchise off the ground and running, and there is a million things to do. It's a brick and mortar store. We're going to have wellness services. I've got several employees that I'm hiring. There's training, there is a lot of preparation. We're in pre sales right now, which is really exciting. It's really exciting. It's also very stressful. I'm not getting a chance to do as much pre selling as I thought I was going to do, because I'm working on the operation side and there's so much to do. I think at some point not in the near future At some point I'm probably going to help other people get into the franchising world, or if you want to open a brick and mortar building, I can tell you exactly how to do it. I'm going through it right now. I've done a lot and it has been very trying physically, mentally and emotionally. There has just been a million tasks to do and of course that's a joke, you know it's a euphemism. A million things to do, but it's a lot. Every day my to do list gets longer and I get six to seven things done a day and 10 things were added to my to do list, kind of like being in sales. We'll tell you this I used to think I was really busy. If you are an outside sales, I used to do that job. There is a level of busy as the business owner that you may or may not be able to comprehend. So whenever you say I am busy, just realize there are other people that are getting it done and they're much busier than you. They're being much more efficient with their time and they're leveraging everything that they have at their disposal, all the tools they have at their disposal to get at the job done. You need to do the same. You need to do the same. You need to be able to leverage your time and leverage your resources that you have into the best Q4 you can possibly have. I know you can do it. If you've been a listener to this show, if you've reached out to me or you've been one of my coaching students in the past, I know you can do it. I know you have the ability. That ability doesn't leave you during certain times of the year. You've prepared. Remember, you're always going to rise to your level of preparedness. So if you prepared for a tough environment in Q4, you're going to succeed. If you haven't prepared, if you don't know your stuff, if you don't have a game plan and you're just shooting from the hip, you may get lucky. You may back in to a couple of sales, but you're not going to be as successful as you want to be. You've got to plan, you've got to prepare, then you've got to execute. It is that simple. Remember your prospects. Want to spend money. This is the time of year where people want to spend money. I don't know if it's just the end of the year it's end of the fiscal year people have budgets or if it's just a simple fact of people are going to be spending a lot of money on Thanksgiving not as much, but they're going to be spending money. On Thanksgiving. You've got to buy all the food. People are going to be coming in, people are going to be traveling, so people are used to spending money. And then the fall, I believe, tends to be a lot of money being spent on sporting events. You've got concerts. It's a big, big wedding season, especially in North Carolina. Not many people get married in July and August Really hot. I don't know about other parts of the country, other parts of the world. July and August it's really hot. New Orleans started getting a lot of wedding invitations. It's for October, november, not really December, but it's kind of like March, april, may and then September or October and November. Those are kind of the wedding season. So people are used to spending money. Well, those same people are running businesses. Right now I'm going through. My credit card is getting so much whoop just hit the mic. My credit card is getting so much use. I'm afraid that the credit card stripe on the back is going to wear out. It is just. It's making my head spin when I go back and look at the business credit card statement and I see all the things that are on there and I think to myself. Oh my gosh, I have to do the literal thing that I hate to do the most, which is expense reports. I've always hated to do them. I know some of you feel me out there who are listening right now have to do expense reports. I hated doing expense reports. I hated it. I really did With a passion. I hated doing it. I don't know why. I just really hated doing expense reports on the kind of pairing and the ranking of things that I disliked doing. I disliked doing paperwork of any type. I think inventory was probably. I would rather do inventory above an expense report. I'd rather put call notes into a CRM above expense report. I would rather do that. That's how little I like doing expense reports. Of course, now, as a business owner, I have my credit card just flying around left and right. In fact, I've got two business credit cards just flying around left and right making purchases. Here's my point. The point is, business owners are spending a ton of cash this time of year. They're already in a habit Sales in motion tend to stay in motion. Right now I'm in buying season. You're going to catch me a lot easier to buy something for your company. What have you? If I'm in buying mode. If I'm not in major buying mode and let's say it's April it might be a tougher sale. I think that's one of the reasons why in Q4, obviously there's government incentives. If you're in the medical sales world that's where I came from You've got the 179 tax credit. A lot of doctors, a lot of offices, a lot of companies will take advantage of the 179 tax credit. Again, if you don't know what that is, you got to look it up. You got to ask your buyers if they are taking advantage of that. They're fully taking advantage of that. It is a massive, massive help to businesses. You got to find out budget. You got to find out a lot of things, but right now they're going to spend money. You want to be the thing that they spend the money on. It's the World Series Q4. Shoot. By the time some of you hear this, there might only be six weeks left. What I mean by that is the last episode was over three and a half weeks ago, the last new episode of the Surviving Outside Sales podcast. There were still 600 to 700 downloads a week, not even releasing any new episodes. Some of you might be listening to this for the first time in mid-Devember or even after Thanksgiving, you have even less time. But, no matter what, do not worry about time that's already gone. You have to look through the front windshield and not the rear view mirror. People that I've coached, people that I've talked to in the sales world, they like to look in the rear view mirror. The rear view mirror is just to analyze. It's not to dwell, it's not to focus on. It is to analyze. That's it. You look in the back. You look in the rear view mirror to analyze your performance, what you did, how prepared you in your process. Everything should be through the front windshield. You should be moving forward. You should be moving forward, going after what you want. Everybody has a level of success that's available to them. You just have to go out there and earn it. It's there. You have to earn it. It's not going to be handed to you. You have to earn it. That is really the difference between those that perform and those that don't. Are you willing to put in the work, are you willing to go after what you want? Are you willing to invest in yourself and do what you have to do? That is how you're going to get success in Q4. It's not about spewing features and benefits. When I was working with one of my clients, I randomly came across something from my camera roll from a couple of years ago, when I was still in the field. It was my 50 focus, my focus 50. 50 accounts in three tiers, 50 accounts that I was going to focus on, my focus 50. I suggest right now, if you haven't created that focus 50 list, you do it right now. You should not be calling on every single person that you know or you can possibly call on in Q4. You have to have a strategic plan on who you're going after. That focus 50 will allow you to clear the noise, clear the distraction, be as efficient as possible and focus on the people you believe are going to close this quarter. That's great. If you're trying to prospect for Q1. Yes, you've got to make sales in Q1, but your focus should be closing at the end of the year when people are going to be buying. I want you to think of this analogy about fishing. You wouldn't go into a pond and try to cast a bunch of reels, or cast your reel a bunch of times in the water if the fish weren't biting. If you look over and you see another boat that's 100 yards away and it looks like the fish are biting over there. You're going to go join them. That area where the fish is biting, you're in there right now. You're there. You don't need to search, you don't need to analyze, you are there. It's Q4. They are biting. You need to find the people they're going to buy from you. You need to focus on them, prioritize them and have a reason. Don't just say, well, my company said this, analyze why. How can you solve a problem that they have right now? How can you create an offer that is so good they would feel stupid or foolish not to take you up on it. That is what you should be focusing on. I want to thank everybody who's been listening. I want to thank everybody who's the new listeners as well. I have not posted anything on LinkedIn. I probably won't post anything on LinkedIn for a while. My bandwidth is still really low. I just really wanted to come on here today and give you my thoughts about Q4, a couple of reminders. Just, people are downloading episodes. It's crazy getting almost 700 downloads in a week and I haven't released a new episode in almost a month. It's wild. I want to thank everybody who's been listening. I really do appreciate that and I'm going to try to at least do once a week. I still don't know what's going to happen with the Surviving Outside Sales podcast, but I am not going to let this die. I still have a passion for helping people in the outside sales world do better, learn more and live out their dreams In this great game we call sales. Thank you so much. If you want to, you can connect with me on LinkedIn. I'm not posting on LinkedIn, but I still have people to DM me. I still have people that I work with. I still have clients that I'm working with and right now I'm just trying to figure out what the new normal is going to be for me professionally, moving forward now that the franchise is up and running. I mean we're four to five weeks from it opening, so I don't know if that's going to open up another huge can of worms where, once we're open, it's a seven day a week operation, if all of a sudden it's going to be too much for me. But I can come on here for 15, 20 minutes and talk about sales and I love doing it. I really enjoy what I do and I really enjoy the podcast. I hope you've enjoyed listening. The goal is going to be to get to at least 500 episodes and the pace is going to slow down, but that's the goal. Right now I think we're episode 380 something. So thank you so much Again. Find me on LinkedIn and follow me, dm me if you have any questions and we'll see you next time. On surviving outside sales, cheers.

Maximizing Success in Q4 Sales
Navigating Professional Transition and Podcast Goals