Wed, 27 November 2019
This entry is the sixth episode of the Accidental Seller series. A lot of people didn’t grow up with dreams of getting into professional selling. In the United States alone, there are about 4.14 million people who are in sales. Joseph Storer is one of them.
Growing up, Joseph Storer wasn’t sure of what his career would look like. He was a lazy student in high school but he had a passion for playing baseball. Joseph thought he’d end up working with cars as an electrician, just like his father.
In his freshman year in college, he discovered his interest in business and working with people. His first experience in business was right after he went on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Going into the mission field was a difficult decision because he had a student permit that was valid for six years. He was sent to Brazil, learned a foreign language, and lived in a big city. Joseph discovered a whole other world filled with great people and exciting experiences. The mission taught him to have structure and order in his life.
Coming home, Joseph went back to college for accounting and finance. During the summer, he was able to get a union card and went to work building two dams in Idaho. The pay was very good so he decided to put a halt to his college and continued to work on the dam.
He was then given another assignment as an aid to an engineer for a new project. While working in Rexburg, Idaho, he met a lady who became his wife. Joseph got married and didn’t go back to school. They moved to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia where Joseph started his waterbed business. Sadly, the business went down six months after launch and that became the catalyst for starting his professional sales career.
His friend saw his potential in the world of B2B selling. This, along with having a neighbor who was in manufacturing sales, made him interested in selling for manufacturers.
Challenges in being a true sales professional
The biggest challenge when he started was the wage. He was working in construction and was earning well. He then transitioned to sales where he was earning $1,200 a month, as well as a commission-based income. He wondered if he could make ends meet but at that time, there was no choice.
Maria, his wife, was very supportive and she believed that sales was something that Joseph could do. His boss trained him and taught him basic selling skills. Joseph was given a list of all the hospitals and clinics in the area and was told to set a goal to make at least three face-to-face calls every day.
He took the lessons to heart and ended up making more than three face-to-face calls a day. Even when he was done for the day, he tried to do one more. At the end of his first year in sales, he was in the top 10% of salespeople in the company. He started his sales career being “consciously unconscious” but through time, he learned to sell and became very efficient in sharing the product line and distinguishing his company from the competition.
Effectiveness in sales
A lot of his success was due to putting in the face time with people and being available to meet their needs. Joseph took great care with this aspect of sales.
For example, he worked with a hospital in Washington that needed a suction system. The people there said they had very poor suction. Joseph assured them with his products, their suction would get better. They purchased the device but then, Joseph went arrived with a bucket of peroxide, rubber gloves, and did the installation. The next morning, everyone in the operating room was amazed by the volume of blood the suction was able to get. The results weren’t just due to the product but also because of Joseph’s extra steps to make the product work better.
At 67 years old, he is now in the latter years of his sales career but still, Joseph feels like he is just starting again. He is in a new company and there is technology he doesn’t understand. Joseph is learning and back to the same reliable process, he used in 1977 - getting on the phone, making calls every day, talking to people, getting in front of them, and learning the ropes.
In Sales, the more you learn the process, the more effective you become.
The very principles that started his career back then are the same that are driving him today.
Joseph loves the medical industry because he knows that he is helping to save lives. He's making a difference. This is especially evident when he visits third-world countries. It’s not just about6 the money. At the end of the day, he is helping people and for Joseph, that’s what matters.
Joseph loved learning and learned many languages. This helped him talk to more people and advance his career.
His boss once saw him speaking Portuguese. It opened up the opportunity for him to lead a Latin American division of his company called Spacelabs based in Dallas, Texas. Joseph did well. He was also called to go to Macau to take care of a $7 million deal. He arrived with his translator but during the presentations, he realized most of the people in the room were Portuguese. The translator sat down and Joseph did all the talking. It didn’t take long until he closed the $7 million deal.
Joseph is always ready and when an opportunity presents itself, he adjusts accordingly.
When you’re prepared, you can always turn an accident into a success. #SalesTips
As a salesperson, it is important to love what you do so you won’t have to work a day in your life.
“The Accidental Seller” episode resources
Joseph Storer has a training class called The 1,2,3s of Selling. It’s based on the principle of doing three things and then doing it over again.
He also has a program called the Power of One which talks about how much success you can have when you make one more call.
This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077.
This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast.
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