Fireside Friday with Joe Flanagan
Sales Assembly: What's your current role and what does your company do?
Joe: Chairman & CEO/Outsource Sales; We recruit, train, and manage our clients inside sales team.
Sales Assembly: Give us your quick background in sales:
Joe: I started my career at Aon in a Sales Management training program. I left to start an Independent Insurance Brokerage Firm at the age of 27 with just a phone, and grew it into one of the top 25 firms in Chicago. I sold the firm nine years later and was involved in putting the acquiring firm on the New York Stock Exchange. After I left the insurance business, I "acquired" Acquirent (3 employees) 1 year later and have grown that into a 3-time Inc. 5000 company.
Sales Assembly: What's your biggest accomplishment in sales or sales leadership?
Joe: I hope people would say I have been an effective sales teacher and coach. Acquirent is a great training organization and has launched many great sales careers.
Sales Assembly: What's the best piece of sales advice you ever got?
Joe: I love this Winston Churchill quote: "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense."
Sales Assembly: What's the biggest challenge facing a sales rep today, and how would you recommend they overcome it?
Joe: The biggest challenge facing a new sales rep today is two-fold: lack of organizational skills and a degree of grit that is required to be successful in sales.
Sales Assembly: What's the best sales book you've ever read?
Joe: I don't believe I have read a sales book; I read a lot of articles and listen to many podcasts primarily about maintaining a positive attitude and over-coming challenges.
Sales Assembly: What's the best advice you'd give to someone just starting a career in sales?
Joe: The most important attributes in a sales person are as follows; positive attitude, the art of asking good questions, how to shut up and listen, the importance of understanding your product for your prospects and grit.