Larry’s infectious energy and positive attitude, makes it difficult to imagine he’s faced many professional setbacks. In a recent episode of the Conquer Local podcast however, Long outlines how he worked through what he describes as misadventures. Overcoming challenges, to get him to where he wanted to be in his career. Here are Larry’s top tactics for overcoming your misadventures.
Overcoming misadventures | Tip #1 The worst they can say is 'No'
Larry launched his very first business venture in his youth, knocking on doors offering lawn care services in his community.
“I was scared out of my mind. My mom said ‘what’s the worst they can say to you - no?’ and I said ‘yeah’. She asked if it was all that bad, and I said ‘yes it is, I hate when someone tells me no’.”
With his mother’s encouragement Larry was able to push past his fear. The experience helped him learn how he could rebound from getting shut down. It’s a skill that would come in handy many times over in his professional sales career later in life. Larry advises professionals not to give into fear, or back away from an opportunity because it’s new territory or might be uncomfortable at first. Those areas we’re afraid of are exactly where we need to place ourselves in order to grow.
Overcoming misadventures | Tip #2 Be intentionally positive
My father grew up in Baltimore City in the projects, surrounded by drugs, by crime, and by violence. He was the only one from his family to graduate high school. He should have been a statistic, but track, long jump and triple jump was his avenue out. He instilled in me it’s our responsibility to take every day and make the most of it.
When Larry lost his father over 5 years ago, he decided to put even more effort into being intentionally positive each and every day. Long draws inspiration from the words of a former manager:
“Make it a great day, it’s your choice.”
“It really is your choice. Some people choose to look for the worst and they have that ‘woe is me’ mentality. Other people are like my former sales colleague James Bab, who always said ‘In every situation, no matter how good or how bad, you've got to look for the good, the great, and the wonderful’.”
Recommended Reading: 5+ Tips for Breaking Through the Things Holding You Back | Guest post by Larry Long Jr.
Overcoming misadventures | Tip #3 Find what you’re passionate about
Entering the software as a service (SaaS) sales arena at Accenture in 2000, Larry has since led other sales divisions with tech companies in the financial services space like Sageworks and Intuit. He advises it’s important to find what you’re passionate about in any role in order to be successful.
“I was not passionate about serving CPAs and accountants. I use my fingers to count. I was passionate, however, about accountants being in a great position to help their small business owners.”
As a failed small business owner himself, Long channeled that energy and storytelling into his work, propelling him to success. Now, he’s able to share his story and his strategies with audiences all over the world. “I transitioned out of tech sales leadership, and now I have the gold mic in my hand. I get to inspire sales professionals, sales leaders, business owners, CEOs, entrepreneurs. I get the best of all worlds.”
Overcoming misadventures | Tip #4 Simplify
Another important skill Long has practiced refining over the years is the ability to simplify. Distilling down critical information, whether that’s your story or your pitch, so the average person really gets it.
“You need to be able to show and paint that picture, like you’re Picasso, of what life will be like on the other side of their interaction with you.”
If you can connect with your audience on a level they understand, you’ll blow past many objections and potential misadventures.
Overcoming misadventures | Tip #5 Adapt your methods
“Teamworks is a software company that sells to athletic teams. It’s essentially the brand building of college athletes, giving them the ability to monetize their brands above board,” Long says.
“Our sales team was big on face to face interactions. We were out there at the games, we’re cheering them on, and we’re wearing the swag. With the pandemic it was a whole new ball game. We had to go virtual, Brady Bunch style on Zoom and all these other teleconference platforms. We really had to adapt our methods to get closer to our clients and put our thinking caps on to figure out a solid plan B.”
That ability to pivot, a critical component to dealing with professional curve balls, according to Long.
Overcoming misadventures | Tip #6 Ask for help
Finally, the final tactic Long recommends to overcome those roadblocks at work: drop the ego and learn to ask for help.
“There are so many times throughout my career where I should have dropped the ego, opened myself up, and said, ‘Hey, can you help me?’,” Long says.
“Looking back at it, I missed out on some excellent opportunities to learn, to grow, and to have success in areas where I said, ‘Hey, I’m gonna do it alone’.”
About Larry Long Jr.
Larry Long Jr is the Founder and CEO of LLJR Enterprises, which focuses on sales motivation, inspiration, training and coaching. He hosts the ‘Midweek Midday Motivational Minute’. He is
also Co-Founder and Lead Instructor of The Sales Allies, an online sales training course and supportive community designed to uplift the sales community.
Larry is extremely passionate about coaching, and helping professionals take their game to the 'next level'. As an experienced sales leader with a demonstrated history of success in SaaS sales, Larry brings a unique perspective to the table and understands many of the challenges faced by sales professionals.
Long has also recently contributed to the blog with his guest post: 5+ Tips for Breaking Through the Things Holding You Back. Be sure to check it out!