Your butt smells like fingers

Digging for gold?

Ok, you are probably wondering what message can this post possibly have? Have you ever heard someone say ‘are you just going to sit around picking your butt, or are you going to get up and do something?’

How many of you are picking butt?

My butt smells like fingers

In my day job, the job that actually puts food on my table and keeps a roof over my head is outside sales; insurance sales to be exact.

Ewwwww, insurance; I don’t like to buy that… kidding, who does? But when you really need it, you might warm up to it a little more.

But guess what; everybody will buy insurance. So, you might as well buy it from me, someone you can trust and rely on, right? Regardless of what the economy is doing, there are some insurances you will still buy; so not only do I have something to sell, but somebody to sell to.

Pretty sweet for me, right?

I have been doing this for 30 years. Whoa, 30 years, you must be some kind of rainmaker then, huh?

What if I told you, yes and no. Over 30 years, there have been some MVP years. However, there were also more than a few I was only average at best.

Why is that; doesn’t it get easier the longer you do it? Well, you certainly know more people and should be able to create more opportunities, right? But I can tell you, just because you know someone doesn’t mean you will do business with them, even if they like and trust you implicitly. In my world, if someone is going to do business with me it typically means someone else is getting fired. Firing someone is not easy to do; but I have certainly been ‘fired‘ enough times in this job to have felt the sting. I know, who would fire Billy, right?

But don’t take it personally. Just like in social where the advice is to have thick skin, it can certainly be applicable in sales as well. Even though it is still a personal affront when someone doesn’t want to do business with you; it really isn’t personal.

So why would you be picking butt? How hard can it be to make 5 calls a day and you don’t even have to do it on Monday or Friday as those are typically  planning days?

Did I tell you I have been doing this for 30 years? Whereas I have tons of institutional knowledge and a virtual who’s who in my Rolodex, it is hard to stay motivated to kick ass each and every day I walk through the doors of Lanier Upshaw. Some days are en fuego but others are still ‘ why did you bother to show up?’

But if you aren’t growing you are going backwards. Trust me, I know, tell me about it. When the bottom fell out of the economy it was a huge wake-up call. However, my motivations on the front end of this gig were much different than they are now.

I don’t want to be a butt picker, but can I get an amen on it being hard to stay energetic and relevant over 30 years doing the same thing? Or, should I get a kick in the shorts for trying to justify being a slacker at times?

Why don’t you do something else then? 

Are you kidding me? I might have been born Wednesday, but it wasn’t last Wednesday. I have one of the sweetest gigs around. Yes, there are some days where you think ‘enough is enough,’ but that is the same with any job.

In my profession, we often say ‘we may doze but we never close.’ Cheesy but a lot of truth to that because even though it might look like we are doing a fun event such as golf or social networking; we are always working hard, damn hard……:).

Dorman, you are so full of crap

Absolutely, but you wouldn’t have it any other way, would you?

Motivational speakers motivate me for about 15 minutes; motivation has to start from within, not what someone preaches to you.  For me, they work no better than the stick and carrot method.

What motivates me are energetic, positive, successful people. I like people who are solution oriented, not complainers.

What are you doing to keep your butt from smelling like fingers? We can’t expect to be on all the time can we, so how do you pick and choose when you flip the switch?

I do have one truism to leave you with; being in sales, it sure is a lot more fun to actually be selling than anything else. When you can truly help someone improve their business and create a relationship along the way, that is a huge win in my book.

So why isn’t my phone ringing off the hook; why do I have to do all the work? Maybe I’ll do social, I heard there was easy money there. you want to know who the pic is, picking butt. The picker o’ butt is Hayden Panettiere in case you don’t know who she is.


47 thoughts on “Your butt smells like fingers

  1. Just love this post. It seems harder to stay with one team and stay motivated the longer you play the game. Your point of surrounding oneself with problem solvers and positive folks certainly helps and will keep you young!

    • I wonder at times if it’s a good thing or not. If you stay too long it is very easy to get complacent and stuck in ‘this is the way we have always done it.’ If you move, you have that 3-5 year spurt of energy to still show everybody you can do it.

      However, there is a certain amount of wisdom to be obtained just by showing up for such a long time and if you can continue to surround yourself with the ‘right’ people I do think it can keep you ‘relevant’ and productive.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. So who IS it in the pic?

    People are never open to hardsell. Like Insurance, Office automation was a big boo boo when I worked in the industry. Industrial Components were even weirder, coming from a woman (excuse me) in the industrial belt. I have actually arrived sooty-faced at a factory 😀 What happy memories. But I worked the same market through four jobs and did very well (as I was telling Kaarina a coupla days ago). Helping is the only way to go. 😀

    Willya get tired of me saying I love you? 😀 There’s so much truth in this post. In italics to butt. boot!

  3. OMG I LOVE the Chris Farley video!!!

    Where do I start? Well, you know I say I don’t have a thick skin, but I do have broad shoulders:) And no, it doesn’t get any easier over time. We’ve both been at our respective professions for a long time, and the one thing about that is this: I tell young people that the two things you can’t fast-track are experience and wisdom. I’d like to think I’ve been well-schooled in those departments, but no…that doesn’t mean it gets any easier to find clients, acquire clients and keep clients. It requires diligence, perseverence and broad shoulders. And oh…did I mention good listening skills, a sense of humour and an optimistic “possibilities” prone mindset? Cheers! Snowshoes

    • ….and I live in a van….down by the river………:).

      You would like to thing you build up enough points in your profession you don’t have to deal with the silliness anymore. Oh no, especially in insurance you never know what will be thrown at you. That is why we ‘try’ to align ourselves with like-minded businesses who ‘get’ what we are trying to do and it cuts down on the silliness. We have to get out of the vendor role because it is much more than just an insurance policy.

      Somehow, someway, I did end up exactly where I was meant to be. I can’t imagine doing anything else and getting paid what I do.

      For me, a sense of humor is a must and I do like to align myself w/ problem solvers, not complainers; people willing to roll up their sleeves…..

      Good to see you, the Olympics are here; probably brings back a lot of memories, huh?

  4. 30 years! I haven’t been born that long 😉

    My father is at the same job for about 30 years and he tells me that it is tough to maintain it especially in times when the economy hits you hard. But nothing works like dedication. You know that sometimes you are trying to save a sinking ship but the bigger picture is that your tried.

    I get the feeling that I haven’t found the best job as yet; but then, I am trying.

    P.S Who is that in the picture?

    • I know; I guess I’m just that creepy old guy now, huh?

      The challenge is, especially in my job, is to not get complacent or coast. And because my best customers are somebody else’s best prospects I have to come ready to fight every single day.

      There is a lot of fun time in my job and certainly a lot of freedom of time; I am very lucky to not only have a job like this, but have had some success as well.

      I think you will find your ‘niche,’ I wouldn’t stress too much about it, it will happen.

      Hayden Panettiere is the girl; she is an actress of modest success, not well known as some.

  5. “What motivates me are energetic, positive, successful people. I like people who are solution oriented, not complainers.”

    Give me a problem to solve and I’ll wake right up.
    Complain about there being no way to find a solution ever in any way, shape, or form….I’m finding a sunny place to sleep or slip away to while you’re not looking…

    • If I’m in a team environment, which I am here at work, I want to work with the people who will go to the mat and do what it takes to complete a task. Whereas sales can seem like you are out there on an island all by yourself at times, it’s nice to know you have a team who ‘has your back.’ We have some very talented and dedicated people at Lanier Upshaw.

      If somebody comes to me w/ a difficult situation at least have some idea of solutions.

      Good to see you, I do appreciate the visit.

  6. Hi Bill,

    This is one of the best titles ever 🙂

    And I agree with you. Close to 100% needs some kind of insurance, and I would buy it from you if I lived in the US. It’s all about trust.

    • Hey spam, it must be my system doesn’t recognize you in the beard and the homeless man smell going on……..:).

      I thought the title was pretty clever, but I think the mention of ‘butt’ kept some of the ‘professional’ bloggers away. The post did have a good message however, right?

  7. So this is what I get for recommending people to come to this God-forsaken blog? Butt-picking? Seriously?

    Dang you are funny.

    I recently lost a big client and had about two months of payments coming my way. I resembled the photograph for about two months. Enough said.

    • In ’07 I wrote my biggest account ever; it was a definite game changer and I noticed it in my paycheck immediately. In ’08, I lost that same account and the reverse was certainly true. You try to console yourself with the fact you at least had it for one year, but man it sure did hurt to lose it. And then you get to mope around trying to figure out how you will replace it as the bottom is falling out of the economy….

      Sometimes I have to have a sense of humor in this business because it can be very fickle, just like social.

      Thanks for enduring and dropping by sir……..

  8. Bill, Bill, Bill. You are one funny guy.

    You cannot deny that Chris Farley was a genius. You won’t amount to JACK SQUAT. The kid on the couch was having a hard time chocking back gales of laughter.

    You know that after 21 years doing what I am doing the love of the craft still gets me up in the morning. The difference being that I have had 7 different employers during that time with the longest being 10 years. What does that say for my stick-to-it-uvness? Well, whatever, but making some moves is really the only way to advance in the architecture field.

    We all have days when we’re mailing it in. It is inevitable but if you find it happening too many days in a row you really have to ask yourself what needs to change (I stole that from Steve Jobs). I love that saying because it is so true.

    Tell me something. Can you tell the difference between those types who are just pushing through the days waiting for the weekend and the ones that still have fire in their belly? If you can then we don’t have to worry, do we?

    I don’t know about you (well I actually do know or I can certainly guess) but I can’t see myself any other way than being all in to what I am doing. With that, I leave you this little gem. Somehow, I think you will relate………;-)

    • If I were going to make a move I should have done it 20 years ago. Because I had kids and a mortgage, I was hesitant to leave and do my own thing or start over somewhere. But when I look back, I have been able to do just about anything I want to at Lanier and at the end of the day you still have to produce, whether it’s here or somewhere else.

      I have seen people move around in this business, and more times than not it’s a ding to both the producer leaving and the corporation losing them. It’s just like marriage, the grass may seem greener on the other side but it’s not. If you were to put the same time and energy into your current job/marriage then there really is no reason to look elsewhere.

      We are in the process of hiring some young talent; I’m excited because it will bring their enthusiasm and energy to the table. As long as you can associate with the ‘right’ people, you will be able to maintain that desire to be relevant and productive.

      Good to see you Ralph; tomorrow is my golf day…..:).

    • Stink Palm, reminds me of the kids I used to coach in baseball and soccer. After the game when they line up to shake hands with the other team after the game, if there was someone they wanted to send a ‘message’ to they would spit in their hand before shaking the opponent’s hand…….lovely…….

  9. Five telephone calls. Damn, I miss the days where I knew it would only take five or six calls to make my month. There is no secret, show up and work hard as often as you can.

    Some days you don’t have it so focus on the days you do to cover the lean moments.

    • Because so much of my business is going out to see my customers/prospects it is encouraged to schedule breakfasts, lunches, golf, etc. Even though it looks like fun (and it is) it gives you face time with the decision maker and helps strengthen the relationship. That alone should be able to keep you going, right?

      The reason I said 5 is because it is such a ‘doable’ number and even if you just put that effort in you will see results. I did many, many more in my early days, but if you can stay consistent with it, that’s half the battle.

      Some days are certainly better than others, but it’s a lot more exciting when you are working on plenty of opportunities.

      Good to see you Jack.

  10. I would have problems with one call. That would give me nightmares. I’d be busy trying to find the app to do the job, but of course there isn’t one.

    Your job sounds very tough to me and I admire you keeping the fuego going for so long. I’m thinking you must really ove what you do. Your clients are very lucky!

    I’m thinking the picture is of the pumpkin lady who went on a diet?

    • Ah, call reluctance, the bane of many a salesperson. Trying to get everything just perfect before you pick up the phone…….trust me, we all go through it at one time or another.

      My job is very tough and very easy at the same time. Not many last for whatever reason; maybe I’m not smart enough to know any better……:).

      I did used to be the ‘young’ guy around here, what the heck happened?

      A diet indeed, now if she can just get those pumpkin seeds out.

      Have fun on your cruise, catch up with you when you get back.

  11. Third time back and still trying to get past those smelly butt fingers!

    You’re too funny; your first ‘pitch post’ to the community for your services and you write about smelly butt fingers – LOL!

    Worst of all, butt pickers pick their noses too – YUK!

  12. I know I’ve told you this before Bill but my Dad was in sales. He did a lot of his business on the golf course so although it’s enjoyable to get out there and play, there is a lot of business taking place on that course.

    Getting rejected and having people quit my opportunity is somewhat the same. You can’t take it personally because you’re not the reason they are leaving. It’s totally them and their situation but no one likes to feel that rejection. I have a feeling though after 30 years you’ve got a much thicker skin now. I sure hope so.

    Smelling butt, yuck!!!

    • I try to take it like a man…….:). I held my tongue a time or two and haven’t burnt any bridges, but there are a few accounts I would never, ever work on again. Of course, the silly thing is I got worked up over it and they probably don’t even know anything they did was just wrong. Oh well, I can pick my customers and have walk away power anytime I need it.

      Did I get a msg from you about a GP? I thought I saw something, but can’t find it now; did I imagine it? I came home and cut my grass after work; it gets kind of thick in the summer rainy season.

    • Level-headed? How about even-keeled; I’ll go with that?……….:).

      30 yrs, whoa, huh? Somebody pulled out some pics when our office went on a cruise 24 yrs ago. The comment was ‘I didn’t look old enough to drink.’ 24 yrs ago…I wasn’t old enough, right?

      We have a good shop w/ good people and a very good reputation in this area. I’m lucky to be a part of it.

      Good to see you.

  13. That is one of the best blog headings I’ve ever come across, Bill! I love sales – I started off in fundraising and I quickly realized that soliciting donations is no different than soliciting business. And I’m pretty good at it! I have no doubt you are good at it as well. I think that the first ingredient for successful sales is likability. You’ve got that one down! Then again, I’ve never met you IRL.

  14. Sales is where the money is at, that’s for sure; but you have to be able to ‘sell.’ Most people think they can’t sell and I wasn’t sure I could when I decided to pursue the sales side of insurance. There are many factors that go into it, but it’s not rocket science.

    In fact, I read where the best sales people were usually involved in some type of athletics but only an average student at best. If you are too smart then the tendency is to over-think, over analyze everything and you never make the call.

    If you were to ask, I would say my strongest suit is that I am very personable. Likability can go a long way in wanting to work with someone. I have no doubt you would like me IRL too, even if I did pick my teeth at your dinner table………:).

    Good to see you; hope you have a great weekend. I might be going down to the Keys on Sunday to meet a buddy for a few days of fishing; I hope I can pull it off.

  15. Hey Bill

    You’re only just getting there at 30 years!

    My dad’s been in the same job for getting on 50 years. And he’ll be there until he retires in a couple of years. I think he loves it so much he’s planning to work some more part time after he retires.

    Me, if I got beyond 5 years in the same job I’d be doing well. So I applaud your staying power. I was in the pensions business up until the end of last year here in the UK, not on the selling side, managing the back office stuff.

    Now I’m a stay at home dad whilst my wife goes out and brings in the dough. It works well but I don’t know which is harder being employed or not being employed! The kids certainly know how to motivate me though and boy are they energetic.

    You had me sold just on the title by the way. Where do I sign?

    • There are arguments for both sides; longevity and ‘recycling.’ Your dad and even my generation to a certain degree expected to have the one-job career; not so much so these days.

      The title was one you might do a double-take on and even though it had a message it probably kept some people away because of the butt……..:).

      Good to see you, thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave your thoughts. Good luck with your journey.

  16. […] who keeps on adjusting his “goods” (come on, you know what I mean!) and then surreptitiously sniffs his fingers and looks around to see if someone noticed? Oh yes. I never disappoint. I may be visually […]

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