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Meet John E Flannery of Flannery Sales Systems

Today we’d like to introduce you to John E Flannery.

John E, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2005, after the sale of the company I was working for was completed, my wife Septembre asked me “what are you going to do next?” I told her what I had been planning on for the previous 8 months, something that combined what I love to do and what I was good at. She said, “then go do it!”So I did.

That was a leap of faith from a wonderful wife, one that included a 3-year-old son and 6-month-old daughter, to go back out as an entrepreneur to build a business and follow my passion. No base salary, no benefits-just belief, support and a loving, positive atmosphere.

It was 13 years ago, and I feel blessed to have the right people around me (personally and professionally), an offering that I knew could help others to succeed and rewards that go well beyond compensation. Let’s just call it a dream.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Ha! (I laughed aloud when reading this question). The first 13 months were hard rock mining, digging for commercial sales opportunities in a sea of competition that had some large players, many middle tiers and a shitload of small companies. It was a benefit that I underestimated the task and didn’t realize how much competition was out there, and just went for it with a relentless energy level and a good network of contacts from 18 years in Sales.

In the 14th month, we landed a contract that lasted for 6 years and fed the village for a while. From there, the revenue was strong but there were always situations that popped up on the reinforcement of the training we delivered. So, the struggles continue in some capacities as the average Sales VP only lasts 26 months in the job. But the wins and success stories our customers recognize far outweigh the hassles. Jim Brogan, a long time friend and former NBA player told me “the success is IN the struggles.” He summed that up well.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Flannery Sales Systems, LLC – what should we know?
At a cocktail party or BBQ, I say we do Sales Training. What we really do is help our customers to refine and implement a repeatable process to drive revenue. If I say the latter at a social event, people walk away (joking). But if I am speaking with a Commercial Leader of a mid to large size organization, they get it. Because the work we do is fundamental to the tactical execution of the GoTo Market strategy. And companies spend millions on getting their strategy right.

We help our customers to improve the quality of the Sales opportunities they develop, and to increase the overall revenue in their pipeline. All Sales organizations are focused on this, and we enable it with a skills-based program that is custom built for our customers based on the markets they compete in and how organizations BUY, not how they should be selling. Sales effectiveness is about understanding buying, not refining your sales pitch.

The source of pride for us is twofold. First, we have helped the individuals in our customers’ organizations to improve their success.This is important monetarily, but even more so when you hear the effect it has on their families-that makes my heart sing. And second,  there are seven customers who have come back to buy from us again; four have bought from us twice, and three have done so 3 times. It may not be seen like a lot, but we only have 3-4 customers at a time and have worked with 41 overall, so the repeat business says we are doing something right.

What sets us apart is our team. I know that may seem trite or overused, but people buy from people, and we have super individuals at FSS who make the difference.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Integrity. And that is doing the right thing when nobody is looking.

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