Dominating the Sales Game: Insights from a Golf Champion, with Michael Shonk

How can perseverance in the face of adversity lead to award-winning sales success?

 

In this episode, Michael Shonk shares his journey to becoming an award-winning medical device sales executive. After establishing himself as a top sales rep by mastering product knowledge and forging deep doctor relationships, Michael was faced with new competitive threats from a global medtech giant.

 

Through tireless preparation and passionately educating customers on his company’s superior offering and service, Michael prevailed in defending his territory. He re-doubled his efforts to cement his hospital system partnerships.

 

This process revealed broader industry reimbursement challenges, which Michael took on through building coalitions and engaging political allies. Though not seeing his ambitious plan through due to internal company politics, the experience illustrated Michael’s competitiveness and problem-solving abilities.

 

He remains driven by patient impact over sales goals, though has lost motivation on the career front. Michael now channels his relentless desire for self-improvement towards excelling in amateur golf tournaments.

LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE HERE

Transcript

Anthony (host): 

Welcome to another edition of the Inspired Stories podcast where leaders share their experiences so we can learn from their successes, how they’ve overcome adversity, and explore current challenges they’re facing.

 

Anthony (host):

My name is Anthony Codispoti, and today’s guest is Michael Shonk. He is a Senior Account Executive at Avenos Medical Chronic Pain Solutions. He is a highly accomplished, award-winning sales leader with a comprehensive background in launching new products, turning around underperforming territories, developing winning sales teams, and consistently exceeding sales targets.

 

Anthony (host): 

Before we get into the good stuff with Mike, today’s episode is brought to you by my company, AddBack Benefits Agency, where we offer very specific and unique employee benefits that are both great for your team and fiscally optimized for your bottom line.

 

Anthony (host): 

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Anthony (host): 

Results vary for each company, and some organizations may not be eligible. To find out if your company qualifies, contact us today at addbackbenefitsagency.com.

 

Anthony (host): 

Now back to our guest today, the award-winning sales executive, Michael Shonk.

 

Anthony (host):

Mike, I appreciate you making time for us today.

 

Michael (guest): 

Of course.

 

Anthony (host): 

So, looking at your LinkedIn profile, it appears that you’ve pretty much always been in sales. What first attracted you to this field, and when did you realize that this is something that you could be really good at?

 

Michael (guest): 

Well, you know, I didn’t really even know what I wanted to do. I got done playing professional golf and my standard jokers. Once I once I found out girls like a guy who makes a profit, I had to go do something else, and one of my best friends at the time was selling medical devices and his job. I just would always talk to him. His job looked pretty cool. So then

 

Michael (guest): 

He helped me. I said, “How do I get into it?” And he said, “Go sell copiers.” So I went and got a copier sales job. And then started realizing I was pretty darn good at it. And you know, just kept growing and growing and growing, and all of a sudden about

 

Michael (guest): 

Oh, boy, hold on! A second 18 years later. I’ve been selling for 18 years, and I had no idea it was 18 years until you know, 12 s ago. So you mentioned a couple of interesting things there first, a professional golf career.

 

Anthony (host): 

Can you give voice to that?

 

Michael (guest): 

It was a fantastic experience. You know. II competed at a at a very high level, and you know, was able to keep myself out there, and and and, you know, be pretty decently successful and make some money, but never got to like the the big tours or anything but that was just maturity, not the skill level, but you know, you learn a lot. You learn to grow up, you know, when you when everything you own fits into a Honda Accord, and you travel the country, you learn to take responsibility for a lot of stuff, and you just go battle it out. And it’s where I’ve learned my competitiveness my whole life. So it’s you know you’re you’re willing to go. Do that. You’re willing to go into the trenches and sales and go do the right. They need the stuff you need to do. So. Pretty, you know. Pretty fun experience.

 

Anthony (host):

Interesting. And so from professional golf, and your friend mentioned, you start in copier sales. Why specifically did he mention copier sales? So medical sales representatives will what we’re looking for when I do an interview for somebody who’s new into sales or trying to get into medical sales. We want to see that business-to-business sales on your resume. So meaning like somebody who sells cars or somebody who sells like real estate or they do you know like they’re a realtor. They don’t actually go out and go through somebody’s front door.

 

Michael (guest):

Create a relationship and make a sale right? I didn’t create that most time, like with somebody buy the car, they come to the dealership right? So there’s a difference in the sales process. So we’re always looking for that. So Copiers was, you know. Go put on a hundred dollar suit, walk out in the snow every day, go business to business and keep going and doing that, and that’s what like companies like myself look for. So I got lucky. Had somebody teach me that, and then I did it for like a year and a half, and then II have a conscience. So I had to go do something else with my life from selling copiers.

 

Michael (guest):

Why do you say that you have a conscience, do you? Are you more successful on top of your sales without one? Yeah, yeah, they are not the best people that you’ve ever come across, at least like the people I was working with. So they’re just they’re just a different type of people there. It’s a different world out there, and it’s very competitive. That’s why the training is awesome. It’s ruthless. And that that’s the world that it is. So it’s nice to be where I’m at now versus that.

 

Anthony (host):

I’m curious. You know you mentioned how you got your competitive spirit from playing professional golf, and that has helped you in your sales career. Do you come across a lot of other sales reps who had a strong background in sales? Maybe they played pro semi-pro or college sports, and that same sort of competitive spirit helps to fuel them.

 

Michael (guest):

Yeah, I would probably say, like a good 70. I would, my guess, is probably 75 of the people who do medical sales have some type of sports competitive background. It’s a it’s a main thing we look for so like. If I’m I’m from looking for, you know, sports, and then copiers or sports, and then paychecks those are. That’s the pedigree that I’m looking for for coming in. If I’d hiring for an entry level, you know type Job.

 

Anthony (host):

That’s interesting. So sports copiers, paychecks because these 2 copiers and paychecks are very difficult to do. Kind of gives you proves that you’ve got some sort of a thick skin. You’ve had the door closed in your face a lot.

 

Michael (guest):

Yeah 100. Like, I mean, let’s face it. If you can walk in through a door and start a conversation about a copier and get that person to like you and buy from you. You can. You can sell a lot of things. There’s nothing. There’s nothing more boring than a copy machine, right, but like it’s just the process of it, and they teach you so much. The training that you go through for a copy or sales like is second to none. I still to this day still use all the training that I got from copiers in my everyday life. Selling my product I do now, and and paychecks is pretty similar. From what I’ve heard, it’s you know. They gotta go out and find. They gotta go to businesses. Get them to bring their services over to them. And you know, do it. So it’s a very similar type. Sales process.

 

Anthony (host):

So, aside from looking for those items that you mentioned a background in competitive sports background and copier sales, paycheck sales, something like that. What are some attributes, some qualities that you would look for in the interview. Say, I’m a business owner. I’m somebody who’s hiring. I’m in charge of a sales team. I want to make sure I get somebody who’s gonna be really good for this. What am I looking for?

 

Michael (guest):

Yeah. So one of the main things I do is I ask them to sell me their current product. I am listening for them on how well they use 3 and 4 syllable words. I don’t want them, because when you’re selling medical device, or wherever you’re selling, if you can use 3 or 4 syllable words well, in a sentence that means you’re very trainable to me. I think it’s a big thing. So I always want to listen to that. How? What do they stutter on them? Or can they flow through their sales process with the big words because we can all memorize stuff. 

 

Michael (guest):

But can you understand it? If you understand it? You flow through your conversation. In my opinion. I also look for when I do interviews. I ask them about their day, and I want to see if physical fitness is a major part of their day. I believe it is the number one important thing for success, and I think that I always look forward so I would not hire anybody who is just being honest, like who is overweight or like II look for physical fitness as a big thing when I’m hiring, when I’m if I’m hiring somebody.

 

Anthony (host):

I think it’s a major part. What’s maybe the most common thing that you see derail a salesperson in their career or on their sales approach for me. 

 

Michael (guest):

I think people buy from people that they’d like and trust, and people want to be taken care of in the sales process. And that’s why I go back to the physical fitness like II look at when I when II think it’s a big thing, I think if people can’t take care of themselves, it’s hard to get other people to trust that they’re gonna that person gonna take care of them.

 

Michael (guest):

So I think it’s a it’s a major thing like for me. I also think people will use a hundred words when 8 would have been good and they will talk, they won’t. They don’t actually listen to anybody so, and like, you know and and empathy, II think empathy is as just as important as the physical fitness part. You’d like you, your ability to not think of yourself and think of somebody completely. Think of somebody else, and whenever I see these salespeople they they only talk about themselves and not about the customers.

 

Anthony (host):

Do you think your skills are specific to your industry? Or do you think they would translate to pretty much any type of business?

 

Michael (guest):

You know, I don’t want, you know, I think it depends, right? Like I think, like, if I have a buddy in construction sales, and I don’t know if physical fitness is as big of a thing as it is in medical, right? So that’s a, you know it’s it might be different, you know, but I always believe if you’re if you’re physically fit and looking better, you’re stronger like it’s like it’s a big thing, for you know, career and your sales. But definitely everything else, you know it would, it would, you know, go from from industry to industry.

 

Anthony (host):

Yeah, you possess a set of skills that are, in my opinion, attractive to virtually any business, right? You’ve got that ability to sell, to connect with people and sales are objectively the lifeblood of every business. If you were to go into a new situation, go into a business and help them develop a sales process.

 

Anthony (host):

What would you do? What would that look like?

 

Michael (guest):

I would call. I would have to go back to my copier sales. and I would literally I. It’s it’s called the 6 step 4 part and I forget every single piece of it. But I would develop that sales process. And I would take everybody through that sales process at the company.

 

Anthony (host):

Can you recall any parts of it? 

 

Michael (guest):

Maybe just one or 2 that are kind of it’s like, find a prospect. Find Mister Right. Arrange a demo demonstration. Build rapport. Do a Broadway show for your demonstration and ask for the business, and you do this because you sell yourself.  You sell your company, you sell your Fab, and you so sell your commitment to excellence. So that was like the 6 step 4 part.

 

Anthony (host):

Is it safe to say that even though it took you a minute to kind of recall those steps that you’re doing this consistently throughout your career. You’re still following that same framework?



Michael (guest):

100 like III learned that 18 years ago, and I haven’t said it to anybody, and I probably said that like 6 times in the past 8 years, and I could still get, you know, just took me a second. But yeah, no, I you know. So the first part of the sales process you gotta find who you’re gonna sell to is this a viable person, do they do they genuinely? Are they gonna want your product? Or you just hoping that they want your product right? You gotta get to the right person who’s actually can can buy it, and you have to ask them. But they wanna see it.

 

Michael (guest):

Do you want to see the Pre? You can’t buy anything from somebody. If you don’t actually see the product and see it work, and then you you better put on a Broadway show for your demonstration like there’s no, there’s no half ass in anything. You better really get into it. And you want this thing to hum and be awesome. And then, you know, get. You get a build rapport with them, and you gotta ask for the business. You gotta ask them to buy it right at the end of the day like nothing. Nobody’s gonna be like, yes, like, please let me buy this from you. No, you got to ask like, Hey, will you start using this? Will you buy this right? And then,

 

Michael (guest):

yeah, you have to sell yourself. You have to sell like it goes back to like, I said, the physical fitness like who you are and like how you look in that presentation is extremely important. Right? You better take care of yourself, you better. You know I was. I’m a big believer of, you know. Make sure you look and good as as good as you possibly can. Right? And then, you know, selling your your company, and you’re selling the the features event benefits. And then you’re like you and your company, your commitments. Excellence. You wanna be the best that. That is a major important thing, I think, in a sales process, you always want to work with somebody who wants to be the best.

 

Anthony (host):

Yeah, I’m looking at your Linkedin page, and I see a number of sales awards that you’ve won. You’re consistently at the top of your company and performance. Would it be safe to say that people had you picked for success from an early age? Got straight. Age was always on the honor roll.

 

Michael (guest):

Not even close. I barely graduated high school. I got kicked out of college. I had a fun time at college, but I got kicked out, and then I finally did graduate, and then I traveled around in my car for a while, playing golf, and for like 3 years the only time I wrote my end it already was my name on a score card, so I didn’t like do anything else. And then I just started get into it. And then I grew up, and then I figured out how to do this, and then I just paid attention and and got good. So you know, I’m a I’m I’m a Testament that that your grades in school do not mean how successful you’re gonna be in in life.

 

Anthony (host):

you know, and I feel like that’s not entirely uncommon. A number of great sales reps. I know, in fact, a number of really successful business owners, too. They struggled at school. They were not great students for one reason or another. Why do you? Why do you think that is? I mean, I’ve I’ve got my own theory on why people who didn’t perform sort of early on in in the measured ways that society expects are now some of the most successful people career wise.

 

Michael (guest):

I believe that school is set up for you to go. You go. You view as you think about the process. As a kid. Right? We go. We we send our kids to school, and they sit there, and they have a person stand in front of them, and that person in front of them tells them what their Ver, their their view of the facts are, and then you have to be your student. You’re then sitting there, and you have to repeat all that information back. And you’re constantly being, you’re basically just I don’t wanna say this like, you’re constantly just giving that person the information, taking orders. Basically, it’s all that you’re really doing. You’re not really like thinking for yourself in school. That’s not how we set it up. You’re just giving them information back to the teacher right?

 

Michael (guest):

So I think that keeps on going through life. So if you’re really good at at listening to what somebody says, and then repeating it back to them on a test. You can do very, very good in school, but if you’re the type of person who sits there and listens to that, listens to the teacher and says, that doesn’t make any sense like, I think there’s a smarter, better way of doing that. Then all of a sudden you start putting that stuff on a test. Your grades aren’t an A’s. Your grades are. C’s right? So what’s the old saying? Right? The C’s own? The company. The B’s manage the company and the A’s work at the company right? The kids who like the kids who get A’s in school just because they get A’s in school doesn’t mean that they’re they’re brilliant. And they most a lot of those people are like doctors right who do doctors work for hospitals, and who owns the hospitals, shareholders who are smart, who are prices. They own the companies. So I think it’s it’s a. It’s a process through life that we go through.

 

Anthony (host): 

Yeah, I think business owners and successful salespeople, you know, they’re doers by nature, right? And to some degree they’re risk takers. And obviously it’s a gross overgeneralization, and certainly not always true. But I’ve seen, you know, some people be very book smart and kind of feel comfortable behind a book, right? But maybe not as comfortable dealing with people and solving people problems which I think, you know, successful business owners and successful salespeople need to do.

 

Michael (guest):

Do you think that people who become good at, you know, like they go to school, and they get A’s right? So they never actually have to like. They’re just. They’re just constantly taught through their life that they’re smart, cause they’re getting these good grades. They never actually have to stop and think a different way.

 

Anthony (host):

I think that would be a gross generalization. I think that that certainly applies to some people, but I know people who have been very successful in high school and college, and that has spilled over into, you know, their professional careers as well.

 

Michael (guest):

Meaning like no, no, not that. They won’t be successful, but that they are. First, I think, I think, like when you’re in sales or a business owner, you’re never locked into an answer. You’re always like, okay? Well, then, like I can, I’m very flexible on what different ways are, right? Cause we’re got a different mindset. Yeah, versus like, I think people who are very good in school, like they’re like, Nope, this is the way that it is. I’m I know this. I’ve studied it. I read it in a book. And I’m like, I’m not gonna question what I read in those books, because that has to be right, type of thing. Yeah, maybe they’re a little bit more rule followers where people at the other end of the spectrum, they’re a little bit more rule breakers. Yeah, they’re willing to crack the gray West.

 

Anthony (host): 

Let’s touch on some unusual projects that you’ve taken part in. You’d mentioned something to me before we started about reimbursement program that you were working with the Governor of Ohio on.

 

Michael (guest):

Yeah. So then, you know, I found out that Medicare advantage like Medicare advantage patients were in the State of Ohio, or are taken advantage of for lack of better way of saying it. So I not to learn long story short, I end up contacting the Governor, Ohio. I got his email from an orthopedic meeting he was at, and he, we started Kevin Conversations and I end up meeting with the Department of Insurance, and they did some investigation into these insurance companies. And it turns out the insurance companies admitted to knowingly denying procedures to patients because of a gray area in the law and because of the gray area in the law. The Insurance company is allowed to deny patients or procedures for patients. They know that they should, and they verbally admitted to doing this but they would not, you know, put it in writing so. You know that was a big thing, and II did a big thing in the State of Ohio to petition mutual medical Ohio to get a procedure covered. II worked with societies, a National Society for Pain Management, and the State Society and you know, long story short, my company. The same time I needed to get the signature of support from the President of a National society. My company unknowingly did. We didn’t support their national meeting and save $50,000, and so they never talk to us again. So then it’s all ended. So there’s the difference between being a business owner who’s in control of their business and then they’re working for a company is is right there.

 

Anthony (host): 

That had to have been very frustrating. I mean what you’re describing, how you sort of climbed up the chain to work with the Governor’s office and got one of the big insurance companies to admit. This malfeasance is the way, you know, sort of the way you describe it, that that in itself is a pretty big accomplishment, and you had a path to sort of writing this wrong, and it feels like your company kind of pulled the rug out from under you, even though this is something that would have benefited them.

 

Michael (guest):

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, like Yeah, it would have changed completely our stock price. And like millions of dollars. And they just yeah, they, to be fair. I was doing the job of a vice President of the Company and my job at the same time. And it’s funny. Last week I gave this presentation, I what everything I did to our new National Sales manager and I, director of marketing, who’s taking on the reimbursement, and I showed them everything that I did. And then my prize was some points through our point system which got me a windbreaker and then is a joke, because obviously it was, it was like worth nothing. But then, they actually asked me to have more detail into it, more wake work into it. Say, they thought it was pretty interesting, and I just got the phone and I said, No, I’m not doing anything. Why would I? Why would I do anything for you? Yeah, you don’t. Wanna you don’t wanna pay me. And you guys will screw it up. So yeah, that’s kind of how corporate America works. Right? Like you. You go out and do a little bit extra to make it better. You actually think of people and want to do a good thing, and then they stomp on you.

 

Anthony (host):

That’s gotta squelch your motivation to do your primary job for them.

 

Michael (guest):

you know. A little bit. II don’t do this job for for them, or you know I just I it’s it’s fun to hear patients feel awesome and be able to go and exercise and get their life back and feel better so like that’s a big thing for me. I that’s my number one. So I think physical fitness is a a blessing, and II like when I was in the gym this morning at 5 30, and I was on the peloton, and I did not want to be there. I said to myself, you are blessed to have the ability to be on this peloton right now. and didn’t I just power through it like it’s like, and I and I. If then you can give access to that to people, I think it’s a great gift.

 

Michael (guest):

So that’s why I do it. Let’s talk on that for a moment, because we haven’t actually gone into any detail about the device that you sell.

 

Anthony (host):

Can you describe that? Briefly?

 

Michael (guest):

Yeah. So it’s a it’s called cool leaf radio frequency ablation. And and and what it does is we have sensory nerves in our body that send a signal to our brain for touch, right? So like, but it’s a pain signal. So from our back, our knee, our hip, our shoulder. There’s sensory nerves that send a signal to our brain. If you, you have pain, and we all have knee, we have like knee pain, back pain. so we can put a electrical probe down to that spot where the sensory nerves at, but not near, the motor nerve which would be function. And we take that sensory nerve and we can ablate it. Basically create a callus like you have on your hand right now and create in that spot, and it’ll destroy the nerve. So over time, our, our, you know, and like Bill, we don’t take you from a 10 to a 0. But we’ll take you from an 8 to a 2 on your pain level where you are. 8. You’re not really getting out of bed. You’re you’re in tough spot versus 2. I’ve taken a leave every once once a week, and I’m I’m feeling pretty good right? Patients. Pain comes back. The nerves gonna regenerate. But they can have this done every 6 months takes 15 min, and you know patients feel great. So you know, one of the side effects of our knee procedure is that people thought their knee was their knee oster right arthritis was gone like they thought their knee was like from like when they were like 5 years old, and they went out and ran a ton and actually hurt themselves like that was our side effects. Because people felt so good they were actually doing too much. They needed to do some physical therapy and strengthen it back up for a while. So that’s that’s in a nutshell what it does.

 

Anthony (host):

So you aren’t selling to the end customer you’re selling to the doctor that then recommends the treatment to the patient. Do you still get to hear a lot of the patient stories? Then

 

Michael (guest):

I do we had quite a few, actually. And then my favorite one was actually about 4 months ago. So I was in surgery, and doctor looks at me goes, hey? So I got this really cool story. So Patient called him that week this patient had seen, had had 9 surgeries on her knee. and after the ninth surgery she still had pain, and the orthopedic surgeon said, Look at this point now like amputations. Really your only option to go so so she was like she did not want to do that. She somehow she found out about the doctor I work with. and got a cool leaf, and we were at the 4 month mark. She got a phone. He got a phone call that week that she was pain free at 4 months, and was like the happiest person in the world, like, because of our product and the procedure that I sold like she did not have her leg amputated, and from my last I know she’s still going strong.

 

Anthony (host):

That’s amazing. I actually have a similar story to share of my own mother, who had chronic migraines for years decades has tried just about every medication, every treatment out there, and when she had the procedure done with this cool leaf device that you’re describing. It’s the first time that I can remember in her life where she, when I asked, Hey, mom, how’s your headaches today. And she’s like what headaches she’s like, I feel great.

 

Anthony (host):

So yeah. And as somebody who gets to sell that who gets to bring that sort of pain relief to people. I have to imagine, aside from all those sales commissions that you’re working for, that that’s gonna be really rewarding

 

Michael (guest):

100% man like like my number one is the Va. Right? Like my like. We like. I work in the Cincinnati, Va. The Dayton Va. And if they need us, we never. We never miss it. We take care of those people because they are the most difficult to treat. These people have had just tough things to go through, and their results are awesome.

 

Michael (guest):

So like the the only time that I ever like really get upset about like somebody didn’t choose us, I lost a sale as a Va system like like it’s just like helping those people is the best. That’s great.

 

Anthony (host):

Let’s let’s find a difficult experience that you’ve been through in your career something that maybe you thought was gonna be the end of your career, brought you to your knees, something really tough that you had to overcome that meets that description.

 

Michael (guest):

Yeah. So my person, my company was running my company medtronic, who is a very large medical manufacturer like a couple of 100 billion dollars, purchased a Co product that is very similar to mine. and about 2 weeks before Christmas of like 2019, I think 2020. So 2019, maybe. You know, 2019. I got a phone call from my largest customer that they were trialing this this product right? And we’re talking like I can’t like my next year would have been. I would have made very little money, and it had been tough. So then I had to like. really stop and like, do a lot of research on what was going on, and try to figure it all out and through a lot of speaking with other positions there. Understanding who this like what was going on, they had a new physician there who was bringing them in. He was a a Speaker for Medtronic, too, so he like was like getting pressured by them. And Medtronic does it like a a backwards way like trying to get in through corporate accounts, and they’re pressuring Ohio state to use their their product, too. So I ended up meeting with every physician at Ohio State. I put together a huge presentation about who my company is. versus like David versus Goliath, and and not only did I get every physician to wanna work with us. They pressured the main doctor into doing it. Where he called me one day, is like, Hey, man, you you guys are at like, you know, we we need to like, we’re we’re gonna keep with you guys. And since then I’ve like doubled the business. We have huge contracts with them, and that main doctor, who was almost switched, is now a really good friend of mine.



Michael (guest):

You know. In our industry there are different procedures. Every every physician has a a a big book of different procedures. They can do right, and they’re in the metronic is a very good at selling one type of a of a procedure that I don’t do, but I’m very good at mine. and the big thing I told them was, look like we do research. We we spend a lot of our money into, you know, research developing new products, making it better for the future and for their reimbursement. For this procedure versus everyone else does nothing. So if they decide to, you know, choose them. They can’t. I’m gonna stopping them from doing that. But that’s one less. That’s that’s a million less dollars that’s coming into us who are spending that money on making their lives better right? And the other company is not doing it. And I’m a big believer. When somebody’s about. When you’re making a big decision you gotta pull on those heartstrings and get them to understand like this is bigger than me, just trying to save a little bit of money on a on a supply. Like, I’m really gonna impact, you know, who’s my rep? Who I think I told them. I go. You guys do this, but you’ll lose me as a rep like I won’t be or no one will be around anymore. And you know you’ll have no one really helping you do this, and once they and IIII showed them the big picture of what it was and not just the cost savings. And I think that was where they really understood. Wow! We we need this, and you know, not only we save it. You know, no one else has really switched over to those guys to to Medtronic and in my territory, because I think they kinda all just new that we’ve you know, we’re we’re really good at what we do.

 

Anthony (host):

How has that played out in some of the other territories? Has your company been successful in defending the Territory, or is Medtronic and encroaching?

 

Michael (guest):

No, they’ve encroached on different reps, cause they’re just. They’re just newer. We’ve had our companies had a hard time keeping reps over the years. I’ve just good had been here for a while, so like I was able to to keep it. But no, they’ve they’ve stolen a decent bit of business from us, and it’s been a a little bit of an issue. But II you know, I think there’s like a couple of big accounts in like the Carolinas.

 

Anthony (host):

how do you overcome negative chatter in your head. Negative voices. You can’t do this. It’ll never work. Who do you think you are? Do you have some of that? When you were going through that whole thing with Medtronic like, maybe this is it like, this is just all gonna unravel.

 

Anthony (host): 

Yeah, you know, I wouldn’t call it negative chatter; I would call it like my brain won’t stop working until I figure it out. I don’t ever sit here and say, like, have negative things in my brain. I’m always just like, “No, no, I’ll I’ll figure it out. I will get it.” And then it just takes me time; I just haven’t figured it out yet, and I’m a big believer in that. So it wasn’t more of like crap, I suck; it was more of like, how am I? How am I gonna fix this, right? And then I just would. I wouldn’t sleep; I would just like be up all I would like, “How am I gonna do?” And I played out the whole, created a whole big game plan for. And then once I did that, you know, it worked.

 

Michael (guest): 

I love that because when I find myself in similar situations, I find if I can coach myself to approach it from a place of curiosity that a lot of the worry and the stress starts to subside. I put on my creative thinking cap, and I try to look at it as an opportunity. Right? Where? What are the pieces of the puzzle that I need to put together here? In order to turn this challenge into a successful situation.

 

Anthony (host): 

Yeah, that’s exactly what you’re describing. It’s funny when I’m teaching my son about golf, and he gets a bad shot, and he’s, you know, 10. So I’m I’m learning how to get him to understand this by go. The best golf shots I’ve ever hit in my life were right after one of the worst golf shots I’ve ever hit in my life, and it is a whole. It’s a big thing of life, right? Some of like your your best moments are, or during times when it’s the biggest stress that came through. If you figured it out how to do this right? You don’t. You don’t remember the easy wins. You really remember the ones that were the hardest to get, because you really had to use your brain to to figure it all out. The process is what’s really cool.

 

Anthony (host): 

You know, I tell my kids, if you’re doing it right, you are always learning new things. I’m curious. How do you keep your mind fresh? What do you do to keep learning every day?

 

Michael (guest): 

Well, I need to do more. I don’t. I really don’t. I’m I’m I’m lazy. I have a I wish I read more. I we I need to commit more and get off my phone at night. It’s a big thing for me. I wish I read more of our studies, and and got better at it. To be fair, I should quit my job. I 100 should be on. I should go do something else I should challenge myself and and go do it. But I don’t.

 

Michael (guest): 

Because II guess, for me I still play amateur golf events for me. When I look back at my year of 2023. I don’t. I couldn’t care less that I got sick first or second place at my company, but I do care that I got a bunch of top tens in golf tournaments, and I kept myself in physical shape and able to compete against these kids. So like, that’s what I do care about. Right? So like, I’m always, I guess when II it’s funny. When you ask the question. II took it to work, but I’m constantly trying to figure out how to get better at golf and working on it and and keep going there, and I don’t put any any effort into my my job to to to make myself better.

 

Michael (guest): 

Yeah, I think it’s like a hundred percent on the golf side, like, I love the challenge like this golf world of like when you have friends that are in the golf world. And you, you play in these tournaments against these guys. They’re all like the the level, like people don’t genuinely understand how serious, like Midian like when I say medium golf like or amateur golf, how serious people take it like like these dudes are awesome, and like to go and be able to beat them at the age of 47, when they’re 20, is is like it keeps me going right. I do it for live. But like it’s, it’s it’s it’s really hard to to to try to go and beat them, and constantly getting better.

 

Michael (guest): 

And yeah, I mean, like, it’s really really cool. But you know, for my workwise, you know, to be fair. I like I don’t quit or leave because it allows me to play golf in the summer. It’s like I don’t like like quality. Life is the only reason I’m still at my company like II could go and do it by then if I went, and and part of it is like like when I’m in surgery. I have to read fluoroscopy, which is instant X-rays. So I’m really good at it. I’m like, really, really good at it. And like, so that skill isn’t something I can just take over to doing another procedure, and it makes me so needed in the operating room or or my they really like to have me there the position to help?

 

Michael (guest): 

That’s like. why, why, screw that up right? It’s like the the old adage like, you know, you pay a lawyer now for like might pay a lawyer like $1,000 an hour for something, and they’re like, Well, why is it so expensive like? Well, you’re not paying for me for my time. Now you’re paying me for all the time. I took to learn me to learn all this knowledge right like in the previous like. So that’s kind of why I stay.

 

Anthony (host):Do you have any favorite pieces of software or other tools that you feel like are really helpful to your sales success?

 

Michael (guest):We have a I mean, I like salesforcecom. We have a software called Show Pad, where I can send an email out. And then I can see if you open it. I can see if you read it. I can see how long you actually spend on it. So if I send out 10 emails in a day, and if to open it, then I know the next day where to go on target. So that that I think that’s anything that makes my day more efficient. How about any resources for learning like masterclass or Linda, or any sites like that that you use to just kind of tickle different parts of your brain?

 

Anthony (host):How about any resources for learning like masterclass or Linda, or any sites like that that you use to just kind of tickle different parts of your brain?

 

Michael (guest):Yeah, I’ve used masterclass. I think it’s fantastic, I think. The Chris boss, master negotiator FBI negotiator was was fantastic. But to be fair, I didn’t use it as much as I should have right like some of them. I wasn’t too interested in. But I should do more. Yeah, like, I will sit here today and be like, you know what? Tonight, I am. Gonna go read, and then around 80’clock I will turn my phone on and watch golf videos on Instagram, and then I’ll go to bed, and then tomorrow I’ll do the same exact thing. So you, your motivation really comes from you wanna beat those other guys on the course that you know you’re not so motivated to be the number one salesperson versus the number 2 or 3 in your company. That doesn’t really seem to drive you as much like you’re not trying to beat the other salespeople as much as you’re trying to beat the guys in the golf course.

 

Michael (guest):Yeah, I think it’s like a hundred percent on the golf side, like, I love the challenge like this golf world of like when you have friends that are in the golf world. And you, you play in these tournaments against these guys. They’re all like the the level, like people don’t genuinely understand how serious, like Midian like when I say medium golf like or amateur golf, how serious people take it like like these dudes are awesome, and like to go and be able to beat them at the age of 47, when they’re 20, is is like it keeps me going right. I do it for live. But like it’s, it’s it’s it’s really hard to to to try to go and beat them, and constantly getting better. And yeah, I mean, like, it’s really really cool. But you know, for my workwise, you know, to be fair. I like I don’t quit or leave because it allows me to play golf in the summer. It’s like I don’t like like quality. Life is the only reason I’m still at my company like II could go and do it by then if I went, and and part of it is like like when I’m in surgery. I have to read fluoroscopy, which is instant X-rays. So I’m really good at it. I’m like, really, really good at it. And like, so that skill isn’t something I can just take over to doing another procedure, and it makes me so needed in the operating room or or my they really like to have me there the position to help? That’s like. why, why, screw that up right? It’s like the the old adage like, you know, you pay a lawyer now for like might pay a lawyer like $1,000 an hour for something, and they’re like, Well, why is it so expensive like? Well, you’re not paying for me for my time. Now you’re paying me for all the time. I took to learn me to learn all this knowledge right like in the previous like. So that’s kind of why I stay.

 

Anthony (host):Are there specific books or mentors that have helped shape your professional career?

 

Michael (guest):

Yeah. my dad has been very instrumental for teaching me investing and different things. That was that was very crucial. and then I had a guy when I the job I’m at now. He originally hired me to come in. I was contract labor, and he’s II haven’t talked to him in a long time. He’s been you know. Very good, but live is just, you know, friends, you know, speaking. And I’m always curious on just learning people’s di different businesses and hearing how they approach things and stealing little bits from everybody that I talk to and and using them.

 

Anthony (host):

What’s something you wish you could teach the 20 year old version of Mike. Something that’s clear to you now that wasn’t so back to the drugs are bad.

 

Michael (guest):

No, that is a serious answer. Drugs are bad. Grow up. and you know, II I wish I had like, like. yeah, yeah, just just grow up. Okay. I had a real shot. I could have been on the tour. I had a I was talent wise. I was good enough to be on the tour, but maturity wise. I was a 12 year old out there.

 

Anthony (host):

As you think about either your professional career or your golf game, since that’s such a big passion of yours. What would you define as your biggest area of need right now. or for either your sales career or for your golf passion? What’s something that you want to actively work on to improve.

 

Michael (guest):

II want to work on my golf game more because I think I have a legit chance at playing some really awesome senior events. And I’m gonna be 50 here in 3 years. And even submitting. I’m sorry, like. So what I need is to be fired from my job. That’s an honest answer. II legitimately need to be fired from my job because I’m too complacent, and I’m too comfortable, and comfort is the aggressive? What is it? The the aging is the aggressive secret of of comfort. So, like, you know, I need to get. I need to get uncomfortable, and I’m not uncomfortable right now, and it’s it’s an issue.

 

Michael (guest):

You got to shake up the snow globe somehow. Huh?

 

Michael (guest):

Yup, I do. But you know. hard to do.

 

Anthony (host):

Just one more question for you. But before I ask it, how can people get in touch with you people listening to this episode. And Hey, Mike’s an interesting guy. I’d like to connect with him.

 

Michael (guest):

You can find me on Linkedin Michael Shank. And then you can always email me at Michael Shank to at Gmailcom. More than welcome. I guess. The the 2 2 main ways.

 

Anthony (host):

Great. Okay? Last question, Mike. How do you see the industry that you’re currently working in evolving in the next 5 to 10 years? Boy? so it’s funny I work in the medical industry, and most of my patients are obese or overweight, and that I see, and they’re in pain. They just can’t figure it out. But you know. And then when I when I when I look at it, I’m as like all I ever tell people is, go exercise and feel awesome right. Do it every single day. You are blessed to have a body that works and functions. You only get one in your life, so take care of it and go do it. But I make money on people who don’t right. It’s like I’m I’m I’m a complete hypocrite when it comes to to work right like not everyone like no, but, like, most of the people that that I see are are not doing the right things in their life to to feel better right? So when I look at like the medical industry in the next, like 5 or 10 years we are at, I, in my opinion, like it’s it’s gonna bankrupt, the United States. If you look around major cities around our country, every major city you go to, there’s only really 2 businesses that are growing. It’s either tech or hospitals. right? And they are growing and growing and growing. That’s where all the money goes. And I don’t see it ever ending like like I see that medical device companies are gonna keep getting pinched because reimbursements keep going lower because insurance companies. Are. Don’t have the money to keep paying out these huge huge payments. Medicare is basically broke. And the Medicare actually pays insurance companies to manage their patients. So II see like less. I don’t know if we wanna say less quality healthcare, but like less device companies just own our gonna have the money to keep developing new things to keep going forward. The the system needs. We need someone new in charge who can as a different philosophy on on how to do things.

 

Anthony (host):

Thanks for sharing Mike. That’s a wrap on another episode of the inspired stories, podcast thanks for learning with me today.