How An Entrepreneur Leveraged Fanatical Prospecting To Ramp Up His New Business
On this inspiring episode of the Sales Gravy podcast, Jeb Blount (Virtual Selling) talks to Brian Knox, owner and founder of B Knox Photography. This young entrepreneur leveraged Fanatical Prospecting to quickly ramp up his successful and fast-growing photography business that he started this year.
This conversation about sales and entrepreneurship is both educational and inspirational. Sales and the things that we do in sales matter, wherever we are in life. And we can all chase and achieve our dreams if we just make the decision to take action.
Brian: Why I Started My Business
I was in corporate life from the time I graduated college in 2000, all the way up until 2020, and the last four jobs that I had in the corporate world were inside sales and customer service. Then between 2013 and 2015, I moved into more of a pure sales role where I was cold calling.
Our training was basically watching a guy do it for two days. Then they hand you a computer and a phone and you’re kind of on your own. There wasn’t a lot of sales training. That was when I first found your material, because I was honestly trying to ease the pain of, “How do I sit here for eight hours a day and drum up business?” I was averse to it.
Then, I moved into a sales coaching role with a local plumbing, air, and electric company where I was teaching their technicians some of the basics of sales psychology, and going out in the field, and helping them with their sales process.
After that, I was in development at Habitat for Humanity of Greenville, which was essentially a sales role. That’s where I put into practice what I had learned in those first few years, and what I was teaching the guys on the field, in order to bring in donations for Habitat for Humanity. I finally left that job to start the photography business full-time in February of this year.
Brian: What Photography Means to Me
I got my first digital camera in 2004 or 2005. My dad was into photography. He didn’t train me, but I was at least exposed to him having a camera. When I got my own digital camera, that kind of launched it for me. It was very simple to make art by just going out and clicking a shutter.
I did it as a hobby and on the side. I started picking up initial gigs, which were typically family. I chugged along making a little money for about ten years. But then I began to apply sales techniques to what was my side hustle, at that point. I started to get traction with that and then I went through six months of wrestling with the question, “Do I quit and go full time with this, or do I just kind of keep it as a side thing?”
I felt that it was more of a contribution to society and to the world to take my skill and talent and give that in the form of photography, as opposed to being in the sales trenches.
Jeb: On Entrepreneurial Journeys
I remember when I first started Sales Gravy 13 years ago, we were in the middle of the Great Recession and I had to make a pivot in my career. I decided that at that point in my life, I was either going to be an entrepreneur, or not.
I always wanted to run my own business. Because I was good at selling and great in the corporate world, there wasn’t a lot of incentive until I found myself on the street trying to figure out what I was going to do.
But for about three years, I was constantly terrified that I was going to fail. I would wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. Like, am I going to make it, am I going to have to crawl back and beg for a job?
What was it like when you first started? And are you still in that place of, “Do I let go of what I’m used to”?
Brian: If You Try, You Can’t Fail
It’s gone really well this year, but I definitely have those same concerns. I also remember waking up in the middle of the night and wrestling with things like, “Well, what if it rains that whole next day? Then I can’t do the outdoor construction shoot…