Stephen Owings sounds like he took to heart the simple advice from Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross: Always be closing. If nothing else, he certainly seems like a guy on the move.
“I’m 24 years old now, and I’ve probably been through 16 different cars,” Owings said recently. “Even if it was just buying a car and reselling it to make a couple extra hundred dollars off the top, as long as it was more than what I bought it for, I was happy.”
Before joining Worldwide Express in February 2013, Owings sold alarm systems and waited tables and tended bar at a country club. When he learned about an open position at WWE, he did what came naturally: He went for it. And he sold.
“I started calling the manager of WWE in Memphis, just asking, “Hey, I have some leads for you, do you have any leads for me?” Owings said. “I was just trying to find an opportunity to maybe get an interview and I kept on bugging him and eventually he was like, ‘Are you looking for a job? I really appreciate how much you bug me.’ So that was my door in, and it was the best career decision I ever made, that’s for sure.”
Here’s more from Stephen (that’s him in the photo with University of Memphis basketball coach Josh Pastner) about living and working in Memphis:
My day-to-day responsibilities: I get into the office every day at 7 a.m. and I’ll be there for the first two, 2 1/2 hours, just looking over my customers, the previous couple days, making sure their packages are there on time. I have a couple customers I send out a daily activity report for on the freight side to let them know if any inbound shipping is coming in that day so they can make way for a shipment, rearrange or know when something’s coming into their dock. A lot of customers out there don’t have visibility on their incoming shipments so that’s just something we do at a local point of contact.
Besides that, just making some cold calls on the phone in the morning. We always try to reach out to customers before 8 a.m. and after 5 p.m. so I also come back to the office around 5, 5:30 and stay there for an hour, hour and a half and get all my ducks in the row for the next day. It’s not really work to me. I enjoy what I do, and if you enjoy what you do on a daily basis, it’s really not that bad.
What makes Worldwide different: The competitiveness. Even in your office, as a franchise, or just the company as a whole, it’s a very competitive company. Me, personally, I’m a very competitive person. I thrive on the competitiveness, which I don’t believe any other company out there in the market is like WWE as far as that goes. We start having new contests come out on an annual basis that keeps all the sales reps, sales managers and account managers just really focused on their day-to-day actions and just trying to grow the company as a whole, which I think is a great part of the company.
Advice for young sales professionals: You have to be focused. You have to be level-minded. You can’t really can’t get too excited about the things you do good out there or beat yourself up about the bad things that happen out in the field. You’ve just got to keep moving. It’s all about staying moving.
What motivates me: You’ve just got to realize that there’s always someone out there working harder than you, and that’s something that drives me. Just knowing that if I stop, somebody out there isn’t stopping. So I just keep moving and have a positive attitude on a daily basis. If you have a positive attitude, you’re competitive and don’t mind interacting with people on a daily basis, WWE would be a great company for you.
What I do outside of work: I love going to the Memphis Grizzlies games. I love downtown Memphis. I love traveling any chance I get. If there’s a four-day weekend, I’ll take advantage of it. I’m from Memphis and everybody from Memphis goes to Destin, Fla. I love going to Colorado. I haven’t been able to go in quite some time but, I mean, snowboarding – you can’t beat that.
About my franchise: Team Bennett is awesome!