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A Conversation With Minnesota’s Lee Otto About Drawing Passion From Influence and Finding Your Career Path

Lee Otto is an inside and remote sales leader located in Alexandria, Minnesota, entrusted to support, guide, and advocate client success through extensive customizable marketing solutions. Previously, he was involved with manufacturing sales, selling equipment, but he has recently transitioned into digital promotion and is working for Hibu, a leading provider of digital promotion solutions […]

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Lee Otto
Lee Otto

Lee Otto is an inside and remote sales leader located in Alexandria, Minnesota, entrusted to support, guide, and advocate client success through extensive customizable marketing solutions. Previously, he was involved with manufacturing sales, selling equipment, but he has recently transitioned into digital promotion and is working for Hibu, a leading provider of digital promotion solutions to businesses throughout the United States.  Lee attended Century College in St. Paul, Minnesota where he was working toward an A.A. in Interpersonal Communication.

It is a new challenge for him to be selling a digital product.  This product Lee is selling is a technological marketing platform that helps businesses acquire new customers.  It focuses on the psychology of buyers and makes a business an option in the search engines while a potential customer is searching and socializing online.  The challenge comes in conveying the technological aspects to the business owner so they will understand how it will help their business, which is even more relevant than ever in 2020 when a business’ digital presence matters more than a storefront.  

Lee is focused on helping his clients succeed and exceed business goals by leveraging savvy marketing strategies that promote greater online visibility and increased website traffic resulting in more leads.

Some of his major achievements included: Tier 3 sales level within 2 years – 66% faster than company average, accelerated sales results, attaining multi-million dollar annually, exceeded sales goals by +50%, retained highest closing rates – 35% higher than company average, grew business by 4900% through hard-work and perseverance.

His main areas of expertise and abilities include: sales strategies & revenue growth, inside/telecommute/remote sales, B2B & B2C, solution-selling and value-based programs, relationship management, new business development, account management, retention, promotions, and marketing programs.

In the last few years, what lifestyle, habit, or behavior change has had the biggest positive impact on your life?

The biggest change for me in recent years has been focusing on my personal development and developing my emotional intelligence so that I know what I need to correct and what I need to change.  I focus on staying motivated and having the discipline to follow through on what I need to follow through with. 

I have had many good coaches and there many books and personal development training that I give credit to for my sales career.  Jeb Blount, Jeffrey Gitomer, and Dr. Henry Cloud are some of my favorites.  I have implemented things they have taught, and it has really changed my outlook on entrepreneurship, how to succeed, and how to stay motivated. 

When you feel unfocused, what do you do?

I will do an evaluation of what is making me unfocused.  I try to stay disciplined, focus on time management, and create goals to prevent myself from becoming unfocused. 

What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?

My advice would be to stay disciplined and focused, think big, and work like no one else will for five years so you can live like no one else can for the rest of your life. 

I would advise them to ignore the negativity.  It is so important to surround yourself with a positive sphere of influence so you can ignore the negativity.  Realize the most people don’t necessarily give the best advice.  Only take advice from people that have the kind of success that you want. 

What is one lifestyle trend that excites you?

I am excited about the lifestyle trends in the digital tech arena with systems that help with personal development and business development.  There will be new trends, especially in virtual communication arena for businesses, and also healthy trends in digital technology for working out and tracking personal successes.  Implementing new technological systems in our personal life or our business can help with time management and that is a lifestyle trend I like to follow. 

Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?

The biggest influence in my life has been Todd Olson, the founder of Quick Attach Attachments.  The reason why is because he opened my eyes to personal development and challenged me to do my best all the time.  I worked for him during my time at manufacturing sales.  Todd also coached me in many ways, bringing me to some of my favorite authors and coaches that have really been an inspiration to me to learn the psychology of influencing and how to be a leader.  When I first began working for Todd, he took a one-on-one approach and had me create a life plan with goals for the next five years.  He challenged me to consider what I wanted to achieve, where was my path, where do I want to be, how many kids I want to have, and what would be my legacy.  I took it very seriously and I created that.  Within four years of working for that organization, I had achieved all of the goals I had set for myself. 

What’s one of the biggest life lessons you’ve learned?

You don’t know what you don’t know.  Don’t believe everything that you read, see, or hear, particularly negative information and fearmongering.  Spend more time listening.  Understand there are different types of personalities.  There are wise people, fools, and then there are evil people.  Considering that opened up my eyes to my sphere of influence and encouraged me to start making positive changes throughout my life so I could excel and become a coach, a leader, and a positive influence on people around me.  I’ve always been a high spirited, influential, positive person.  But I was also egocentric, like a lot of us, so I would put myself in that fool category because I really didn’t listen, and I wanted to do things my way.  Once I read in Ecclesiastes that there was “nothing new under the sun”, I definitely was able to grow as an individual, as an employee, as a father, and as a husband, and that gave me the ability to become a leader in sales and coaching. 

What do you think it is that makes you/someone successful?

I have determined that it comes down to drive.  Either a person wants to, or they don’t want to.  It is doing the life reps and being disciplined to do what it takes.  Being driven is #1.  Being disciplined is #2 to follow through with your goals.  Also, be teachable, coachable, and open to learn.  That includes being able to take criticism and focusing on emotional intelligence.  You can be driven, and you can be disciplined, but do you have direction, purpose, vision?  Do you know where you are going?  The difference is having clarity on my life’s path versus trying to be motivated by money, having money as a barometer of success versus doing what is right and money being the side effect of doing well.  I have learned that income has come easier that way and that I am not motivated by income. 

How do you stay motivated?

I stay motivated in multiple ways.  Mostly it has been by setting my goals and my life plan.  I take the time to re-evaluate the direction I’m headed in and that vision.  I make sure that I am working out, focusing mentally and physically on myself, family, and business, and staying extremely organized.  I am also motivated and excited about helping businesses and helping people.  When you are excited about what you do and you know your “why”, and why you do it every day, that is my biggest motivation, is my why.  My why is I like helping people, I love taking care of my family, and I want to be the best that I can. 

What legacy do you hope to leave behind?

I would hope to be remembered as a positive person, a great father, a wonderful husband, an industry leader in sales and consulting, and someone who has had a positive influence on people around me. 

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