Sales Platoon: S1:E9 | Navigating the Transition from Ranger to Sales Leader with John Elzinga

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John Elzinga, a former U.S. Army Infantry Officer, shares his experiences in the job market and his transition into sales. He reflects on the importance of leadership, persuasion, and self-discipline in both roles. Despite initial interview failures, John emphasizes resilience, learning from mistakes, and focusing on objectives. He shares insights for transitioning veterans, emphasizing the need to leverage military experience, seek mentorship, and embrace continuous learning and adaptation.

John’s military experience has influenced his approach to sales leadership. He emphasizes the value of integrity, discipline, and strategic thinking. He also highlights the importance of building effective teams and understanding the purpose behind sales objectives. He emphasizes the need for clarity in execution and a shared understanding of purpose within sales teams.

Highlights:

{00:45} Military Roots and Transition

{07:15} Leadership Lessons

{11:00} Key Takeaways for Transitioning Veterans

{17:30} Navigating Career Success

{20:00} Continuous Learning and Adaptation


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John Elzinga Bio:

John Elzinga is a seasoned sales leader with over 15 years of experience in the medical device industry. With a commitment to providing non-invasive and drug-free solutions for anxiety, insomnia, and pain management, he currently serves as the Vice President of Sales at Alpha-Stim. John spearheads strategic sales initiatives at Alpha-Stim, a leading provider of innovative electrotherapy devices, and drives growth in various health sectors.

John has excelled in leadership roles throughout his career, consistently delivering exceptional results and customer satisfaction. With a background in leading national and regional sales teams in government and capital markets, he has a proven track record of success in navigating complex markets and driving revenue growth.

A dedicated mentor and developer of talent, John is passionate about fostering a culture of excellence and collaboration within his teams. His leadership style is characterized by integrity, resilience, and a strong sense of service—qualities he honed as a U.S. Army Infantry Officer and Veteran.

John holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Guilford College. He furthered his education by completing the Program for Leadership Development, an alternative to the Executive MBA program at Harvard Business School. With his extensive experience, leadership understanding, and commitment to innovation, John Elizinga continues to impact the medical device industry significantly, driving forward the mission of improving healthcare outcomes through technology and service excellence.

Links:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-elzinga-962b62251

https://www.mysalesplatoon.com

Sponsored Links:

https://therootbrands.com/product/zero-in

https://newulife.com/hk/en 

https://trufinco.com 

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John Renken

Welcome back, guys. Thank you so much for joining us again. I’m with our guest, John Elzinga, who I’ve been excited to talk about since we talked when I was in the Bahamas; a fellow Ranger has taken the transition from the military into the civilian world by the freaking horns. John, it’s so great to have you with us today. Thanks for coming on.

John Elzinga

Likewise, John, thank you. It’s a pleasure to be on this call and to speak to everybody.

John Renken

Man, so you and I served at roughly the same time. Tell our audience, what year did you come in? What did you do, and how did you end up doing all the crazy stuff you did while you were in the military?

John Elzinga

So, I graduated College in 1991 with a pretty average grade point average, and the job market was not great in 1991. I remember watching Desert Storm with my roommates, my housemates, and my apartment in college and thinking, this is something I want to do. I don’t have a lineage. My father was not a general or a Sergeant. But I was intrigued by what our army did watching General Schwarzkopf give the press briefings with his big, long pointer, saying that is what I want to do.

So, I decided to go and talk to the recruiter back home in New Jersey at the time. And when I walked into the recruiting station. It’s funny, he said. We don’t have any infantry spots available, but we have this 95B spot military police. It’s a lot like the infantry. You’ll love it, and 25/30 years later, I realized he was just looking to fill a spot. 

So, I learned quickly that infantry always need infantry.

John Renken

Always.

John Elzinga

So, I navigated through that and enlisted as a 95B at the Old Fort McClellan, Alabama. I shipped off to boot camp in AIT back in 1992. I became a military policeman, and they assigned me to Fort Benning, GA. I was with a military police company at Fort Benning, Georgia, and wanted to be an officer. I wanted to go to OCS, and my chain of command did not support me originally. 

And then I remember one day after an activity run, the whole military police activity, we went on a run, and the Colonel… The provost Marshall, an old special forces officer from Vietnam … said I need a driver. And I raised my hands, and my chain of command looked at me and said, what are you doing raising your hand? And the Colonel said, alright, you, you and you come to see me later today. Company commanders make it happen. I interviewed with the Provost Marshall at Fort Benning, Georgia. And I became his driver, and I became close to him. I considered him a friend. He helped me get my officer candidate school packet ready to go. I went to Officer Candidate School in 1993 and was off and running.

John Renken

Nice.

John Elzinga

I became an infantry officer, so my dream to go into the infantry finally came true. I attended I or Officer Candidate School, IO BC, and Airborne School. I went to Ranger School, and I reported to the 101st Airborne Division Air Assault, and I was in.

John Renken

yep

John Elzinga

Country officer in the mighty Rock Asan’s and I connected on that. And it’s funny, John, you and I, we didn’t even know, had two things that John and I learned about each other. Eight, we were five people apart in our Ranger School graduation picture.

John Renken

Yeah.

John Elzinga

I was in 3187, and he was in 1187. We were probably 20 feet away from each other and didn’t even know it.

John Renken

And didn’t even know it had such a, so it’s so funny you brought that up, too. Because I remember sitting there. I was in the Bahamas looking at the picture because we had our call when I was there. 

I’m like, holy ****man, he’s right there. And it just kind of shows how interconnected everything is, so number one, we have a small try. But I just found you on LinkedIn. I didn’t know who you were, and you didn’t know who I was. And here we were in the same unit in the same Ranger class. It’s wild.

John Elzinga

And it’s funny because I share it with people. I share the story, John, about how we were in the same class together, and the question I get is, have you been in contact? And I’m like, when you graduate Ranger School, you don’t even know these people. You probably started in this in different Ranger classes. And I had to recycle in Florida. 

John Renken

Yeah.

John Elzinga

Of all phases to the recycle graduation phase, right? And it’s funny, John, all the, you know, they told you all about the mountains and how hard the mountains were. I breeze through the mountains, and then I get to Florida, and everybody’s like, we’re ten days from being done. Florida kicked my ****, and I had to do it twice. And then we were at the same range of photos. 

Yeah, I was a rifle platoon leader with 3187, and then I was a battalion support platoon leader for 3187. Then, I was a rifle company XL for 3187, all with 3800 and First. We did a deployment to sign I, and we did the MO mission. 

And then I came back from. Mfo was a rifle company executive officer. Then, my career went forward. I went to the Infantry Officer Advanced course and was assigned to be a platoon trainer in the Basic course. Then, my last job in the Army was in S1. For the 3rd Brigade, Third Infantry Division, which is right there at Fort Benning, my wife and I went on a ski trip, and I knew I was done then. I never really joined the military with a long-term vision for 20/30 years. I just wanted to get to a certain point, and I felt like, at that point, I had done what I wanted to do.

And I was ready to move on, so I entered the civilian war. World and I remember returning from my ski trip, telling the battalion commander I wanted to get out, he said. No, you’re not. You’re going to be the company commander of Charlie Company. I said, Sir, I appreciate that, but I’m ready to move on. 

So the separation was good. It was on my terms, and I feel like I have done everything I wanted to achieve in the military. So, the next step up for me is to go ahead.

John Renken

What year was that? What year? What year Did you finally get out?

John Elzinga

1999.

John Renken

‘99, oh man.

John Elzinga

It was a long time ago, and I remember the transition very clearly. It was interesting. I learned a lot in that transition, and it’s like, what will I do now? And I knew the job market was pretty good back then. However, I attended the junior military recruiter and the junior military Recruiting conferences.

John Renken

Yeah.

John Elzinga

They were able to tee up some interviews, but I remember the Jamo conference. They tend to love you; together, they say you’re an infantry officer. You’re more of an operations person. You’re not a salesperson. 

And I realized doing self-reflection at that time that actual sales were up my alley. I knew I wanted to be in sales. I knew the money potential in sales. It is really good, but I wanted to be in. Looking back, leadership was also important because I felt that much of what we did in the infantry was selling. When you try to motivate squads and platoons in a company-level element to crawl through the mud at night, do it right the first time on a training action? Guys, you’re doing a lot of selling. You’re persuading people; you’re leading.

John Renken

Yep.

John Elzinga

You’re getting people to do things like that. They wouldn’t normally do. So, part of that is leadership, and part of that is just being persuasive. And I remember talking about that in the interview. So, I started in pharmaceutical sales and left the Army in a couple of different companies, and I went on with one particular company. 

And I’m the hiring manager, telling me you don’t have any sales experience. I shot Harry, and I gave him that specific example of being a company executive officer on a training exercise with a company commander, got shot, and led the whole element. A 100-man company went through the line at Fort Campbell one night. I was getting through the breach, getting the high ground, and doing what they said. Good mission. Well, what to do? And I just remember the point. 

And I knew that if I could do that individually or work with teams, I could probably convince doctors. What? To use certain products. And that went well. The other thing that was hiring was we talked about later on; I said, why would you hire me? You interviewed many people with specific experience in this field, and their answers were interesting. 

He said John because I knew you had the leadership not to take him to some. You know, battles, they’re on the team, so people that aren’t working hard when you’re going to go out and be self-disciplined and submit. So right then and there, it’s just what we do in the military; we did it in the military positions. 

So, well, we can market it for sure. Now. I learned from the wall that you know the world; tell you what you are and what you are. Don’t let Reflection weaknesses and a high and go for it. And that’s exactly what I did during the transit. 

John Renken

Yeah, that’s such an important thing. I was speaking with the West Point graduate on our last episode. One of the things that he said was, and it’s very similar to what you’re talking about now, that he was told from a very young age in the military, don’t let your career decide your career; you decide your career. And be proactive about the steps. I love that you’re saying that for the transition as well. Don’t let other people define yourself or what you can do. You grab it and do it—such an important part.

Now ‘99. 

So, I want to ask two questions about this. Question number one: What kind of support did you get when you were transitioning? Did you know anything is getting out?

John Elzinga

I did very little because I didn’t know why my best support was from fellow officers I served with. We’re making a similar transition to play it out and see what they did, but it was just moving. Finally, talking to the wife and, you know, learning the process moving forward, do you think the Union military organization that I work with? And. They were very helpful. 

They were very helpful in understanding the interview process and what they’re looking for, but not a line of resources that I used, and that’s just kind of where I was in my life at the time to look internally for my career to reach out to people—and learned over. Learn from people’s stories out there. Learn from their successes and failures, see all that evidence the other day, and find out what you need to do moving forward.

And I also learned from failure too. I learned my first interview with a large pharmaceutical committee. It was with the HR person. It was a phone screen, and they asked me to sell windows on our way to a number, and I failed miserably in that first interview. I thought my throne was so dry because I had never sold anything, and I knew it didn’t go well when you asked me, how do you think you did? 

Right there, I learned you just have to relax. You resolved the interview. These conversations didn’t follow the threads, and nobody objected. 

And I think that’s what we learned so much in the inventory, especially at the end of the day. Here’s the high ground. And here’s what we need to do to get there. We’re going to get there. One way or another, that’s what I heard next. You know, about a month later, two months later. From my mistakes, too. 

And after that, I bought the story and was. I was wondering what I could do this day. And that felt indebted to that hiring manager. And it’s one of so many things we learned. It’s self-discipline, but it’s not work ethic as well. Do the right thing. Follow the game plan. No, we have to deviate but never lose sight of the objective, and in that stage, it was to get Doctor Super. 

Right. To the medications you reflect, roll into that, and enter the corporate environment. They learn from the start. They also had excellent corporate training, not only how many sales reps, but I have it all. In the leadership development process as well.

I’ve learned 360 Feedback: Do you do these personality tests? Do these personality-watching texts? Are you the driver, or are you aggressive? Are you an Angel, or are you an? I remember taking that test for the first time in my first leadership meeting, and I was ready. I was almost all dry. You know, I’m very. I’m very analytical and wouldn’t have tested very high on the expressive side if I had taken that test. Nowadays, I score almost equally in all four quadrants, so it’s kind of … one … You learn Sales and sales management is kind of. You know, work a million, but being able to relate to different types of people, to do that well to some, some huge resources that early on in my career that have helped me immeasurably has gone through. 

John Renken

Yeah, that’s good. And it’s so true, too, to be a salesperson, you have to be that person. That can be a chameleon. Or at least be empathetic and sympathetic to each personality type. If you’re going to be a professional salesperson, you know, if you just don’t care and you’re just going to, you know, do it the Ranger way and just, you know, bash your head through the wall until it works. You can do that, too, but there is a finer science to it. 

So, I’m interested in this particular thing, you know, so you get out in ‘99, and then obviously in 2001, all hell breaks loose. Twin towers. Was there any part of you being that you got out so soon? To that, that said, man, I want to go back in.

John Elzinga

You know, and at the time, there wasn’t. And I remember at and happy with at this time in my life, I was, and my career was moving forward, and I just felt like I had made the right decision. I was doing, and I’ll talk about a little bit more, but I remember getting a letter from the Department of the Army in 2000, and it was to join the Individual Ready Reserve. I looked at that but didn’t respond because when the wire is on, the play is on the wire. Or I don’t want to play that all the time. I made the right decision, but John asked that question. 

And at this point, I don’t regret getting out. When. It’s been a good career, very close to my shoulder. I’ve got a good relationship with them, but I sometimes look back at some of the people I served with who did not know that they got out of the army shortly after I knew or about the same time. But I know some people who have, say, 20 to 25. To see everything they’ve accomplished, the resources they got, the advanced degrees, the master’s degrees that came with serving, there is always a part of me that says, what? But there’s no regret. It was. It’s been a good career run, and even where I am right now, I have as much, if not more, energy than ever. But it just goes back to all those things I learned about myself and learned. 

John Renken

That’s a good segue, too, because one of the points of this podcast is to show transitioning military members. But you don’t have to be the smartest. You don’t have to be the best looking, and you don’t have to have the West Point network. You don’t have to have any of those things.

So you went from being an enlisted guy to an officer, getting out in 99, and now you’re a vice president.

You’ve had this track of success, and you know, and it’s not a slight to you, but neither of us is the best-looking guy around, right? And here you are now, as the vice president of the company, talking to us about that and how that came about.

John Elzinga

Yeah, I think I appreciate the compliment, John. I agree. 

You know, one thing I’ve learned over time is how many sports fans are. He just goes back to playing sports in high school, and all the things I’ve learned, I’ve learned a lot of things. I’ve been exposed to a lot of corporate training. Years, and I value the learning I can, but I remember returning to the first hiring manager who hired me. 

And what are the best people doing? In my first year in sales, I took a territory like hockey level, which was at the bottom ranks, and in my first year, I moved into the middle of the ranks and was nowhere near satisfied. Satisfied. And my man was like, hey, you come from baking, and now you’re about that on the first floor. Good job. Let’s get you to the next level. I asked what the best people are doing out there. What’s the secret sauce? 

Well, there’s no real secret sauce. The other one had just attacked, and it was still in the best position it had ever got. The basics, and I’m like, what are those basics? We have a sales model that we followed enough models over the years that they kind of follow the same thing as our model. Block do. We have been exposed to several – Was it an acronym PAIDINC, P is pre-call planning? Do your homework after being in the army—your intelligence, your situation, and some who know yourself. Understand what you’re going into. 

A is how you approach people. 

And that’s something I have to work on. It just goes off the battlefield in my career. You don’t necessarily look like an urban Ranger when you walk in, smile, and talk to people, right, the nurses, the people at the front desk. Guard down a little bit. You come out with a sales brochure, patients a day, and are looking at what you need a little. 

How do you get that approach down? Just get 10 or 15 seconds and turn that into. Where do I Sign? How do you let the guard in for 15 minutes? So that’s the approach. 

And then I is the interview. 

You have the ability to ask questions, Doctor Joe. What’s important to you when you see this patient right here? What’s the outcome that you’re looking for? What’s most important to you? What do you need when you see this patient regarding this type of Product?

And then D is demonstration. 

To show that your body is nice somehow means speaking communities, negotiating the ability to negotiate obstacles and opportunities. And it’s not a linear process. They all work together, and it’s wash, rinse, and repeat. 

I – is to validate.

Turn injections into selling and close what we discussed; just do it well. They show up every day, do 15 calls a day when everybody else is making 18 calls a day, but be effective in those calls. Be persuasive in those calls. 

Ultimately, in sales, you’re looking to persuade somebody to do something they’re not already doing. And coming up with a solution to positioning yourself the way they do that, so really the blocking of the title and then as it involves, say, leadership, you’re the first step to demonstrating success in the field.

It is my second year in the program, so that’s the first thing. President. And you want to be in management; you want to be in leadership. There are many reasons you can demonstrate that first at the individual level. 

Once you do that, you have credibility. That’s getting the management, then it’s getting involved. In. People. I got feedback on how those and then rolled into the management program in another year as a player and the district manager. Pharmaceutical 2. 2005, I went into medical life, so that’s where I’ve been for most of my career. Since. Five, OK, continuing to be. 

Yeah, it’s great that You can do your job well. Teach it to other people so they can do it well. That’s what we really get into the leadership thing and then going into the developing leaders, hiring the right people, hiring the right leaders because once you can hire the right people, what’s the old saying? If you hire the wrong person, 95% of your job is ahead of you. If you hire the right person, then 5% of the jobs. You’re working on a final point, so that’s kind of accepting me getting the manager. And I like building teams and then finding the right groups following the interview process and finding people.

I am now in a position where I’m blessed to work with great leaders and managers and help coach them, pass on all my failures over the years, and hopefully learn from my strengths. With that, they can harness their information as well too. It’s just really. It is an amazing journey, an ongoing journey of sales, sales leadership, and art more than it is. Right. The students of leadership and the students of best practices, and our students understand what the world is, why it is working, and how you. Is involving. Make processes that are moving forward.

John Renken

Yeah. Have you ever heard of Jim Rome?

John Elzinga

I asked.

John Renken

Yeah. So, Jim Rohn says the same thing you just said: you have to be a student of the game. He says that education makes your living, but that self-education, that being that sponge, is what? It makes you a fortune. 

He ties down this idea of being rooted in the basics, and you probably see it as well. I have an experience with a gentleman who was in sales for several years and got off into all this tech stuff—all these tech stacks and all this and all that. 

And I kept returning to the question, does that increase your numbers? The fundamentals of sales get you more sales tax help; I’m not saying we don’t need tax, but nowhere have I seen anybody go from zero to 100 because they have the right technology.

John Elzinga

Regardless of what’s in the, we can never control it. I’m passionate about driving on that point a little bit right now: controlling what you can control. And at the end of the day, our team is in my position. No. If, when, or who signs a purchase order for a large piece of capital or durable medical equipment at the end of the day, we’re not there making anything. Sign. Prescribing. And then it’s kind of, once you do every day in sales, you’re never in full control of that. 

But what we are in full control of is our input to the situation, our activity. When we show up and show off our consistent and, you know, committed commitment to the process, and then what we say and what we know, and it’s just continuing to be the strongest athlete you can be to educate the market on the full capabilities of your technology, whether they need it for certain uses or not, let them tell you that. 

But our job is to get out there and educate the entire market. Healthcare professionals, treats, and disease states. And in our market? Educate them on the technology, don’t want the world, and tell them your zone isn’t interesting. That’s some of the best feedback I got. The worst feedback? I got to remember my first field trainer. My list of doctors. Don’t go here. Go here. Here’s where you spend your time. And I found completely the opposite to be true. I’m the Ranger. You’re the Ranger, John. We are there. To go to places that may be risky sometimes. So I wouldn’t be after the people that I’m training colleagues not to go after those people. And I had a great.

John Renken

Because nobody else was.

John Elzinga

Right, exactly. And. Then I found out. You know where he told me to go? It wasn’t a fish, so. Follow your instincts. Don’t be afraid to go. Dave replaces the older people and goes to work because somebody else has a certain segment of the customer base; they may take one of you and say. That’s why diversity is so important, and not only diversity of gender and ethnicity, but diversity of thought and approach. Doing things your way, do brain, for instance.

John Renken

Yeah, you know, because we come from the same cloth, you’re one thing I talked about with many sales organizations. I try to get them to understand from a military perspective: If you don’t have an SOP, how do you know what’s broken? If you don’t have a standard operating procedure, how do you know it’s John? That’s messed up, not you. Right. 

And I’ve seen this so much in sales SOPs. Don’t you have to do it this way? It’s a structure. So that when we all operate at our peak, we all know what everybody else is doing and what the barrier or the bar is for success and failure. And we have standards we can judge by, and it’s so wild to me. How many sales organizations don’t have pipelines for training SOPs for performance? You know that’s what you and I learned how to do.

John Elzinga

Do kind of like a hiring manager. Art and science, for example, if you’re, whether you’re in sales or anywhere else when you’re hiring somebody, is the best person you can—the ultimate goal. We think that’s something novel. 

So, the best people I’ve been privileged to hire are when I follow the process and I’ve made mistakes; hiring people over the years, too, made me feel a little bit too comfortable with my ability to feel somebody. 

And I found some of the mistakes. I said follow the prophet. You know you follow the process. You follow the SOP. Yeah. You always need the objective at the end of the day; the objective of sales is to grow. The numbers are to grow the sales. And I think it’s just, you know, don’t take your eyes off the ball when you miss it. It’s a little bit different than the SP says. Always keep your eyes on the eyebrow, which is fine in that case for the person, and we feel that. It is key and kind of goes back to something eligible. Sample going out of my first field exercise Excel came up to me because I have a sniper team attached to me, and that’s something you trained on the water for the first time I had the sniper team. 

But it attached huge amounts of respect for this particular axle. We have our Italian. I’ve had some contact with him over the years. He would not be so Lieutenant. Don’t think it just helps us the night before you don’t want them to go. They’ll figure out the rest. So that was kind of. That. So that’s kind of. The heart of it, too, if they have this, this, this, this. It’s just too. 

So. It’s hard to and how we leverage SOPs to follow the key steps in the process. You may have to do things differently but don’t take your eyes off the ball, which is to do business, and in the example, you know your goal. Grow.

John Renken

Yeah, yeah. You know, even outside of the military, right? This conversation of SOPs and what we always used to call commander’s intent. I was just talking with a couple of sales leaders, and they were getting all bogged down in the details, and I was like, hey, scratch that stuff just for a little bit, like none of that stuff matters. What the Hell’s the commander’s intent? Here.

John Elzinga

Right.

John Renken

Like, at the end of the day, what’s the job?

John Elzinga

You. And I remember that you know, and John, we did this over and over and over again in school, and you do it over and over again in units. It’s that paragraph through the operations that I always remember the mission statement, the task, and the purpose. 

I remember you have great skills, and I am blessed to be working with you. You know, the server, we’re so caught up in the purpose. Just tell them what to do, and it’s like we have to understand the purpose, which is to breach the obstacle. The task is to break the obstacle, but the purpose is to allow home forces to get that way. Yeah. To the point, man or the Sergeant. 

But it goes down and melts or bellows. OK, I’m not sure what we’re doing here, but we must somehow open this up. 

I am so getting it through. And today, it’s almost like he’s so he’s. The purpose is to grow the business. Yeah, yeah.

John Renken

I tried. Yeah, and if we understand the purpose, regardless of what the industry is causing, not everybody will be in pharmaceutical or medical sales; it doesn’t matter if we understand the purpose. 

Then, we understand the general structure and can fill in the blanks. To get here. To the commander’s intent or the company’s bottom line. Purpose. If it’s, you know, reaching out to doctors and getting doctors to move a particular way inside their industry. If you know that, then it doesn’t matter if you use Hoes and Twinkies or, you know, lunch from Olive Garden.

John Elzinga

Exactly. And you are able to provide special solutions and help your people. Not only does the house now have loads of sand—but the mission is because sales calls will be different. You mean one sale calling you one sales call; everyone will be different. Do your best with all the processes that work at the end of the day when you know when you have, and you know so that you’ll see the overall objective of what you’re doing. 

That’s such a big part of sales leadership—the power of your people to figure it out, the fact that our infantry—I know several people come from all service branches—and yeah, but keeping an eye and just kind of left and right, you know. In our case. The other thing. Look, soup. Everything is left, right, and blank. Be smart. It is. Yeah.

John Renken

Yeah, absolutely. So, you brought this up because we have a pretty wide audience of people transitioning, you know, and for you to have gone through everything you’ve gone through. Now, to senior leadership inside a successful company, as these men and women are transitioning, and some are. Younger, they have one in class right now. She’s 25, but then we’ve got one that’s 45, right? 

So, we have a broad spectrum of age, gender, and race, which I love because, as you said, in sales, it’s about having that diversity, not just of who you are, but of opinions. What would you say to them as they transition into a career in sales and business? What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned?

John Elzinga

I think it’s just. The goal matches the conversation a little bit earlier. It is just the purpose. What is your vision for your life? If you’re just going to pick sales because you’ve heard that people in sales make good money, you have to understand your internal motivations. I was attracted to sales starting partly because of the money, but I also love the autonomy of it. 

I remember thinking, Oh my gosh, work from home, even though I’m not on the fuel. The fact is, we call them doctors. You have a company car and all these resources to go out there. But for me. They give you. Autonomy of what’s attractive: I knew that as a leader, if I prove myself as a representative. Moving forward, I Could also have. I want to bring the full album as well. I think it’s just knowing that you know your commands, your intent, what you want to do with your life, and what you like. And just take that look in the mirror. What makes me happy when you’re doing it for me? All the things that sales block made me happy. Other people are bad fits for sales. 

 Sometimes, they want to be able to control. It is sometimes a little scary, you know, in sales, at the end of the day, you can’t control like, oh, my God, what happened? You know who did it? Who did it, you know? Sound more? Struggling with some people. Those people could have been better fit for a career in Operation Field, where maybe there’s a little tightness and stuff like that. So just go on the sales and ask why you want to. Get into sales for me. All those questions and that’s not in sales. With the army, something gets into it for the wrong reasons, and they don’t like it. And then and then do something else. But I think the biggest piece of advice that we give is just really, really what you want to do. That’s OK, too. We learn from stakes. Have this self-awareness to know. And why?

John Renken

Yeah, man, that’s so good, dude. Thank you so much for your time today. And your advice, what’s the best way? If somebody’s interested in medical or pharmaceutical sales, what would be the best way for them? Connect with you.

John Elzinga

Yeah, you can hit me on my LinkedIn page. That’s probably the best way to do it.

John Renken

It’s OK, great. So, I look forward to talking with you before the show starts; we will bring you back on. We will do some stuff with you and your company at A at a bigger level. I’m excited to hear more from you because you think like I do. I don’t know if it’s brainwashing from Ranger School or the Rockets fans. That’s my approach to sales as well. 

And so this was fun for me. And I’m going to post on the show notes. I will post our picture from Ranger School and the one I sent you where I’m like, you’re here. And this is me because the interconnectedness of the world is so wild. And here we are 25 years later. I figured out that we were in the same class. Almost.

I was looking at it.

More than.

John Elzinga

That picture looks like exercise. I mean, even to this day, you have all that picture. But it’s hard to believe it was me and the funniest part. And I love to tell people that when we were in the picture, that was three days after we had our comments visiting and looking at that. In Florida, so we don’t, we probably gained. That.

John Renken

10 lbs. Yeah, my mom told me because I was. What would I do? I would have been 20, I think, at that point. Maybe I was 19.

John Elzinga

In that picture.

John Renken

Still, so I was young. My mom came down and picked me up from Fort Benning, and she was like, you should have let me know because I wouldn’t have picked you up if I had known we would stop every hour and a half to eat.

John Elzinga

Absolutely. Yeah, John. Your question earlier was if you can find that link. I don’t think there are many, and I usually didn’t, but it’s the right way for people to reach out to help with the transition. 

Early, just know that what you learned in the military every run life was your functionality, whatever branch of service you come from. You are well, well prepared to go to the civilian world. And the biggest thing is to know what you want to do and why. 

And don’t let the world tell you what you’re fit for. What was your fitted for? Learn from what you say. You probably will fail some interviews during your transition, just like I’ve learned from that. I look forward to it. Yeah, only look at yourself and say how can I do it better next? Time, you know, and always be looking at the next step in the process. Always be looking forward to all the great skills you learn in the military because you’re well prepared. 

So, if you wildly and you can incorporate the civilian world.

John Renken

Great man. Thank you so much for your time today. I look forward to having you back on the show.

John Elzinga

Thank you, John, John, and everybody, for joining me today.

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