Episode 126: Changing the Sales Game for Women with Fred Diamond – Transcript
Rennie Gabriel 00:09
Hi folks, welcome to Episode 126 of the Wealth On Any Income Podcast. This is where we talk about money tips, techniques, attitudes, information, and provide inspiration around your business, and your money. I'm your host Rennie Gabriel. In past episodes, we spoke about how to understand the numbers from your business, how to measure the level of pleasure based on where you spend your money, how to track your money in 5 to 10 seconds. What determines how close you are to Complete Financial Choice®, and how to run your business without being in your business. Last week, we had David Muntner, the visionary leader and founder of Renaissance Messaging, a collective of curiosity-driven renaissance marketing, men and women. Today we have as our guest, Fred Diamond. Fred is the host and producer of the award winning Sales Game Changers Podcast, and as the co-founder of the Institute for Excellence in Sales. He's also an advocate for Lyme disease treatment and is a frequent article contributor to lymedisease.org. His books, Love, Hope, Lyme: What Family Members, Partners, and Friends Who Love a Chronic Lyme Survivor Need to Know, and Insights for the Sales Game Changers, Lessons from the Most Important Sales Leaders on the Planet, are both available on Amazon. Fred, welcome to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast.
Fred Diamond 01:48
Rennie, it's great to see you. I'm a big fan of what you do.
Rennie Gabriel 01:51
Oh, thank you. And I am touched with what you do as well in the Lyme disease arena, unfortunately, because of the personal impact on your wife.
Fred Diamond 02:03
Yes, thank you.
Rennie Gabriel 02:04
Well, in terms of the business, tell me more about what you do and why you do it.
Fred Diamond 02:10
Right. So I run the Institute for Excellence in Sales. Our mission is to help employers, typically companies with large b2b sales organizations, attract, retain, motivate and elevate top tier sales talent. We made a shift in the end of 2022, where most of our focus is on helping those types of companies elevate and promote their women in sales. So 90% of our programs right now are focused on raising the career levels of women in sales. Leaders, typically at companies like Amazon, Salesforce, Hilton. Those are the types of companies that we serve. And most of my career has been in corporate marketing. I was an outsourced chief marketing officer, they now call it fractional in the early 2010's. And my clients were typically sales leaders who were struggling, and one of the reasons they were struggling was because their marketing just wasn't where it needed to be. So I said I need to meet more sales VPs. We then created the Institute for Excellence in Sales. It was an event-driven organization in the Washington DC area. I live in Northern Virginia, right outside of Washington, DC. And here we are eight years later, and our mission right now is to help those large companies grow their women in sales.
Rennie Gabriel 03:26
And I think the emphasis does need to be on the fact they are large companies, not someone who's got two, three salespeople. But I remember from another conversation we had, but these are organizations that may have 100, or more salespeople that need your support.
Fred Diamond 03:44
Absolutely. And right before the pandemic, we were doing a lot of live in person programs in the Washington DC area. The DC area for your listeners who don't know is the fifth largest metropolitan statistical area in the country. So it's actually quite large, obviously, because of the government and other industries like hospitality, associations, politics, they're all based in this area. It's a highly-educated area as well, so there's a lot of tech and our business was doing live events. We would do some events that would get 15 people, some that would get 500 people. Obviously with the pandemic, that then shifted to virtual. And it was kind of challenging to monetize it the way we had prior to the pandemic. And obviously, a lot of your clients and people who've been on your show have had to figure that out. So we made a shift towards focusing on women in sales, and primarily with larger companies that wanted to look diverse, that wanted to support the diverse audiences. The one that we're tackling first is women in sales. So yeah, I have a list of 100 companies that we target, 30 of them are customers right now. We call them members and we're looking to continue to figure out ways to to help them grow their sales teams.
Rennie Gabriel 04:57
Thank you. I know that you do a lot of work in terms of Lyme disease. Is there a particular charity around Lyme disease?
Fred Diamond 05:07
There's tons. You know, it's interesting, there's a couple of large ones. There's lymedisease.org. My Lyme journey began, I knew one person with Lyme and then I decided to learn more about what this person who I loved was going through, and I got really deep into the Lyme world. Lymedisease.org, is the first organization that I discovered, as a matter of fact, it's kind of like a news central. They also do a lot of data gathering on where people are with Lyme disease. And I started writing blog articles for them about how people could be a more supportive partner, spouse, or friend, to someone with chronic Lyme disease. I've written probably 10 articles for them at this point. They've gotten thousands of downloads. I've become good friends with the people over there. And I really believe in their mission. So it's, but there's probably Rennie, there's so many micro-type of charities, where you know, for example, Lyme disease, especially the chronic stage is not covered by insurance. So to get medicine, to get antibiotics to see a doctor, a lot of people they can't work with Lyme disease. So there's a probably a couple of hundred, small 501(c)(3)s that have sprung up to raise money so that people could buy medicine, or they could get a doctor's appointment or some type of additional care.
Rennie Gabriel 06:28
Oh, thank you for that. Because I had no idea that health insurance companies weren't supporting the people with Lyme disease. That's, that's like . . .
Fred Diamond 06:37
Yeah, the reason is, it's incurable when it gets to the chronic stage. So you know, obviously, insurance agents don't want to pay insurance. So why pay out something where there's no cure. So and it's a huge challenge, because the other side of the equation is Lyme affects every part of your body, especially when it gets to the chronic stage. It's very difficult to work. Now, one thing that I've done is I've interviewed on my Sales Game Changers podcast, people who have been able to have sales careers, with chronic Lyme. And you and I don't know what your health situation is, but we take things for granted. The expression, when you have your health, you could do a million things when you don't have your health you can only think of one thing, truly applies.
Rennie Gabriel 07:20
Yeah, no, that makes perfect sense. Well, let's get back to the business area. And tell me two things. What was your biggest failure, whether it was personal or business, and what was your insight from that? How would that apply to business?
Fred Diamond 07:35
Well, I'll share one that probably would work for your audience. I had a partner in the beginning. And you know, I wanted to meet sales VPs, because they were my customers. He was a recruiter, and he wanted to, you know, just basically find another way to network. And in the first couple years, it was great. We just had a great time. All the money that we were making was, you know, basically gravy-type money. And it was fun. And we were you know, we would get hundreds of people coming to our events. People loved it. We got a great reputation relatively quickly. At some point, I said, You know what I really want to do this full time. I believe there's a lot of potential here. We were hitting - there weren't too many sales organizations, if any, like what we created at the Institute for Excellence in Sales. So I went to my partner and I said, Let's do it, let's quit our, essentially quit our jobs and let's focus on this full-time. We agreed, but I was more committed to it than he was and we figured out that pretty quickly. And it got to be a struggle. All the fun was gone. You know, because now I stopped looking for clients. And I was really trying to focus on getting companies to join the Institute, which is where our revenue was. And we realized by - we actually realized like two months in that it just wasn't going to work. And here's the failure part. I strung it out for like six more months. You know, I came up with ideas and suggestions, and you do this, and I do this. And it really wasn't . . . We just had a different level of commitment level once we decided to increase. So I eventually wrote him a check. And we ended the partnership. I've always felt bad about it. You know, this was a guy, I was friends with, just a great, great guy. But when we made that commitment to really take it to the next level, just, we had a different level of commitment level. We did reconnect about a year and a half ago, and actually we're back to being friends, which is very nice. Just for your listeners, I don't know what else I could have done. You know what I'm saying, back there six years ago. I've thought about, but we just weren't, we just weren't in sync. And I had a mentor who was a very, very successful business person. And I met with him afterwards. And we sat down and he said you're done with partners? He said, No more partners for you. And I was like, okay.
Rennie Gabriel 09:52
Yeah, and at the same time, you know, there are very successful businesses based on partnership because as long as the commitment level is there, and you have a divergent personality, such as one is a visionary and the other can execute on the vision, it will work very well. But if you're both of the execution-type or both of the visionary-type, that's where it's not going to be as effective.
Fred Diamond 10:18
Yeah, that's a great point. And the other thing, too, is, I thought that we were both, had the same level of commitment. And there's a lot more I can tell to this story. But there was a moment when it was with our spouses at the time, and I had asked this particular person, I said, I want you to step up and really be a 50/50 partner. And he said, I'm on board and his wife said, No, you're not. She said, This ain't the right thing for you. And he goes, No, I really want to do it. She goes, No. And I said, He said, he wants to do it. So there's a lot of, I realized that there's so many, it's like a marriage. So many things need to go right. And, yeah.
Rennie Gabriel 10:56
Well give me an example, though, of a case study where you supported one of the companies, whether it's Hilton or Amazon, or whatever, and maybe how some of the women salespeople transformed, or the results went from wherever to somewhere else.
Fred Diamond 11:13
Yeah, it's very, very simple. So here's what happened. Back in 2014, I had a guy who runs a billion dollar company, came to me and said, I love what you're dealing with the Institute, here's something you should think about. He said, Half my sales team is men, half my sales team is women. He said the women perform 6 to 8% better than the men on average, with achieving quota. He said, But the problem is they shut down in every meeting where the men and women are together. And he says, I can't figure it out. What we've learned over the years, you know, if you have, let's say, half the room, man, half the women, you raise a problem, Hey, How do we be more successful selling product A? Guys are going to just start talking, without even having thought through. Here's three things boss, and then they'll just, you know, boom, boom, boom, Where the women, and I'm stereotyping here, but it's not too far off of what we've learned. The women will think, hmmm, how could we sell those products? Well, it's a chain . . . and they'll be thinking in their head, writing down notes. Next thing they know the meeting is over, and the men dominated it. And he said to me, if you could create something for women in sales, I would support it. So it led to what we call our Women in Sales Leadership Forum. It's a six-week cohort for women and sales leaders, and now it's women and sales leaders around the globe. And we do topics like intuitive decision-making, high-level presence, and they're all women in sales. I've had, we've had about 150 women go through, Rennie. I've had about 60 of them who've reached out to me after going through the six-session program, which is just women and sales leaders. It's a safe, you know, safe environment. They can say whatever they want to say. And here's the interesting thing. They've said, Thank you so much. This has been a life-changing program. But what they said is this program has removed some of the stress I have at home. And it's made me happier at home, which has made me happier in the office. So I have more bandwidth. I have more confidence to go implement projects. One thing we do as part of this Women in Sales Leadership Forum is every attendee has their own project that they want to bring back to their company. And some have been, you know, creating a new partner program, launching a new product, implementing a new internal communications project or standard, if you will. And time and time again, they just have, we've given them the space to be able to do that. I tell people, it's like these women tell me, they're happier at home. And it's stressful for women, you know, you have the children, you have to balance things, things that men typically don't take... they take for granted. There's more that goes into being successful.
Rennie Gabriel 13:53
Yeah, for any of our listeners, any of my listeners, whatever, that want to reach out to you to get some more information, is there something that you can provide, whether it's a LinkedIn profile, a free gift? I mean, is there some, what should someone use to get a hold of you?
Fred Diamond 14:08
Sure. LinkedIn is the best way. I'm on LinkedIn all the time. I post something every day on LinkedIn at 7:30. It's always open. Reach out to me. And if you reach out to me via LinkedIn, just mention you heard me on Rennie's show. I will send you the, if you choose either one, I'll send you a free copy, the e-copy of my book, Insights for Sales Game Changers. Or, if you have someone in your life who has been touched by Lyme, I'll send you the free e-copy of Love, Hope, Lyme: What Family Members, Partners, and Friends Who Love a Chronic Lyme Survivor Need to Know. So just reach out to me via LinkedIn. Just say, Hey, Rennie sent me, or heard you on Rennie's show, and tell me which of the two books you want and I'd be happy to send them to you.
Rennie Gabriel 14:48
Thank you so much. Thank you, Fred. I'll be sure to put your LinkedIn profile in the show notes so people can do that. And thank you so much for being on the show.
Fred Diamond 14:59
Thank you. Again, we've known each other for a couple years. I'm impressed by your commitment to charity and how much of service you are and how you've helped so many people be successful. Great sales professionals, great business leaders, they give back. And they know that it's about giving back. And if anybody is exemplary about that, it's you.
Rennie Gabriel 15:19
Thank you. Thank you so much, Fred. And for my listeners, if you'd like to know how books, movies and Society programs you to be poor, and what the cure is, then log on to wealthonanyincome.com/TEDx. You'll hear my TED talk and you can request a free 27-Page Roadmap to Complete Financial Choice® and Philanthropy. And receive a weekly email with tips, techniques, or inspiration around your business or your money. And if you'd like to see how you can increase your wealth, and donate to the causes that touch your heart, please check out our affordable program, Wealth with Purpose, also on our website. To my listeners, thank you for tuning in. And you can listen to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast on your favorite platform. And please rate, review and subscribe. Until next week, be prosperous. Bye bye for now.