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The Value of Intuition in Sales with Leslie Venetz
Episode 6330th March 2022 • The Science of Selling STEM • Wesleyne Greer
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In this episode of the Science of Selling STEM, I had the great privilege of speaking with Leslie Venetz, a three-time head of sales and founder of a consulting company, Sales Team Builder LLC. Leslie is one of the biggest sales TikTok influencers in the game and although she's got a big following on TikTok, her message is so much more. She is super passionate about creating inclusive, respective sales teams to level up their profession of sales.

As you will hear for yourself, Leslie has a genuine passion for sales and helping others become the best they can be. She consistently and with pleasure, gives back to the sales community. We will talk about her inspiring professional journey in sales, how far we still need to go for more women in sales, bringing inclusivity to the sales industry, and so much more. Don’t miss out on this incredible episode. 

And if you ever need help with a sales or leadership issue don't hesitate to book a complimentary clarity session with me HERE. You can also email us at podcast@transformedsales.com with any suggestions or comments about the podcast.

On Today’s Episode of the Science of Selling STEM:

  • From a cold caller to a three-time head of sales (01:43)
  • How to know the difference between uncomfortable and icky in a sales role (03:16)
  • Rebuilding her confidence after leaving a toxic work environment (08:12)
  • Positively impacting salespeople that she had in her team (12:26)
  • Moving down from manager to individual contributor is not a step back (17:29)
  • Why it's important to set good boundaries between your work and personal life (22:11)
  • Being great at talking about sales on TikTok (28:28)
  • Having the courage to quit her corporate day job and become a full-time entrepreneur (32:14)

Connect with Wesleyne Greer:

Connect with Leslie Venetz:

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Thanks for tuning into The Science of Selling STEM! If you enjoyed this episode and want to learn even more about what it takes to transform your sales, don’t forget to tune into our other episodes and share your favorite episodes on social media!

Join The Science of Selling STEM community on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and visit my website for even more content, information, and resources.

Transcripts

Wesleyne Greer:

As a sales manager, you are judged by the

Wesleyne Greer:

performance of your team, and you're praised when they do

Wesleyne Greer:

well. But one thing that you've not been able to figure out is

Wesleyne Greer:

how to get everyone on your team consistently hitting quota every

Wesleyne Greer:

single month. On the Snack size sales podcast, we discuss the

Wesleyne Greer:

science of selling stem sales leadership in the science,

Wesleyne Greer:

technology, engineering and manufacturing fields is

Wesleyne Greer:

difficult. You will learn from sales managers just like you

Wesleyne Greer:

that will give you actionable insights and tips on how to

Wesleyne Greer:

develop as a leader and achieve your revenue targets every

Wesleyne Greer:

single month. So pop your headphones in and get ready to

Wesleyne Greer:

listen to my guest today. They will give you information and

Wesleyne Greer:

inspiration to ensure that you have actionable insights that

Wesleyne Greer:

you can put into place today. Hello, and welcome to another

Wesleyne Greer:

episode of the science of selling stem. I am so excited

Wesleyne Greer:

today to have a Leslie thence with me. How are you Leslie? Oh

Wesleyne Greer:

my gosh, I'm so great. I felt like I'm remeeting royalty here.

Wesleyne Greer:

We're finally putting faces to names after all this time. I

Wesleyne Greer:

know we've been following each other for so long on LinkedIn.

Wesleyne Greer:

So I'm so excited to dig into things with you. Let me tell you

Wesleyne Greer:

guys a little bit about Leslie. She's a three time head of sales

Wesleyne Greer:

and founder of a consulting company sales team builder she

Wesleyne Greer:

is passionate about creating inclusive, respective sales

Wesleyne Greer:

teams to level up their profession of sales. How did you

Wesleyne Greer:

get started and become a three time Head of Sales not once or

Wesleyne Greer:

twice, but thrice. Tell us about your journey? Yeah, I, you know,

Wesleyne Greer:

I think like a lot of people's journeys, I didn't mean to go

Wesleyne Greer:

into sales, I stumbled into it. And it's really been a roller

Wesleyne Greer:

coaster of being an individual contributor selling products

Wesleyne Greer:

that I love moving into management, moving back to being

Wesleyne Greer:

an individual contributor, selling something I didn't love

Wesleyne Greer:

so much. You know, I think often there's this narrative that in

Wesleyne Greer:

your career, you have to have this linear upward path. And

Wesleyne Greer:

that has not been true for me. I don't think I'm alone in that.

Wesleyne Greer:

But I started as a like, straight up cold caller 100%

Wesleyne Greer:

Cold outreach, no emails, no inbound, I was making 150 200

Wesleyne Greer:

dials a day, no computer at my desk, even it was literally just

Wesleyne Greer:

a stack of paper leads and a phone. That's how I started. So

Wesleyne Greer:

I've started there. And 15 years later now to run a sales

Wesleyne Greer:

consulting company that's very focused on like the modern

Wesleyne Greer:

seller and the modern buyer. It's been an evolution. Wow. So

Wesleyne Greer:

like all school has your phone but dialing I call it dialing

Wesleyne Greer:

for dollars. So you actually started dialing for dollars.

Wesleyne Greer:

That's how you cut your teeth and sales smile and dial

Wesleyne Greer:

smiling.

Wesleyne Greer:

People they say that today smiling. So you mentioned that

Wesleyne Greer:

you your path to where you are today hasn't been a straight

Wesleyne Greer:

line. So you went from being an individual contributor? And you

Wesleyne Greer:

said, Yeah, okay, I want to go into management. But maybe this

Wesleyne Greer:

doesn't work for me. And then you also mentioned selling

Wesleyne Greer:

products that you really don't like, how did you know that this

Wesleyne Greer:

wasn't for you? What were the keys in that position? They

Wesleyne Greer:

said,

leslie venetz:

I gotta go. Yeah, absolutely. You know, it's

leslie venetz:

interesting, the job I'm thinking about, and I won't call

leslie venetz:

them out, the product itself actually could have been a very,

leslie venetz:

very powerful and very useful product. But the way it was

leslie venetz:

being sold, just did felt icky. And what I always try to remind

leslie venetz:

folks is that it's okay, if it feels uncomfortable, like that's

leslie venetz:

part of trying something new and pushing gently against our

leslie venetz:

boundaries and growing. But if it feels icky, like listen to

leslie venetz:

your intuition, and it was a lot of those old school sales

leslie venetz:

tactics of really almost being like predatory in the way they

leslie venetz:

were using emotion and using fear and urgency to get the deal

leslie venetz:

done. And then as a result, you had clients that regretted their

leslie venetz:

purchases, and were unhappy with the solution at the end of the

leslie venetz:

day.

Wesleyne Greer:

So as a sales person, or maybe even as a sales

Wesleyne Greer:

leader, how do you know the difference between uncomfortable

Wesleyne Greer:

and achy? Like what are some of the things that you can tell

Wesleyne Greer:

them so they know because a lot of people are like, I don't like

Wesleyne Greer:

doing this, but it could just be because you haven't done it

Wesleyne Greer:

enough. What's the difference?

leslie venetz:

Yeah, for me, it's always been a gut feeling.

leslie venetz:

And I think that's true for a lot of people, right? Like if

leslie venetz:

your intuition is telling you this is wrong. like this does

leslie venetz:

not align with your value set, you're probably erring on the

leslie venetz:

side of achy versus just uncomfortable. You know, I think

leslie venetz:

one of the easiest paths to figure out, you know where

leslie venetz:

you're at on that paradigm is to just have a conversation with

leslie venetz:

your manager or with your leadership about it. This feels

leslie venetz:

bad, because and by talking through it, you know, I think

leslie venetz:

you can get to an outcome that maybe that's not the job for

leslie venetz:

you. Or maybe sales isn't even the job for you. Or maybe you're

leslie venetz:

just going through a process of growth, and it hurts a bit.

Wesleyne Greer:

Hmm. So you mentioned something about

Wesleyne Greer:

selling a product that didn't make you feel too great. And

Wesleyne Greer:

then customers kind of coming back and being like, give me a

Wesleyne Greer:

refund. I don't like this. What were some of the lessons that

Wesleyne Greer:

you learned in that when you were in that place, selling a

Wesleyne Greer:

product that you felt icky about customers coming back and

Wesleyne Greer:

saying, You suck? What are some of those lessons learns that

Wesleyne Greer:

you've translated into life lessons today?

leslie venetz:

Yeah, that entire was only there for six months.

leslie venetz:

Not surprisingly, the culture was also a terrible, terrible,

leslie venetz:

terrible culture. The opposite of everything that I stand for,

leslie venetz:

like it was actively not diverse and actively not inclusive,

leslie venetz:

their idea of culture was very much like young white men. That

leslie venetz:

was their idea of culture is, you know, a bunch of people that

leslie venetz:

wanted to go out and get drunk together every night after work.

leslie venetz:

That was a role where my direct supervisor, like very

leslie venetz:

aggressively verbally abused and sexually harassed me. So it was

leslie venetz:

a long, long list of red flags, maybe at the bottom of it was

leslie venetz:

that the way that we were selling didn't fit for me. So,

leslie venetz:

you know, I think the top line lesson was to trust myself more,

leslie venetz:

like I saw those red flags along the way. And I just hoped that

leslie venetz:

it would be different because I was being hired as their first

leslie venetz:

US employee and as a head of sales, and I was being given

leslie venetz:

this opportunity to create my own culture. So I kind of

leslie venetz:

tricked myself into thinking, well, if I get that ownership, I

leslie venetz:

can make it something different than it is. But if it's already

leslie venetz:

rotten, it's going to be pretty difficult to go in there and fix

leslie venetz:

it. And at the same time, like that was probably too much for

leslie venetz:

me to take on. Like, I yeah, I think my like big life lesson

leslie venetz:

was, really, you need to trust your intuition more. And if it

leslie venetz:

feels wrong from the beginning, don't go in thinking that like,

leslie venetz:

you're going to be the magic one that can make everything better.

leslie venetz:

That's unrealistic.

Wesleyne Greer:

Hmm. I was recently working vetting a

Wesleyne Greer:

client, if you will, and they had a head of sales that was

Wesleyne Greer:

outgoing. And she was like, yeah, just talk to him get his

Wesleyne Greer:

opinion, all these things. I thought it was quite innocent.

Wesleyne Greer:

The first thing that he said, was this company so

Wesleyne Greer:

dysfunctional, like, oh, okay, so let's talk about these

Wesleyne Greer:

things. And really one of the things that you said he only

Wesleyne Greer:

lasted for months. And one of the things that you said that is

Wesleyne Greer:

so true is when you are in those situations, and they're so

Wesleyne Greer:

mentally taxing, it's like you feel the abuse, you feel the oh,

Wesleyne Greer:

I have to go to work again, oh, I have to show up, I have to be

Wesleyne Greer:

my best self, it tends to affect your next step, or what you do

Wesleyne Greer:

after that position, because it kind of hurts your self esteem.

Wesleyne Greer:

So after you left that very toxic place, how did you kind of

Wesleyne Greer:

crawl out of that and rebuild your confidence? And no, it's

Wesleyne Greer:

not me. They were crazy. Not me.

leslie venetz:

Yeah, that's a really good question. Because it

leslie venetz:

was a journey. And honestly, Wesleyne I think it's a journey

leslie venetz:

I'm still on. Like it was, it was a really pivotal moment in

leslie venetz:

my career in my life, in how I define not just what I want to

leslie venetz:

do, but who I want to be while I'm doing it. And it took a long

leslie venetz:

time for me to build back like a long time, found myself back in

leslie venetz:

therapy. So that helped so grateful that I have access to

leslie venetz:

mental health like that. But I was lucky enough that I took a

leslie venetz:

month off. I mean, I quit without another job. So I had

leslie venetz:

kind of a month stop gap where I could be thoughtful and sit with

leslie venetz:

it and sort of recover from some of the depression and anxiety

leslie venetz:

that I was feeling as a result. during that month. I was also

leslie venetz:

able to get a lot of the people I'd hired out and into new jobs,

leslie venetz:

because that was a real burden that I felt I felt this

leslie venetz:

responsibility for them. So I think that was the sort of first

leslie venetz:

step but you know, I would say honestly for a full year after

leslie venetz:

that, and I went to a startup after that, where I also didn't

leslie venetz:

have like sounding board so I was just sort of winging it for

leslie venetz:

a year after that I frequently had to sit with myself to be

leslie venetz:

like no You are good at this, you got this. And I kind of had

leslie venetz:

to like talk myself back into believing that I was the elite

leslie venetz:

sales performer and sales leader that I am,

Wesleyne Greer:

hmm. Man, there's so much there that I'm

Wesleyne Greer:

gonna unpack.

leslie venetz:

So taking it to the emotional background you

leslie venetz:

love God.

Wesleyne Greer:

This is what we do here. We're talking about the

Wesleyne Greer:

science of selling sell. And so one of the things that I think

Wesleyne Greer:

we kind of gloss over so many times within our profession is

Wesleyne Greer:

the tax thing nature that it has on our mental health. And so you

Wesleyne Greer:

mentioned Hey, I realized I needed to go to therapy. And I

Wesleyne Greer:

think that I really just want to take a moment and let people

Wesleyne Greer:

know that is absolutely okay. If you work within a company, I

Wesleyne Greer:

would say probably 95% of the companies out there have some

Wesleyne Greer:

kind of EAP, which is a resource within the company and you say,

Wesleyne Greer:

hey, I need a therapist and you get three free sessions, the

Wesleyne Greer:

company that's just a benefit that you have as an employee,

Wesleyne Greer:

and it's confidential, you go you work through the therapist,

Wesleyne Greer:

and if you don't feel comfortable with that, it's okay

Wesleyne Greer:

to seek your own therapy, there's, we have to start

Wesleyne Greer:

removing that stigma. Because what happens, especially when

Wesleyne Greer:

we're in these leadership positions, you mentioned, you

Wesleyne Greer:

didn't have a sounding board. And so not having a sounding

Wesleyne Greer:

board, not having someone to talk to is so so detrimental.

Wesleyne Greer:

And we don't realize the effect that it has on us long term.

leslie venetz:

It's true. I mean, I definitely felt

leslie venetz:

isolated, I was definitely struggling to prioritize. I

leslie venetz:

mean, I wasn't prioritizing my mental health when I was in the

leslie venetz:

thick of it. And so it was, it was really something I had to be

leslie venetz:

very intentional about, as I recovered from that time in my

leslie venetz:

life. And it's why I talk about it openly, because there is

leslie venetz:

unfortunately a stigma around therapy around prioritizing your

leslie venetz:

mental health. I think it's important in all professions,

leslie venetz:

but gosh, in a profession, like sales, where you're also facing

leslie venetz:

rejection, every single day, every day, every Dang day, it is

leslie venetz:

so important to give yourself that space and that permission

leslie venetz:

to just admit, oh, I think I need to take some time to rest

leslie venetz:

or recharge or reach out for help. So that you don't feel

leslie venetz:

isolated or fall into patterns of depression or anxiety, or you

leslie venetz:

know, whatever it is.

Wesleyne Greer:

And then as leaders, we have the

Wesleyne Greer:

salespeople. And I mean, I really try not to say like

Wesleyne Greer:

they're our children, because some people don't like that.

Wesleyne Greer:

They're like, Oh, that's kind of derogatory. But I liken it to a

Wesleyne Greer:

close loved one, even though it's in a professional realm.

Wesleyne Greer:

But when you find the best and the brightest, and you say, take

Wesleyne Greer:

a bet on me, take a chance on me because people don't leave

Wesleyne Greer:

companies, they don't come to companies, they leave managers,

Wesleyne Greer:

they go to up managers, right? Like you as the manager, you're

Wesleyne Greer:

interviewing them, you're convincing them, you are selling

Wesleyne Greer:

them the company. And so to then say, Okay, I've taken a step

Wesleyne Greer:

back. Now, these people that I brought into this toxic

Wesleyne Greer:

environment, I want to make sure that you're taking care of also,

Wesleyne Greer:

how did those people who you brought in and then helped find

Wesleyne Greer:

another path? How did that impact them as salespeople?

leslie venetz:

So you know, I'm thinking of a couple examples.

leslie venetz:

For the women, it was pretty rough, because they saw what was

leslie venetz:

happening to me with a lens that the men just weren't seeing it

leslie venetz:

through. And then many of them were also being subjected to

leslie venetz:

forms of sexism and sexual harassment and gender

leslie venetz:

discrimination. So some of them will still reach out to me now,

leslie venetz:

from a place of gratitude, like thank you for not just leaving

leslie venetz:

me there. And, you know, it's interesting, because I still

leslie venetz:

keep in touch with about a half a day, it was a big team, I

leslie venetz:

ramped a team of 24 SDRs, in three months. So it was a it was

leslie venetz:

a pretty big team. And there's about a half a dozen of the guys

leslie venetz:

that I keep in touch with. And I've often sensed like an

leslie venetz:

undertone of guilt. And one of them has explicitly stated that,

leslie venetz:

like, he didn't realize how bad it was, and he wishes he would

leslie venetz:

have done more he wishes he would have said something. So

leslie venetz:

it's interesting that we were, you know, we were kind of all in

leslie venetz:

it together. Like nobody was spared from this leaders wrath.

leslie venetz:

And there were folks that, you know, I think, to protect

leslie venetz:

themselves, chose the route of aligning with him. And then

leslie venetz:

another group of people that chose the route of, you know, at

leslie venetz:

the very least saying, I'm uncomfortable, and then on the

leslie venetz:

far end being like, give me the heck outta here. This is toxic.

Wesleyne Greer:

Yeah, you know, and you talk about diversity,

Wesleyne Greer:

equity and inclusion alive. And I actually recently had this

Wesleyne Greer:

conversation, and it's called the bystander effect, right? And

Wesleyne Greer:

so when you are in the situation, whether you're male

Wesleyne Greer:

or you're female, you're underrepresented minority or

Wesleyne Greer:

not. A lot of times you're sitting in the room and you're

Wesleyne Greer:

seeing those aggressive Whether they're macro or micro, because

Wesleyne Greer:

people talk about micro aggressions, you talking over me

Wesleyne Greer:

is not a micro aggression. That is an aggression period. Right?

Wesleyne Greer:

And really, and I say it's the small things, it's something as

Wesleyne Greer:

small as hearing your colleague being talked down to or being

Wesleyne Greer:

mansplaining, or whatever that is, or you can see them

Wesleyne Greer:

shrinking in their seat as somebody is talking. And you

Wesleyne Greer:

say, Hey, Tom, I think you what, you're a little bit out of line

Wesleyne Greer:

there, or I really agree with what Mary said, Can we let her

Wesleyne Greer:

finish our thought something as small as that really shows ally

Wesleyne Greer:

ship and a really helps that person? That one that

Wesleyne Greer:

underrepresented minority? No, that okay, there's somebody else

Wesleyne Greer:

speaking for me, because right now, I can't find my voice.

leslie venetz:

It's so true that spot on just like plus 1 million

leslie venetz:

to get comment. And I don't think that our allies always

leslie venetz:

realize how big of a difference such a small action and makes me

leslie venetz:

insane, something as simple as you know, before we move on,

leslie venetz:

Tom, you know, I'd really love to give Leslie a chance to

leslie venetz:

finish her thought, like such a simple action on that really has

leslie venetz:

bigger and more meaningful implications.

Wesleyne Greer:

Yes, yes. And I had a situation in my career

Wesleyne Greer:

where there was a manager, who was Township, probably like my

Wesleyne Greer:

manager, and yours could be twins. And I was HR was like, he

Wesleyne Greer:

doesn't respect women. This is what's happening. That's what's

Wesleyne Greer:

happening. And the HR manager told me, Oh, no less lean stuff

Wesleyne Greer:

that he doesn't respect women. He treats everybody like that.

Wesleyne Greer:

And I said, But why is that? Okay? Like, why is that? Okay?

Wesleyne Greer:

And then when you hear it coming from that level, you know, like,

Wesleyne Greer:

it is time to go, like, what else can I do? Because you're

Wesleyne Greer:

making excuses for that person. So now I want to pivot a little

Wesleyne Greer:

bit. Isn't that crazy?

leslie venetz:

Right? Yeah. I mean, it was a similar

leslie venetz:

situation, I escalated to the CEO. And he told me I was just

leslie venetz:

being sensitive.

Wesleyne Greer:

Yeah. Oh, we can go into a whole nother

leslie venetz:

feminine urge to prove yourself. Oh, yes. A

leslie venetz:

pivot. Yeah.

Wesleyne Greer:

Maybe Why don't you do this? Or is the like, no.

Wesleyne Greer:

So now let's kind of transition because that topic that we just

Wesleyne Greer:

covered is so important mental health ally ship speaking up for

Wesleyne Greer:

yourself, really having someone to come alongside you when you

Wesleyne Greer:

don't have your voice. And so for all of my listeners, I hope

Wesleyne Greer:

that you really got something from that very important

Wesleyne Greer:

segment. But now I want to transition a bit because you

Wesleyne Greer:

said you went from leader to individual contributor back to

Wesleyne Greer:

leader, so was that around the same time, or what caused you to

Wesleyne Greer:

take a step back so that you can escalate?

leslie venetz:

You know, and I'll even challenge you, because

leslie venetz:

I don't feel like going from leader to end individual

leslie venetz:

contributors a step back.

Wesleyne Greer:

I love it. I love the challenge. Now, you

Wesleyne Greer:

know,

leslie venetz:

I just like that, that entire, like belief that

leslie venetz:

the only way to move up in your career is to move into

leslie venetz:

management. And if you move into management and realize that it's

leslie venetz:

not for you, you're somehow taking a step back. Or if you

leslie venetz:

are in management in one company, and then find another

leslie venetz:

opportunity where you love the team and the culture and the

leslie venetz:

product and become an individual contributor, somehow that's not

leslie venetz:

a step up. That's a step back. So I don't buy into all of that.

Wesleyne Greer:

I do want to say that. I love that. And one of

Wesleyne Greer:

the reasons that I love interviewing you amazing people

Wesleyne Greer:

is because you challenge the way that I say things or perceive

Wesleyne Greer:

things and you're right. It's not a step back, because

Wesleyne Greer:

sometimes you're doing it because I mean, let's face it,

Wesleyne Greer:

salespeople actually do make more money than sales managers,

Wesleyne Greer:

sometimes, sometimes there's a skill you need to learn. So it's

Wesleyne Greer:

not necessarily a setback, it's a different decision. So I go

Wesleyne Greer:

now, I'm not going to say that anymore. It is not a setback, it

Wesleyne Greer:

is a shift in your career. Okay, keep rocking the roll.

leslie venetz:

And you said something really important that

leslie venetz:

was lean that often sales executives top performing sales

leslie venetz:

executives make more than sales leadership. And so often when I

leslie venetz:

tell folks that that are thinking about their career

leslie venetz:

pathing it blows their minds. So like, just a heads up, think

leslie venetz:

about what your goals are, and think about why you want to move

leslie venetz:

into leadership. And if it's because of the title or because

leslie venetz:

of the money, you're probably not going to love it when you

leslie venetz:

get there.

Wesleyne Greer:

No, one of the biggest things that I hear from

Wesleyne Greer:

new sales managers, the ones that you know, they're my, my

Wesleyne Greer:

special people that I love so much is I'm making less money

Wesleyne Greer:

doing more work, and everybody hates me that like that is one

Wesleyne Greer:

of the things they say within their first 60 to 90 days. It's

Wesleyne Greer:

it's like oh my gosh, what did I do? Like I was the number one

Wesleyne Greer:

salesperson I was bringing in all the money everybody was

Wesleyne Greer:

loving me but I'll ask God, so it is Oh true. But for some

Wesleyne Greer:

people, that is what they want to do like and some people want

Wesleyne Greer:

to instead of generate the revenue themselves, they want

Wesleyne Greer:

five or 10 people to use their ideas, their coaching and

Wesleyne Greer:

generate their revenue through them until it's a paradigm

Wesleyne Greer:

shift. Right? It

leslie venetz:

is. And I went from individual contributor into

leslie venetz:

sales management. And I went very early in my career into

leslie venetz:

management, which, you know, I had many jobs all through

leslie venetz:

college, and I've been leading people in managing people. So it

leslie venetz:

wasn't totally new. But it's a shift when it's like your first

leslie venetz:

corporate job. And you're, you know, a manager in that context.

leslie venetz:

But I went from IC to sales manager to player coach to head

leslie venetz:

of sales to being the number one employee where I was an icy

leslie venetz:

like, I mean, I still had my own quota and my own numbers I

leslie venetz:

needed to be putting on the board, but also was running the

leslie venetz:

GTM. And creating the MVP and hiring the team and running the

leslie venetz:

team and was a sort of player coach in that role, but also in

leslie venetz:

a really strategic role. And then move to another company

leslie venetz:

where I was an IC for a bit while I was learning the product

leslie venetz:

before I started managing people. And then during the

leslie venetz:

pandemic, we got VC, but I mean, just turned everything upside

leslie venetz:

down, and then went back into an IC role for a couple of months

leslie venetz:

before I left. And now I'm sort of an individual contributor,

leslie venetz:

right, like, as a founder as a solopreneur. That's, that's what

leslie venetz:

I'm doing. So it has really been an all over the place. But each

leslie venetz:

role has been meaningful in its own way. And each role has, like

leslie venetz:

very much taught me something different and new, that I don't

leslie venetz:

think I would have gotten if I would have been so married to

leslie venetz:

like the linear path forward.

Wesleyne Greer:

So what I really like about the way that you

Wesleyne Greer:

shared your experience, you didn't just say so I went from

Wesleyne Greer:

this company, and I was an individual contributor. And then

Wesleyne Greer:

I became a manager, you're like, I did this because it was

Wesleyne Greer:

strategic here. I was building playbooks here. And I was doing

Wesleyne Greer:

go to market strategy there. And I was doing this and I was doing

Wesleyne Greer:

that. And we know as entrepreneurs, as consultants,

Wesleyne Greer:

that's what makes us great, because we're not one

Wesleyne Greer:

dimensional, we've worn so many different hats. So if you could

Wesleyne Greer:

look back over your diverse, varied, amazing career, give me

Wesleyne Greer:

the top three things that you found most important, and you're

Wesleyne Greer:

implementing into your practice today,

leslie venetz:

with the top three things that I have found

leslie venetz:

most important boundaries. That's probably what I'll lead

leslie venetz:

with, and boundaries on so many fronts. Like, I think one of the

leslie venetz:

biggest lightbulb moments in my career Wesleyne was when I

leslie venetz:

admitted to myself that I wasn't as important as I wanted to

leslie venetz:

pretend to be, and it came to me, because I would, you know,

leslie venetz:

take PTR, I've almost exclusively worked for British

leslie venetz:

companies. And then when I was at a startup, I created the comp

leslie venetz:

plan. So I've always had just this aggressive amount of PTO,

leslie venetz:

and I take it, I love it. But for many years, like all of my

leslie venetz:

20s, I wouldn't be unavailable while I was on vacation. And I

leslie venetz:

had this like, story going in my head, everything would fall

leslie venetz:

apart if I wasn't there. And they you know, they just can't

leslie venetz:

function without me I have to be available. And like I don't even

leslie venetz:

know what the stopgap was. But it was this moment where I was

leslie venetz:

like, if you're building a team that can't function while you're

leslie venetz:

gone for a week, you're doing it wrong. Like if you're making

leslie venetz:

yourself so available, that if you are gone for a week, people

leslie venetz:

lose it. Like that's bad. That's not good, Leslie, that's That's

leslie venetz:

not like you shouldn't be patting yourself on the back for

leslie venetz:

being available while on PTO. So that was like one set of like,

leslie venetz:

just setting better boundaries for work life like with my

leslie venetz:

clients, with my staff. I think that's been a really big pivotal

leslie venetz:

one. I think understanding the difference between diversity and

leslie venetz:

inclusion has been really important for me. And it's been

leslie venetz:

something that I've really felt. And I'm now to the point where I

leslie venetz:

think diversity is table stakes. And when people are like, Oh my

leslie venetz:

gosh, I'm such an amazing ally, because I say out loud that

leslie venetz:

diversity is important. I'm like, Cool, and what else? Are

leslie venetz:

you doing? Literally any anything else? Oh, no, you you

leslie venetz:

aren't. And like how that's manifested. For me. It was

leslie venetz:

really like pushing hard on the talk track that inclusion means

leslie venetz:

admitting that we have almost all of our, you know, historical

leslie venetz:

sales, trainings, processes, scripts, everything is from a

leslie venetz:

white male perspective. And like, what they've given us some

leslie venetz:

awesome stuff. But we have to acknowledge that, like, almost

leslie venetz:

everything we've ever been trained to do, was made by white

leslie venetz:

men for white men. And it's time that we take up more space and

leslie venetz:

it's time that we use those parameters that we know work but

leslie venetz:

put it in our own voice and use our unique perspectives and

leslie venetz:

lived experiences. So that's a big one. I mean, feel like those

leslie venetz:

are two huge ones. I don't know If I have a third, those are two

leslie venetz:

huge ones.

Wesleyne Greer:

Yeah. And so boundaries. That's another thing

Wesleyne Greer:

that I work with these leaders on. I have a client who is

Wesleyne Greer:

literally right now in Hawaii. And I know she's gonna listen to

Wesleyne Greer:

this podcast, because I'm gonna give it to her as an assignment.

Wesleyne Greer:

And she is in Hawaii. And I said, Okay, so how much working?

Wesleyne Greer:

Are you going to be doing? Oh, I just can't cut it off. Not

Wesleyne Greer:

acceptable, not acceptable. And what I found is you have to

Wesleyne Greer:

connect it to something that matters. So she has a daughter,

Wesleyne Greer:

that's four and a half years old. And I was like, do you do

Wesleyne Greer:

realize this is the last vacation you're going to have

Wesleyne Greer:

before she started school? So I want you to think about that.

Wesleyne Greer:

You don't have to think about homework, you don't have to

Wesleyne Greer:

think about any of these deadlines, like enjoy that,

Wesleyne Greer:

right? She's just like, Okay, if it falls apart, that's why I'm

Wesleyne Greer:

here working with you, actually. But you have to turn it off.

Wesleyne Greer:

Because if you don't, again, we talked about mental health that

Wesleyne Greer:

bleeds into that piece. And then the second piece last year, I

Wesleyne Greer:

was presenting to some procurement departments, and I

Wesleyne Greer:

started doing a lot of research on corporate sales trainers,

Wesleyne Greer:

because you know, we come in lots of different varieties.

Wesleyne Greer:

There's some people that only talk to entrepreneurs only want

Wesleyne Greer:

to work in nonprofits, but corporate sales trainers once

Wesleyne Greer:

talking to enterprise clients, and there are less than 10% of

Wesleyne Greer:

corporate sales trainers that are women, and there are less

Wesleyne Greer:

than 2% that are women of color. And why is that to be a sales

Wesleyne Greer:

training, you have to have been in sales, right? And so in order

Wesleyne Greer:

and so again, it's this trickle down effect that if we don't

Wesleyne Greer:

start fixing the problem, at the beginning, at the start where it

Wesleyne Greer:

is we have to really infiltrate and help these organizations

Wesleyne Greer:

understand that what you're doing, I'm not saying that it's

Wesleyne Greer:

wrong, I'm just saying that we can be better a client said to

Wesleyne Greer:

me this week Wesleyne, what was wrong? We were doing it was

Wesleyne Greer:

working. I said it was working, okay. But now we're gonna,

Wesleyne Greer:

exactly, but now we need to ramp it up a little bit, right? We

Wesleyne Greer:

can't, if you keep doing what you've always done, you're gonna

Wesleyne Greer:

keep getting the same result. And so boundaries, diversity.

Wesleyne Greer:

And again, diversity is like the I'm a cupcake person, I talk

Wesleyne Greer:

about cupcakes all the time is my analogies. And diversity is

Wesleyne Greer:

like the sprinkles. If you get a handful of sprinkles, you're

Wesleyne Greer:

like, Oh, that was a good sweet little treat. That's it. That's

Wesleyne Greer:

all diversity is. It's just the sprinkles on top. And we have to

Wesleyne Greer:

get down to the inclusiveness, and then the equity and equity.

Wesleyne Greer:

That's the area that I talk about a lot, because I equity is

Wesleyne Greer:

all about systems, right? And what we find in companies is the

Wesleyne Greer:

systems are broken for everyone, but typically male, they know

Wesleyne Greer:

how to work the system better. But those of us who've never

Wesleyne Greer:

been taught or we don't have anybody teaching us or telling

Wesleyne Greer:

us what to do a broken system hurts us a lot more. So when we

Wesleyne Greer:

fix the system, it works better for everyone people. So again,

Wesleyne Greer:

we both talked about playbooks and processes. And these are all

Wesleyne Greer:

bits and pieces. And I'm just kind of going on and on right

Wesleyne Greer:

now. But now I want to talk about this little special gem

Wesleyne Greer:

again, my cupcakes, right cupcakes, talking about my

Wesleyne Greer:

cupcakes first, I thought you were going to actually pick up a

Wesleyne Greer:

cup. From what? I need a cupcake at my desk. That's a good idea,

Wesleyne Greer:

Leslie. See, that's why you're this amazing person. So,

Wesleyne Greer:

cupcakes. We talked from our standpoint, we've talked all

Wesleyne Greer:

about your cake. We've talked about your icing and I want to

Wesleyne Greer:

talk about your sprinkles and your cherry. And that's this

Wesleyne Greer:

amazing lady that I know that is all about talking about sales on

Wesleyne Greer:

Tik Tok. Tell me about this thing.

leslie venetz:

I mean, it's so fun. And the reason that I

leslie venetz:

started creating content on Tik Tok was because I was really fed

leslie venetz:

up. I was really dissatisfied with a lot of the content I was

leslie venetz:

seeing on LinkedIn. Like it was it was really celebrating that

leslie venetz:

like hustle and grind, I wake up at 3am. Like if you're not

leslie venetz:

succeeding, you're not trying hard enough. And I love

leslie venetz:

LinkedIn, have an incredible community there. It's a great

leslie venetz:

place. But there are some elements of toxicity that are

leslie venetz:

like directly tied to completely ignoring the systemic issues

leslie venetz:

that might be holding somebody back. And I've had a really I

leslie venetz:

love that I have chosen sales as my profession. I love being a

leslie venetz:

b2b sales professional, but it's been a tough career. Like it has

leslie venetz:

been fraught with discrimination and sexism and sexual

leslie venetz:

harassment. And I just I felt like that conversation wasn't

leslie venetz:

happening on LinkedIn. And I wanted to find a place to have

leslie venetz:

that conversation to tell other women other people of color in

leslie venetz:

sales like it's okay, you're not alone. Like this isn't happening

leslie venetz:

to you in a silo. This is like it's not you. It's them and also

leslie venetz:

wanted to inspire that next generation of sales

leslie venetz:

professionals who might not be thinking about sales as a career

leslie venetz:

choice and letting them know like, Hey, your voice matters.

leslie venetz:

Like, we want you to join us. And also, there's a boatload of

leslie venetz:

money on the table. So like, come be a part of this

leslie venetz:

community. And I had a thought about where that message can be

leslie venetz:

best communicated. When tic tock really jumped out at me. I kind

leslie venetz:

of thought I was losing my dang mind when I made the choice.

leslie venetz:

Because it was right when there were all these discussions about

leslie venetz:

tic tock being banned in the US. It was right when clubhouse was

leslie venetz:

like the new sexy thing. And everybody was like breaking

leslie venetz:

their ankles to run the clubhouse. And I was like, Okay,

leslie venetz:

I'll just be over here. Making tic tock videos Cool. See,

leslie venetz:

anybody want to stop by. But it's been just like this

leslie venetz:

incredible, incredible experience. And I feel so

leslie venetz:

privileged and grateful to have created a community there and to

leslie venetz:

have made meaningful impact on people's lives. So it's great. I

leslie venetz:

love it. It's crazy, but I love it.

Wesleyne Greer:

I commend you because I think about tick tock

Wesleyne Greer:

and I think about my 13 year old son that keeps bugging me saying

Wesleyne Greer:

I want to tick tock account. That's what I think Zakum like,

Wesleyne Greer:

and you're like, No, but, but it's like, I think it really

Wesleyne Greer:

goes back to what we're talking about sales is different now.

Wesleyne Greer:

And in order for us to embrace the difference in sales, we have

Wesleyne Greer:

to be the change that we want to see, we can't talk about, okay,

Wesleyne Greer:

you're doing it wrong. And I'm just gonna keep falling right

Wesleyne Greer:

along with you. We have to be that change. So for you saying

Wesleyne Greer:

I'm going to try something different. And you have created

Wesleyne Greer:

this great follower base. And I know in the b2b sales community,

Wesleyne Greer:

you are like the Tick Tock queen, like take sack, Leslie,

Wesleyne Greer:

tick tock Leslie, like, literally. And so creating a

Wesleyne Greer:

space for yourself and helping others know that it's okay,

Wesleyne Greer:

right? Because what tic tock is all about videos. What happens

Wesleyne Greer:

when you do videos, they're not always perfect, right? And so

leslie venetz:

they're almost always imperfect. Right? Like,

leslie venetz:

oh,

Wesleyne Greer:

let me say, I love that. So you have had such

Wesleyne Greer:

a amazing career. My question to you is, what is one thing that

Wesleyne Greer:

you are most excited about accomplishing?

leslie venetz:

One thing, honestly, I would say it's a

leslie venetz:

recent like moment of pride. And it was having the courage to

leslie venetz:

quit my corporate day job and become a full time entrepreneur.

leslie venetz:

And you know, earlier, we were talking about intuition and

leslie venetz:

trusting my intuition. And you know, even after all of the

leslie venetz:

lessons, I've learned, were trusting my intuition was always

leslie venetz:

the right choice. I still for like a full year, put up every

leslie venetz:

roadblock I could to talk myself out of like listening to the

leslie venetz:

universe, listening to my gut, doing sales team build our full

leslie venetz:

time. And so it really did take a lot of courage and like a deep

leslie venetz:

belief in myself to give up that safety net of a corporate job so

leslie venetz:

that I could focus 100% of my time on, you know, what has been

leslie venetz:

until now, like my purpose project and my passion project.

leslie venetz:

So I'm pretty proud of myself for that.

Wesleyne Greer:

It's a big step. I mean, anybody who's gone from

Wesleyne Greer:

a corporate route, it's a full time entrepreneurship, this it

Wesleyne Greer:

is scary. And I commend you for that, because it's definitely

Wesleyne Greer:

not easy, especially a full time corporate sales job. It's not

Wesleyne Greer:

like a regular nine to five, right? There is variable comp

Wesleyne Greer:

there and you're like 100%, betting on myself. This has been

Wesleyne Greer:

an amazing conversation. Lesley, we've talked about, I mean, all

Wesleyne Greer:

things starting with tic tock, we talked about laying

Wesleyne Greer:

boundaries, having a toxic workplace mental health. I mean,

Wesleyne Greer:

this conversation has given me everything that I could have

Wesleyne Greer:

ever imagined. I thank you so much for sharing your time with

Wesleyne Greer:

us. So what is the one best place that people can get in

Wesleyne Greer:

contact with you if they want to chat with you?

leslie venetz:

Yeah, absolutely. Obviously, you can find me on

leslie venetz:

Tik Tok at sales tips talk. And I'm also on Linked In. So please

leslie venetz:

connect with me

Wesleyne Greer:

there. Awesome. Awesome. Thank you again for

Wesleyne Greer:

sharing your time, your talent, your expertise with us. It has

Wesleyne Greer:

been an amazing conversation. Thanks so much, Leslie,

leslie venetz:

thank you so much for having me. I really

leslie venetz:

appreciated this conversation. And

Wesleyne Greer:

that was another episode of the science of

Wesleyne Greer:

selling stem. Remember in all that you do transform your

Wesleyne Greer:

sales. Until next time.

Wesleyne Greer:

Thank you for joining us today on the snack sized sales

Wesleyne Greer:

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Wesleyne Greer:

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Wesleyne Greer:

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