Transformed-Sales-Logo

In this episode, Cynthia Zenti shares her journey in sales, starting at the age of 13 and selling over $1 billion in cumulative revenue. She emphasizes the importance of understanding the purpose of selling and how it can help people. Cynthia discusses the need for salespeople to step outside of themselves and empathize with their customers, detaching emotionally from the sale. She also highlights the significance of creating a safe space for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Cynthia shares her experiences in transforming company culture and the impact of being impeccable with your word. She concludes by discussing the influential people in her life and how to connect with her.

Takeaways

Chapters

00:00 Introduction and Background

01:02 Starting in Sales at 13

02:29 Lessons from Early Sales Experience

03:27 Teaching the Purpose of Selling

05:14 Stepping Outside of Yourself in Sales

06:51 Detaching Emotionally from the Sale

07:21 Career Progression in Sales

08:24 Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

09:49 Creating a Safe Space for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

17:35 Transforming Company Culture

23:49 Incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Sales

31:36 Influential People in Cynthia’s Life

34:43 How to Connect with Cynthia

Connect With Cynthia

LinkedIn- linkedin.com/in/cynthiazenti

Connect With Wesleyne

LinkedIn- linkedin.com/in/wesleyne  

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/wesleynewhittaker/?hl=en 

Tiktok- https://www.tiktok.com/@thewesleynewhittaker 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/transformedsales  

Youtube- www.youtube.com/@wesleynewhittaker 

Twitter – https://x.com/wesleyne  

Website- TransformedSales.com   

Email- email…podcast@transformedsales.com  

Transcript

Wesleyne (00:00.47)

Hello and welcome to another episode of the Transform Sales Podcast. Today I am so delighted to have Cynthia Zenty on with me. How are you, Cynthia?

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (00:09.044)

I am great, Wesleyan, how are you?

Wesleyne (00:10.966)

I'm doing fantastic. Let me tell you a bit about Cynthia. She's the founder of Integrated Selling, focused on helping industry experts and entrepreneurs scale their impact and revenue working with corporate clients. Cynthia is an award-winning sales strategist and trainer whose love for selling started with her first cold call at the age of 13. Since then, she's worked for companies such as Coca-Cola, Cisco System, and Remax with a focus in technology since 2004.

She has dedicated her career to helping professionals leverage the power of selling to drive revenue and increase their impact. What's unique about her is her passion for incorporating diversity and inclusion through the entire process and training, making selling enjoyable and profitable. She has personally sold over $1 billion in cumulative revenue and has trained and coached hundreds of salespeople and teams and reps.

So how did you get started at 13 to be doing this amazing work that you're doing today? Share with us.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (01:08.219)

Well, first of all, thank you. That's quite the intro. I started cold calling at 13. Basically, it was a bunch of us after school needing some extra money. That's like, hey, these people are looking for someone to do some, at the time it was called phone soliciting, making calls for a carpet cleaning company. And that was my first experience in sales was making cold calls.

And since then, it's just been something that I have always loved and enjoyed. And I think because my first within my first day, the first half hour, that one of the reactions I got was really understanding that what I was doing had a way to help people. I was so fortunate on my sixth cold call to connect with an elderly woman who had just lost her husband and was overwhelmed in the process of trying to sell her house and getting her house ready to sell.

you know what, your call actually really helped me. This is something I hadn't thought about. And it clicked in that moment. It's like, this is actually a really great way that we can help people. And so since then, I've just been enamored with it and have tried all different types, whether it is business to consumer or personal sales, direct sales, but really my home is in enterprise sales.

Wesleyne (02:29.678)

Wow, you had a really great early lesson. I mean, I think I know people who've been selling for like 20 years who still don't realize the impact of what they're doing is actually impacting human beings. So from that lady, the first one who was like, wow, you helped me change my perspective. What lessons from that cold call, from that experience you had as a 13 year old do you still use in business today?

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (02:36.795)

Thank you.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (02:42.458)

Yeah.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (02:56.167)

It's been the foundation of everything that I do. It's the ability that I get to help somebody and that you never know what's going to be on the other end or how you can make a difference in someone's life. And while it may sound altruistic, that's really what it comes down to, is that settling is really helping people realize a different future, a different way of being, whether it's lessening pain or moving towards a goal.

And that's honestly just my guiding principle and how I've been able to keep doing it for so long.

Wesleyne (03:27.746)

So how do you teach that? How do you teach a person that selling is to really help move somebody along a path and it's not about them, it's not about a product or service that they're selling.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (03:40.527)

Well, it's interesting because I'm actually doing a talk on this actually really soon. And it's really about the focus on value and moving away from the personal attachment. Right. It's transforming that mindset to be more of a sales resilience. And how do we move it into transformation rather than making about something that's about me?

Yeah, I think that really sums it up because it has to do with some it's that shift in perspective from what's in this to me to how can this help somebody and one of my mentors when I was working at Coca-Cola.

He said it, I think, something he shared with me is something that's always been in the back of my mind is that if we do the best we can today, then tomorrow will take care of itself. And so transitioning that into sales is if we help someone as much as we can today, we will be rewarded tomorrow. It will show up in our pipeline.

Wesleyne (04:45.394)

One of the things that I have often told salespeople is exactly what you're saying. It's not about you. It's about helping your prospect, your customer to move along their path. And so that really requires you to step outside of yourself. And that is the hard part that I find that they have, right? How do I step outside of myself and empathize with somebody that I have never lived that life? I've never had that actual problem myself. So how do you get?

salespeople, business owners, entrepreneurs to really step outside of themselves and into their customer's world.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (05:20.011)

Yeah, that's a really big part of it. And you know what, that's really what it is because that's what helps us show up consistently when we're doing that. So detaching from the process, I think really does take a shift, it's a shift of thinking. Detaching is moving from what can I do to working collaboratively with somebody to build strategy. So it really is...

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (05:50.635)

I think being able to just be willing to change and do something differently and not taking it personally, understanding that what you're getting is feedback on the process, not feedback on who you are as a person.

Wesleyne (06:07.79)

And so detaching yourself pretty much like emotionally from the sale, right? Because we're humans and it's like, but it's about me and I love a thing. I have these Westling wisdoms and I'm like, it's not about you. Nobody cares about you. Like that, that is the thing. I'm like, nobody cares about you. People care about themselves, their goals, the things that they need to accomplish. And so I think that is a very big mind shift.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (06:14.415)

Yeah, I know.

Wesleyne (06:37.694)

If I make this sale, I'm going to make this much money. If I do this, this is going to happen. Like your outcomes, removing that and stepping into what's important for your client, your customer. I think that's that big shift that we need in our sales environment.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (06:51.711)

I agree and honestly I think being able to step into understanding personalization versus being, it being personal. So personalizing the experience for the customer and being able to empathize and be with them in the process but not in the process. Right? It's always having that little bit of level because that really reinforces the professionalism as well and how we can personalize the experience and make it about them.

Wesleyne (07:15.34)

here.

Wesleyne (07:21.166)

That's good. So where did 13 year old Cynthia go? What was her next job, her next step into sales?

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (07:22.616)

Ugh.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (07:28.847)

So it was a little bit more customer service and that was working in restaurants and which is what I did when I was going through college and university, finishing high school, which is great because I think the service industry is a phenomenal foundation for anybody in sales, I think just in general, right, to have empathy for people. But I worked so in pubs and restaurants and things like that, which is really good because it is about sales and it is about delivering on time and hearing and really listening, right.

Wesleyne (07:55.215)

sinning.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (07:57.075)

And I'm really good at parties because I can walk through a party with a tray of beer. But anyhow.

Wesleyne (08:02.606)

I love it, I love it, I love it.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (08:04.835)

And then from there I worked in I do have to say that I tried a six month period in accounting And it was almost the death of me because I'm like I cannot do this So my apologies to anybody in accounting, but it just wasn't for me. I'm there I went to

Wesleyne (08:19.778)

Hehehe

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (08:24.143)

I think it was when I first started working, well there's always been some sales along the way, but then I went into real estate and got my real estate license and started doing that, which I really, really enjoyed. But to be honest, I was very young and there was a lot of imposter syndrome that came up when it was trying to sell half, at the time, half million dollar homes or million dollar homes. You know, there was a lot of...

like I say disbelief imposter syndrome that came up on there from there to Coca-Cola to a few other companies along the way honestly I think I've done pretty much everything that could be done I've done print sales I've done chemical sales you name it I've done it

Wesleyne (09:07.478)

You've done it. So let's drill down on imposter syndrome. It's not something that people talk about or they kind of dance around it. So how did you define imposter syndrome?

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (09:11.169)

Yes.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (09:17.839)

I think for me imposter syndrome really means that you're doubting your ability to get an outcome. You know, you're in disbelief and not really owning your experience and your knowledge. For some reason, there's something in there that's saying, that's preventing you from really being...

Wesleyne (09:31.231)

Hmm.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (09:38.163)

able to take responsibility for it. And can I share something that came up in a conversation today? And I think this is part of the reason is when we hear a lot of feedback or when we get a lot of feedback and people telling us we've done a good job, that type of thing, it's very general and we tend to think of our accomplishments very general as well. And so I think it doesn't really stick and really resonate, but the more we get specific like, okay, I closed this contract with so and so, which was worth X amount

Wesleyne (09:57.666)

Yeah.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (10:08.077)

of dollars and these people were involved and this is what the outcome was, this is what it meant to them. I think the more specific we can get, the more it actually changes how we think about our abilities. But I really do think it comes from just our inability to really take ownership and be willing to acknowledge what we have accomplished.

Wesleyne (10:20.191)

Mmm.

Wesleyne (10:31.71)

Yeah, you know, that's really important. And I think that some of these lessons actually come from childhood. So, you know, I do a lot of mindset work and thinking about looking back to go forward. And so I actually recorded a video recently and I was like, as a little girl, I was always told I was smart. I was always told I was beautiful. So those are two things that no one can ever tell me that I'm not. Can't tell me I'm not smart, can't tell me I'm not beautiful. But my parents really never said I loved you that much.

So that's an important thing that I need to hear these days from my friends, from my kids, from everyone, because I didn't hear a lot growing up. So it's really those things that you may not have heard as much that makes you doubt yourself in an area. And so if we think about how does that resonate to what I'm doing today, how does that resonate to how I show up, sometimes we have to pour that into ourselves, right? Sometimes we have to say, especially as business owners, if you're a sales leader, you may not have somebody saying,

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (11:07.099)

Mm-hmm.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (11:23.145)

Awesome.

Wesleyne (11:28.662)

You did a really good job in that one-on-one. You did a really good job in that LinkedIn post. And as leaders, that's what we have to give to our people. We have to make sure that we're giving them those words of affirmation, and it's the small things. It's not just, you did really good on the sale. It's, you did a really good job on that proposal. It looks great. I don't even have to touch it, right? Like giving those small moments of affirmation and gratitude throughout the sales process.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (11:36.618)

Oh.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (11:54.115)

Yeah, you know what? Well, first of all, I love that you heard that growing up, but I wish that you'd heard I love you more. So yeah, but that's just it. I mean, I have so many things. Mine was the flip side of that. I did hear you're really, you're really, really smart. You're really unique in how you think, but you're not going to fit in because of how you think. People are not gonna get you, right? So it was kind of this weird, okay, they think I'm smart, but then I'm not really gonna fit in. Anyhow, I think we all have these stories

Wesleyne (12:00.589)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (12:14.693)

Mmm

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (12:24.029)

or these things that we've heard, right? A lot of the work I do right now is, because I work in two things in parallel. Like I help people with the skills training, but I also do a lot of work in parallel on the mindset and everything that goes to support the individual going through sales. Lately, a lot of that work has been around emotional regulation so that you can show up consistently. And...

What that really looks like is being able to identify those stories that we hear and make space for them. Be grateful, like, yeah, okay, in the past, like, this is what I was missing or this is what I heard. And to your point, how do I bring this in for myself now or for the people that I'm supporting?

Wesleyne (13:08.974)

And that's really important. A lot of, there's so much training, leadership training, sales training, it's so tactical. It's so skills-based. And I'm like, I can teach you how to call a call. I can teach you how to do a discovery call. But if you still don't think you're good enough, it's never gonna go anywhere, right? And so it's like, we have to break that stigma and we have to help people understand that talking about their mental health at work, in business, is okay.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (13:23.587)

Yes.

Wesleyne (13:34.422)

It's okay to say I'm a little bit uncomfortable with this. It's okay, right? We create those safe spaces as leaders, as people to make sure that people can open up in and really be themselves.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (13:46.563)

That's really important and I love that you talk about it as much as you do.

Because we have so much, we're bombarded with so many messages about, you can do this, you can do this in five days, you can have 10 customers in this day, and you can do this and do this and do this, and it's not reality. That's not helpful for anybody. It does really play into our mental health. And so being able to have conversations in safe spaces, like you're saying, especially leadership creating those, where someone can come forward and say, you know what, I feel like I should be able to do this, but I'm not able to do this.

Is there something wrong with me? You know, just to have those conversations where they can be honest with themselves and you can actually support them. That is so incredible and I love that you do that.

Wesleyne (14:34.578)

Yeah. And a lot of times it's people, leaders, they want to do it, but they don't have the tools. They don't know how. And there's this company that I'm working with and one of the frontline managers literally just left. Didn't give any note, just left. And so that person's manager was struggling with it. I said, so this is what you're going to do. You're going to call a team meeting and on this team meeting, let everybody air out their dirty laundry. Like whatever's on their mind.

have them move one step forward, and then I want each person to share a moment of gratitude, something they are grateful for somebody else on the team. And she's just looking at me like, what? And she was like, nobody's gonna say anything. I said, you have to open it up and be vulnerable. You have to say, so as you guys are thinking about the things you wanna share, I'm gonna share a moment with me, a moment about me or something that I'm struggling with about this sudden departure. And she looked at me like, what?

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (15:14.459)

Mm-hmm.

Wesleyne (15:30.026)

And I'm like, you have to share it. It doesn't have to be all warm fuzzy, but people need to see you tap into that human side as a leader, right? If they don't see that, then they feel like it's not safe for them to do it. And then you just operate like a robot. And then people leave, people leave managers. They don't leave companies. And so as a manager, if you don't really show up and be the kind of leader people wanna follow and stay, then you're always gonna have turnover. You're always gonna be right there hovering.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (15:37.166)

No, no, no.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (15:46.703)

Thank you.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (15:57.678)

with.

Wesleyne (15:59.158)

that number that you're trying to get because people are just checking the box. They're just doing what they have to do and keep on moving.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (16:05.923)

Yeah, absolutely. You know what? It's phenomenal advice because that's what is going to encourage people to open up and feel like they can take that loss and make it into such a different type of experience that they don't have to feel that way because think about how that's impacting their performance as well to have their leader just disappear. That happened to me. The company I work for right now because I have my consulting business and I have my corporate position, the CEO left a note.

on a boardroom table on a Sunday. We came in Monday and the CEO was gone. Like he was what? Like when I started we were 40 people when that it was like I don't know within three months later there was like six of us standing. It was like what do we do now? Yeah.

That was quite a shock. So anyhow, it worked out good because we created something so different and safe that people didn't feel they needed to do that.

Wesleyne (17:10.658)

So tell us about, because that is a huge shock. I talked to a CEO, she had a smaller company, probably around 15 or so employees, and they had a huge transition, and within 30 days, eight people left, like half the company left, right? And it was a shock to their system. So tell me, what are some of the things that you guys did going from 40 to six, and now back in growth mode?

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (17:35.003)

The big thing was we decided we wanted to look different. We wanted to get away from having so much separation and departments within that were blocking the customer experience. So what we do is we do embedded technology. So everything that goes like inside of black boxes, all the computer systems that go into black boxes. And before everything was silos, engineering had a say and then operations had a say, which they all do, but they were all blocks to the customer process, right?

They would start with the salesperson, end up with the sales engineer, and then we'd back to the salesperson and then off to operations and air engineering. And it was just this massive...

confusing complex process for the customers. So we just decided everything was going to be transparent and really working as a team to make it smooth, to reduce timelines, to reduce anything that was a barrier to having a project moving forward. That was the main thing we did and that was the thing that really customers, it increased the retention and the volume that we were doing with them as well.

Wesleyne (18:49.846)

Wow, so you guys essentially became in my mind, like customer centric and customer obsessed. It's like, what is best for the customer? It doesn't matter how we like to work internally. It's about what does the customer want? How are they going to get all this information? Like being so focused on the customer, it sounds like that's really what turned the company around.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (18:55.519)

Oh, wow.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (19:10.595)

Yeah, and you know what, when you're dealing with the big defense contractors like a Northrop Grumman or General Dynamics, you know, when they're calling in and there's somebody out in the field and they need an answer, they don't need to be put on hold or submit a support ticket. They need somebody right now. So we actually reduced all that and gave them direct access to all the engineering team and all the tech support they needed. It worked for us because we were still able to track it, but they didn't need to go through a complex process to get there.

Wesleyne (19:26.328)

Yeah.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (19:40.589)

customer depending on what their situation is or their environment and they can't get that level of service with anybody else in the market.

Wesleyne (19:49.922)

And so as you're saying that the thing that pops into my brain is like making your internal processes align with what your customers need, not what makes life easy for you or what you like or what, right? It's like, this is what our customers need. And I get it when I was selling capital equipment, if something, if there's a line down in the plant and they are depending on your instrument to help them and like every hour down, every minute down, they're losing millions of dollars. It's like

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (20:00.517)

Bye.

Wesleyne (20:17.942)

I don't wanna be passed around. I need somebody that I can pick up the phone and say, help me now. So understanding that and you're right, it makes you have these raving fan customers that they're like, I don't care how much more it costs. I'm paying, I get what I pay for. I pay a premium to have access.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (20:20.571)

Right? Yeah.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (20:34.515)

And that's the big thing is that it doesn't become about price anymore. It takes you out of that conversation completely, which is phenomenal for your sales teams is that they're not competing on price anymore. So, you know, interesting thing when I before all that happened, we were coming in. Margins were, you know, maybe 20, 30 percent. And then all of a sudden, when people I won't disclose what our margins are, but it is all of a sudden you're looking at margins that are, you know, double that.

So really what is the trade-off? Yeah, you have to answer the engineering calls, but what does it do for you know your cash flow at the other end?

Wesleyne (21:13.718)

Yes, and this is a message for every single entrepreneur out there. You need to do more business with the right people. Literally when I started taking that view, I have less customers that pay me more because I don't I'm like, I'm sorry. This is not you're not a good fit for us. I tell people no now. Whereas because I know the type of customers that work best for me. And if I enjoy working with them, yes, I'm making higher profitability, but I enjoy it.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (21:18.242)

I can't do it!

Wesleyne (21:43.702)

And as an entrepreneur, you should enjoy the work you do. It should not be like I tell people, if I want frustration, I'll go work for somebody. I'm not being frustrated to work for myself, right? And so even on the flip side of how you apply that as an entrepreneur, it's really important.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (21:58.383)

You know what, it's the joy quota. It's like, okay, I'm showing up today because I've got these customers that I love working with and they're willing to work with me. And it's an experience. We can use this word collaborate a lot, but we can create something and it's not transactional. Transaction is a race to the bottom, right? We're just gonna be competing on price and knowing that.

Wesleyne (22:14.594)

Mm-hmm.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (22:22.475)

It makes all the difference. So you can make selections like you're talking about in the customers that you work with.

But it does require some work on the, this is another message for the entrepreneurs, especially if you're just starting out, is doing the work, having those customer interviews and making sure you really understand what it is you're solving for. Because you don't speak specifically to people about what you're solving for, so that it's, you're not tire kicking and you're not spending your time disqualifying. You're working with the people that there's already alignment.

Wesleyne (22:56.278)

Yeah, like really understanding, understanding who you serve and how you serve them, right? Like not saying, I sell software to anyone who has a problem with payroll. What, what does that even mean? Like, and a lot of times you get on the calls with people and they're like, what? And even salespeople within large organizations, they don't have a clearly defined, this is what, how we serve people. And it's because the company doesn't have that infrastructure, you know what I mean? And so.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (23:09.052)

Thank you.

Wesleyne (23:23.778)

getting down to the smallest addressable market, being the big fish in the teeny tiny pond is really what helps you move the needle when you're working, whether you're in a company or you're working for yourself. So I wanted to tap on the diversity, equity and inclusion portion of what you do. How does that show up in your life, whether in your consulting or in your corporate career?

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (23:36.397)

Mm-hmm.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (23:49.315)

It shows up everywhere. I think you already know that I have a son who's developmentally delayed and so that has really changed my perspective on seeing how he navigates the world and how people see him in the world. But also, you know, having this extensive career in sales, I have been in so many rooms that have been so uncomfortable because it's not been a safe space for me, whether

Wesleyne (24:18.211)

Yeah.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (24:19.729)

or over talked or there's been sexual innuendos and things like that so really what I do is I try to make sure that the language is not it's not bypassing it's not dismissive it's not repressing anybody's thoughts or feelings that it is a culture where we can have transparent conversations physically mentally emotionally so it's understanding also you know being in leadership it's understanding that

not always show up 100 percent. Right? And it's also calling people out a lot. Not in a bad way, but have you considered looking at this a little bit differently to make it more accessible and more inclusive to people?

Wesleyne (24:55.626)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (25:05.474)

Yeah. And you know, the thing that we don't often talk about in this diversity, equity and inclusion conversation is people, I like to say who learn differently because I have a dyslexic son. And so that is very inherently in my heart and mind. And so even when I'm working with an organization, it's like, I tell them, I'm like, you're gonna hear me, you have written words, you're gonna have exercise, you're gonna do it with your hands because everyone learns differently. And how about you be patient with your colleague.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (25:19.419)

Uh huh.

Wesleyne (25:33.102)

who looks a little bit like they're lost and explain it to them a little differently if I don't say it the right way. Or if I'm saying the same thing over and over and you're like, what is she doing? I'm trying to make sure I have agreement on everybody's face. And so within organizations, I think that we have to be keenly aware that people learn differently, people respond differently and they don't always want to self identify and say that it's hard for me to read this passage. It's hard for me to have the...

fast cognitive processing that you need me to have. And so it's our job within organizations to be very empathetic towards how people learn, work, move and do everything.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (26:13.595)

Oh absolutely, we can start that process by just asking for comprehension. I've been very fortunate in the last few years. When I started doing online training, one of my first clients and someone I learned from is an adult learning specialist. She actually has a doctorate in adult learning, right? So I worked with her because I said, you know, if I'm going to be doing this, I want to make sure how I'm communicating information is resonating with people. How do I structure it in a way to do that? So it's been an amazing experience.

collaboration over the years back and forth her learning sales, me learning about adult learning right for comprehension and just how information is presented. I think there's so much opportunity for people to really connect on that in a way that can foster growth within a company.

Because the impact of someone feeling seen and heard is monumental. Like just talk about it. We don't need to put people on performance on PIPs on their performance plans. We need to make sure that they're actually heard and understood and understand what their barriers are to performance, not just how to go out there and blatantly think we know how to correct it. Yeah.

Wesleyne (27:30.518)

Yeah. And when leaders say, oh yeah, this person is underperforming, blah, blah. And that's what it sounds like. I asked them one simple question and I say, have you given them a hundred percent of what they need to get to where you want them to be? And 100% of the time, people say no. And I'm like, okay.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (27:36.846)

Thank you.

Wesleyne (27:49.142)

This is on you, not on them, because you haven't shown up as a good manager. You haven't been a good leader. You haven't done what you needed to do. So let's stop blaming people and let's start taking some ownership of our part of the process. And so when you switch that conversation and you say leader, this is what you should do. Leader, let's do this. And literally the quick change that you get and that employee that you are ready to get rid of, they're like, you hear me, you see me. Now I don't.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (27:56.46)

It was a completely.

Wesleyne (28:16.078)

I feel like I'm just showing up and doing a job. I feel like you actually care about me as a human.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (28:21.827)

Yeah, and we give them some autonomy to navigate their own life and their ability to perform. I think our job as leaders, and this is what I help people with as well, is that help people become self-directed. Give them the tools. When you're saying, do you know 100% of what these people need? Or are you giving them 100%? Do you even know what it is that they need? Most of the time they don't because they're projecting their own shortcomings.

judgmental here, but you're projecting what you think they need rather than actually taking the time to understand.

Wesleyne (29:00.726)

Right listen to understand not to respond, you know, just like we do in sales But like you listen to the customer to understand not to respond It's the same thing you should be doing with your team and I often have to tell leaders I'm like, you know the way that you sold the reason why you were a top performer now How about we do that with your team? Like how about you stop just breathing down their neck and how about you listen to them repeat back what you hear them saying? like give them an opportunity to respond because at the end of the day your team are your customers like

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (29:05.524)

I'm sorry.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (29:10.723)

Yes.

Wesleyne (29:29.602)

That is who you are focused on developing because through them, you lead through impact and influence. And through them, that is how you're going to achieve your goals.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (29:39.095)

Yeah, absolutely. It reminds me of the, what did they call it? Like the, I wanna say Six Sigma, but it wasn't. But total quality management that was introduced in the 90s, it's like, you gotta make sure that the person, whoever you hand something off to, has everything they need to do the next step without having to come back to you, right? And it's just like, ah, such a good concept.

You know, and it's a difference between, and this is a question that, you know, I like to have people ask their, their teens is, do you feel like I understood what you were saying? So even taking it one step further is like, you know, do you feel understood? Do you feel I understood what you were saying?

Wesleyne (30:25.774)

You feel I, again, that ownership piece is I. Do you feel like I understood, not did you understand me? Do you feel like I understood? And using those I statements in leadership, using those I statements just as a person within an organization, it personalizes it and you take ownership of it. And when you take ownership of it.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (30:28.44)

Yeah. Do you?

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (30:34.504)

Understood.

Wesleyne (30:47.798)

people feel like you are a person who I can stand behind, stand with, stand next to, because you're saying, yeah, I made a mistake here, or I think we should do this. Not you, not we, not they, I.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (31:01.359)

Yeah, it's so powerful and it's so easy. But I think with the big challenges is that people feel like it's a reflection of who they are as a leader when really that is the strength of a leader is being able to take ownership for it and saying, it's okay not to be perfect. Nobody said we needed to be perfect, but I do need to take ownership of it because that's what leadership is. And then how do I move forward with it? What do I do about this now? Yeah.

Wesleyne (31:28.014)

Absolutely. So I am curious, you've had a very, very dynamic career. Who is the person in your life that you would say has made the biggest impact on the way that you show up today?

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (31:36.569)

I'm sorry.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (31:49.679)

Well it changes all the time, but the way I show up consistently probably has more to do with...

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (32:00.107)

Maybe I can talk about the guiding principles, the ones that resonate with me the most. And it goes back also to some time ago. And it was a book written by Don.

Rodriguez Miguel Rodriguez and it was the four agreements So this goes back a long time ago But one of the four agreements is be impeccable with your word and that has shaped everything that I do So if it's my commitment to other people my commitment to myself whether it's you know No matter what I've said or done or promised I do that if I've given my word That's all that it is right like there's no negotiating about any of that In sales one of my biggest influences is Anthony in arena

He's someone I followed for a very long time because I like that he integrates a lot of the personal part of sales But then is also more recently talked about how do we approach us from a thought leadership position rather than just you know a commodity I've got X features on my widget and then You know as far as

Wesleyne (32:56.29)

Hmm.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (33:11.003)

growth as a human being. I have a lot of different influences. I've studied lots of different religions. I became a yoga teacher because I wanted to learn more about all of that. So it hasn't really been so much one because I've been through so many different stages of my life. It changes as I change.

Wesleyne (33:26.094)

Hmm.

Wesleyne (33:30.282)

And I think that is, that's great. And that's a good note for the audience that throughout your life as life changes, maybe you're a single young person, then you get married, then you have kids, then you are retired, like life changes and the people who influence you, the experiences that you have throughout your life will change. And so that's awesome. I love that the dynamic nature of who you are and who has helped you form who you've become.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (33:54.743)

Thank you.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (33:59.883)

Yeah, it definitely does change. I think you're right. It is important thing to make space for that. That also the conversation I was having this morning, the young lady I was talking to is she was saying she felt like she's in a gap because she had one narrative, but she's not onto a new narrative yet. And I'm like, but actually that's there is no gap. You're just creating your re you know, you're transitioning there. There is no from here to there. There's only change.

Wesleyne (34:31.059)

Mm, I love it.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (34:31.761)

And let go of the pressure and just allow it to evolve.

Wesleyne (34:36.454)

I love it. I love it. I love it. Man, this has been an amazing conversation, Cynthia, and I know we can go on and on and on for hours and hours and days because we speak the same language. What is the one best way for people to get in contact with you if they wanna chat with you more?

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (34:43.137)

Yes.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (34:48.055)

We do.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (34:55.339)

Probably through LinkedIn. I do have my website which is integratedselling.com but LinkedIn is where I'm most active and I spend a lot of time on there and that's where I love to help people through this. Thanks for helping me.

Wesleyne (35:11.622)

Awesome. Well, thank you so much Cynthia for your guess. I appreciate any time people share their time, their talent and their expertise with me and the audience. I've learned so much from you today. So thank you again for sharing your time with us today.

Cynthia Zenti (she/her) (35:27.599)

Thank you for having me.

Wesleyne (35:29.982)

And that was another episode of the Transform Sales Podcast. Remember, in all that you do, transform your sales. Until next time.

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