Transformed-Sales-Logo

In this episode, Luis Baez, a sales enablement strategist and consultant, shares his journey from growing up in poverty in the South Bronx to becoming a successful sales leader and entrepreneur. Luis discusses the role models and books that inspired him, the challenges he faced in pursuing education, and his transition into sales. He emphasizes the importance of leadership development and creating a positive culture in sales teams. Luis also highlights the need for purpose-driven companies and shares his experience of bad buying experience that shaped his approach to sales. To connect with Luis, visit his website or LinkedIn profile. In this episode, Luis Báez discusses his Flex and Flourish Academy training, where he shares his Sales and Leadership Playbooks. He covers topics such as persuasion, guiding through hesitation, building high-performing teams, and influencing culture.

Takeaways

Chapters

00:00 Introduction and Background

02:22 Inspiration from Superheroes and the New York Public Library

05:12 Climbing Out of Poverty and Pursuing Education

09:05 Transition from College to Law School

12:31 Discovering Sales as a Career Path

15:39 Lessons Learned as a Sales Leader

19:14 The Importance of Leadership Development

23:13 Developing Empathy and Creating a Positive Culture

30:24 Transition to Entrepreneurship

35:31 Working with Purpose-Driven Companies

37:38- Impact of a Bad Buying Experience

39:37- Be the Change You Want to See

39:45- Conclusion and Contact Information

39:52- Flex and Flourish Academy

Connect With Luis

LinkedIn- linkedin.com/in/baezluis

Website- LuisBaez.com 

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 (00:00.782)

Hello and welcome to another episode of the Trantorm Sales Podcast. Today I am so delighted to have Luis Baez. Did I say it right? Yay! I am so excited to have him here with me. Awesome. Let me tell you a little bit about Luis. He is a sales enablement strategist and consultant dedicated to serving online business owners, including coaches, course creators, consultants, and B2B startups.

Luis Báez (he/him) (00:09.51)

Yes, you sure did. Thank you, my friend. Thank you so much for having me.

Wesleyne (00:29.998)

With over 15 years of experience in sales and marketing, Luis brings a breadth of knowledge and experience that spans across digital advertising, software as a service, and sustainability. With a revenue impact of over 600 million to date, he is also a public, sorry, he is also a published author through MadeCraft. He's been recruited.

to work at LinkedIn, Google, Uber, and Tesla, and invited to speak about leadership and personal branding at business schools across the country, including Stanford, UC, Berkeley, and Bard. Okay, all right. This is a fantastic decade and a half career. So tell us, how did you get started and how did you get to where you are today?

Luis Báez (he/him) (01:07.266)

Yes.

Luis Báez (he/him) (01:10.798)

Gosh, if we go all the way back, I am a gay boy from the South Bronx who came up in the 80s and 90s, grew up in poverty, was the first in my family to pursue an education, the first to go to law school, hate it and drop out, and then pursue a career in corporate. And I stumbled into sales, not knowing anything about what it was like to work in tech or corporate.

or for the matter, I was interviewing for an advertising sales job, knew nothing about digital advertising or online advertising. And after eight rounds of interviews, I learned that I have the capacity to sell myself and to sell my story and my ambition. And so I leaned into that and I followed the yellow brick road all the way down, worked at some of the most influential companies in the world. And in that time, I also pivoted and embraced entrepreneurship.

And I'm happy to talk about that as well. But I am, I'm here really as a testament to what is possible. And I am here to share all the pages from my playbook for the next person who wants to come up and do the same for themselves.

Wesleyne (02:22.05)

Wow, wow, okay. So let's dig into, you mentioned you're a gay boy from the Bronx that grew up in poverty. So as you were growing up, did you have role models or mentors or people who inspired you?

Luis Báez (he/him) (02:28.854)

Yes. Yeah.

Luis Báez (he/him) (02:36.238)

Gosh, you know, I can only think of like superheroes. You know, I didn't have any person in my environment or in my tribe or in my network, you know, that was doing things that I wanted to do. But I found inspiration from Batman. I found inspiration from Bruce Wayne and this concept of amassing privilege and wealth and using it for good. Not to mention that I'm also a bit of a tech geek. I love all the gadgets and all the things. So the superhero thing really resonated with me.

Wesleyne (02:39.802)

Okay.

Luis Báez (he/him) (03:04.906)

And then I also found, you know, safety and refuge in the New York Public Library. And so getting away, you know, from the environment that I was in and seeing how other people lived and other sort of lifestyles through those pages also inspired me.

Wesleyne (03:10.446)

Hmm.

Wesleyne (03:20.844)

Mmm.

So as a little boy, you spent a lot of time in the library. I am a book nerd too. I tell people that my mom actually, when she would wanna punish me when I was younger, she would take my books away and tell me to go play outside. That was how she punished me. Yeah, that's how much I love to read. And I know that love and tenacity I had to read really helped me in school. It helped me unlock,

Luis Báez (he/him) (03:26.626)

God.

Luis Báez (he/him) (03:38.467)

Oh, no, no.

Luis Báez (he/him) (03:44.238)

Bye.

Wesleyne (03:51.708)

imagination. So as you think about young Luis in the library, what are some books that you can remember that inspired you?

Luis Báez (he/him) (04:00.466)

Um, this is going to sound corny. I read a cricket in Times Square when I was younger and that inspired me at a very young age to ride the public, to ride the subway, the public transportation by myself, I figured out how to get to Times Square and I saw it with my own eyes and I freaked out and then made my way right back home. Um, and then I got a cricket cause I was also a vivid and imagined every child. Um, but that was one of the first sort of inspirations to go on an adventure.

Wesleyne (04:05.887)

Okay.

Wesleyne (04:21.006)

Hmm

Luis Báez (he/him) (04:30.358)

to read something and go, I want to see it for myself. And of course, being in New York City, Times Square was certainly accessible. So yeah, that was one of my first sort of books, you know, that I can think of that really compelled me and moved me. And then I also think about the entire like Hobbit series as well, you know, when I was younger, I read Lord of the Rings and all that jazz and, you know, and I remember thinking to myself, like that sort of vivid imagination, imagining an entirely different world.

Wesleyne (04:31.374)

Mmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (04:58.706)

and different sort of languages and everything that were built into that entire story. That was something that I think really activated my imagination in a way that I hadn't experienced before reading through those books.

Wesleyne (05:12.542)

I love it. I love it. I love it. And so you got out of you mentioned you were the first in your family to do many things. So how did you actually climb out of poverty and how did you become the first person in your family to go to college and then to law school?

Luis Báez (he/him) (05:22.137)

Mm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (05:32.13)

Yeah. Oh, gosh, you know, I, when I got to high school, I was really determined. You know, I even told my parents, I want to go to college. I want to go away. I want to be on a campus. I want to live in a dorm just the way they do it on TV. Right. Like I want to do that, that whole college thing. And they made it very clear to me that it was on me to make it happen. It's like, we don't have a savings account. We don't have the resources to make that happen for you, my son. So you've got to figure this out.

In the state of New York at the time, at the age of 14, with your parents permission on a permit, you could start working. And so at the age of 14, got my first gig, scrubbing toilets at McDonald's was my first assignment. And I, from there, continued to do what needed to be done. While I was in high school, always had a job, always had a part-time, I worked at Starbucks. I would open the coffee shop in the morning before going to school, and then I'd clock in again after school and work another shift and close out.

Wesleyne (06:13.561)

Mmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (06:29.642)

And that's just what I did to stack. So I had this intention. I was very clear and certain that I wanted to go away and I was doing everything in my own sort of willpower to make it happen. And on top of that, had the grades, doing all the extracurriculars, doing all the things. My guidance counselor, my senior year, tapped my shoulder and said, I really think that you would be a really strong candidate for this leadership award from the Posse Foundation.

and it's a national leadership award. They had built a reputation of recruiting cohorts of 10 students at a time, sending them to nationally ranked schools, providing all the support systems and everything to ensure a higher success rate and graduation rate than the national average. So it felt like my best shot at not only going away to school, but to actually make sure I got that degree at the end. And I walked into that interview process after the nomination.

And I laid it all bare. I was like, this is what I'm trying to do. And this is where I'm from. This is where I'm trying to go. This is the experience that I want to have is what I'm willing to do. I want to be down. Like I've really laid my heart bare during that entire interview process. And I got the scholarship and it was the life changing moment. I remember getting that call. I remember screaming because I already knew it was in store for me, things that I couldn't possibly imagine. Um, and that was how I was able to, uh,

Wesleyne (07:54.222)

Hmm

Luis Báez (he/him) (07:57.454)

get an education, get my bachelor's from liberal arts college. Shout out to my folks at Wheaton College. Go Lions. And I am just so thankful, so, so thankful for that opportunity.

Wesleyne (08:11.482)

Hmm, I really wanna take a moment and honor the people in our lives that really helped us, that took an inclining because as you were speaking, it made me think about my high school guidance counselor who took a liking to me and encouraged me and I got a scholarship to go to college. And then even when I went to college, I pledged a sorority because I saw who she was and I was like, I like her and I wanna be like her. And

Luis Báez (he/him) (08:25.38)

Mm-hmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (08:35.97)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (08:40.494)

As adults, I think that one of the greatest things that we should be doing is we should be reaching back and helping pull other people up because somebody helped us get to where we are today. And if it wasn't for those people who didn't have to take an interest in us, who didn't have to say, I see you, I want to help you, I want to move you forward, then we wouldn't be where we are today.

Luis Báez (he/him) (09:05.795)

Yeah, no, I'm thankful to my guidance counselor, thankful to all the teachers, you know, that continue to really encourage me and push me because I was not a good kid. You know, I talk about how hard I worked and how good the grades were, but I had a mouth, you know what I mean? It took a lot of patience because I really, I was unhappy, especially in high school. It was the worst experience. I was very happy to get out of it. But no, I'm so thankful.

Wesleyne (09:35.362)

So you went to college and then you dibbled into law school. What happened in that transition from college to law school and how did you end up saying, ah, this isn't quite for me?

Luis Báez (he/him) (09:45.538)

Yeah, I graduated college and, you know, first generation, you know, doctor, lawyer, business person, like that's those are the tickets to making real money to like having a good life and being able to provide for the family, right? Because if to your point about bringing people with you as you come up, I, you know, being the eldest and being first to go to college, I had to think about retiring my parents, taking care of my brother, all these things, right. And so I

Wesleyne (09:55.022)

Sit.

Luis Báez (he/him) (10:15.114)

wanted to save the world. I actually got a job at a nonprofit coming out of college, realized that did not pay enough for me to do the things that I needed to do for myself. And after doing the law school thing, I was working at a legal nonprofit and then ended up working for a judge as an assistant, doing law school part-time in the evenings and weekends. And after that first semester, I said, nah.

this isn't it, right? I'm pursuing the thing, because I didn't wanna be the doctor, I didn't wanna pursue business, I wanted to be the lawyer, I wanted to have a purpose and save the world and use my education for a greater good, right? I hated it. The practice of law and the study of law are very different things, but I was lost. I was absolutely lost at that point, because again, going down the checklist of how does one make money once you get a bachelor's degree, right?

Well, none of it was satisfying me. I even tried selling insurance on the side at one point, didn't do it for me, right? I, and just like having dinner with a friend, catching up, mentioned I felt was feeling kind of lost. And she looked at me and she said, Luis, you don't realize this about yourself, but you have this gift of commanding energy, attention. You've got this presence, you've got this magnetism. And I just wonder if sales might be your path.

I wonder if a career in sales might be for you. And she was working at WebMD at the time in their marketing department, referred me in, and I interviewed for a pre-sales job, you know, helping account executives prepare their deals and their presentations and pitches, not knowing anything other than, you know, symptom checker and being a fan of, you know, their content. But I, I sold it. I sold it. And that was how I ended up.

going down that path. The doctor didn't pan out because I didn't want to be in labs all day. I wanted to have a fun college experience. The lawyer thing didn't pan out. Law school was entirely too boring and too expensive. Turns out that the business thing was my thing after all.

Wesleyne (12:31.254)

Yes, as a fellow first generation person whose parents were immigrants, a doctor, lawyer, engineer, those were the three options that we had growing up. And it was like, which one are you gonna pick? And so all my life I was headed down that path of becoming a doctor and got to college. I was like, yeah, I don't wanna do that, but okay, you can be a doctor in a different way. How about you go get a PhD? And so I was like, okay, I can do that.

Luis Báez (he/him) (12:53.122)

Come. Yeah.

Wesleyne (12:55.902)

one semester I was like, yeah, no, this is not it. And I think that one of the things that I really want to open up to the communities that we come from is that it's okay to not become a doctor. It's okay to not become a lawyer or an engineer. Like this whole world of sales, I tell people that I have friends that did the doctor thing, did the lawyer thing and

Luis Báez (he/him) (12:59.072)

Oh.

Wesleyne (13:24.342)

When they got out of professional school, I was already making as much money as they were making when they got out with no student loan debt. And I didn't have to, and my life was six, eight years ahead of where they were, which is, there's nothing wrong. We need doctors, we need attorneys, we need all of those people, but careers and sales shouldn't be looked down upon. The business world makes things, every single thing that we buy, every single thing that we touch is sold by a salesperson somewhere.

Luis Báez (he/him) (13:45.55)

I don't know.

Wesleyne (13:54.094)

and it is an honorable career. It is a good thing for people in our communities to do.

Luis Báez (he/him) (13:57.538)

Yes.

Luis Báez (he/him) (14:00.966)

And I think if I hadn't gone down this path, I don't think I would have seen the radical change that I've seen in my lifetime and being able to get out of poverty and now be in a position to take care of my parents. And so I think that is, to your point, I have folks that are still doing their residencies and doing the things and that's their purpose and that's their calling.

Wesleyne (14:09.582)

Hmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (14:25.078)

And I think we all need to find that as well, right? Because I also had moments even going down my path of like, I don't know if this is for me, or I don't know if I'm, you know, making my highest possible contribution, right? Like I wasn't always sold on sales. But now in the retrospect, to your point, I don't know that I would have been able to in the time that I have while on this earth, change my life outcomes quite the same way.

Wesleyne (14:51.542)

Yeah, a career in change, a career in sales absolutely changes the trajectory of your life as well as the lives of your family and for generations to come after you, right? So breaking those cycles of poverty and living paycheck to paycheck and not having enough and being able to give to your family and your parents. I mean, this career, it is absolutely life-changing. Absolutely. So in your...

Luis Báez (he/him) (15:18.355)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (15:20.194)

14 year career in sales. You started in pre-sales. And so tell us as you got into your first sales job and then you moved up the ranks into sales leadership, as you became a sales leader, what are some of the things that you learned, some of the lessons that you've learned?

Luis Báez (he/him) (15:39.694)

Gosh, I embarked on a journey of never having gone to business school or anything like that, having any formal leadership training, you know, and having to learn all of the secret sauce from all the good and bad examples of leadership that I had in my career. And I vowed to definitely not be like some of the bad examples where I have had really negative experiences on sales floors where I was made to feel really uncomfortable, called all the derogatory terms.

you know, very publicly shamed and all those things, and had leaders that did not protect me, did not support me, and instead scolded me and made it seem like it was my fault that it was happening, and that I was the problem for being different.

Wesleyne (16:19.574)

Mmm.

Mmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (16:24.55)

That certainly influences the way that I show up as a leader and making sure that people around me feel enabled and empowered to show up and contribute their highest and making sure that the training that I deliver is attuned to things like psychological safety and things that are important as someone is going through their process and engaging with customers.

Wesleyne (16:34.467)

Mmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (16:45.554)

Then I've had really amazing examples of leadership when I first showed up at LinkedIn after all that trauma of all these other leaders disrespecting me and all that. I remember showing up for my first sales huddle as I started my career there and my sales director showed up. Two minutes late for the meeting.

incredibly apologetic for not being on time and started to show her calendar on the monitor for all of us to see on the screen. Full transparency into how she was managing her time and her projects, holding herself accountable and setting the tone for how we should show up. And so...

Wesleyne (17:20.815)

Hmm.

Wesleyne (17:24.543)

Mmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (17:25.19)

When I stepped into a leadership role, again, these are the things that influence my style and the way that I showed up is like, again, being really attuned to the need for IQ, EQ, and cultural intelligence to create that sort of space where people can make their highest contribution.

Right. And making sure that again, I sort of question myself in the process. Did I assume things that I slow down and ask if that person had everything that they need? Right. Like I did. I share what I'm going through, you know, the things that I'm working on and how I'm spending my time. Right. Did I set the example for how I wanted this person to show up and also that I give clear guidance and direction around the North Star?

Wesleyne (18:04.89)

Mm-hmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (18:09.086)

so that they knew exactly what they were headed towards. I think that's also important as a leader to set that tone. And when I was recruited at Tesla, was recruited as part of their leadership development program. And it was the first time in my career where not only did I step into a management role,

Wesleyne (18:10.564)

Mm.

Wesleyne (18:14.21)

Mmm.

Wesleyne (18:26.784)

Mm-hmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (18:32.154)

I was also paired with an executive mentor. And on a weekly basis, we went through master classes and things like that, training modules that we had to complete around communication, project management, P&Ls, all that jazz. And that was the first time that I ever had any sort of formalized training around leadership. And the one thing that I'm really proud of is that I was the only person in my cohort that did not have an MBA.

and was at the table and contributing and, you know, and someone who, like a voice that stood out in the group as well, because I had all this experience prior to joining that program.

Wesleyne (19:14.722)

Mmm, I just love that. Wow, there's so many nuggets there. So many nuggets. And I think I'm gonna, to chew on the last one is that really management training and development program because we focus so heavily on developing our individual contributors and we don't develop our managers. And exactly what you do is what I try to work with organizations to get them to do before you allow this person to.

Luis Báez (he/him) (19:19.372)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (19:43.318)

be promoted, can you let them see what a day in the life is like? Like, you're like, OK, this is what it's like going to management meetings and looking at P&Ls and things like that. And so when you think about that formal leadership training that you got at Tesla, how did that impact the way that you showed up to work and to your employees?

Luis Báez (he/him) (20:03.274)

Yeah, I think my perception of what my job should be or how I should be making an impact shifted. Right. I thought that as a manager, my job was just to make sure everyone did what they were supposed to do. But there was this entire operational muscle that needed to be developed. Because what typically happens and the path that I've been on is you have colleagues that as individual contributors, they, you know, crush quota for X many quarters. And then they're bumped up into sales management without any formal training.

Wesleyne (20:11.32)

Mm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (20:33.848)

and then suddenly they go from being the peer to the leader. There's friction around that and gaining trust and confidence and respect as a manager, right? I'm no longer your happy hour buddy. I'm now the one who's writing your performance reviews, right? And so there's that whole sort of experience that people go through. And then you learn everything on the fly. It's a crash course.

Wesleyne (20:45.557)

Mm-hmm.

Mm-hmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (20:57.582)

Right? Managing budgets, managing projects, all these things. And so when I showed up at Tesla, my task was to build out a field sales program that never existed and to develop a new muscle for the company in terms of distribution and market penetration. And there were a lot of skills involved in managing an entire region. It was my first time stepping into managing a whole team across North America, over 100 people. Right.

Wesleyne (20:57.794)

Ha ha ha.

Luis Báez (he/him) (21:27.556)

be really agile. I had to be quick. I had to look at every way to leverage and multiply with the successes that we were seeing while also coaching and training and keeping people accountable while also crunching the numbers in the background while also making the calls to make sure we've got inventory on site, all these things, right? There were all these sort of new hats that I had to wear that I hadn't worn before.

Going into it, I had a lot of anxiety, but having had those training sessions and that executive sponsorship and all those things, I felt like I had what I needed as I went along. As a new problem came up, I had a space to discuss it.

and to solicit feedback and get people's insight from folks who had done it before me and folks who had relationships that I didn't have. And so, I agree with you, there's a lot of emphasis on the individual contributor. It's like you perform, the numbers, the metrics, et cetera, KPI is all day long, all day long, where the OKRs, right? But I think that the leaders also need to be equipped.

Wesleyne (22:08.323)

Hmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (22:34.518)

to not only help and enable that person to perform, but to also operationally and culturally create the right environment for that kind of success and to celebrate the successes and the milestones in a way that helps exemplify that for the rest of the team.

Wesleyne (22:54.19)

So let's dig into some of those soft skills. How do leaders truly develop the ability to have empathy, to create a culture when they themselves may not have ever experienced a positive culture? They may have come from a toxic place. They may have toxic leadership. How do they do that?

Luis Báez (he/him) (23:13.79)

Yeah, I would certainly invite that person to channel, you know, and revisit some of that toxicity and think about how unproductive it was for all parties. Right. And then think about and reflect on the root of that toxicity. Was it lack of direction? Was it lack of motivation? You know, was it a lack of resourcing? Right. What is the core root of that? And then think about how you make your approach as a leader and avoiding those same pitfalls.

All right, so I think of that example that I shared with you earlier, transparency, right? How can I expect people around me to be real and transparent about how they're spending their time and what it is that they need if I come into every conversation drilling and grilling?

Right. Versus setting the tone and saying, today, I'd like to discuss X, Y, and Z. This is how I've been spending my time. Right. Like, let's talk about the things that you need. Right. Let's talk about when you'll get the things that you'll need. Let me share with you what I've got going on.

Right? I think that setting that sort of tone around authenticity and transparency can certainly, you know, stave off some of that toxicity that people have experienced in other places. And it is a bit of a leap of faith that someone has never experienced what a healthier or more productive or performance-based environment looks and feels like. You know, I think that it does require a bit of courage, you know, to let go of...

your assumptions about top-down leadership and instead embrace what servant leadership looks like and understanding that your job is to make sure that everyone around you has what they need to do their job.

Wesleyne (24:54.807)

Mm.

Wesleyne (25:02.074)

their job, right? Absolutely, I love that servant leadership and people don't really understand what that means in practice. It's like, oh, I don't wanna be a servant and like how do I lead and serve at the same time, right? But I think the key there is to realize, and you know, it starts with simple steps. Like even saying something like, oh, these people we work together, or these are my colleagues, they work with me instead of they work for me.

Luis Báez (he/him) (25:11.307)

Yeah.

Luis Báez (he/him) (25:24.212)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (25:31.882)

Right? Like you empower your employee so much. If you show up to a meeting with a customer and you say, and you allow them to say, oh, this is Bob. He works with me. Right? And said, oh, this is my boss because what does it do? It elevates you above your people. And then the client thinks that, okay, I'm going to focus on Bob because he's going to be the one who's going to give me the best price. He's going to do this. He's going to do that. And so what we do is we,

Luis Báez (he/him) (25:55.854)

Mm.

Wesleyne (25:58.106)

Actually, we are hurting ourselves in doing that. And I think that the only other thing I would add to what you said is investing yourself. And that investment is, we talked about reading, listening to podcasts. If your company will not pay for you to have a leadership development coach, pay for it out of your pocket.

Luis Báez (he/him) (26:08.457)

Mm-hmm.

Wesleyne (26:19.446)

I have people coming to me all the time saying, what's lean, my company won't pay for this. Will you help me? Because they wanna get better. You have to have a tenacity and the drive and the desire to become a better version of yourself.

Luis Báez (he/him) (26:22.934)

Now.

Luis Báez (he/him) (26:33.294)

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that we also need to recognize and grapple with the reality of the situation this day and age is. As a leader, I will always, no matter what industry it's in, no matter how long the business has been in business, the same narrative, it is hard to find good people, it's hard to find people who can do good work, it's hard to find people who will be loyal and stay with you, et cetera. And.

You know, I often tell people you've got to come to terms with the fact that the old way of doing things, that authoritative sort of leadership style won't fly because people no longer stay with companies for 10 years. And people quit managers, not companies at the end of the day. And people also have the option of making money on TikTok, Uber, or anywhere else. Right. There are different ways to make a living and to fill in those financial needs.

that don't require sitting there and putting up with toxicity and subpar leadership and mediocrity. And so, I think that for anyone that's listening is nodding their head and going, yeah, yeah. I think it's just time to throw out the old playbook, right? The world changed entirely in 2020 and we're still trying to chase 2018, let it go.

Wesleyne (27:41.225)

Mmm.

Wesleyne (27:52.674)

Yeah. Yeah, that's good, that's good, that's good. We are in a completely different era that made me think of my children when I'd say, oh yeah, you know, in high school or when I was in elementary, they were like in the 1900s. Yeah, like I was born in 1905, but a lot of people are still operating, like they're not keeping up with the agile nature of.

Luis Báez (he/him) (28:01.783)

Yeah.

Luis Báez (he/him) (28:09.994)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (28:18.966)

of the world and realizing that we have a whole new generation that's entering the workforce. And hello, millennials, you guys are now the older people in the workforce, and you have to really think about what the new generation needs and realize that you don't speak their language. And if you don't speak their language, you have to figure out how can we have a common means of communication.

Luis Báez (he/him) (28:25.152)

Yeah.

Luis Báez (he/him) (28:28.394)

Yeah, yeah.

Luis Báez (he/him) (28:42.727)

Yeah, I think the younger generations have a greater sense of purpose. They inherited a world that was already screwed up. The fairy tale is over. You can't convince these people that Santa's coming and all these other folklore that we all believe back in the day. It's all been laid bare. And they live with this greater urgency to live a life of purpose.

I think that is the biggest change or shift generationally, is that this younger generation wants to do meaningful work, wants to make impact. And oftentimes, that's at odds with this notion of making money and pursuing things out of growth and climbing ladders and undercutting other people. That intention doesn't fly anymore. And so when you're thinking about as a leader, how do I show up?

You have to honor and acknowledge that person has a sense of purpose and could always be on TikTok or anywhere else at any given moment. So how do you show up being the authoritative, you know, top-down kind of leader. It's just not going to fly, right? Trying to be too strict and restrictive, not going to happen either. But if your approach instead is to lean into everyone's strength and personality and help them find their shine and their highest contribution and to calibrate your teams based on

Wesleyne (29:45.924)

Yeah.

Luis Báez (he/him) (30:06.686)

This person is good at this area, that person is good at that area. As a business, we have all bases covered. That's an important mindset shift that needs to happen.

Wesleyne (30:17.786)

Yeah. And so you have had a very diverse career. And you mentioned that you also dabbled and dabbled and stepped into entrepreneurship. As you stepped into entrepreneurship, what was the true reason that you decided to leave the corporate realm and do that?

Luis Báez (he/him) (30:24.43)

Mm-hmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (30:30.018)

Yeah.

Luis Báez (he/him) (30:38.07)

Yeah, I think for me, I actually started entrepreneurship, but I was still in the corporate realm and it came from an intellectual pursuit of just my job had me running on one track and I had other things and other, you know, areas intellectually that I wanted to explore and other ways that I wanted to serve. Um, and that side hustle turned into really my safety net when it was time to walk away from toxic environments.

when it was an opportunity or that didn't manifest the way it should have, or I was disrespected in the workplace, or even having personal matters in my life. Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, where my family and I are from, and I had to take a step back from that corporate grind to be more available, to have more time for the family. And so entrepreneurship became this very necessary.

sort of security blanket where, you know, I needed to coming up in sales and changing my relationship with money and all these things, right? I started to realize that people who accumulate wealth have multiple incomes and also realizing that, you know, working in tech, no one's loyal to anyone. They will pull the rug from under your feet when they need to operationally. The business will always be self-fulfilling. And so I didn't want to find myself in a position where I was ever scrambling.

right, and trying to figure out like, how do I keep this roof over my head and take care of the parents and all of that? And so entrepreneurship, you know, was something I stumbled into and then fully embraced when I realized how much power and leverage it really gave me to have greater control over my time and energy and to not accept situations that weren't for me, right? Because I can walk away from a job if it's toxic. And even in the business world, I could say no to someone that I don't.

Wesleyne (32:24.879)

Hmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (32:32.118)

feel I am a fit to work with, or I don't have to put up a certain energy. And so having that kind of control over being fiscally productive and intellectually productive was really important to me.

Wesleyne (32:47.115)

Mmm, that's good, that's good. So tell us as an entrepreneur, what things do you do, who do you serve, how do you show up?

Luis Báez (he/him) (32:54.942)

Yeah, I am someone who is committed to working with businesses that have really smart and sound revenue models, but also impact models. If you run a business, an online business, a consultancy, a firm, or even a solopreneurship that serves a market that hasn't been served, if you represent a group that hasn't been represented in that industry, if you're doing work that has an impact model, buy one, give one.

right, or 10% of all revenues get donated, et cetera. Those kinds of models really resonate with me and my intention and the way that I wanna move in this world. And so my goal is to take all that Silicon Valley secret sauce as a sales rep and as a leader. How do you 10X, 15X, how do you run a really lean business? What are the right strategies to scale and hyper grow and you know, which products and how do you design product that people wanna buy?

That is the work that I love doing for businesses and business owners that are purpose driven. And so that's the work that I've engaged in working with life coaches who've gone on to publish books and be TEDx speakers, working with media companies that tell stories of underrepresented migrant and immigrant groups. I've also worked with businesses that serve BIPOC exclusively, LGBTQIA exclusively, right? Again, serving underserved.

markets and groups of people. And I have loved this path and being able to, be that teacher and coach, I love wearing those hats, being able to share the playbooks, this is how it's done, this is how you avoid the pitfalls. And even just having those light bulb moments where they, with entrepreneurs and leaders, where they just, they see things differently, they realize, oh, I've been doing it.

this way, I should have moved in this direction. Oh my God, this suddenly makes sense. Or, oh my God, I have this newfound confidence. That is all, those are all the signals that I'm on the right path.

Wesleyne (34:57.386)

Mmm, that's good. Purpose-driven companies, I love that. Those that are making an impact in the communities that they serve through whatever means. And we know a lot of times.

Luis Báez (he/him) (35:01.132)

No.

Wesleyne (35:09.642)

doesn't really matter what the business is, but people are really focused on their product, their service, and they don't really think about the sales and marketing. So especially those who are focused on their purpose and impacting others, needing help in developing that sales and marketing go-to-market channel is definitely a need in that area. So.

Luis Báez (he/him) (35:28.834)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (35:31.374)

Throughout your career and throughout your life, you've had a lot of experiences. Can you share something that has impacted the way that you show up and lead or sell or the person that you are today?

Luis Báez (he/him) (35:44.33)

Yeah, I had a really terrible buying experience that shifted the way that I sell. We've all heard the story of like pulling up on a car dealership and having to haggle and all these things. So I had an experience where I legitimately in the process of trying to negotiate with someone was all the way disrespected. I was treated like I was being done a favor for even having their time.

for even being allowed to test drive, how dare you push back, et cetera. And I think that for me was just like a realization of there are these professions that stigmatize sales as a profession, right? But also traumatize customers. And I, on the other end, no matter what it is that I'm selling, I have to be the one to overcome all of that and work through that with people. And so...

Um, it shifted the way that I started doing my relationship building and my discovery at the top of my deals, right? I stopped focusing on trying to sell someone something. I instead tried to focus on just holding space for that person and recognizing like, you've probably spoken to five of the reps who sound really canned, who are trying to rush you into swiping a credit card.

Wesleyne (37:05.251)

Hmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (37:08.306)

and haven't taken a moment to really map out, you know, your problem to their solution and what that timeline looks like to relief that shifted the, the way that I, you know, I stopped looking at my customers as like a means to my end, you know, my commission, my money. And it was like, okay, I have this opportunity instead to like, embody the kinds of experiences that I want to be having and show up as a consultant and an advisor and stop being so thirsty and pushy and sharky. And.

Wesleyne (37:24.954)

Mm-hmm.

Wesleyne (37:32.314)

Mm-hmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (37:38.234)

I think that radically changed things for me because from that moment on, first of all, I went somewhere else and got the car that I wanted with all the like trimmings and everything that I wanted for a much better price. But it showed me to like keep it moving as a customer. But I think for me as a salesperson, it really changed the way that I had the sense of ownership and purpose. Right. People deserve to have good buying experiences. People deserve.

Wesleyne (37:38.322)

Mmm.

Wesleyne (37:47.337)

Obviously, yeah. Mm-hmm.

Luis Báez (he/him) (38:06.242)

to have that moment of reflection and solutioning and brainstorming with someone else. Why else would I get on the phone with somebody, especially this day and age where everything is online and self-serve, right? If I'm gonna talk to someone, I want to be heard. I don't wanna be shoved in any direction. So my money from there on shifted. My commission's cute, you know, quota attainment, cute. Shifting into leadership, amazing, right? Like...

Wesleyne (38:18.868)

Bye.

Luis Báez (he/him) (38:34.006)

That was the turning point for me because again, I entered sales with that, like coming from advertising, New York city, you know, that whole madman click. Right. I learned a very sharky way of selling early in my career.

Wesleyne (38:45.334)

Mmm.

Wesleyne (38:49.058)

Hmm, that's good. Be the change that you wanna see. Like when you experience bad, if you give a bad salesperson feedback, they probably won't take it. But if you're in sales or you have the opportunity to do something, do it differently, right? Like really step into that place and realize you're, you are.

the change that you want to be. Sales is only bad because there are bad apples. And if we all choose to be just like that bad apple, then all the apples are going to be bad. So don't just not step into a sales career. Don't just say I'm not going to sell as a business owner because I don't like it. Be the change that you want to see.

I love that, I love that, I love that. Luis, this has been a fantastic conversation. I have enjoyed speaking with you so much. So tell us what is the one best way that people can get in contact with you if they want to reach out.

Luis Báez (he/him) (39:45.806)

Thank you, Leslie.

Luis Báez (he/him) (39:52.714)

Yeah, I think that for anyone that's listening, if anything I've shared has resonated with you and you're wondering like, how can I do this or how should I approach that situation? I lay all the pages of my Sales and Leadership Playbooks bare in my Flex and Flourish Academy training. It's a 14 day training where I will walk you through everything from how to persuade someone, how to guide them through a hesitation, how to build a team that's driven around performance, how to influence culture.

And you can sign up for that academy at learnfromlouis.com.

Wesleyne (40:29.746)

Okay, all right. And though that link will be down in the show notes, thank you, thank you, thank you so much, Luis. This has been a fantastic conversation with you. I wish you, wish you so well. And thanks again for sharing your time, your talent, and your expertise with us.

Luis Báez (he/him) (40:35.917)

Cue the f-

Luis Báez (he/him) (40:42.21)

Thank you, my friend.

Luis Báez (he/him) (40:46.062)

Thank you for having me, Wesleyan. It's been an honor and a privilege, and I appreciate you for this opportunity to show up as my whole self.

Wesleyne (40:54.278)

Yes, you're a whole self. You bring your whole self to work and you bring your whole self everywhere. And this is the podcast to do that. Bring your whole self. Awesome. Well, all righty. That was another episode of the Transform Sales Podcast. Remember to share, leave us a review, and let us know what you loved about this episode. Until next time.

Luis Báez (he/him) (40:57.287)

Hehe

Luis Báez (he/him) (41:00.662)

the end.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *