Transformed-Sales-Logo

The conversation explores the importance of being of service to customers and the world. It emphasizes the impact that even reaching one person can have. The host and guest share their experiences of impacting lives through their work. The conversation concludes with gratitude and appreciation for the value and impact they are making.

Connect with Fred

LinkedIn- linkedin.com/in/freddiamond

Podcast- salesgamechangerspodcast.com 

Website- i4esbd.com 

Connect with Wesleyne

LinkedIn- linkedin.com/in/wesleyne 

Website- TransformedSales.com  

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

Twitter – https://x.com/wesleyne 

Email- email…podcast@transformedsales.com 

Takeaways

Chapters

00:00 Being of Service

37:28 Impact on Others

38:03 Connecting with Fred Diamond

38:43 Acknowledging Value and Impact

39:07 Conclusion

Transcript

Wesleyne (00:00.502)

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

Fred Diamond (00:08.987)

Wesleyan I am doing awesome. Thank you so much for having me on your pocket.

Wesleyne (00:12.942)

I'm so excited to be on the other side of the mic because you've interviewed me on your podcast before. So I love, love having these swaps. Awesome, let me tell you guys a bit about Fred. He's the host and producer of the award-winning Sales Game Changers podcast and is a co-founder of the Institute for Sales Excellence. He is also an advocate for Lyme Disease Treatment and is a frequent article contributor to lymedisease.org. His Love, Hope, Lime podcast launched in May, 2023.

His books, Love, Hope, Lime, What Family Members, Partners, and Friends Who Love a Chronic Lime Survivor Need to Know, and Insights for Sales Game Changers, Lessons for the Most Important Sales Leaders on the Planet are available on Amazon. So Fred, you've had a very vast and diverse career. Tell me how you got started and how you ended up where you are today.

Fred Diamond (01:03.043)

Yeah, thank you so much. So in college, I was actually the editor of my college newspaper. I went to Emory University in Atlanta. The reason I mentioned that is because my first job out of college was with McGraw-Hill Publishing. So I was in one of their divisions called McGraw-Hill Information Systems, where I analyze technology companies and products. So I got to know all the companies, got to meet with people who work there in marketing and technology. So I was invited by Apple Computer to come work for Apple.

And this was after Steve Jobs left and before he came back. So it was the John Scully years. It was when they introduced the Mac 2 and Apple was trying to get into business. So I was one of the marketing people in their government group. So I was in Virginia. I got to know the government business really well. I then went to Cupertino and spent two years in product marketing, which was really cool. I then went to Compaq Computer.

Wesleyne (01:38.615)

Hmm.

Fred Diamond (02:01.375)

for people's history, Apple laid off one third of the workforce in 1993, but I was then invited by Compaq in Houston, where you are, to work in their public sector marketing team. So I spent two and a half fun years with Compaq in Houston. And then I went to Detroit to work for a large software company in international marketing. So I was very lucky to get to know that I then moved back to Virginia and I worked for a couple of pre-IPOs.

I then became what they now call a fractional CMO, Chief Marketing Officer. Along the way, I realized that even though I was an outsourced marketing leader, most companies were hiring me because they had sales challenges. So I needed to meet more sales VPs who were the ones that were telling their companies to hire me. So I created what's known as the Institute for Excellence in Sales and did it kind of like as a part-time networking.

Wesleyne (02:43.394)

Hmm

Fred Diamond (02:58.247)

thing for a couple years and then I've been running the Institute for Excellence in Sales full-time since 2019.

Wesleyne (03:05.406)

Wow, so you did this moving around. Seems like you took opportunities that were given to you and you just said, hey, untethered, I don't have anything holding me to a specific area. So tell me when you were younger and you took these jobs all around the country, how do you feel that set you up for your current success?

Fred Diamond (03:27.803)

You know, I kind of tell people I started my career at Apple, but technically, like I said, I was with McGraw-Hill for a couple years, and I was an editor, and I learned how to write more effectively. For people listening in sales, your ability to write is one of the foremost skills that you really need to focus on. I was then very fortuitous to have been recruited by Apple, and I spent six years there. And even when it was bad, it was good at Apple.

You know, it was one of the most high profile companies in the world, smart people. I was fortunate to work the last part of my career in product development. So I got to see these unbelievable engineers and I got to understand what is required to take a product to market. And even though Apple has created some of the most incredible products in the world, you know, there were some products that weren't as successful along the way.

And I got to see how people at Apple jumped to certain high profile products and ignored other products that were very, very profitable, but weren't quite as sexy. For example, when I was at Apple, there was two products in development. One was called the Newton, which eventually became the iPad and then of course the iPhone. And it was the first Genesis of that. And everybody wanted to be on that team because it was bleeding edge, but it really didn't come to market for like 15 years.

Wesleyne (04:22.904)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (04:34.046)

Mmm.

Wesleyne (04:42.626)

Hmm

Wesleyne (04:51.894)

Wow.

Fred Diamond (04:52.143)

Concurrently, concurrently, we had what's called a as a client server product, the server product, and those were extremely profitable, but they weren't very sexy. You know, IBM Dell compact, they all had their server products as well. So everybody was going after the shiny object, which eventually changed the world as compared to sticking to the profitable side. So one of the lessons is there's nothing wrong with selling something that's not particularly sexy. If you're in sales and it might be more valuable from your customer perspective.

Wesleyne (05:02.072)

Mmm.

Wesleyne (05:10.412)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (05:17.795)

Mmm.

Wesleyne (05:21.742)

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

So you talked about the 15 year journey of like this very first prototype to what we now have. I think we're on iPhone 15, if you will. So that very long time. And as entrepreneurs, a lot of times that, I call that cooking time, that baking time is really hard for us. So seeing this product that wasn't really, was like, okay, I think maybe, and now it's so popular. What kind of lessons can business owners, entrepreneurs,

just starting out kind of take from that long phase of product development.

Fred Diamond (05:56.987)

You know, it's interesting again, that product, let's see, I was there in 93. It was launched in like 2000 and like, you know, it was like, you're talking like a 13, 14 year journey. I'm going to guess that almost everybody who started is long gone. You know, I can't imagine too many people, unless there might've been some people in development who might not have been terminated along the way. Apple had a bunch of layoffs, uh, in the nineties and the 2000s of people don't really refer to anymore, but it's kind of like, you know,

Wesleyne (06:10.988)

Yeah.

Fred Diamond (06:26.627)

if there's value in what you're selling, right? If there's value in what you're bringing, you're gonna hit ups and downs. You know, there's gonna be macro level things. There's gonna be micro level things. You know, if you're running a business and you know, you're gonna be dealing with personal things that you didn't foresee. And there's gonna be industry things. Like obviously the big one is the pandemic and how we're all trying to figure out how to get beyond what the pandemic opened up for us. But if you really are passionate and committed,

There's no reason why you can't be successful now if there's no market opportunity for what you're bringing to the market. That's a whole different story. That's something else that you need to be alert to and kind of honest about.

Wesleyne (07:08.01)

Yeah, it's the thing, like that dedication, really feeling like, okay, this is something that I wanna do, that I'm dedicated to, that is impactful and important to me, and it may fail three, four, five, 10 times, but is it something that you really wanna do, right? Is this something, is this a product, is this a service, is this a company that you wanna follow through? Because in those times of when we fail or when things don't go as expected, that's when the biggest lessons are learned.

when I've stumbled and fallen down and I take a step back and I'm like, okay, let me figure this out. That's when my product, my service has blossomed and bloomed.

Fred Diamond (07:48.359)

That's a great point. And you might not see that as it's happening. And you might not even have coaches who see it as it's happening. But I think one thing is you want to try to be as unblind as possible, you know, if that's really the right word, you know, and it's hard sometimes when you're so passionate because you know, you're whatever the reason is why you're passionate. You know, you might have had some successes and you're like, I can recreate this, but maybe the markets past.

Wesleyne (08:01.579)

again.

Wesleyne (08:14.858)

Yeah.

Fred Diamond (08:16.403)

or maybe the value that people have seen from what you're bringing to market has changed because they have changed. So you have to figure out a way to be aware of that and to be conscious of how you need to respond and react.

Wesleyne (08:31.454)

Yeah. And so you took this amazing corporate career you had and you decided that, you know, I don't wanna do this just for one company. I wanna help lots of businesses. And so tell us, first of all, what is a fractional CMO and how did you help companies?

Fred Diamond (08:48.091)

So again, the way I tell the story is I was fortunate to work for Apple Computer for six years and six and a half years. And even when it was bad, it was still really, really good. People were smart. Apple was on the leading edge of employee engagement. They had gyms and they had speakers. We had training. So it was really, really great to work for Apple. And of course, when I was there, it eventually came crashing down where they laid off one third of the workforce. And then I went to Compact.

Wesleyne (08:58.534)

Mm.

Fred Diamond (09:17.103)

which was a great place, but a lot of the fun times at Compaq had passed. And then I went to work for a software company in Detroit, which even though I got to travel around the world, it's heyday had passed as well. So I then told my, uh, my partner at the time that I needed to go work for something more exciting. So we moved to Virginia and I worked for a pre IPO that kind of blew up in 2000 in the middle of the night. Then I went to another one that kind of blew up in the middle of the night.

And I had said to this particular person, I got to figure out this on my own. You know, it's like I worked for the best company in the world and compact, which was one of the top companies at the time. And now I worked for some companies. I closed in the middle of the night. I said, I should be able to figure this out. There was an article that came out in fast company magazine written by a guy named Daniel pink in 1998 called the free agent nation and his whole premise. It was a third, third edition of.

Wesleyne (09:51.887)

Mmm.

Fred Diamond (10:16.827)

Fast Company, his whole premise was you can work for yourself doing what you love to do as compared to working for a company doing what you love to do and the whole concept is you could do it for multiple and you have time, you could write books, you could do whatever else it is you want to do. So at the time, this was 2002, I referred to myself as an outsourced chief marketing officer and I would have anywhere Wesleyan from two to seven clients at a time.

Wesleyne (10:28.012)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (10:41.09)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (10:45.901)

Mmm.

Fred Diamond (10:46.899)

I was even for 10% of my time. I would give them more than they would get from a full-time person. I had so many skills, you know, I worked for some of the best companies in the world. And you know, there were times when I had five, six companies that were clients and it was great. And I never had less than two. So when I had two, I was like employed paid for all my bills and whatever. Well, you know, and it wasn't like I wanted to play golf.

Wesleyne (10:55.031)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (11:08.29)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (11:11.93)

Hahaha

Fred Diamond (11:16.527)

You know, I just wanted to, I didn't want to get stuck in a situation. I was laid off two times in a row by companies that imploded. I didn't want that to happen again. I wanted to control my own destiny. So now it's very common for the concept of fractional, this fractional CFOs, salespeople, CIOs, even fractional CEOs and tons of a fractional.

Wesleyne (11:17.046)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (11:24.214)

Hmm.

Wesleyne (11:31.403)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (11:38.686)

Yes, there's lots of fractionals out there. You said, you mentioned that a lot of these companies you worked with, they had sales problems not marketing problems. What does that mean to someone who doesn't really get that there's between sales problems and marketing problems?

Fred Diamond (11:53.255)

So a classic situation was the company that would hire me wanted to get to the next level. They wanted to go from two to five, five to 10, 10 to 20, one case, 50 to 100 million. The CEOs and the leadership of the company said, that's what we're going to do. We're going to go from this to this to this. So what they would typically do is they would hire a VP of sales for a successful company in their industry. Someone who has built teams, made a lot of sales.

And in theory would come in and would just replicate the success. Almost invariably the VP of sales would come in and would say, now that they looked under the covers, they weren't no longer being pitched to come to the company. They would see some of the problems. One of the problems might be, the product wasn't as fully vetted as it needed to be. Maybe the marketing story, the website, the collateral materials,

Wesleyne (12:46.304)

Mm-hmm.

Fred Diamond (12:51.227)

the targeting, the messaging wasn't really as world-class as it needed to be. And these VPs would say to the ownership or to the leadership, I'm not gonna be successful until we fix our product and fix our marketing. And maybe it was something else, maybe it was HR and other topics. So I would come in and even though I was a marketing expert, I was always conscious that the companies weren't hiring me because they had marketing problems.

Which meant how the world saw them they had problems with sales and marketing was one of the things inhibiting sales Maybe another one was how they were compensating, you know the salespeople so or how they were managing them But the mid-level if you will so I was getting hired left and right Wesleyan by The companies where the VP of sales the new typically the new VP of sales said I'm telling you right now I'm not gonna be successful until we fix this and this and I would come in

Wesleyne (13:21.782)

Yeah.

Yeah.

Wesleyne (13:27.516)

Hmm.

Hmm.

Wesleyne (13:41.803)

Yeah.

Fred Diamond (13:48.267)

I had some engagements, Wesleyan, two of them that lasted close to 10 years because yeah, I kept providing value over and over again. And I was a student of marketing and sales. So I wasn't just like, hey, we need a better website. I was like, we need a better website that does this, this and this. And you know, sales is pretty clear. I mean, you're a sales expert. You go in, you travel up to Alaska and wherever you go.

Wesleyne (13:53.57)

Wow.

Wesleyne (14:00.983)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (14:08.212)

Mmm.

Wesleyne (14:13.654)

Yeah.

Fred Diamond (14:16.283)

training people on how to get better at sales and with your background as a chemist and all that you you've done such great job presenting yourself so it's kind of clear it's like did we make our numbers or not how does the pipeline look in marketing it's a little bit unclear and one thing that would amaze me is when I went to a client I would say something that to me were like marketing 101 our customers are CIOs and we're not telling a crisp story to CIOs

Wesleyne (14:26.847)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (14:31.936)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (14:40.106)

Hmm.

Fred Diamond (14:45.339)

we need to really make it more of a business story. And people would be like, oh my God, that's right. We need to make it more of a business story. So I was providing a huge amount of value with things that I as a marketing professional.

Wesleyne (14:48.534)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (14:59.31)

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Yeah, for me as a salesperson, I like to tell people I'm a salesperson, but I have a little, I have my foot, I have my toe in marketing, right? And it's because whether you're in product marketing or content marketing or sales, we have to be integrated enough to understand, okay, if I'm out here talking to this person and they told me this is where I found you guys and this is the value I got, I need to feed that back, oops, I need to feed that back into marketing, right? So I need to let the marketing team understand

are the things that are working, can we do more of this? And then marketing needs to be able to tell me, these are the things that we're doing, tell us how to make it better. And a lot of organizations, they don't have, they have that oil and water, not the peanut butter and jelly, and the oil and water sales and marketing is where you have problems. So knowing that you are asked to come into most of your engagements by the VP of sales, those are very forward thinking VP of sales.

Fred Diamond (15:55.587)

Yeah, well, they also wanted to be successful. You know, in most cases, they left a successful company to take a shot, you know, with the next best thing in their industry. You know, very few of these VP of Sales came across a different industry. Usually it's like the companies would say, all right, we wanna grow, we have some funding. So we wanna go find a successful VP of Sales at a company that's a couple of levels above us. And you know, however they got them to come, they got them to come.

And then when they landed, they were like, yeah, like I said, I'm not going to be successful. I want to be successful. So we need somebody who can come in. You raised a good point there. Marketing also, there's a lot of marketing, right? You know, I was in my career. I was a product marketer. I was an industry marketer. Excuse me. I was a marketing communications person. You know, marketing has a whole bunch of disciplines along the way, but something that you alluded to the successful marketers need to know why they work for a company.

Wesleyne (16:36.046)

Hmm.

Wesleyne (16:44.963)

Yeah.

Fred Diamond (16:54.627)

and they work for a company to increase revenue and to increase sales. I used to have a, when I was a marketing consultant, I used to have this tagline that marketing that doesn't lead to revenue reward is a huge waste of time and energy and money. And everything I tried to do would be about how can we hasten the sales process? I remember when I was at Apple, I met with one of our top sales professionals. This was early in my career.

Wesleyne (16:58.39)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (17:08.322)

Mm-hmm.

Fred Diamond (17:23.255)

was the woman who was in charge of selling Apple to the Air Force. And she took me aside one day because I had a lot of energy. And, you know, she said, I'm going to give you a secret. She said, your job is to make my job easier. You know, your job, I have 22 days to sell 10 million dollars worth of stuff. You know, you should be thinking, how do I, Fred Diamond, as a marketing professional, how am I making? You know, how are you making my job?

Wesleyne (17:26.594)

Hmm.

Wesleyne (17:35.968)

Mmm.

Wesleyne (17:42.374)

Yeah.

Fred Diamond (17:53.467)

How are you taking away things that are stopping me from selling? And those things that marketing can help would be the message, the target, the regularity of the communication. And I remember that. That was like 1992. And I remember exactly where I was when I had that conversation. And I said, you know what? That's right. We don't want to be the best marketer. We want to generate revenue with the best marketer.

Wesleyne (18:01.374)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (18:06.798)

Hmm.

Wesleyne (18:16.366)

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

We want to generate revenue with the best marketing. Now that is a whole quote for someone who is struggling with their marketing internally. That's good because everything that we do within an organization is to generate revenue, right? It doesn't matter if you're answering the phones or if you're making social media posts or you're out there actually frontline selling. That is our goal as a organization to generate revenue. So in 2019, you transitioned to the institutes of sales excellence.

And so tell me, what was your vision? What was the reason that you decided to start this organization?

Fred Diamond (18:53.307)

So we started the Institute for Excellence in Sales. As we got mentioned, it was a guy who was a recruiter and me just to kind of meet more people. I said, I was getting hired by all these VP of sales. Hopefully they'll come to our events. I'm based in the Washington DC area. So we did events all over what's known as the DC Beltway. And we got a really nice reputation and people started liking what we were doing. And they would say, hey, why don't you come into my company and do a program? Why don't you find a training company for me?

Why don't you do something for our women in sales? The big thing that we do right now is help large companies with large sales teams become a better employer for women in sales. We created a designation called the Premier Women in Sales Employer. And I believe you helped us with that, or you've helped us with some of our Premier Sales Employer designations over the years. And you know what, I've always, even though I'm a marketer and I have an MBA in marketing, I learned, like I mentioned before early on, that it's about sales. And...

Wesleyne (19:38.154)

Yeah, yeah.

Wesleyne (19:50.677)

Mm.

Fred Diamond (19:51.291)

people just started gravitating towards what we were doing. We got companies like Amazon Web Services, Hilton, Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft, Dell, HPE. They all liked what we were doing and started sending people to our programs, participating in our programs. And I said, you know what? Marketing has changed from when I originally became an Outsource CMO, a lot of it's automation, you know, and that's great, but it really didn't excite me.

strategy, product strategy. And I'm really not, I mean, I respected in my, or of course automation, but I don't like sitting in a cube looking at, you know, trends and KPIs. For me personally, what I want to do during the day. So we invested in growing the Institute. We shifted our model. We like to say that we help employers attract, retain, motivate, and elevate top tier sales talent. And we do that through our women in sales program, through our designation, through our award events.

Wesleyne (20:47.011)

Mm.

Fred Diamond (20:51.323)

And it's a lot of fun. Sales is going through, as you know, an interesting metamorphosis coming out of the pandemic. There's still a lot of questions because all of our customers are also dealing with how do they be coming out of the pandemic and their customers. Customers are dealing with how do they be coming out of the pandemic. So there's everybody in the supply chain is being challenged with how do we now be successful in sales.

So I like working with the companies that are involved with the Institute to uncover some of those solutions.

Wesleyne (21:26.454)

So as this premier organization, you talked to a lot of different companies and a lot of different industries. What would you say the biggest challenge that you are hearing that is really crippling these organizations from? I wanna tap into the retention of their top sales talent. What is the biggest thing holding them back?

Fred Diamond (21:46.959)

No, that's great. And we, what we think every day, how can we help? And that is my key message, you know, by being involved with the Institute for Excellence in Sales will help you retain. So I think there's two challenges and they're all related to the pandemic. So the first one, this is what I hear from all of our, all of our corporate partners, we call our members and our customers partners. Number one is like we alluded to before is, how do we be as a sales organization?

How do we be moving forward? And I don't think we're going to know the answer for two years. Like it's still going to keep shifting. You know, you and I are doing this interview in the middle of October 2023. We just did a conference last week in the fall in Washington, DC on how to be a hybrid organization. And there's still a lot of questions, particularly for women in sales on how to be optimally hybrid because people got used to working from their sweats and people in their sweats and people got used to.

Wesleyne (22:19.787)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (22:38.03)

Mmm.

Wesleyne (22:41.655)

Yeah.

Fred Diamond (22:44.303)

You know walk in the dog and two o'clock in the afternoon and people got used to you know being this way and There's a challenge with not being in contact where it's hard to sell to coach salespeople And it's a lot of the great sales Leadership happens impromptu, you know someone has a question. Well, let's go into the conference room and let's talk about it Hey, let's continue this conversation over lunch. You can't do a lot of those things hybrid now you can do things virtually, of course and we've

figured out a lot of it, but everyone's looking for that optimal balance, right? Should we do two days hybrid? Should we do three, three days? Should we require people come in? Should we require they have their screens open all the time? So there's still a lot of questions. And part of the challenge too, is how are our customers being as well? The second big challenge. Did you want to follow up on that? Are you going to go to the second challenge?

Wesleyne (23:35.071)

Yeah.

No! I-

So as you were talking, the thing that popped out to me is a lot of the organizations I work with is they've had traditionally field salespeople and they became more inside salespeople during the pandemic and now they still are working virtually and they're not going out. They're not getting out and seeing customers and they're just sitting in their home office. And one of the things that I tell when I'm working with leaders, I'm like, yeah, so I need you to go to the home office and then make them come work with you, right? If you make them do that,

or a week or for two weeks, I bet they'll get out and start seeing customers, right? And so I think that we're past that this is what we need to do in theory and we actually have to put some action into getting people to move, to think outside of the box. Otherwise they're just gonna sit in this pattern of holding and it'll be 2026 and we'll still be talking about the impact of the pandemic on our Salesforce.

Fred Diamond (24:29.999)

No, that's a great point. And, you know, let's say you were hired to be in sales in January of 2021, right? So right away you were sent home and a lot of the new people who were in sales, all they really know is selling this way, right? So they didn't go out to customers and even a lot of inside people, of course, do it this way, but you would go to events and your, your boss would send you out with your account exec or they would send you out on that being naive and saying,

Wesleyne (24:37.964)

Mm-hmm.

Yeah.

Fred Diamond (24:58.511)

Well, what if your customer is in Europe and you're based in Omaha, right? They're working to fly, you know, a 22 year old, but the human interaction we're all beginning to realize now is so critical to successful sales. And the negativity, the negativeness about the virtual side is it's limiting. You know, you can't then extend the conversation in the hallway, you know, even with all this. And that's so critical to sales. And a lot of the sales leaders, the vast majority of the sales leaders that we talk to

Wesleyne (25:03.043)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (25:10.924)

Yes.

Wesleyne (25:16.087)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (25:20.29)

Mm-hmm.

Fred Diamond (25:28.679)

And we talked to a lot on a daily basis. They all see that as a problem because most of them have, of course, grown up with interacting with customers, going to conferences, going on sales calls. And even though things like security have gotten harder, even before the pandemic, you could still see customers. You know, you would figure out a way to be in the room. Everything that you did as a sales professional is all about speaking to the customer next.

Wesleyne (25:33.363)

Mm.

Wesleyne (25:38.509)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (25:47.042)

Mm-hmm.

Fred Diamond (25:57.031)

Whatever that format, it's all about getting to the next conversation at the end of the day, no matter where you are. It's all about the opportunity to get to the next and I might take you, excuse me, 30 interactions before it leads to transaction, whatever that looks like for your company, but it won't happen until you do those 30. The other big challenge that companies have said, and this impacts the Institute for Excellence in Sales is a lot of the challenge that of course has happened during the pandemic.

Wesleyne (25:57.067)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (26:13.442)

Yeah.

Fred Diamond (26:25.235)

is the sensitivity towards underrepresented communities. So for us, it's women, it's a big community that we serve, and you've been involved with some of that we've done, and also underrepresented communities in sales, like African-American and some others as well. So we want, well, we claim that we are the center of excellence for corporate women in sales best practices. So we created a designation called the PYs,

Wesleyne (26:30.135)

Hmm

Mm-hmm.

Wesleyne (26:39.726)

Hmm

Wesleyne (26:42.912)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (26:50.838)

Hmm

Fred Diamond (26:55.259)

We just published, well, by the time this comes out, we will have published our first white paper called best practices for corporate women and underrepresented communities in sales. And we got really deep with companies like Oracle and Cvent and Carasoft and JG Wentworth to identify what they do to be optimal employees for underrepresented communities. And that's something that's come up.

Wesleyne (27:00.866)

Mm.

Wesleyne (27:06.702)

Hmm

Fred Diamond (27:23.935)

is how do we be a better employer in sales for women and for underrepresented communities.

Wesleyne (27:29.878)

Yeah, and you know, I think that it really, it takes people standing up and people who have influence and impact to say, hey, this is a problem. And if we keep just talking about the problem and we don't do anything, then nothing is gonna change. And so the onus is on us, people who have platforms, people who have that influence and impact to say, this is a problem, let us work together to see how we can find a solution. And it's not a, this isn't a small problem. So it's not a quick fix, right? And I think that as we,

we go through and, cause I was even a part of, you know, reviewing some of those applications and really seeing the effort that some of these companies are playing into their corporation. And it's not just, we have a ERG for this person or this person or that person. It's like, these are the things that we do to support our employees. And we want to make sure that everybody here feels like they belong. And really that is what flows into retention. Cause I like to say, most companies are decent, not great, but they're decent at high.

hiring, but they really suck at retention and promotion of any underrepresented groups. And unless we sound the alarm and do the things that need to happen, then the problem is going to stay there.

Fred Diamond (28:40.495)

So we found seven companies that are the inaugural premier women sales employers. We brought them together, and we're gonna do this continuously. We brought them together in the late spring of 2023, and we posed detailed questions. What are you doing as a company that we recognize as a premier company, and what's worked and what hasn't worked? And the best practices fell into three buckets. One was recruiting, optimally recruiting, how to recruit.

things that they've learned along the way. The second bucket was not just having employee resource groups, ERGs, but optimizing them and getting them flowing and giving them the ability to be successful. And the third bucket was senior leadership commitment to ensuring that these ERGs are successful. And like Oracle, for example, Oracle has a senior executive in each of their ERGs.

Wesleyne (29:30.624)

Mmm.

Fred Diamond (29:39.451)

to ensure that it's not just, yep, we have these ERGs, we're proud of it. It's like they're physically in the room to follow up, to take things back to the executive leadership team and ensure that those things get ingratiated. And we're really excited by what we've discovered, we're really excited about what we're gonna continue to uncover and we're proud of it as well. And thank you for helping us to identify some of those companies and.

Wesleyne (29:39.552)

Mmm.

Fred Diamond (30:07.639)

Once this best practices paper gets out there, we expect many more to want to be part.

Wesleyne (30:12.582)

Absolutely, absolutely. So I wanna ask you a question to make you dig deep. What is an experience in your life, personally or professionally, that has impacted the way that you show up in LEAD?

Fred Diamond (30:18.875)

Yeah, I like that.

Fred Diamond (30:29.231)

Well, you alluded to the fact that I wrote a book, I wrote two books in August of 20, or published two books in August of 2022. One is called Insights for Sales Game Changers, and that's highlights of the first 450 Sales Game Changers podcast episodes that we did. And it's a great book. We talked about leadership, prospecting, teamwork, et cetera. But you had alluded to the fact that I also wrote a book on Lyme disease, and Lyme is a tick-borne illness.

Someone in my life, someone I was close to, struggled with chronic Lyme disease. Lyme disease is at epidemic levels. It's all over the world. Ticks, there's 24 different tick-borne illnesses that a tick can transmit. Tick-borne illnesses don't just happen in New England or Hudson Valley, New York. There's evidence of Lyme disease all over the country and all over the world, including Australia, et cetera.

So when this particular person struggled with their Lyme disease, I decided to become an expert on Lyme disease. And I wrote a book called Love, Hope, Lyme, what family members, partners and friends who love a chronic Lyme survivor need to know. And I started my second podcast called the Love, Hope, Lyme podcast. So I didn't even know I knew one person with Lyme. Now Wesleyan, I have thousands of friends. I get 10 people a week who reach out to me asking me questions. I had.

Wesleyne (31:33.336)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (31:44.066)

Hmm.

Wesleyne (31:48.31)

Wow.

Wow.

Wesleyne (31:55.196)

Wow.

Fred Diamond (31:55.907)

No idea of the breadth of this challenge and I had someone which is mind-blowing Wesleyan Someone referred to me on social media two weeks ago as one of the most important people in the lime community And I'm like I'm like you got to be you got to be kidding me But I'm the first person who's not a medical practitioner or a lime survivor Who has written a book and it was really written to help people understand what and there's

Wesleyne (32:09.014)

Wow.

Wesleyne (32:16.118)

Mmm.

Mmm.

Fred Diamond (32:24.375)

someone estimated there's 60 million people with Lyme disease on the planet. And every day on Facebook and Instagram, there's thousands seeking advice. So I didn't expect that, you know, two years ago, I didn't sit down and say, I'm going to become an expert on Lyme disease. I'm going to write a book. I'm going to do a podcast to be seen as a leader. But something happened. And I invite people to investigate in their life where people don't know something.

Wesleyne (32:45.749)

Yeah.

Fred Diamond (32:54.211)

Right? You know, where people where there's holes, you know, there's a woman who runs one of the top line organizations and we met for dinner last night, ironically, and she said in the 35 years she's been around, no one's even thought about writing a book, let alone doing a podcast. And I've published like a dozen articles in various line publications and chronic illness publications. Something happened. And the same thing for everybody listening today, think about something you could do. I mean, definitely work on your craft, you know,

Wesleyne (32:54.399)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (33:16.311)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (33:23.819)

Yeah.

Fred Diamond (33:23.955)

Listen to Wesleyan's podcast. Listen to myself game changers to get better You and I are both committed to helping people get better at you know They're profession as sales professions to become better sales professionals during a challenging time in the industry For the profession but think about where else in your life you can add value And it could be something simple as coaching your kids sports team, you know It could be something like one of the great things about the companies that we recognize as P wise companies

Wesleyne (33:31.48)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (33:44.034)

Yeah.

Yeah.

Fred Diamond (33:52.755)

is they all give back in a lot of ways socially, not just internally, but externally as well. They're socially conscious. Be that way. So people who are listening to Wesleyan's podcast, be that way. Make the world a better place.

Wesleyne (33:56.415)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (34:04.835)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (34:08.702)

Wow, thank you so much for sharing that. And I really like to kind of sum up what you shared and using our pain for purpose, right? I started a podcast earlier this year, a second podcast called Daily Love Letters from God. And that was really me in my pain and sharing things that I would just send to people randomly. And somebody was like, how can I subscribe to this? I was like.

that's a good idea. Maybe I should make this a thing that anybody can tap into. And you never know, you think like, well, nobody cares. I'm the only one. And like you said, you're like the only person who ever was not a medical professional or survivor of Lyme disease, and you decided, hey, this helped me and I wanna help others. And I think having that philanthropic bug, really having that, I wanna serve, yes, we have to sell, yes, we have to do these things professionally, but how are you giving back to the community that you live in, that you work in?

Thank you.

Fred Diamond (35:02.911)

You and I both deal and have dealt with great sales professionals. And the ones that I've interviewed on the podcast, I've gotten to know through the Institute for excellence in sales. They view themselves as service leaders. Right now, again, they're great at the art and science of sales. You can't become a VP of sales at Oracle. Waking up one day and saying, you know, I'm done flipping burgers. Tomorrow I'm going to be a VP. It's a 15, 20, 30 year journey. But when you talk to them about.

Tell me more about what you do. It's like, well, you know what? Let's say I sell to the Navy. Maybe they also volunteer with veterans, right? Or maybe they do some raising of funds, or maybe they do something for the elderly. Almost every great sales professional I've met has that service component. Some are very blatant about it. They've created not-for-profits that are raising millions, whatever. And some just quietly, I have a friend who's a top sales professional.

Wesleyne (35:41.058)

Hmm

Fred Diamond (36:01.919)

at a well-known company and he volunteers maybe every other week at a jail in one of the counties near where we live to help some of the young people there who are in jail read their own literate and he shows up twice a month for a couple hours I guess but yeah it's um the great sales professionals I mean you're serving your customer your customer doesn't need to talk to you

Wesleyne (36:14.634)

Yeah.

Fred Diamond (36:28.291)

You know, your customer doesn't need you, even if they need you. They don't really need you. They'll figure it out. But how can you be of service to them? And then how can you be of service to the world, man? Because I'll tell you, I'm glad that you're doing that. And here's the other thing. If one person listens to your daily, your daily thoughts, you've impacted one person. And if one person listens to my podcast, then one person listens to my podcast. We won thousands. But if, if we reach one, that's even that's just as good.

Wesleyne (36:30.849)

Yeah.

Yeah.

Wesleyne (36:45.198)

That's it.

Wesleyne (36:49.1)

Yep.

Wesleyne (36:55.136)

Yeah.

Wesleyne (36:58.45)

And that, I think that is a great word to kind of end on because we both have that same spirit, that same thought. It's the one person, right? It's yes, we want to impact thousands and millions and hundreds. I recently was looking at the analytics for my podcast on the Daily Love Letters, and there were 91 downloads within one day from somewhere in the Philippines. And so I'm like, that was a person who needed to hear what I said. So even those times when you're like,

I don't want to. It's like you do it because you know that you're impacting lives. Fred, this has been... Oh, go ahead. I know that I'll never meet, that I'll never know, right? And that's okay. And I think that is what we do when we decide that we want to serve others. We are impacting people that we may not never ever know. They may not say anything to us, but that's what we are called to do.

Fred Diamond (37:32.975)

And you know what, you impacted someone halfway around the world. Yeah.

Wesleyne (37:53.314)

Fred, this has been a fantastic conversation. Tell us what is the one best way that people can get in contact with you if they wanna connect.

Fred Diamond (38:03.087)

Yeah, I mean the easiest way is on LinkedIn. I'm very active on LinkedIn and Facebook as well But I just want to acknowledge you. I mean for what you're doing I mean, you know, we've talked about your background numerous times you and I've spoken on the phone Various times, you know the career shift that you made is remarkable And the impact that you're having on your customers You know, i'm also facebook friends with you as well. So i'm seeing some of the things you're doing I know you're a very spiritual and thoughtful person. So I just want to acknowledge the value

and the impact that you're making with not just your customers, but people that come across your podcasts, your posts, and everything else that you do. It's quite remarkable.

Wesleyne (38:43.898)

Thank you Fred I greatly appreciated that and I needed to hear that today because you know It's one of those times where I'm like, oh man, my cup is my plate is full But thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I received that and I appreciate it Awesome. Well again, thank you so much for your time your talent and your expertise Fred. This has been a fantastic conversation

And that was another episode of the Transform Sales Podcast. Remember, find one person that needs to hear this today, share it with at least one person, and help them transform their sales. Until next time.

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