When you are 1 out of the 45 women that woke up very early on a rainy Monday morning to attend a breakfast panel at 7:30am to listen & take notes from some powerful and successful women in sales, how can someone not notice how great you are?! Monday’s breakfast was an intimate panel event that provided women in sales an opportunity to ask three successful sales professionals (Global Sales Exec, Sales Manger, Sales Coach) that are women of color about their paths to success.
On Monday, June 10th, 2019 at 7:30am, Sistas in Sales (SIS) hosted a Power Breakfast at Linkedin offices located in the Empire State Building in NYC. The purpose of the event was for the audience to be able to ask the panelists some burning and challenging questions about the sales industry. The attendee’s most popular question of interest was,“How do I excel as a woman of color in my sales career?”
The panel discussion lead by Chantel George, CEO of Sistas in Sales & Account Executive at Linkedin, featured 3 sales professionals who gave us insight into their success stories of being a black or brown woman in the workplace. Lisa Campagne, Regional Sales Manager at Linkedin, Adrienne Blount, International Account Manager, and Cherilynn Castleman, Sales Leader & Trainer, were the amazing women who shared gems on how to be a successful and effective sales woman in the workplace while also managing the adversities you will face while being a woman of color.
The most powerful takeaways of the morning were:
On getting promotions:
It is important to be mindful of what is needed for not only you, but for your manager to be successful. Oftentimes we forget that their success is the team’s success as well. – Lisa Campagne
On work/life balance:
It is important for my kids to see me successful, especially since I travel a lot for work. Since they are older now, I am able to invite them on these trips, because it is important to set the precedence since you never know when the opportunity will come again; when the door knocks, I answer. – Adrienne Blount
On getting advice from executives:
We all get feedback but it is important to ask for feedforward for by asking hypothetical questions to executives such as, “If you were to write an email to the VP of LinkedIn, what would you say?” Feedforward provides the content for your next email, workshop, training, or blog, because they are letting you know exactly what they need to know! – Cherilynn Castleman
On being one of the only in the room:
I have tremendous power as a woman of color. Once I shifted my mentality to embrace that, I began to get in front of a lot of senior people here at Linkedin. – Lisa Campagne
On bouncing back from a bad month (if you ever have one!):
When having a bad month I take long walks in order to be by myself to reflect, and I pray. – Adrienne Blount
On being concise in meetings:
Get more things right than you do wrong; I say things in 3’s in order to ensure this. I speak in 3’s because women use 20,000 words in a day, while men in business use 7,000. So when I am sitting in the C-Suite and if I don’t start off by saying that there are 3 things I want to tell you, men typically stop listening. Learn to be succinct, precise, to speak in 3’s, and the only emotion we are allowed to show is passion; that is the only way they will hear and listen to you. – Cherilynn Castleman
S.I.S has proven through their events that women of color need panel events such as this not only to see and be around other women that look like them, but to vent where necessary. The venting that takes place in this safe community is what helps us attain the “feed-forward” mentioned by Cherilynn, that we need to help curate more events that will speak to the needs of the black and brown women in the sales industry. We are a community of women that can rely and seek refuge in one another through shared experiences.
Continue to walk in your Power and remind yourself of your excellence, daily, and we will continue to share the vital messages that will help us all propel in our respective careers.
See you at the next Sistas in Sales event!