Amy Franko and The Modern Seller (Inspiring Women, Episode 53)
Amy Franko, author of The Modern Seller, joined host Betty Collins on this edition of Inspiring Women. Amy talked about the primary misconceptions services providers have about sales, imposter syndrome, delivering value, negotiating, and much more.
The host of Inspiring Women is Betty Collins, and the show is presented by Brady Ware & Company.
Betty’s Show Notes
Amy Franko helps organizations transform sales culture, ignite sales growth, and build high-impact leaders through her strategic selling programs. Recognized as a LinkedIn Top Sales Voice, Amy is the leading expert in modern sales strategies—including in-demand sales training programs, sales strategy, and as a sales keynote speaker and leadership keynote speaker. She guides growth-oriented organizations to significantly improve their results through B2B sales strategy and sales team skill development.
In this episode we find out more about Amy, and
- why she credits coming from a large family with her success in sales
- what does “modern selling” mean?
- what are the misconceptions of today’s selling situations?
- what are her observations about women in sales?
- what has she learned from her successes and failure?
- and finally, her 3 pieces of advice (you will love #!)
Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home.
For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company.
Remember to follow this podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. And forward our podcast along to other Inspiring Women in your life.
[00:00:00] Betty Collins
I’m Betty Collins. And today we are going to talk about something that scares me to no end, and that’s called sales. And when you’re a business owner, which I am and I’m a shareholder and all those things, part of my job, part of my responsibility is making sure that my clients are served. But it’s also out there getting new clients, new clients. And it’s a frightening thing for me. It always has been. If I can, just knowing that I’m out talking to someone, I’m not afraid of it. But if I think I have to sell something, that’s another story. So we’re going to talk about this topic today with someone who really, really knows a lot about selling. In fact, she knows so much about it that she’s written some great book. And I think you will will find her very, very engaging today and she will really help you get through some things. I’ve known Amy Frankel for quite a while. We are very involved in the central Ohio, Columbus area with a lot of the women’s organizations. So today we’re going to talk with a truly an expert because she’s written a book that is on the Amazon bestseller list, by the way, and it’s called The Modern Seller.
[00:01:15] Betty Collins
And so I think you’re going to love engaging with Amy Franko, who wrote this book. And I’ve known her again for a while, and we’ve kind of been in the same circles in businesses. And we’ve also done a lot with women’s organizations within the central Ohio area. She’s very big in the Girl Scouts of America. So just to get started, you know, Amy is Franco is the leader in modern sales strategy. She helps those mid-market organizations to grow sales results through a sales strategy, you know, advisory and skill development programs. And again, her book, The Modern Seller, which is an Amazon best seller. She is recognized by LinkedIn as a top sales voice. And she’s also, as I said, the board chair for the Girl Scouts of Ohio Heartland, a top 25 nonprofit in the Columbus region, serving nearly 18,000 members. And you can find Amy at w w w dot Amy Franco. So, Amy, I’ve talked a little bit about you, introduced you. We’ve had some fun. We’re going to have a great conversation today. Why don’t you just tell us a little bit about yourself before we get started on that thing called selling? Sure.
[00:02:28] Amy Franko
Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for having me here. I was so excited to have this on my calendar and have this conversation with you and Betty. I’ve learned something new about you that you are selling like strikes fear in your heart. So I would have never known that about you.
[00:02:45] Betty Collins
Absolutely. Absolutely does.
[00:02:48] Amy Franko
But but to but just to just to give our listeners a little bit more about myself. I am I was born and raised in Ohio, grew up in Cleveland. I’ve been in the Columbus area now for 25 years, which is hard to believe. And from a from a personal standpoint, I am married to Dave and I have a wonderful, energetic black lab by the name of Roxy who gets all of my time and attention. Yes. And and and when when I’m not doing things sales related or related to the Girl Scouts or nonprofits, I love all things fitness and I love to travel. So I’m very excited to be able to get back to traveling. So that’s a little bit about me, and I’m sure we’ll uncover some more stuff here as we go.
[00:03:38] Betty Collins
We will. So what’s your favorite place to travel before we get started? What is it?
[00:03:42] Amy Franko
Oh, well, probably my most exotic place I’ve been to was we did a two week, two and a half weeks safari to Kenya in the early part of 2020 before the pandemic. And had you asked me, like, if Kenya was on my travel list, I it’s Kenya itself was not on my travel list, but being on doing a safari was we had some friends that planned the trip, invited us to go along, and it was absolutely life changing. And if we have time, I will tell you a story about that trip that ties into the book.
[00:04:17] Betty Collins
Okay. We definitely want to make the time to do that. So. All right. But I love to travel as well in my older age. Not old, but my older age. I like going back to the same places, so I’m really glad. In the forties I traveled everywhere, you know, and had that adventure side because now I’m kind of like, Here’s my favorite spot going to hang there. So but even talking about even having this introduction today of we’re going to jump into sales, it makes me a nervous thing, which really is crazy, right? Because I mean, I love the marketplace, love being out there, love seeing the success of it, because when it succeeds, you know, the country succeeds. And so sales is just part of that, especially as you have to be a rainmaker or you have you. Want to have growth and you’re that owner and you want to get out there, or maybe you work for somebody and this is what you have to do. So, you know, what is your background and how did you get into the sales profession?
[00:05:13] Amy Franko
So. So a little known fact about me is that I’m the oldest of five. I have four younger sisters and there’s a ten year age difference between me and my younger sister. So I think that perhaps sales and leadership, my sisters might call it being bossy, but I call it leadership. And so has probably probably been with me, right? It’s probably been with me since I was young. Right. So just like that’s the desire to start something or lead something has always been in my DNA as long as I can remember. But for those of you listening, if that’s not you, please don’t shut off this podcast because we’re going to give you some great ideas for sales. But so that’s kind of how I’ve grown up, but how I specifically got into the sales profession. I was doing an internship in college, basically, I had a summer job. I worked at a tech company in my hometown in Cleveland, and I answered phones. I answered phones, and I just did all kinds of things in the company to learn the business. And one of the things that I observed was that the salespeople seem to be having the most fun. They were always the one. They were always the one with the customers. They were coming and going. They they always look like they were having a great time. And I’m not sure, like I said, Oh, let me pick that as a career, but I think I might have tucked that away. And it’s like, Oh, like, this is interesting. If you’re going to spend a lot of time doing something, do something you like, right? Correct.
[00:06:51] Amy Franko
But but so I think that was maybe my my first taste of what the profession could be like. But I didn’t study sales in college. Now there are sales certificates and sales programs. The profession has come a long way in that regard with college programs and university programs. It’s not something I studied, but I got my first job out of college, working in an inside sales role for a tech company, and that was really my first journey into sales. And for my for the first ten years of my career, I had a variety of sales roles, starting with with that college internship and had a variety of sales roles and tech for the first ten years of my career. Then I took a pivot into entrepreneurship about 15 years ago, and that was my next foray into sales, which I kind of think of is more entrepreneurial type selling. I was running the company and I also had to sell and bring in all the clients, not unlike what you shared in the beginning in your intro. So I have really been selling for my entire career. It is just looked different depending on whether I was working in an organization or now. I work for myself and I work with organizations, CEOs, sales leaders. I help them with sales strategy and I also help to skill up their sales teams. And I’m, as you could probably tell, I am really passionate about about sales and all things sales and leadership. So I really get a lot of joy out of being able to do what I do.
[00:08:27] Betty Collins
And you’re still hanging with all the fun people, right?
[00:08:30] Amy Franko
I do that, I hang with the fun people and it opens up all kinds of doors that I would have never, never thought of. So I’ve had a variety of experiences, from big enterprise to entrepreneurial selling and the customers I get to work with today.
[00:08:46] Betty Collins
Well, your book is titled The Modern Seller. So. So of course, I think of, Oh, you don’t have to go door to door. Knock on the door. Right. But what do you mean by modern selling? Like, what does that mean?
[00:09:03] Amy Franko
Yeah. So, so as I was just a little bit of context as I was researching the book and the catalyst for this really came from the work that I was doing with my clients. And I’m a learning and development person. I love learning and I’m the person who loves to go to the conference and sit in the front row and take notes. So I’m a learner at heart. And what I started to observe in myself and also in my clients was, Hey, there’s there’s all these different sales and also marketing activities that we do and organizations on a day to day basis. But what I was starting to realize was that there were some other skills that were equally as important and maybe even more foundational to helping us be successful in the everyday activities of selling. And so as I was researching this and pulling this together, I have uncovered what I see as five capabilities of the modern seller. And we can certainly. We dig into those as well. But if I were to give our listeners just a working definition of the modern cellar, think about your clients and prospective clients that you maybe haven’t worked with yet. And there are some things that they expect of us today that maybe clients didn’t expect of us 15, 20 years ago. Our clients really expect us to be a differentiator in their business and we need to be recognized for that because our clients have so much choice these days.
Pick an industry, they have so much choice. Also, a modern seller is somebody where you individually provide so much value to your client or your prospective client that they really can’t separate you from what it is your firm does or your company does. Whatever you sell a product, you sell the service, you sell a suite of solutions. You are so important to that that they can’t really separate you from it because otherwise you’re a commodity. Yeah. And then the last thing I would offer up for people to think about is how much do you help your clients be a have a competitive advantage in their industry? What you bring is unique that helps them to be better. And they look at you and they say, You know what, I really couldn’t imagine doing business without you. So so those are some tenets of modern selling that I see as as they’re foundational, but I think they’re even more important today. And if we can focus in on the way in which we show up and develop ourselves, that’s going to help us sell better and it’s going to help us help the clients better.
[00:11:45] Betty Collins
Yeah, absolutely. Of course, you had me at there’s five things you do because I’m a CPA, right?
[00:11:51] Amy Franko
[00:11:53] Betty Collins
If we have time, where to get to those five things? I absolutely. I love that. But, you know, again, as you heard me say in the beginning, sales is a scary thing for me. And a lot of it is really misconception probably on my part. Right. But what are some of those misconceptions about selling in today’s market, especially post COVID post pandemic? The word pivot. I’m so tired of it, but I mean, what are some of those misconceptions about today’s today’s clients when it comes to selling?
[00:12:24] Amy Franko
Yes, If you had buzzword bingo in front of you, pivot might be that center square and buzzword. Bingo, bingo.
[00:12:31] Betty Collins
Buzzword bingo. I like that. I like that.
[00:12:34] Amy Franko
But, you know, so if so, think about some misconceptions for for a moment. So many things have changed with COVID. It’s kind of interesting. Many things have stayed the same foundationally with selling, but many things have changed as well. So so a couple of misconceptions that I would would offer up for people to be thinking about is the idea that the sales is something that you that you have to do to someone, right? Yeah. I like if you were to envision in your mind’s eye working with your clients or a prospective client and then sort of envisioning being across the table from them, envision vision, kind of walking the path with them, and we can envision ourselves as walking the path with them. That takes some of the barriers down. And our role is really to be somewhat this is another buzzword, but the buzz phrase being a trusted advisor to our clients and our perceptive clients, when we take that mindset versus, Oh my gosh, I’ve got to sell this product or solution, I have to get a certain price for it. When we look at it as we’re walking with our clients and helping to navigate the terrain together, that’s that’s a bit of a different perspective. So I would bust the myth that you have to be doing something to someone versus you’re walking the path with them, right?
[00:14:00] Betty Collins
I love that. I mean, that’s like saying, Hey, let’s have lunch or Hey, can we break bread? There’s just different connotations. I love I like that taking the path with them.
[00:14:11] Amy Franko
And another misconception is that your clients don’t want to be sold to. And here’s what I mean by that. Our clients and our prospective clients, they they’re engaging with us. We’ve either engaged them or they’re engaging with us because they feel that there is something of value there to have a conversation about. So our clients actually have an expectation that we are going to walk them through a decision making process to help them figure out what is it that I need to do next. And if we take ourselves out of that equation, we’re not desperate for a sale. We are confidently helping a client to to navigate that. We’re empowering them to make a decision. So it’s not manipulation, it’s empowering them to make a decision. And that’s part of our role, is to empower them to make the right decision. Hopefully that right decision is working with us, but sometimes it’s not, and we have to either kind of disqualify that potential client out. We introduce them to someone else, or maybe there’s an entirely different solution altogether. So so don’t discount the fact that your clients, they want to be walked through a decision making process, be the leader that helps them to make that decision right now.
[00:15:38] Betty Collins
Those are excellent, excellent points, especially when you’re you have a fear of it or you think it is something that it’s not, and then you don’t have success with those two things hanging over you. Right. So.
[00:15:51] Amy Franko
[00:15:52] Betty Collins
Those are good. I’m going to take a second here and clear my throat. So that’s Brett. We’ll cut all that out. So as you know, this is inspiring women. And so the audience is going to be primarily probably women, honestly. And and women today. I always hate the terminology. Well, it’s a man’s world. I say it’s a woman’s world. I say it’s a sales world. Right. But what are the observations that you have about women when it comes to sales? Like what is it that you see specifically for them?
Yeah, And and these are generalizations. So I want to make sure that, you know, some some of these things, if you’re if you’re listening, you may say, oh, this doesn’t really, really apply to me and that’s totally fine, but I invite you to just reflect on these and see where maybe some of these things are, bringing up some, some challenges or let’s call them opportunities, right? To, to, to develop. I really believe that sales skills are leadership skills and they’re also life skills. So if we can embrace the idea that building our sales acumen is it can help us create a lifestyle that we want, it can help our clients create the business and the life that they want. There’s so much upside to embracing the idea that sales skills are really a positive thing and they are leadership skills. But I would say I’d say one of the things I’m seeing right now, Betty and I coach a lot of of clients and a couple of the conversations I’ve had of late with some really, really sharp women who are by any means they are so successful. But I’ve seen some struggles with confidence and a little bit of that imposter syndrome. So that is one of my observations that I tend to have that conversation more with women than I do with men.
[00:17:53] Amy Franko
And the idea that, gosh, I’m I need to need to build this or have that or I’m not good enough at that, or how am I ever going to to be successful with this and that. Those are little things that eat away at your your confidence. So that’s an observation that I have that a lot of very successful women still struggle with confidence. If that happens to be you listening, you are not alone in that. But I bring it up as an observation to reflect on for yourself if that is something that that you struggle with. So I would say confidence is one thing. And then the second thing is, and this may be is also a misconception that you have to be really aggressive to be successful in sales. And and my opinion, that couldn’t be further from the truth. And today’s buyer today’s client doesn’t appreciate aggression. I believe that they appreciate assertiveness, they appreciate confidence, but they don’t appreciate aggression. And so my observation is many times women shy away from the profession or they avoid sales altogether because they believe you have to be aggressive in order to be successful. And I would say you need to be assertive and you need to build your confidence, but you certainly do not need to be aggressive.
[00:19:21] Betty Collins
Sorry. Let me ask you this just because I think, first of all, when I when maybe this is a misconception sales, but negotiations are what we think they are. Right. And men are better at negotiating than women. It’s proven fact. But how do you see the negotiation process in sales or should it be? This is not a negotiation.
[00:19:47] Amy Franko
Good question. So I when I’m working with my clients, what I ask them to do is they’re going is they’re analyzing their own processes, how they engage the client and what their client’s decision making processes are. I encourage them to separate mentally the different parts of the process into sales skills and solutions and negotiation. Not not that you’re telling the client, well, hey, this is my sales skill bucket and now I’m moving into my negotiation skills. But for you to mentally compartmentalize these and the reason that I encourage clients to do that is sometimes we can muddy the waters and we can make things really complicated. So if you’re real clear on what parts of the process you need to be negotiating on. But maybe I can illustrate this with a story. So I was I was working with a client maybe six months or a year ago. We were talking about this very topic on negotiation. And and it was it was a mixed group of men and women. And so the person I was working with was working with their client, and their client had gotten to the end of their decision making process. Right. So we’re ready to sign an agreement. Yes. And so they get to the point where they are ready to sign the agreement and the client asks, Would you be willing to give us a 20% discount before they’ve got the pen in their hand?
[00:21:24] Amy Franko
And they’re getting ready to sign? Will you give me a 20% discount? So that’s your first data point that you really aren’t at the end of the decision process or the negotiation process because they’ve now asked for something different. And the kneejerk reaction many people have is let me see if I can do that for you. Instead of asking the questions. Tell me a little bit more about why this is important to you. Tell me walk me through your thought process around this. And so in my in my story and my coaching story, the my client had negotiated with their client a 10% discount before signing. And my question back to my client was, so what do you think that they’re going to do the next time you get to the agreement stage? They are going to ask you for more discounting because that is what we’re teaching them to do. And they’re like, the light bulb went on, right? Like, oh, boy, right now we teach our clients many times how to treat us and buy what we agree to do and how we navigate processes. So what you could do differently the next time is ask a question about why they’re thinking that they need that discount, because the discount is is a trade off for value.
[00:22:48] Amy Franko
Sure. And when you understand what that is, and I think one of our knee jerk reactions often is that we want to give the discount or we want to just rush to the end because they’re so close to signing the agreement. So I always encourage my clients, look at what they’re really asking for. You may need to negotiate some terms of your agreement or parts of your solution or your product, which you don’t want to do is put yourself in a position where you are giving them the same thing, but you’ve now dropped your price by X percent because that just that ends up being a race to the bottom. It eats away at your margins, but it also eats away at the relationship. And I think that’s sometimes what people don’t remember is when those types of trade offs are given, it can eat away at trust and credibility on on both sides. Right. So always ask yourself, is the decision that I’m making here a potential trade off not just financially, but a trade off in the relationship that might have some unintended outcomes?
And the reason I think of negotiations why I ask the question was, I love the movie Pretty Woman, right? And in this, you know, Richer, Richard Gere wants to hire Julia Roberts for the week to basically be his escort. Right. And so she starts out with a big negotiation, right? Like, well, I need that. And then he said, How much is it? Just tell me what that is. And he and he gives her the money and says, Now that’s over. We’re done. So let’s really talk about how this week is going to go. And I think that’s where I look and go. We tend to get focused on the Julia Roberts contract before we talk about the value of what we’re going to do for the week. In this case, he just needed somebody who could go in ten things with him. And yet she was really all all about the contract before she was about, hey, here’s how this week’s going to play out. And so I don’t know why I always think of that when I think of negotiations, because she was really thinking price was the whole negotiation, not here’s the value you’re going to get for the week and Right. And I think we can look at that with our clients as well. What is the value you’re you’re going to give them and then deal with the negotiation piece? Because if they see you as an expense, you’ve really lost, but they see a value that you really won at the end of the day.
[00:25:10] Amy Franko
So there is a one last point on that. There’s a book that I really like. It’s called Getting to Yes and Negotiating and Negotiating Agreement without Giving In. And it was written by a couple of a couple of gentlemen from Harvard, the Harvard Negotiation Project. And the idea being that we often see negotiation as this zero sum game. If I win, you lose. Yeah. And what if instead we looked at it as the ability to create? I like to think of it as a win win win. It’s a win for your company. It’s a win for the client and it’s also a win for you individually. And sometimes we leave ourselves out of that equation. So I how can you make something, a win win win? And but without giving away the farm, if you will.
[00:26:07] Betty Collins
Right. Know all those good points. Good points. We’ve got to keep moving on because I want to hear the safari story.
[00:26:13] Amy Franko
[00:26:15] Betty Collins
Do that. But you know, give us what’s a either a success or a failure that you have experienced and what did you learn from it as as you’re out there consulting with companies and people?
[00:26:28] Amy Franko
And I when I when I think about I’m I’m going to I’m going to share a success, I think we can learn as much from our success as we can, from our failures. And make no mistake, I’ve I’ve had I’ve had more than my share of fair share of failures in this. Profession. I think we can learn. We can learn from both. But I go back to a client that I had a number of years ago, and we don’t actively work together at this point, but we have we are still in each other’s networks and we’ve known each other for a long time. And this was a really, really big organization that I had the opportunity to earn a big contract with. And maybe one other misconception is if you’re a small company, don’t let that deter you from really going after the clients that you want to go after, because that can often be an advantage. Don’t don’t let it don’t don’t fool yourself into thinking that you have to be as big as your competitor to be successful. So so this was a really big contract, probably the biggest one I had in my career. And it was it was a lengthy RFP process requests for proposal.
[00:27:37] Amy Franko
I had to submit, submit a very lengthy proposal, and then I was chosen to be one of the three finalists to present to the clients and ultimately selected. So knowing that I’m a smaller firm, I’m thinking, All right, how can I get creative here and really build great relationships with the client? Because they were going to be a number of people in this presentation and showcase myself and to stand out because I said a modern seller is someone who is a differentiator, who really stands out and there they are attached to the value that they that the company brings. So any job in sales is our job is to legally, ethically, morally, on even the playing field, our customers subconsciously look to even the playing field because they think that that makes their decision making process easier when in fact all it does is drive the conversation toward price. So I’m thinking, all right, how do I on even the playing field and really stand out? So I asked my client, could I set up 30 minute conversations with each of the people that will be present at the presentation? I’d like to get to know them. I’d like to understand what’s important to them, and I’m going to use that in my presentation.
[00:28:55] Amy Franko
So my decision maker says, Well, yes, absolutely, you can do that. There was a naysayer in the group that said, Well, wait a second, shouldn’t we make this an even playing field for everybody and allow all the all the finalists this same access? And I had a very savvy decision maker who said, well, you know what, If they ask for it, I will give that to them. But if they don’t ask for it, I’m not going to I’m not going to just grant it to them, which is a really different way of thinking. Right. And so I was the only one that thought of that strategy. I got 30 minutes with probably six or seven people that would be a part of this. And I was able to create a presentation that nobody else could match, and I ended up winning the business. It was the biggest deal my firm had ever closed, and it was that one strategy that really made the difference. And it cost me nothing. It cost me nothing but creativity and my willingness to ask because I had I not been willing to ask, I would have never received it.
Right, Right. Awesome story. Awesome. Awesome. You know, and people don’t realize the gift of what you did. I mean, you really step back before you. Did just the same thing as you always do. I mean, you step back and say, this is a different this is a different deal. I mean, this could be a deal breaker. This could be the one, right? This could get me over. And then if I can get through this one, think of the other ones I can have, because now I’ve got a great resume on. Absolutely. So you have to you know, and that’s where in sales, I think I look at more as it just kind of happens with me. And that’s not always a great strategy. Instead being intentional, it’s got to be where you’re at no matter what you’re proposing. I think so.
[00:30:43] Amy Franko
And the willingness to be uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable asking for that. Right? Sure. But once once I got over myself and that that fear of that discomfort, you know, then I’m like, gosh, that just gave me more confidence for the next time to say, okay, how can I be creative and what can I ask for the next time?
[00:31:01] Betty Collins
Right? And, you know, women don’t ask. Men will ask. They don’t have one hesitation. So women in the audience learn from her success of her largest contract. She asked for something that would set her apart. And and that’s I mean, that’s huge success to me. You know, one of my funniest success stories and it was no intentional it just happened was I went to a meeting and and I went in and I said, I’m Betty Collins and I’m here to see so-and-so. And they said, okay. So they took me to a room and I’m sitting with all these people and I hand out my cards and they’re handing them out to me and I’m talking away. And, and and then I realized I’m in the wrong meeting. I’m not in the right meeting. And they started I go, This isn’t where I’m supposed to be, is it? And one person looked over because, Yeah, but you’re really entertaining. This was really good. I said, Okay. And about six months later there was an influencer in that room called the Owner, and he was so impressed with how I handled my exit from that room that he hired me a year later. But that has nothing to. It was my greatest story of sales that I have, right, because it was just so bizarre how it landed. But that’s not being intentional, you know, that’s not getting in there going. This is why I have success in sales. That was just one of those situations. But but once I realized I was in the room and I had to make an exit, I did have to become intentional, right? I did have to go, okay, how am I going to play this out? And then I ended up having success later, but I just thought I would throw that in there.
[00:32:40] Amy Franko
So well, and that’s a great example of not taking ourselves too seriously. Yes. And, you know, stuff is going to happen, whether it’s whatever it is. And great example of not taking ourselves. You didn’t take yourself too seriously. You just had the confidence. Maybe maybe you had to manufacture some confidence, but certainly have the grace to realize, all right, I’m not in the right room. Let me figure out how to exit here and maintain my my sanity. Yes. And people people do watch how we react. They watch how we react. They watch how we handle ourselves, like the gravitas that we have in these situations. And they do remember it.
[00:33:22] Betty Collins
[00:33:24] Amy Franko
Well, that’s awesome. I love that story.
[00:33:26] Betty Collins
Yeah. It just was one of those. I will I and I’ve learned from just the little things about it. You kind of expanded on it at the time. It was just happening. But so so to the audience, what are your three pieces of advice? The best ones, right, for for them to take away today? And then I do want you to end with the Safaree story. So.
[00:33:48] Amy Franko
All right, sounds good. So so I would say my my first piece of advice is to invest in yourself, whatever that looks like for you at the point in time you’re at in your career. And investing in yourself is taking the time to listen to this podcast. Investing in yourself may be stretching yourself to go to a conference that maybe you wouldn’t go to or you wouldn’t necessarily pay for. Like you are waiting for somebody to pay for it for you. And they didn’t investing in yourself. So always ask, how can I invest in myself today, this year so that you are always working on yourself and showing up as the best version of yourself? My second piece of advice would be to get involved in a passion project of some kind. So for me, my the Girl Scouts of the Heartland is my passion project. They get my time, talent, treasure and ties and because I have invested in them, just see the outcomes that we’ve been able to create. And the reward it has brought to me is more than I think I could ever give back to that organization that those passion projects can really fuel you. So find that passion project that you love and want to kind of throw yourself into. And then my last piece of advice would be to. Have the ambitious life themes. This goes back to your comments about being intentional. So much of life can happen to us. I believe that the people who create the most impactful lives are the ones who intentionally have ambition about the life that they want to create, whether it’s their professional life, it’s their personal life. It all. It all mingles together. We get we get one life. So be as bold and ambitious as you can. Dream it up and and go after it. Because you don’t you don’t get necessarily get a second chance to go do that.
[00:35:49] Betty Collins
Great advice. Great advice. Especially the third one. I really definitely like that. Definitely. Very good. Okay, let’s. I got to know about this safari. Let’s finish that up.
All right. I’m going to try to give the short version of this story, but. So we took a safari to Kenya in February of 2020, right before the pandemic hit. And we got to travel to four different locations in Kenya. And when you when you get there, you take small bush planes from location to location. So we’re in a small regional airport in Nairobi. And there’s this young gentleman, Kelvin, who I came to know later. This young gentleman is our concierge. Really sharp. He was just wonderful and just walked us through everything, got our bags, helped us to our gate, the whole nine yards. And because it’s a bush plane, there’s only ten or 12 people on the plane. So this young guy is reading the manifest and he’s checking off everybody’s names and he gets to my name. And he said, Are you the Amy Franko who wrote the sales book?
[00:37:01] Betty Collins
Oh, my goodness.
[00:37:03] Amy Franko
Right. And of course, I’m looking at my husband. I’m looking at my two friends. And I’m like, all right, which one of you put him up to this?
[00:37:12] Betty Collins
[00:37:13] Amy Franko
I’m eight time zones away. And here’s this here’s this young man who asks me, maybe Franco that wrote the sales book. And I said, Well, yeah, And I totally did not believe him, Right? I’m like, Well, yeah, I did write the sales book. And he’s like, I would love to get a copy. How do I get a copy of your book? And I said, Well, probably the best way is to order it on Amazon. So we’re just kind of bantering back and forth, and I’m totally not believing this guy. He walks us to our plane and we go on our way. Three days later, we come back through the same airport and who greets me at the airport. But my new friends Kelvin. Wow. And he’s like, Ms.. Franco, Ms.. Franco, how do I get your book? And then he starts naming some other, like sales professionals, like people in the industry that my husband would know, probably, but my, my friends would not. And I’m like, You’re really serious, aren’t you, Kelvin? I said, You’re not joking, right? And he’s like, No, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.
[00:38:12] Betty Collins
[00:38:13] Amy Franko
How do I get your book? And I said, All right, so here’s the deal. I said, Because Amazon is there, but it’s not there. It’s a challenge, right? So I said, All right, I’m going to take a photo of your badge. Let’s take a photo together. And I am going to mail you a copy of the book. So fast forward, I get home, I look up his airline, which is a tiny airline, and say, okay, I hope I have the right address. I mailed him a book and I’m okay. I don’t know if this will ever get to him. Three or four weeks later, I get this wonderful email from my friend Kelvin, who just this long email just thanking me for taking the time to send him the book. And he had photos of him with the book and went on to tell me about his brother and their nonprofit that they run together to help children with technology and so on and so forth. And it was just such a wonderful lesson and you just never know who you’re going to meet or who you’re going to influence. And now I have this friend who is halfway around the world. We couldn’t be more different, but I would say and all the ways that we are important and that are important, we’re very much, very much alike. So so that’s my my Kenya story with the.
[00:39:33] Betty Collins
Book that is just stunning. I mean, that’s just it’s not hilarious. That’s not a great word. I mean, that’s just amazing.
[00:39:41] Amy Franko
You can’t make.
[00:39:41] Betty Collins
That up, right? I mean, it’s it’s funny to the point, but it’s like, wow. And you’re right. What impact and influence you’ve had. So that’s that is cool. Now, I do see where you can download your latest e-book for the top two sale growth frameworks that help your teams excel and disruption.
[00:39:59] Amy Franko
[00:40:00] Betty Collins
So they need to get to your website at w w w dot Amy Franco excuse me dot com so they can see the different things that you have out there because I think you could have great impact on some organizations for sure. So well thank you for being with me today, being my guest. And I’m still scared of sales. Amy Franco But maybe I’ll, maybe I’ll get some courage, as you have given me that today. So. But.
[00:40:28] Amy Franko
Oh, that’s funny.
[00:40:29] Betty Collins
Thank you for having me.
[00:40:30] Betty Collins
Oh, it was absolute pleasure. And we will make sure that also we get your link to the book so that they can see it when they listen to the podcast. So I’m Betty Collins, and I just want to thank you for joining today. And hopefully if you have a position where you sell or you want to sell or you want to learn more about selling, I think Amy Franco’s your person. And I really appreciated the insight that she gave us today. Amy Franco That is it.
[00:41:00] Amy Franko
Hey, that was a lot of fun.
Automated transcription by Sonix www.sonix.ai