EPISODE 635: How Lyme Disease Podcaster Anne Desjardins Overcame Illness and Achieved Paper Box Sales Success

The Sales Game Changers Podcast was recognized by YesWare as the top sales podcast. Read the announcement here.

Subscribe to the Podcast now on Apple Podcasts!

Become a partner of the elite Institute for Excellence in Sales (IES) and take your sales team to the next level!

Purchase Fred Diamond’s best-sellers Love, Hope, Lyme: What Family Members, Partners, and Friends Who Love a Chronic Lyme Survivor Need to Know and Insights for Sales Game Changers now!

Today’s show featured an interview with Anne Desjardins. She’s the host of the Silver Lymings podcast and is an account executive with PaperWorks.

Find Anne on LinkedIn.

ANNE’S ADVICE:  “Activity equals activity.  As much drudgery as it is to pick up the phone and call people, or send out an email, or touch base with somebody, even if it doesn’t get you somewhere, it generates enough energy in the universe to support you and stuff starts popping in other places that maybe you didn’t see it coming.”


Fred Diamond: We’re talking today with Anne Desjardins, and I’m excited to talk to you. You’re also a podcaster, but as my guests know, I also do shows not infrequently about sales professionals who have dealt with chronic illness, specifically Lyme in most cases, how they’ve overcome that, and how they’ve also worked to have very, very successful careers in sales, while also battling with Lyme disease. Of course, I’m the author of two books, Insights for Sales Game Changers. I’m also as the author of Love, Hope, Lyme: What Family Members, Partners, and Friends Who Love a Chronic Lyme Survivor Need to Know, published both books on the same day in August of 2022.

Whenever I meet a sales professional who is successful, who is vocal about their battles with Lyme disease, I love to talk to them. I want to bring more education to the marketplace, to the world about that. What I found, Anne, is that a lot of the listeners who also are dealing with challenges in sales, success in sales is always about getting past whatever the challenges might be. They could be macro, like dealing with the pandemic, of course, or it could be micro level, things like your product might have become obsolete without you knowing it, or the market might be going through some challenges, or whatever it might be. But I’m excited to talk to you. We have some interesting things in common. Give us an overview, tell us what you sell, and then I have some specific questions about Lyme, but give us an introduction to what you do as a sales professional.

Anne Desjardins: Thank you for having me and for the opportunity to share more about what I do and how I’ve survived through what I have. I specifically work for PaperWorks and I sell folding cartons, so we’re really cool in that we’re a vertically-integrated supplier. We have two paper mills and we make board out of trash, which I absolutely love because it’s really, I think, a good thing for our environment and sustainability. Then we have six converting facilities. I work with a lot of different manufacturers, mostly food, but really could be anybody who makes any type of widget that goes into a carton. I help them to either design, launch a product, figure out what packaging is going to be most effective and cost efficient for them. Then also sometimes they might have a design team that they work with and they’ll just bring me something and then I can help them get that prepared to come to our plants to get converted into an actual carton.

I think it’s pretty fun and cool. A lot of people don’t really think about the intricacies with a carton. You open it, you want what’s inside of it, you’re throwing that package out, but there’s a lot of work that goes into actually making that package, and a lot of different people. It’s really a fun thing because it’s never the same thing twice. That’s something that fits my personality very well.

Fred Diamond: I used to work at Apple Computer in the beginning of my career, and in one part I worked in product development. We got to know everybody who was on the product team. One of the most important people was, in this particular case, it was a woman who was in charge of the box. When you’re selling electronics, this was the early to mid-nineties, there were so many considerations and things that were the form of the box. Apple was a leading-edge company, of course. There were so many beautiful things related to the design, not just on the outside, but the inside of the box as well. How’d you get to this? Again, we’re talking with Anne Desjardins and it’s late summer of 2023, how did you get to be selling boxes to companies?

Anne Desjardins: That’s an interesting question. I have to say, it’s not something that I was little and was like, “I want to grow up and be a carton sales woman.” I think it just happened organically. Actually, it’s really beautiful, if I think back on it. I was in restaurants for a good chunk of my younger years, and that’s really where I learned my sales skills. That’s how I learned how to read people, how to be effective by understanding and communicating and getting them what they want and they need. Then it morphed into more of a sales career, a little bit more of a professional sales career leader. I went back to college. I went one time. It wasn’t the right time for me. I took some time off, went into restaurants, figured out that I understand why there’s no older restaurant managers, because oftentimes it’s a really grueling schedule and you’re doing weekends and holidays and it wears on you after so long 12-hour shifts.

I went back to school and after I graduated, I graduated with a 3.97, not to toot my own horn, I thought for sure people would be banging on my door to hire me. But I graduated in 2008 and the economy wasn’t in necessarily the best shape at that time to find a job. Gratefully, I had a professor who believes in me so much, and she went to federal jury duty down in Philadelphia with my former boss, and he worked at a corrugated box plant, and lo and behold, he needed an executive assistant. That’s how I entered into really this world. That was, I don’t know how long ago now, 15 years ago.

I’ve been in and out of the industry since I went to that. I started doing some sales support for that industry and then went into customer service. I realized quickly I didn’t necessarily care for that so much. Then I went to a technical college where I was selling two-year degrees. If you want a hard sales job, that’s really one that is, because a lot of times that student population did not have a good experience with school. You’re trying to convince someone of something that they secretly really do want, but they’ve got every objection in the world along the way that you have to overcome and really guide them in to home base to get them there. Then once you get them enrolled, you also have to hold them along to help them finish, which it’s a pretty taxing job, but it can be very rewarding. Then ultimately, unfortunately, the pay freeze there, that got me locked up for two years, and I was like, “Okay, I can do better. I’ve got to do better.”

It’s always been a matter of believing in myself too, I think, along my career. Then I sold photocopiers for a while and they said, “If you’d be successful selling copiers, you’re successful pretty much at anything in sales.” I was like, “All right.” I did that for three and a half years, and I loved that job. I was really, really good at that job. But that’s when I started to get sick. It was really hard for me to do that job. I was driving here, there, and everywhere. I was dizzy, I was having a lot of problems. Ultimately, I thought I needed something with less stress, again, with maybe a little bit better pay, because that’s pretty grueling salary-wise. Then if you don’t sell, you don’t eat, which is good for sales, but it was just a lot of extra stress because just the position I was in at that time.

Then I got back into printing, which I tried to avoid because my former experience with it wasn’t exactly glowing. I worked for a smaller independent company, and actually, I really enjoyed my time there. Then I came to this company, PaperWorks. I’ve been there now for a little over four years. It’s been very pleasurable. This is a great company. Again, I love being vertically integrated. I love the support that I get from my team. I fit very well here, and I’m very thankful for where I’m at right now career-wise.

Fred Diamond: What can you tell people about selling boxes that they probably don’t know? You’re the first person that we’ve interviewed on the Sales Game Changers Podcast who sells boxes. You sell to all various types of manufacturers, and obviously if our listeners are listening to today’s show, if they’re in their home office, I’m looking around, I see seven different boxes from companies that you probably have heard of, to companies that you probably have never heard of. Tell us a little bit about what goes into the process of selling boxes to companies like that.

Anne Desjardins: Like any sales role, you’re really trying to just figure out, I like to think of it as how to crack the nut. Like, how do I get in there? How do I figure out what that person’s pain point is, or how that person’s going to actually talk to me? You have to think about it from their perspective, what are their challenges? What are they up against? A lot of times cost savings, they need things to move faster, they need better quality. They need someone to come in and really analyze and maybe consolidate all of their guidelines together and make better use of things. Just again, understanding their environment, learning who they are as a customer, and figuring out how to get into there.

Then once it’s there, it’s just sometimes people will put out a big RFQ and they want you to bid on their whole product lineup. Other times it’s a little bit more organic where maybe they’re already a customer and they’ve got a new project and they’re vetting you against a couple other competitors, and you’ve really just got to get a better angle. It’s not any one magic bullet. With every sales role, if it was, it would be so easy that I could say, “Fred, you just have to knock on the door and say, ‘I’ve got the best carton. We make our own board out of trash. We make a product that is comparable to virgin board, that’s recycled material. We can do all of these things for you. I’ve got great pre-press skills,’” but again, it’s sometimes not quite that simple. You just have to figure it out.

Everybody does have their own pain points. I have a lot of customers right now that are looking for better cost, and that’s just the environment that we’re in. Unfortunately, in the global race to get to be the best, we all want to have the maximum profits for least cost, so people like me get beat up. They really want me to focus on figuring out ways that I can save them cost. Sometimes just adjusting a dust flap on a carton can save them, it’s a 10th of a penny, but over millions of cartons, that really adds up. Small shapes like that are important. Or if I might be at the grocery store and I see a product that’s failing on the shelf, maybe I’ll call the company and be like, “Listen, I can’t help but notice that your carton looks terrible next to my customer’s, whose looks pretty fantastic. Maybe you should consider talking to us instead and we can help you.” Then you figure out, it’s just a different way to get into a place, but it’s thinking outside the box.

Fred Diamond: I like what you just said about going out there in your basic supermarket and observing where some companies might be failing and then going to them with solutions. One thing we spend a lot of time talking about on the Sales Game Changers Podcast is going to your customer with solutions and not asking simple questions like, “What are your struggles?” As a sales professional, you should know what their struggles are. For you, I love the way you’re talking about, you just look at the box and you could see things that are failing.

I’m curious, you mentioned going back to existing customers. Is there a lot of loyalty in this industry? Obviously, as a sales professional and as a company, you got to keep being on your game, and you got to keep growing and innovating, and coming up with inventive ideas, and figuring out how to be a value to your customer wherever they might be. I’m sure you have customers for a long time, but is it a loyal customer or are they always going out for bid and looking for best cost solutions, if you will?

Anne Desjardins: Typically, they’re very loyal. This is the type of sales role where you really get into the trenches with your customers. Especially having gone through COVID with a lot of them and saving them or finding ways to get them product to still make things. Because when that happened, everyone and their brother wanted packaging, and we only have so much capacity. It was just a lot of fear buying and people’s quotas were just going through the roof, and it was just insane to try to keep up with that. When you’re able to support your customer through something like that, they really notice that. I got a lot of nice accolades through that, our company did from my customers to say, “Thank you so much for that support.” That just buys me bigger opportunities or better opportunities down the road.

Right now, I’m actually given a different type of opportunity with my customer that we’ve not really had access to before, I think, based upon our ability to perform and serve. That’s the idea, is that you’re going to be able to take care of them, and again, meet their needs. A lot of times the companies that we’re dealing with are larger, so they’re not putting all their eggs in one basket with just me either. They’ve got a lot of people that do what I do. They have niches for each of us, and they know each of us have different specialties, if you will. I think I’m really good at helping them launch new products and getting them situated with that kind of thing on a timeline. They know that they can count on us.

But also, when you buy a carton, you also think about the tooling. You don’t just buy paper and out comes this shape. You have to actually buy dye, you have to get plates, you have to do all this stuff to actually make your product. Sometimes that tooling can be a sizable investment depending on how you’re actually running. If you’re doing a litho, which is a sheet-fed type of process, where we have one big sheet of paper that you put through a printing press and put maybe 10 up of the same carton on a sheet, and then cut it down into size, fold it, glue it, and send it out. Or if we do a flexo type of print, which is more of like a newspaper run. It’s just continuous feed that’s for super high volume, but that tooling can sometimes be like $30,000. For a company to invest that, they’re planning to typically stay with you for a pretty good amount of time.

Fred Diamond: The other reason that we became acquainted is you struggled with Lyme disease. As I mentioned in the introduction to today’s show, of the 600 some odd Sales Game Changers Podcast, I’ve done probably about a dozen and a half to two dozen shows where I interview sales professionals who have achieved sales success while battling Lyme disease. Just to give people an introduction, Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness. When you have Lyme disease, you probably have other, what they call co-infections, which are other diseases that are transmitted by ticks. I met you in some of the Lyme community sites, if you will. I became familiar with your podcast called The Silver Lyming, congratulations, which is excellent.

I want to talk a little bit about how you’ve been successful in sales. Just to let people know, some of the effects of Lyme disease, and there are dozens, as you know, is fatigue, and anxiety, and depression, and pain, and some neuro challenges such as brain fog and things like that. It’s very, very difficult to be successful in any career, let alone such a demanding career as sales. Talk a little bit about how you’ve been successful, battling disease. The reason why I interview some people who have chronic Lyme disease, or we now sometimes call it persistent or long Lyme disease, if you will, is because sales is always about getting past obstacles, self-limiting beliefs. We mentioned in the beginning, macro issues or micro issues. The great sales professionals get past those. Having a chronic illness like Lyme disease, that’s a big one. That’s just not like, “Okay, I’m going to make one more phone call today. How do I motivate myself?” It’s literally, how do I get out of bed sometimes because the fatigue is so overwhelming. Talk about that a little bit.

Anne Desjardins: Well, you know, Fred, the really cool part about today is actually, well, tomorrow is six years to the day of my diagnosis. I am just so grateful and happy to be here to celebrate that. I do think so many times about the parallels between it and sales and how sales almost propelled me to continue to go forward when I was sick and I didn’t know what was wrong with me. When I talk about that copier job, that actually partially saved my life, because if I didn’t sell, I didn’t eat, and I didn’t have anything to fall back on. I had to keep going, but my brain was so scrambled and I had such a hard time thinking and remembering and speaking without stuttering. I also had Bell’s Palsy going on at the time, but I didn’t realize what it was, and it felt like the left side of my face was melting off some days. It was hard.

I would take notes diligently. That was one thing that helped keep my brain straight, thank God for GPS because I could program where I was driving to, so then I could at least remember where I was going, because it was, again, very hard to hold thoughts in my head. But sometimes I don’t really know how I did it. Again, I know God was with me the entire time, even though I got really mad at God for a bit of the time through this. I just was so upset with how I felt and not getting any understanding or clarity about what was going wrong with my body. Because for people who are listening, it took seven years for me to get a diagnosis. That’s a really long time to go wondering what’s happening to my body as it’s gradually declining, and to the point where I can’t even formulate sentences or talk to people anymore.

I was pretty much like a zombie. I was a living, breathing zombie. There was really nothing inside anymore. The lights were on, but nobody was home for sure. Again, I don’t really know how I did it other than sheer determination and sheer will, but also I’m a very curious person. I think that serves me well in sales too. I’m always researching and curious, but that skill translates well to figuring out how to get myself better from Lyme, because then I can focus that ability.

Once I got diagnosed, I got put on antibiotics and I think pretty much truly immediately my brain started to work a lot better and I was able to begin to listen to books or start to get other streams of perspective-changing information coming to me, more knowledge, so then I could really help to fix myself. But I think I focused a lot on soul health and spiritual health in repairing that. I look at a lot of the books that I’ve read and a lot of them are different to what salespeople would gravitate towards. Again, they all overlap in what you really need to do to help yourself to get better, to be positive, to stay upbeat, to look for the future, to write out your goals, to do all these things. I actually wrote out at one time my top 10 goals from one of the books that I read. One of them was to make the sleepy feeling go away, which was the Lyme, but I didn’t know. But it was an incredible, horrible fatigue thing. But I think, again, just having written that down and then just setting my goals on that, and that’s with sales, you’re putting your sights on things, you’re setting your goals on things, you’re focusing on stuff with such intent that you’re able to manifest it, you’re able to make it happen.

I think I’ve been trained in a business mind since I was little. My parents did a lot of network marketing and I had a lot of tapes that they would listen to when I was a kid about different sales strategies and business strategy. I think I was always groomed for that path. But then I do look at the parallel of Lyme and how it basically is running your own business and you’re having to be your own initiator of things, and your own catalyst, and your own motivator, and your own believer in self, because no one else is doing that for you. I was alone through that time. Again, you’re just your own little engine generating strength. The  little engine that could.

Fred Diamond: We say a lot, there’s a lot of tools available for sales professionals to be successful, but you have to use them. Sales leaders I talk to all the time, when I say, “What should sales professionals do, young sales professionals, junior sales professionals?” Well, they should listen to podcasts and read and do all these things, and they should, and all this stuff is available, but not everybody does.

Talk a little bit, Anne Desjardins, when you were really struggling, again, one of the common symptoms of Lyme disease is chronic fatigue. Very, very difficult. For most of us, we have a tough day. We come home, we’re beat, sit down, make something for dinner, turn on the TV, and we go to sleep and we’re fine. Some cases I’ve heard from people with chronic Lyme and persistent Lyme disease, that the fatigue is so overwhelming that it’s not just lay on the couch for an hour, it’s lay on the couch or get in bed for three days, if you will. In sales, like you said, you got to perform. Talk about how you operated in those moments. Did you just go with them and say, “You know what? This is what I need to do. I need to take off three days because the fatigue is so overwhelming.” Or did you work from bed? Give us some insights. Because again, sales success is always about getting past whatever the obstacles might be, real or self-imposed. When you’re in the depth of it, Anne Desjardins, tell us how you were able to deal with it and then get past.

Anne Desjardins: That’s a really good question. I didn’t really ever spend three days in bed. It was mind over matter sometimes, or almost like I could forget about it. I didn’t know what was wrong with me either. Doctors were just telling me I was too stressed, that I have this whole dilemma in my head, “Am I sick? Am I just broken? Did God make me as a defective human? Am I wired faultily? What is going on inside that I can’t go better?” I think for me, embarrassingly somewhat, but not, because I’ve forgiven myself for this, I would go all day really hard and I still don’t necessarily know how I did it. I’d come home and I would just drink, and I would drink a lot, and I’d pass out and I would get up and do it the next day. Because I had a lot of insomnia issues too. It’s odd that someone who is so tired can’t sleep, but it’s real, unfortunately. That was the one thing that I could do to self-medicate to go to sleep, get up and do it again the next day.

That was my cycle for three years, because I actually had given up on myself for a period of time. After I went to so many doctors, and they just kept telling me it was stress, I did give up for a little bit and I was like, “Okay, well, I guess I’m just going to die. One day they’re going to find me on the sidewalk dead and then they’re going to do an autopsy and they’ll see whatever problem was really going on inside,” because I knew it was there.

But outside of work was much different. Like, I can remember I had a friend who had come home to visit for Christmas, and I really wanted to see him, I hadn’t seen him for a long time. I just sat there and he was not mean, but I could tell that he was sad or hurt that I wasn’t coming to see him. I just was sobbing my face off because I couldn’t get up. I could not get myself off the couch. I felt like the worst human on the planet because I couldn’t be there for my friends. I couldn’t be there for my family. That was harder. The work part actually, I think, truly was the easy part, because I knew what I was supposed to be doing. I had a tangible goal. It was very clear for me, very black and white, “You need to sell this much.” If I need to do that, how do I get there? I’ve got to have these many appointments. I’ve got to have this. There’s a specific formula that you follow. That I think was pretty easy. It was the unknown stuff or the outside stuff that didn’t have directions on how to do or how to be, that was hard.

Fred Diamond: Again, here you are, you’re a sales professional and you’re talking to me about how you overcame and still continue to overcome Lyme disease, a disease that really is not totally well known by many people. You have a podcast called The Silver Lyming. You are on my podcast, I get thousands of downloads. We’ve had a couple million interactions. You’re vocal about what you’ve gone through. Again, we met on social media, we’ve had some conversations. I saw that you were involved with sales. You have a beautiful bookshelf behind you. I know you’re a very active reader and you’ve also gotten into a lot of things, various types of modalities to get more in touch. Talk a little bit, if you don’t mind, about why you’re being vulnerable like this, and what will you suggest to other sales professionals? Because there’s a chance that your customers will know about this, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of at all, but how have you found it help you to be vocal about what you’re dealing with, and how it’s led to your success?

Anne Desjardins: I think actually it’s probably helped me heal to talk about it than to not, and I think my family, we’ve always been taught to swallow things down or not speak about them. I think about my grandmother who died of stomach cancer, and I can’t help but maybe correlate the fact she was great at keeping secrets, but you just keep everything inside and it eventually comes out. I think that’s partially why I got sick in the first place. I really learned my lesson. What led up to me getting sick taught me that I must speak.

Also, I think a lot about, there’s a poem that I love by Maryanne Williamson, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,” I don’t know if you know this, I’m looking at it because I have it up here. “Our deepest fear is that we’re powerful beyond measure.” There’s a part where she says, “We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.” I think about that so much. By having gone through my experience, and I actually almost had cervical cancer. I’ve had a couple surgeries for that, that was coupled along with the Lyme disease. I think because I had no immune system, and that’s from HPV, and I am vocal about that as well. It took me a long time to speak those words because of that whole stigmatism about that issue and how that comes to be. Well, I’m a spirit in a human body, but for me to share that experience of what the body is, is nothing to be ashamed of.

There’s a lot of people who are going through this. If I can help them shorten their time, seven years is a long time to go in the land of the zombies. If I can quicken that for someone else or give them a different perspective or a way to see themselves differently, that they are able to heal more wholly and completely, then I feel really good. It’s not about making me feel good, but it is a good purpose to have, to be able to reach out to others. Because 400,000 to 500,000 people a year in the United States alone are infected with Lyme disease and tick-borne illness. That’s more than HIV, hepatitis, colon cancer, and breast cancer combined. It’s important for people like me to speak up and share our experiences and speak out.

Also, my podcast, The Silver Lyming, is to share stories of others getting well to give hope to others so that they know that this insidious sickness isn’t something that is a death sentence. You can get better. Unfortunately, some people die. This is something that I don’t, again, think people really quite grasp, the severity of what Lyme can really do to people, but I just feel compelled. I feel like there were a lot of times through my darkness that I was thinking about leaving here. I think a lot of times that the reason I’m still here is to do this work. It’s very important for me to do this work.

Fred Diamond: I have one last question before I ask you for your final action step. Again, we’re talking today with Anne Desjardins. She’s a sales professional. She sells boxes to companies and she also deals with being successful with a chronic illness, in this case, Lyme disease and other things that she just alluded to. One thing that we’ve learned during the pandemic is that everybody’s dealing with something. Of course, everybody has dealt with the pandemic related things, the illness, they probably lost somebody. Financial challenges as industry shut down. You mentioned you spent some time in the restaurant industry. Of course, that industry was decimated for a couple years and is still challenged with recovery, if you will.

You’ve been battling the chronic illnesses for a number of years. Now you’re successful as a sales professional. Since you know that everybody’s dealing with something, how has that come to play? I’ll give you an example. I don’t have Lyme disease, but I wrote my book and I started my Love, Hope, Lyme Podcast because I wanted to understand what someone in my life was going through. I wrote the book on helping spouses, family members, and friends understand what their loved ones were going through. It’s opened up conversations for me with hundreds of people, thousands of people actually, but dozens of people in my world, in the sales world.

Matter of fact, I even got a client from it because I had a client whose son struggles with chronic Lyme disease. He reached out to me and he said, “Why are you covering this? Why are you even talking about this?” I told him my story, and like you, I’m a researcher, I’m an avid reader, et cetera. I became an expert in a relatively short amount of time, enough so I could write a book and do a podcast. But I knew exactly what he was talking about. We had probably one of the most authentic conversations, Anne, that I’ve ever had in my sales career or my life. I knew exactly what he was going through with his son struggling with chronic Lyme disease. I didn’t have to ask him, “Tell me about your pain.” I knew what his pain was. His pain was that his son, who is a great athlete, now spends all his time in his room and hasn’t worked in three years and can’t focus because of some of the things we alluded to.

My question for you before I ask you for your final action step is, how do you interact with others? If you notice that a customer, for example, has some type of chronic illness, is that going to be your conversation before you even talk about what type of boxes they may need? How has your vulnerability helped you in your sales process with other people? I know I asked you the question before about why are you out there, which you gave a great answer to, but has it helped you and do you bring it up during the sales process if you think that’s something worth talking about?

Anne Desjardins: It depends. I personally believe in just being who I am. I think that it’s okay to talk about these things, because again, everybody does have challenges. Interestingly enough, a fair amount of my customers have Lyme disease. They’re like, “You have that? I have that too.” I’m like, “Lo and behold, there you are, another person. No wonder we get along so well.” I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with it, because if someone else that I worked with was like, “Hey, I’ve got cancer,” I’d be like, “I’m so sorry.” That’s another thing I just want to touch on quickly, is that something like cancer where people are visibly able to see that there’s something wrong with someone, Lyme is a whole different ballgame because I’ve had people on my show who have cancer, who have told me that cancer is nothing compared to what they’ve gone through with Lyme. Lyme is invisible and people don’t visibly see it. That can be a challenge.

When you’re able to talk to people about things that are a little bit more intangible, like a chronic sickness that is potentially invisible, I think it really just makes you more human in their eyes. We’re all humans ultimately in the end. It gives you an ability to bond with somebody in a different way. Again, I turned into a machine for a long time to get better, but I’m not a machine and I am a human, and I have wants, and needs, and desires, and goals, and fears, and whatever else, just like every other human. For me to share that with other people, again, I think can be rather liberating for others to share with me more about themselves or what’s going on with them. Even just talking to people about what I’ve gone through, they’re like, “Huh, I’ve got X, Y, and Z symptom. I wonder if this is something that I should consider getting checked for, because I’ve not been able to figure out what’s going on with me.” You know? Again, it just opens up a different way to connect with someone.

Fred Diamond: For people who are listening too, Lyme disease is everywhere. Most people think it’s a New England disease. It’s called Lyme after a town in Connecticut called Lyme, Connecticut, where it was founded in the late ‘70s, but it’s all over the place. Birds transmit ticks all over the country. I’ve met people all over the world. I have conversations with people in Australia all the time who are struggling with Lyme disease and whatever. Anne, I want to thank you for talking more about what you’ve gone through. I want to congratulate you on your success. Obviously, for people listening to today’s show, you’ve heard, it’s not an easy journey. It’s a very, very challenging and difficult disease.

To have a successful career, let alone being able to work, is something that I want to acknowledge you for, and how you’ve gone about it. You have a podcast, you’re successful in sales, you’re keeping active, and you’re also spreading a message of the importance of self-love and other things to people out there who are healing. It’s interesting. The word heal is something that I never spent a whole lot of time with prior to my journey to understand this disease. It’s a very, very common word held in the chronic illness world. I just want to acknowledge you for that and for the love and for the joy you’re bringing many, many people who are struggling.

Give us your final action step. You’ve given us a lot of great ideas on how to be a great sales professional. Give us something specific people should do right now after either listening to today’s show or reading the transcript to take their sales career to the next level.

Anne Desjardins: One thing that always comes back to me, activity equals activity. If you want something immediate and quick results given, my boss used to beat into my head, activity equals activity. As much drudgery as it is to pick up the phone and call people, or send out an email, or touch base with somebody, even if it doesn’t get you somewhere, it generates enough energy in the universe to support you and stuff starts popping in other places that maybe you didn’t see it coming. If you’re in a stuck moment, just be thankful for what you’ve got in that moment. Yes, good. I’m here today. I’m awake, I’m alive. I’m in my body. I’m here. Now let me try to reach out to some people. I think that’s probably one of the most basic things as a salesperson. I’ve heard you talk about it on your podcast before, but it’s like, pick up the phone, don’t be afraid of it, and talk to people. That’s what we’re good at. We’re salespeople. We talk to people, but it’s the stranger danger you have to get past.

Fred Diamond: Actually, I tell people all the time that the next success is the next call. We’re all looking for the next opportunity to speak to customers. We’re doing today’s show in August of 2023. In July, I got on the road for two weeks, got in my car, and I drove to meet people in Texas, and Alabama, and Nebraska, and Indiana. A lot of them were customers. You could do Zoom all day, you could trade emails, you could send text messages, but the ability to sit in front of somebody, and hopefully the conversation will continue to go, those conversations always lead to more things. Thanks, Anne Desjardins. My name is Fred Diamond. This is the Sales Game Changers Podcast.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.