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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the Sales Game Changers Panel Webinar hosted by Fred Diamond, Host of the Sales Game Changers Podcast, on June 17 2020. It featured sales leaders Ivy Savoy-Smith (Entercom) and Christine Barger (Salesforce.)]
EPISODE 244: Having Empathetic Customer, Sales and Employee Conversations featuring Christine Barger from Salesforce and Radio Sales Executive Ivy Savoy-Smith
Listen to Christine’s Podcast. Listen to Ivy’s Podcast .
CHRISTINE’S TIP TO EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “The biggest thing I’ve learned is an increased appreciation for being empathetic and really trying to understand where people are in their journey in life and how that impacts how they show up and what they can actually produce at work.”
IVY’S TIP TO EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “A lot of what we’re dealing with starts with a conversation. The issues that are going on in the country and how we deal with them personally and as a business in society and again, it starts with a conversation. When you understand people a little bit more, it takes a lot of that off the table of how we make decisions or not. That’s part of what we’ve been doing more and more the past few months.”
Fred Diamond: It’s Wednesday afternoon, we have two of the best guests we’ve ever had on the Sales Game Changers podcast, they both have done multiple things for the Institute for Excellence in Sales. We have Christine Barger, she’s the Senior VP of US Retail at Salesforce and we have Ivy Savoy-Smith, she’s the Senior VP and Market Manager for Entercom DC. Ivy Savoy-Smith, it’s great to have you here today. Close to 60% of the people who are watching today’s webcast and listening to the podcast said they are having difficulty connecting with customers, that is the biggest answer by far. First of all, how are you doing? Why don’t you tell us a little bit more about you? Then we’ll start getting into some questions and we’ll do the same with Christine.
Ivy Savoy-Smith: Thank you so much, Fred. I am doing well considering everything. Thanks for the introduction, I have been with Entercom for 19 years but been in radio for 26 years in different sales capacities from being a salesperson myself to being sales manager, DOS and now market manager. Even starting out I was a sales assistant, worked in the promotions department on the street team so did everything just about. The only thing I think I didn’t do was in the traffic department because I even had a short stint in the business office [laughs] in my career. It’s a lot but I think it’s good to wear a lot of hats because then you understand what other people are doing and what they go through and how everyone contributes at the end of the day at your job.
Fred Diamond: We have people joining us today on the webcast from around the globe, you’re the manager for the DC market. What are some of the stations? Again, I sued to be a DJ so when we did our Sales Game Changers podcast interview with you we got really geeky about this at various points. I encourage people to go to salesgamechangerspodcast.com/ivysavoysmith and you can see some of the geekiness that we got into, but what are some of the properties that your team sells radio space for?
Ivy Savoy-Smith: We have a very diverse [team], I’m proud of our stations, we have a very diverse mix of stations so I like to say that we represent the DMV – DC, Maryland and Virginia – we have 106.7 The Fan which is our sports talk radio station so we’re the flagship station for the champion Washington Nationals, please come back, baseball [laughs]. We also have Washington Capitals play by play as well, Virginia Tech so we are all sports home with the sports junkies. We also have our music stations, we have also a Spanish sports station which is 1580 AM, it’s on the AM dial and that’s all Spanish, we work with ESPN on that, they are our partner. We have the Washington Redskins games in Spanish on the station, we are the home station for the Skins games in Spanish. Then our music stations, we have WPGC 95.5 which is our heritage urban that is a huge staple in the community, we have El Zol 107.9 which is our Spanish hits station which is a huge staple in the Latino community 15 years in the format. Then we have 94.7 The Drive which is our classic hits radio station, fun music nostalgia that you remember from the 70s, 80s and 90s, that’s our 94.7 The Drive. Look at you, you have your [Inaudible 06:11], I told you I don’t even have one [laughs]
Fred Diamond: After we talk to Christine for a second, one thing I’m curious about and a couple of people have asked here about the role of local radio during the pandemic that we just came through. We’ll talk about that in a few minutes and how that’s affected what you do. Christine Barger, it’s great to have you on the Sales Game Changers live.
Christine Barger: Thank you, so good to be here.
Fred Diamond: We’ve actually interviewed you at least three times so far, we of course did our Sales Game Changers podcast and you were a collegiate champion lacrosse player so we did a follow-up episode just talking about that and now you’re at Salesforce. How are things for you right now, how are things going? You mentioned that you’ve been at the beach in quarantine at Ocean City since everything started here so how are things going for you right now as a sales leader and in general?
Christine Barger: Fred, I’m so… I guess honored would be the right word for me to choose that you invited me back. It’s been great to be able to do several of these with you, I always enjoy spending time just chatting. To be completely authentic and honest it’s been a little tough around Salesforce and I think just generally in the world in terms of trying to process and grieve some of the lives that have been taken at the hands of racism and hate across the country. It’s been with a heavy heart across my organization that we’ve been very reflective and talking a lot about equality, diversity and inclusion across our company which has been great, Marc has been driving a lot of that along with Brent Hyder from an organizational perspective.
I would say that’s been a little bit tough for all of us to process across the world, Friday is a big day for everyone, it’s the oldest national holiday commemorating the end of slavery so we’re just trying to take a little bit of a pause and a breath to consume what’s going on in the world. Our hearts and minds are with all of those who are going through struggles like this with their families and for anyone who’s had loved ones affected with any of this, my hearts go out to them. From a world perspective I would say it’s, to be authentic, a little bit challenging. From a business perspective my organization is fairing pretty well, we are a digital-first organization at Salesforce and we partner with our customers to help digitally transform their businesses. In a lot of cases this pandemic, as horrible as it’s been, has accelerated a lot of their plans around digital transformation.
We have found it very engaging with our customers now, people need a lot of help and support so we are approaching every customer conversation with a significant amount of empathy. My specific segment of the business although it’s retail as my title, I do have two micro verticals which are restaurants and quick-serve restaurants as well as grocery. If you think about those in terms of how people are surviving through this pandemic, we have retail customers that were well-positioned to take advantage of being digital-first and there’s the have and have-not’s in that segment. We have grocery that’s completely surging and have supply chain issues because they can’t get product to their constituency fast enough in the stores. We have restaurants where we have the big ones that will survive and some of the big ones that didn’t have digital-first mindsets will not survive so it’s been very interesting, enlightening to be able to work with a whole set of customers that have basically the same goal but are in different stages of their transformation.
Fred Diamond: We started doing these webcasts the day everybody started working from home and we’ve done over 40 of them and we’ve had thousands of people register. Like you said, there’s been silver linings throughout but at the end of the day we’re in this situation because of the pandemic. Ivy, what’s the role of radio? A little bit of a different question here but what’s the role of radio right now? Again, for people listening to the podcast and watching the webcast I’m based in Northern Virginia, you’re based in suburban Maryland, Christine is also on the eastern side of Maryland. We’re near some of the center of a lot that’s been going on over the last couple of weeks. Tell us about the role of radio and then tell us about, from a sales perspective, how is your team being in this moment?
Ivy Savoy-Smith: The role of radio which is huge right now, radio is your friend so our listeners rely on radio, especially local radio and that’s what we do very well at Entercom. People depend on us or their personalities for their friends in the morning, in the afternoon to hear them for information, we’re providing them with education, with information of what’s going on as well as then entertaining them with a balance. I like to say we’re ‘edutainment’, we educate you but then we entertain you because you do need that balance, sometimes the news is just too much, all day long it’s just too long, you need to decompress, you need to turn it off sometimes. I said to my team I watch the news once a day because if you watch it all day long, it’s too much.
Our goal here is to have a balance with radio so we educate and we inform and we make sure that our listeners know about everything that’s going on, the services that are available, the different things that are available for them in their community. That’s the great thing about local radio because we’re focusing on where you live, where you work and what’s important to you and then we also want to entertain you to make it light so that we do make you laugh and we do make you feel good and we are going to play a great song that maybe takes you back to a more fun time in your life. That’s what radio has always been, that’s what it will always be and especially in these times right now, it’s definitely necessary and definitely needed, we’re getting that feedback from our listeners.
We’re getting some of the best feedback that I’ve ever seen in my 26 years of radio that’s coming through from listeners that are saying thank you, “Thank you for this lighthearted story” or, “Thank you for some good news, thank you for giving us something nice that’s going on talking about some local people who are making a difference and who want change.” We’re getting that a lot and when we get those types of stories it really does resonate, it makes you feel good about what you do because it is more than just sales.
Fred Diamond: Speaking about that, we got our first question from the audience. What are your top priorities right now? There are so many things going on and you both manage a lot of people, you both represent your senior leaders at your company. What are your top priorities as a sales leader right now? Ivy, let’s start with you and then we’ll go to Christine.
Ivy Savoy-Smith: My top priority right now is morale, it is making sure that my people know that we’re here, that the management team is here to support them, that we appreciate what they do each and every day especially during these challenging times because there is no playbook for what we’re going through right now on how to work. You work the best that you can with the hand that you’ve been given so my main thing is morale and retention, I have a lot of good people on my team that aren’t doing so well and sometimes people think, especially in sales, that we’re only as good as our numbers. You look at it and you start to feel bad about yourself when you see your percentages and your confidence goes down. I’ve had senior people on my team who’ve been selling radio for 20+ years that are second-guessing themselves when they shouldn’t be but these are the times that we’re in.
My goal and the goal of my executive team as I meet with them and as we go over it, it is to make sure that our staff are our #1 customers and we need to make sure like I preach them about your key clients and how you should be on top of them and what you need to do, our staff are our key clients. To make sure that they are taken care of and to make sure that they know that we are here to support them through everything that is going on and to work with them, you’ve got to meet people where they are and where we are right now is a little uncomfortable for some. So, you’ve got to hold their hand and walk some people through it, it’s managing a little differently but that is my main thing to make sure that people know that we are here to support them. It is morale and retention is critical.
Fred Diamond: Before I ask Christine for that question, a quick follow-up for you, Ivy. A lot of local radio, you’re selling to restaurants, your events, “This week at the convention center”, the car show and sports obviously, those types of things. Your people do a lot of historically face-to-face, they go to the restaurant, the retail, the mall, those kinds of things. You mentioned it’s been tough on your team, how have they adjusted? Because now it’s opening up a little bit, people are now going places with masks but for the last three months people didn’t leave their houses. Then, Christine, we’ll get to what you’re focused on.
Ivy Savoy-Smith: It is an adjustment for people, I will say that there have been some good adjustments that we have worked through. Yes, you’re not meeting people face-to-face as you did, we’re a medium that is face-to-face, we’re judged on face-to-face that it is about relationship, relationship is key in sales and how do you build a relationship? It’s face-to-face rapport, it’s getting to know your client and their hot buttons and all that, that’s the basis of what we do so you take that away from people, the ability to not see someone, not to physically be in touch with them, it makes it very tough for a lot of salespeople when that went away. I will say that the Zoom and GoToMeetings and all that have been beneficial because they have shown salespeople as well that they can do this, they can adapt and they can transition and you can get more done.
Here in the DMV with the traffic pattern you’d be lucky if you were able to see two or three clients in a day, you would really have to geographically schedule them, don’t try Northern Virginia and a DC or a Montgomery County, forget it, you’re in traffic two hours going each way. So, the ability to see three or four people was gone in a car physically but the ability to do that now with Zoom Meetings and to be able to do that has taught them, “I can do more, I’m doing it differently, I can be efficient, I can get this done” and I do think that has benefited us greatly. We will continue to do that even when there is some type of normalcy back, we’ve learned how to do it, we know we can do it and I think that has worked well for us.
Fred Diamond: Christine, how about you? What are the big priorities you’re working on right now?
Christine Barger: I’m very simple, I only do three to five things at one time. We have three C’s, my first is culture, pretty much everything that Ivy talked about with regards to employee wellness, retention, well-being, all of that falls under the cultural aspect of that. The second C for me is all about coaching and what I’ve been really working with my leaders on is modeling the correct behavior, model, coach and care is my framework. Model the behavior that you want, coach to the behavior that you want and doing it in an empathetic way, really over-indexing on the coaching to give them really clear direction and then the third C would be clarity. Clarity around everything from how priorities are shifting to what’s important to customers to how they should feel empowered to take time in the middle of the day to go take a walk, whatever that is. That’s pretty much how I have my leaders rallied to keep them really focused on what matters and we just continue to revolve around those three C’s.
Fred Diamond: How have you changed? You’re with Salesforce right now, Salesforce is known as one of the most socially conscious companies on the planet from day one, it takes care of its people, I know in some of your offices you have mediation rooms and things for people to get mindful and grounded, but I’m curious. Again, you gave a great opening remark about where we are as a country right now. How have you changed? Then Ivy, the same question for you. How do you think you’ve changed as a sales leader over the last three months?
Christine Barger: It’s definitely an appreciation for where people are in their careers. I have some folks that were living in New York and flew across the country and now have moved back in with their family in San Francisco. I have other folks that just got married, came back from their honeymoon and their husband got COVID. Then I have other people that are coming back from maternity leave and they’ve had their second child and I have the people that have a four and a six year old at home and they’re trying to home school and be mommy, daddy, teacher, cook and clean and entertain and all of that. Then I have people later in their careers where I would say I am, that have older kids. Coming from Microsoft, we embrace Microsoft teams and I have for a long times so I’ve done a lot of my work on video for a long time.
The biggest thing I’ve learned is an increased appreciation for being empathetic and really trying to understand where people are in their journey in life and how that impacts how they show up and what they can actually produce at work. It’s been enlightening and couple on top of that, I have an organization that’s relatively new and when I say new, that’s new in terms of less than a year at Salesforce. Put all of those factors in with trying to get comfortable where you’re so uncomfortable because you’re starting a new job, there’s a learning curve so the stress and the well-being and that first sea of culture has been really important to me because I’ve gained that appreciation for the whole set of diversity that comes with my org in terms of work styles, stress mitigation, whatever that is.
That’s been my biggest takeaway, it’s made me probably even more empathetic as a leader, I’m very much a cultural leader at heart, I always lead with culture but I think even now it’s become even more apparent that every day every one of us needs to take a pause to reflect on however someone answers or how they show up at work. There are circumstances outside of work that play into their performance, that would be what I’m really focused on right now.
Fred Diamond: Ivy, I want to ask you again how have you changed as a sales leader. Christine, you mentioned the word empathy. We’ve been doing this webcast for almost 12 weeks and we’ve gone through an evolution of empathy and it’s interesting, prior to the pandemic very frequently on the Sales Game Changers podcast and in our conversations with sales leaders you had to be an empathetic sales leader. That was just a statement, like a table stake if you will, empathy has been one of the big words of the last 12 weeks. Ivy, how have you changed as a sales leader? Then I want to ask you both about empathy. For example, the first couple weeks we talked about, “Now you need to be empathetic to your customer as they’re going through all these changes” and then 8 weeks in we had people say, “Do I still need to be empathetic? I’ve been empathetic for the last 8 weeks.” I want to define that but Ivy, how have you changed and evolved as a sales leader? Then we’ll talk about empathy.
Ivy Savoy-Smith: I agree 100% with everything that Christine was saying because I do think that is key and something that we’ve been doing, too. Again, I stress it with my senior leadership team, from the top down it has to happen, it starts with me but listening more because you do, you have such a diverse group of people that have different backgrounds that you’re dealing with and it is a lot for a lot of people. I have an employee who last week, her husband’s dad passed away, she’s pregnant and then on Sunday her brother passes away. How do you deal with that? How does she deal with that? We have to absolutely meet people where they are because it is a balance of work, life and home and it does fill over. You can say what you want when people say, “Leave that at home and when you come to work, you come to work.” No, it spills over, it spilled over before COVID, it spills over after COVID so you do have to meet people where they are and know what’s going on with them.
I always say that is our goal, I say it all the time with my team, we must know our people, get to know them outside of work. Who are they? What are their hot buttons? What do they enjoy? So that we know more about them just like we ask them to do that with their clients, to get to know them. Do they like to golf? Were they on the lacrosse team? What school did they go to? What common interests, what do we do here? We have an obligation to do the same thing with our team to get to know people and it helps us better to understand decisions that are made then and why they’re reacting sometimes when something happens when you have a personal connection and when you get to know people. Even when I share that with some of my team, yesterday I shared about this employee and what she was going through because I said she’s going to be out all week and please don’t call her or try to be in contact with her, let’s have some empathy here.
People were like, “We had no idea, we didn’t know she was pregnant” because we’ve been gone since March so you haven’t seen her to see that she’s pregnant, people didn’t know. Again, it’s having those conversations, it starts obviously with a conversation. A lot of what we’re dealing with starts with a conversation, even Christine, you spoke so well about the issues that are going on in the country and how we deal with them personally and as a business in society and again, it starts with a conversation. When you understand people a little bit more, it takes a lot of that off the table of how we make decisions or not. That’s part of what we’ve been doing.
Fred Diamond: I have a slightly different question here, it comes from the audience, thank you so much. This question comes from Greg and it’s a follow-up to what you both just said. “What are your expectations right now for your sales professionals?” Again, we talk about empathy and then all the things that are happening but you’re still leading sales organizations and your company is still looking to you to sell and to drive revenue. Ivy, why don’t you start and then Christine? What are your expectations right now for your sales professionals?
Ivy Savoy-Smith: My expectation is for them to try, you have to go out and you have to do it. We’re not going to win every single game, we’re not going to get every single client on the air but if you don’t go out and do the work then you’re not going to get them either. My conversation with them is to do the best that you can, when you’ve done that, when you’ve worked with your managers, use us to strategize, I always say keep a manager involved, you never want to lose by yourself. Don’t lose the game by yourself, make sure that they were involved with it so you lost together.
That is my expectation, obviously it is a numbers game, we’re in sales and obviously we look at them and I’m not pleased at where we are right now with COVID, nor is half the country but again, it’s doing the work and trying. I’m not micromanaging people on a number right now in saying, “You must hit that number”, that would be totally unfair and again, that takes empathy right off the window. It is about, “What are you doing? Let’s talk about what you’re doing, let’s talk about what we can do better.” My whole thing all the time is, “One more thing.” What one more thing can we do? What one more thing can you do today that you didn’t do yesterday? If you’re able to say that you did that, I feel like we’re taking the baby steps and that’s what we have to do right now, taking the steps, putting in the work. It’s not always going to reflect in the numbers unfortunately right now and that’s the tough thing about sales because we are judged by a number and salespeople are, that’s why I said I have vets that have been doing this for years that are second-guessing themselves that shouldn’t be, they’re good sellers.
You’ve been great for all these years and you’re still great so let’s not judge ourselves by the numbers, let’s judge ourselves by the work that we’re putting forth the effort and that eventually it will come back, this too shall pass. It’s taken a little longer than we’ve thought but just continue to do the work and you’ll be fine. That’s been my mantra and not so much as focusing on their individual number because that can be tough right now, that can set someone back.
Fred Diamond: Christine, how about you? You run a large sales organization as well, you’ve managed great sales performers over your career, high performing sales professionals. What do you expect from them today?
Christine Barger: I liked the “one more thing you can do”, I’m probably going to steal that. [Laughs] I’ll give you all the creds for it, but I’ll probably take that.
Ivy Savoy-Smith: It’s all good, I actually probably stole it from someone [laughs] but I’ve said it so long I don’t remember.
Christine Barger: I think that’s great. For me, I’ve had to re-pivot and re-frame people being generally scared, re-pivot that from just being generally scared of what’s going on in the world to, “What can we do?” In terms of Ivy’s, “What one more thing can you do?” we’ve re-pivoted and we’ve started to coach our folks to focus on what we can do. In terms of some of the great comments Ivy made, sometimes it doesn’t show up in the numbers right away but there are key activities that you can be doing to set yourself up for later success whether that be increased pipe gen and demand. We’ve been very blessed because my group was one of the only groups that grew the business in Q1 and we will grow in Q2. I think one of the things we did really well at the onset of this was we took a look at our accounts and for the ones that were publicly traded companies we looked at their balance sheets and classified them as surging and non-surging in terms of surging to actually do business or non-surging.
We had two sets of strategies that applied for the sellers in terms of trying to get their head around how they should communicate and show empathy to their customers. For those customers that were surging it was all about, “How can I transform faster? How can I bring to market faster? What are the great ideas? Let’s keep going.” Then for those non-surging customers it could be anything from, “I’ve furloughed all my workers” to, “I think I’m going to go out of business” to, “I need to rewrite my contract because I want to keep Salesforce but I can’t financially handle the load of what’s coming.” I’ve worked at other organizations across my career.
One of the things, because I’m fairly new to Salesforce, that made me super proud to work there is the way that Marc led the market in terms of embracing with empathy people that worked for this company in terms of all different ways of empathy, family, world events, wellness, how to treat our customers to how we actually engage with customers in terms of being so creative, in terms of contract rewrites and some other things that we did to alleviate some of the financial pain for those customers that really needed it. It was really humbling to see someone at that level of the organization really leading the charge passionately around that. We are still marching to a number, we are focusing on what we can do, we’re focusing on different messaging to our customers on where they sit in the spectrum of how COVID is affecting them and it was a strategy that worked in Q1 for us and continues to provide benefit for us in Q2.
Fred Diamond: We’re getting some questions from the audience here. Aaron, you talked about customer communications and customer conversations. Talk a little bit about how you’re coaching your people to engage in these conversations. Everyone in the world is going through the response to COVID, everyone’s been quarantined, people may have some people that have gone through some of the challenges that Ivy had described before but how are you telling your people today? Again, it’s the middle of June, we’re still in whatever phase one of the pandemic might be and companies are going through the challenges like you just mentioned, Christine. Some of your customers are okay but some of them, you’ve mentioned restaurants and retail, we just heard today on the news that J.C. Penney just closed like 150 stores. How are your people engaging with your customer? Is it, “Let’s get right to business”? Are you spending 30 minutes on empathy and then let’s talk about business? Ivy, why don’t you go first and then Christine. Tell us a little about some of the ways that you’re coaching your people to talk to their customers.
Ivy Savoy-Smith: When you’re calling your customers again it’s empathy because they’re people just like you, they’re going through stuff with their families on top of their business so you don’t know what they’re going through as well. Again, checking on them, seeing what we can do, “How can we help you?” and then having the conversation with them about, “Your business has changed, our business has changed.” Having a candid conversation. “Both of our businesses have changed dramatically right now, let’s have a conversation about as we are moving back into the various phases, how has your business changed and how are you going to adapt to it?”
Asking the questions, “What systems have you put in place for safety measures where people can feel safe when they come into” – if you are brick and mortar – “where they feel comfortable coming into your location? Do you have those systems in place and how can we help you tell people that you have those systems in place? How are you protecting your employees? Are you supplying them with the things that they need to work and to feel safe and to be safe when they come to work?” It’s having different conversations with them. You’re having conversations with some automotive dealers who don’t have inventory, they would love to be able to do something but they don’t have inventory so having a different conversation with them.
Are we talking about your service department now? Is that a way that we can help you? Because people still need to get their car serviced so it’s, “Let’s have a conversation, let’s see where you are and how your business has changed and how we can help you change with it because all of our business has changed.” I think being very candid and transparent about that and how it has changed for you too and not coming in there with a sales pitch, this is not the time for that. It is the time to try to help someone, to try to see where they are in their business, how their business has changed and to have real conversation about how we can help them and we can. 9 times out of 10 we have tools in place that we can help you but the challenge has changed for you.
Fred Diamond: I want to thank Christine Barger and Ivy Savoy-Smith, this conversation has flown by. We have time for two more quick questions before I ask you for your final thoughts. Some people have said, “What should I be doing right now?” We have questions coming in, “How have you dealt with this?” In the very beginning when we started doing these webcasts people said, “Well, I’ve been through 9/11 and I’ve been through 2008, we’ll get through this.” It’s been a bigger challenge and of course everything that’s happened over the last couple weeks has made it even a bigger challenge.
How have you grown? I asked how you changed as a sales leader but how have you dealt with the last couple weeks as sales professionals, as leaders? We have a number of people here who have asked that same question so tell us one or two things that you’re doing to keep yourself sane. A number of the sales leaders we’ve had on the webcast have said, “I never took an MBA class on leading salespeople through a pandemic” but tell us one or two things that you’re both doing and then I’ll ask you for your final thoughts. It could be personal or it could be business related. Christine, why don’t you go first and then Ivy? Then Ivy, you’ll give us your final thought for what people should do today and the same thing with Christine.
Christine Barger: I might say what I’m grateful for going through this pandemic which dovetails into change. It’s definitely made me become more reflective on how much time I’m working because my kids tell me that I work all the time, “Mom, you’re always working” and Ivy made this comment earlier. This work and home blend with this pandemic and being at home, I definitely have been working more so that would be one thing. I’ve had to be more regimented with my time and I think more selfish with my time so I’ve been trying to make sure that I’m getting up and working out every morning and spending some time for myself. I’m a spiritual person so I put on praise music when I get dressed for my workout and as I’m walking, before I warm up for my run I’m listening to my praise music to get myself in a good mindset for the day.
I talk about three legs of the stool because I’m a three to five person and obviously you see that in every answer I give. It’s the stool of being sound from a work perspective, being sound from a family perspective and then faith. Family, friends and faith, those three F’s are important and I think those are the things that I’ve been rallied around and as we go through this I become grateful for the time. Like I said, I have older kids and I’ve gotten to spend so much time with my 19 year old who’s in college because she’s around and I think once the kids get older they actually like their parents [laughs] so she wants to hang out with my husband and I which has been such a blessing. Just to be super succinct, Fred, I think it’s me growing as a person in terms of awareness and general gratitude.
Whatever you’re doing for work is going to come and go, I’m not going to work for Salesforce for the rest of my life and the only thing that I have when I leave there are those three pieces: my family, my friends and my faith. It’s really amplified that I know what’s important and I really try to make a consorted effort to stay focused on them daily.
Fred Diamond: Ivy, how about you? What’s something you’ve been doing for yourself to keep yourself motivated, sane, just make it through the day?
Ivy Savoy-Smith: That is awesome, what Christine said is point on how I definitely feel. One of my clichés is, “Your headstone will not say ‘devoted employee'” I have never seen one that says that. I am a devoted employee, I am a loyal employee but that is not how I hang my head. I hang my head on being a good mother, wife, friend and god-fearing person, that’s how I look at myself. I’m a very positive person, I always try to see the positive in everything, I’m glass half full. You walk into my office, everyone always says that because my entire office has different quotes on the wall, different positive messages because I want to surround myself with that throughout the day so I think it’s necessary for myself during this time.
I’ve also encouraged my staff mental health days, to take them because I’ve had that question where people are like, “This was my vacation week, why take it? I can’t go anywhere, I can’t have fun.” You still should take those days because you need those days to decompress, that’s your time not to have to get on a Zoom call. If I’m emailing you, you won’t have to email me back because you are on vacation or you are taking your mental health day and it’s critical now more than ever for people to decompress. Because we are working remotely, you work more because you’ll get an email or you’ll get a call after your normal hours if you were working your regular 9 to 5 because people know that you’re home, they know that you’re accessible so they take it for granted. You are working more, you’re working differently definitely but you’re working more because it isn’t set hours so much anymore.
I encourage my folks to take those mental health days as I call them, for your own mental well-being. It doesn’t matter that you aren’t physically going anywhere, if you just want to sit in your backyard and do absolutely nothing but look at the trees, that is a great day. [Laughs] I’ve had some great days just doing absolutely nothing but just looking out at the sun so I encourage my folks to do that and I try to do that myself to decompress. Again, I surround myself with positive energy, I get up, I look at my positive quotes, I think about what’s going to inspire me today and that today is going to be a better day than yesterday. If you don’t claim it and if you don’t put that energy out into the air, then you’re not going to get it. I always say if you think positive, positive will happen but if you think negative, you’re going to get negative. Make a choice to choose positive thoughts and I try to encourage my people to think that way, too.
Fred Diamond: We have about a minute left, I just want to read something from one of our attendees. “Fred, thank you, two great speakers. I appreciate this talk so much and love how REAL both Ivy and Christine are. Mother, wife, friend and god-fearing person, you both are awesome.” Thank you, Jill, for that.
Christine Barger: Can that person just follow me around for the next couple of months? That would be awesome [laughs]. Thank you, Jill, that’s so sweet.
Fred Diamond: And thank you, Aaron, for the questions and everyone who’s watched today’s webcast and is listening. Ladies, thank you so much for all your service to your customers. We have less than a minute left, give us something people should do today and don’t say, “Be a better god-fearing person”, say a specific thing that everybody should do today, June 17th, to take their lives and their career to the next level. Ivy, why don’t you go first? Christine, then you’ll bring us home.
Ivy Savoy-Smith: Be kind. It doesn’t cost you a thing to be kind to someone else to make their day but I always say focus on a goal, too. In personal life being kind is critical for folks because you never know how their day is going so that’s my mantra. In business I always say focus on something and have a strategy with that. Have your to-do steps and stick to them, habits are important and you have to get in the habit of having good habits. When you get in the habit of doing things, it doesn’t become a chore so having a goal, focusing on that goal, whatever it may be, even the small goals add up.
I’m a huge Rocky fan so another one of my sayings at work – and they tease me about this all the time – is it’s one step, one punch, one round t a time because you’ve got to take it day by day, especially now. You can’t think of the 12 rounds in a fight, if you think of the 12 rounds in the first round, you’re done because you’re thinking, “How am I going to get to the 12th round? This guy just beat me up, it’s round 3.” Don’t think about the 12th round, just think about getting out of round 3.
Fred Diamond: Make it through the day.
Ivy Savoy-Smith: Make it through each one and you’ll look up and you’ll be at round 12. It’s one step, one punch, one round at a time, that’s my mantra for my people and that’s what I want them to do, just take it day by day.
Fred Diamond: Christine, thank you so much, give us one… [Laughs]
Christine Barger: I’m going to be fast and two.
Fred Diamond: Ivy, Kurt wants to know if you drink eggs for breakfast, he thought that was very strong.
Ivy Savoy-Smith: [Laughs]
Fred Diamond: Rocky of course drank eggs. Thanks, Kurt. Thank you, Erin, again. Christine, give us something to bring us home.
Christine Barger: Two things. #1, get out and exercise because mental and physical health is important. #2, make sure you write in your gratitude journal all the things you are grateful for today.
Fred Diamond: Ladies, thank you so much for being on the show and for all your support, I want to thank all of our watchers today.
Ivy Savoy-Smith: Thank you.
Christine Barger: You’re welcome, thanks, everybody.
Ivy Savoy-Smith: Have a great day, be safe.
Christine Barger: Thanks, you too.
Ivy Savoy-Smith: No eggs in the morning, Kurt, sorry.
Fred Diamond: [Laughs]
Transcribed by Mariana Badillo