On Status Go this week, we sit down with Rebecca Bormann to explore the leadership lessons we can all learn from the sales profession. Rebecca is a sales and business development strategist who believes that emotional intelligence is key to successful sales and leadership. Her approach promotes enrolling clients in your ideas rather than just pitching to them.
Rebecca emphasizes the importance of mindset and building an abundance mindset muscle to shift away from scarcity and fear. By sharing personal experiences and “AHA” moments, we create connections that allow us to show up as our authentic selves in business and in life.
She provides practical tips for journaling and promotes the power of positivity. Rebecca also highlights the importance of personal branding, sharing that it’s not about compartmentalizing who you are, but rather showing your authentic self in all aspects of your life.
About Rebecca Bormann
Before founding her sales consulting firm, Rebecca spent 20+ years in business development, marketing and leadership for global organizations in the tech industry. She is a highly accomplished sales professional and leader. Throughout her career Rebecca has led and helped develop and mentor high performing sales professionals in all stages of their careers. She has served clients from SMB to enterprise in every industry from manufacturing, retail, professional services, healthcare, and the government sector.
Rebecca feels a powerful call to help advance equity and inclusion for women in business and STEM and is actively involved in the community. For over 15 years Rebecca has served in a variety of leadership and fundraising Board of Directors and Advisory Board roles for organization truly making an impact. Currently, she is an Emeritus Board Member and former President of Women & Hi Tech, Advisory Board Member for The Boss Babe Network and The Shift Up Foundation, and actively involved in several other professional and nonprofit organizations including The Startup Ladies, Pass The Torch For Women Foundation, Women 4 Change, Indy Maven and Heartland Church.
[00:00:41]: Context & Introduction
[00:01:40]: Rebecca’s Career Journey and Background
[00:04:16]: The CIO as a Salesperson
[00:06:29]: Emotional Intelligence and Sales
[00:09:24]: Assessing your own Abundance vs. Scarcity Mindset
[00:11:04]: Journaling – A Sales AND a Leadership Tool
[00:14:43]: Journal and the Abundance Mindset
[00:16:03]: Enrolling vs. Pitching
[00:19:13]: Human-centered Leadership and Selling
[00:24:04]: Personal Branding
[00:27:45]: How to Contact Rebecca and Sales Training Cohort
[00:30:03]: Call to Action
[00:31:45]: Thank You and Close
Rebecca Bormann [00:00:00]:
The foundational tool of emotional intelligence really starts with our mindset. And are we operating from a place of scarcity or abundance? And when we’re operating from a place of scarcity or fear, oftentimes we make choices that are not serving us or whoever we’re trying to serve.
Jeff Ton [00:00:41]:
It’s been said that every CIO is a salesperson. We have to sell our ideas. We use influence, persuasion, and relationships every day. On this episode of Status Go, we are going to explore leadership lessons from a sales coach. Today’s guest is Rebecca Bormann. Rebecca is the Founder and CEO of RB Consulting, a sales consultancy and development firm. Prior to launching her firm earlier this year, she was in sales and leadership for Verizon and has led sales for a national and has led sales for a national MSP.
Rebecca, welcome to Status. Go.
Rebecca Bormann [00:01:27]:
Thank you so much for having me, Jeff. I’m excited to be here and have this chat with you. We always have great, interesting conversations.
Jeff Ton [00:01:35]:
They always seem to go in a lot of different directions, don’t they?
Rebecca Bormann [00:01:39]:
Jeff Ton [00:01:40]:
Well, let’s start with…I shared a little bit about your background, but I probably summarized your career in about 10 seconds. So why don’t you give us a little bit more about your journey and what brought you to this point in your career?
Rebecca Bormann [00:01:56]:
Yeah, I would love to. Thanks for letting me elaborate a little bit. So, like Jeff mentioned, I spent most of my career in business development, marketing and leadership roles, and technology organizations. For the first 13 years of my career, I was blessed to work for Verizon in a number of different channels. There Telcom, Enterprise, and Wireless, serving everything from SMB to Enterprise clients in my career, with their technology leads. And, the last seven years of my career, I was able to take everything that I learned from those roles. And I worked for an IT managed-services organization that helped mid-enterprise and enterprise organizations optimize their infrastructure, remote monitoring and management, as well as their end-user support. And in that role, I’ve really got to build some strong relationships with my clients and their leaders. I’ve led several different sales teams throughout my career in various capacities. And one of the things that I really noticed is that a lot of the sales training out there teaches you about the processes and the tactics and the outreach strategies.
And one of the things that I think is most important from a sales perspective, especially these B2B sellers in the technology world that are oftentimes complex solution selling. You’re engaging with multiple folks from your client side, multiple people on your side…is that there’s these foundational tools, I kind of sum up as like, emotional intelligence tools that are so important in building relationships. And whether you’re a sales professional, a solution architect, or a leader at a technology company, we’re enrolling people into our vision and ideas all day long. So, these foundational tools are so important in our personal and professional relationships and development. So, my consulting methodology and training for sales and business development really is emotional intelligence plus strategy.
Jeff Ton [00:04:16]:
I love that you’ve tied that together. And I’ve got so many questions just from your introduction. I jotted a bunch of notes down, Rebecca, but one of the things that you said that really jumped out at me, was…you used emotional intelligence…and how that’s really part of leadership. And it reminded me of an episode or two we did gosh, it’s probably been a couple of years ago now on Status Go, that the CIO is actually in sales.
Rebecca Bormann [00:04:57]:
Jeff Ton [00:04:57]:
Because you have to sell your ideas. You’re using persuasion and influence to help solve problems. And that’s really at a high level what the sales professional does, right?
Rebecca Bormann [00:05:15]:
That’s right. I agree. I think we’re all in sales, especially leadership, especially CIOs, they’re selling to the business, you know, tools and technology and processes to secure the business, right? To keep it safe, to enable employees to work more efficiently, to provide experiences that are on-demand always and personal for your clients. I think the CIO’s role is actually quite tough because you’re selling to the business. Right. You’re also selling to the employees to embrace this technology that you’re using. And you might think of it more in the terms of enrolling as opposed to selling, but same thing. Right? And then sometimes the CIO is also selling to your customers how to embrace and leverage this technology to have this better experience. Right? Better, faster, cheaper. I think we say a lot of times in the business world that we’re enabling that both for the business and our customers. Totally simplify it in that. But I think folks will get the gist.
Jeff Ton [00:06:29]:
I know you do cohorts of sales classes, and you’re teaching your approach to sales. What things about emotional intelligence are you highlighting for your participants that our technology leaders out there today should also be thinking about in relation to their leadership?
Rebecca Bormann [00:06:52]:
Yeah, that’s a great question. Well, the foundational tool from my learned experience of emotional intelligence really starts with our mindset. And are we operating from a place of scarcity or abundance, right? So, our mindset is going to dictate a lot of our behaviors. And when we’re operating from a place of scarcity or fear, oftentimes we say things, make choices that are not serving us or whoever we’re trying to serve. Right?
So, it’s taking a bit of time there to build up that abundance, mindset, muscle, if you will, and perspective. So that when we realize that we’ve gotten to a place from scarcity that we shift right into abundance. So there’s all kinds of tools that we can use to build that muscle of abundance in our mindset and make it easier to realize when we’re operating from that place as well as how to shift.
So, some things that are really, I think, important in that are creating our vision, right? So, when we are pitching or trying to enroll business leadership into a new technology that we’d like the organization to embrace, we really got to start with the end results and what those are and what it creates and not with the what…not with the technology, right? And we think about all the value that this is going to bring to the various constituents that are going to be using this tool and technology. So creating like a full vision, writing that out and having that is so important. And to even take a step back further, I think having that vision for your overall life and career…so I call it life harmony, right? Having that foundational vision of what you’re trying to create for yourself and your company and your family and your vision. That helps because when you’re in that business space, and you’re feeling like there’s not enough time, there’s not enough resources, they always say no, that sort of thing. You can go back to this vision about what is it that you’re trying to create, what’s your legacy and then it helps you with that vision for that particular case too. Right? So starting with the end in mind, if you will, starting with intentionality of what you’re trying to create.
Jeff Ton [00:09:24]:
If put myself in the shoes of our listeners a little bit, how would I know in thinking about myself, how would I know if my mindset is one of scarcity or one of abundance? How would I be able to self-assess quickly to know that I need to work on that?
Rebecca Bormann [00:09:47]:
Yeah, that’s a great question. And, I associate abundance with opportunity, positivity, and knowing that there’s more than enough, right? And when we’re in that scarcity place, we’re looking at resources as discreet, not available, that there’s not so much we can feel ourselves in…that coming from a place of negativity sometimes, right? It’s too hard, it’s too challenging. No one’s going to care as much as I care.
If we’re projecting that that self-talk sometimes. And then we’re taking that with us to the outside world. We’re building our own wall that we have to overcome. So, one way to switch back is to take that wall down of scarcity that we’re building, and if it’s journaling or writing some affirmations of all the positive things. So, let’s take a moment to catch ourselves. We’ve really been focusing on what not instead of what we have and what is the possibility.
Jeff Ton [00:11:04]:
Yeah, I love that you touched on my favorite word in all that was journaling.
Rebecca Bormann [00:11:11]:
I love journaling.
Jeff Ton [00:11:13]:
And I know you, and I talked about this a couple of weeks ago. What are some of the things that you teach about the power of journaling? First of all, what’s the benefit of journaling? And then how do you teach those who maybe haven’t journaled in the past to try to create that habit?
Rebecca Bormann [00:11:35]:
Yes, well, there is literally science behind journaling about how we process things in our brain by physically writing it down. It makes a difference. Actually. I have one of my worksheets right here that I give out in my classes, but it has a statistic on it that the likelihood of achieving our goals increases when we write down our goals…down with pen and paper because it’s backed up by science. Study after study shows that the brain is engaged, focused, and activated in the areas that process and store information when we physically write.
Yes, so that was really handy right there. So that’s the why, that is the why. It works, not because Jeff says so, not because Rebecca says so. Because that is the way our brains are wired. And as far as getting started with journaling, there’s a couple of simple prompts, right, that we can give for different areas of our life like our vision for our career path, our vision for our teams at work, our vision for our personal and family life. Those are simple and I would say as simple as 3 minutes in the morning and 3 minutes in the evening to get started with. And a lot of times, even if you’re feeling overwhelmed with answering questions, start with gratitude. Start with three or five things that you’re grateful for in the morning and three or five things that you’re grateful for in the afternoon and just build that practice. And then you can expand it. So those are a couple of my tips. There’s also a great journal out there. It’s by The Power of Positivity. It’s called the “3 Minutes of the Power of Positivity”. Every day there’s about 30 pages in the beginning that go over all the science of this. And then there’s about 30 days of one page for the morning and one page for the evening where it gives you a quote, it asks you a couple of prompts that you can answer. And there’s a little space for like free journaling too. So, I recommend that also to folks.
Jeff Ton [00:13:59]:
Oh, I love that. We’ll try to find a link for that and put it in the show notes.
Jeff Ton [00:14:43]:
Right now, we’re talking with Rebecca Bormann of RB Consulting. And we’re talking about leadership lessons from a sales coach. And just before the break, we were talking about journaling. And this popped a question into my mind, Rebecca, that I don’t know that I’ve ever really considered this before, but before Journaling, we were talking about this mindset of scarcity and abundance. So, do those that journal have a more abundant mindset? Does journaling lead us in that direction? What do you think?
Rebecca Bormann [00:15:25]:
Yeah, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen like a science statistic on that. But working from working with other coaches, life coaches, therapists, all those different things and just talking with humans a lot. I would say the answer to that is yes. Because you can use it as a tool to create abundant thoughts, abundant visions, and also when we are in those moments of scarcity, fear, overwhelm, journaling it and getting out is a way to release it. So, if I had to take a guess, absolutely.
Jeff Ton [00:16:03]:
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, especially when you were talking about the Gratitude Journal. And we know that there are studies that talk about if you have that gratitude mindset, that you do start to build that abundance mindset as well. Well, I want to shift gears for a second here and go back to something. You use a word that I want to dig into a little bit. You talk about enrolling versus pitching. What’s the difference and what do you mean when you talk about enrolling someone?
Rebecca Bormann [00:16:47]:
Yes, well, for me, the word pitching often means like talking at, and enrolling means talking to, like a conversation with. This is a partnership, a journey that we’re on together. I really think of enrolling as being the invitation. Right? So, you’re maybe inviting someone to learn something, consider something that they haven’t done before, which is oftentimes what we’re doing when we’re trying to pitch or sell an idea to our teams, to our leadership, even as a sales professional, to a consumer.
And I think the culture has some negative stereotypes around sales, right? I mean, just go on LinkedIn, and you’ll see how salespeople did this, that, and the other thing. Well, there are some salespeople that are probably doing this, that and the other thing. And maybe it’s because they haven’t given the tools to look about it from another perspective. And the business world, even the consumer world, kind of has sometimes these negative connotations.
What I found is that most sales professionals and leaders, when they’re trying to advance a new idea, they’re really passionate and excited about that. And they see how this provides value to whomever they’re working on enrolling, whether that’s an innovative technology that’s going to give them better data, whether there’s an issue that it’s solving, whether this is going to provide a better experience for the company culture, the client culture, all that sort of thing. And they’re just inviting you to be on that vision because they’re super excited to help.
And so for me, enrolling, especially in a leadership capacity, elicits those sorts of feelings where using the word sales sometimes, especially for non-salespeople that are actually selling all the time, is uncomfortable. And I think it’s about using vernacular that works for us, that allows us to be confident in what we’re doing, and we get to show up as our whole authentic selves. Instead of being uncomfortable that I don’t sell, I don’t like selling, I don’t know how to sell. So, let’s use words that work for us.
Jeff Ton [00:19:13]:
I love everything that you said about using the word enrolling because it feels like, hey, we’re going on a journey together, and I want you to sign up to join me or to join us in this journey, right? So, you’re asking someone to participate in this, and I think especially for our leaders, our tech leaders that are out there, that’s really what you’re trying to do. Rebecca talked earlier about having your vision and being able to articulate that. You’re asking not only your teams to enroll in that vision, but you’re asking your peers and executive management to also join in that vision, to enroll in the journey that you want to go on. I love that concept. The other thing that you talk a lot about, I know from watching your LinkedIn post, is I don’t know if it’s two words or one word, but it’s a hyphenated word, so we’ll go with it that way. Human-Centered.
Rebecca Bormann [00:20:25]:
Jeff Ton [00:20:27]:
How does that show up? First of all, how does that show up in sales, and then flip that and talk about how does that show up in tech leadership?
Rebecca Bormann [00:20:39]:
Yes. Human Centric. I’m all about bringing the human back to business and sales. So particularly in the sales industry, oftentimes, it’s all about the what, the product, or the service that you’re selling. Right. Almost everything in our markets today, there’s competition. Right. I’d be really hard-pressed to think of a product or service that is completely unique. There’s no competition, and that’s why we should just talk about this product or service because no one’s heard of it.
So I’m a big believer in Simon Sinek’s, The Golden Circle Theory. And if you’re familiar, that’s a leadership and business model that says we should flip the script on how we’re talking about our business and what we do, and we should talk about the why. So those are like the core values, the drivers, the value we want to bring to whoever we’re serving. Then we talk about the how, and finally we talk about the what.
So I think this does a couple of things for us, right? When you’re enrolling someone, people get engaged with you, with Jeff Ton, with Rebecca Bormann, and how we tell our story about why we’re passionate about what we’re doing and how it’s connected to our work. That’s what creates the emotional impact. People buy from people. That is so true. People are enrolled by people. They choose to go along and enroll in your vision from other humans. Not because RB consulting, not because Ton Enterprises not because of InterVision. It’s about the why and that emotional connection and the value that it brings.
So, when we begin our messaging with that, as opposed to, hey, I do sales consulting, which I don’t know millions of other people do, but I want to share what’s different for exactly this. Right. Human-centric is not even something we really talked about in preparing for this, but that’s the messages that I’m putting out there is how do we bring the people back to it? And I think it’s no different when we’re a leader, a CIO, making sure that we’re sharing with our teams, our peers, our teams, our leadership. Why is this important to us from purpose-driven living, purpose-driven working, to then when you are open and vulnerable, other people’s walls come down and they’re open and vulnerable also. And you get to really get to the core of things quicker, of maybe why someone is not jumping on board right away with your vision. They’re going to be more open about sharing their concerns because you’re creating this environment of collaboration and a journey as opposed to CIO, top Dog, do what I say, no matter what sort of thing. Right?
So that’s my real reason for starting with that messaging, is that’s how we connect with people. That’s how we build relationships. Relationships are at the foundation of everything we do, whether that’s leadership or technology or business development and sales. It’s about connecting with people.
Jeff Ton [00:24:04]:
And I love that you start with Simon Sinek and “start with why.” Because so many times, I think we forget that step when we’re trying to communicate, going back to what we were talking about earlier, communicate our vision, and enroll people, we forget about our why. And I think it’s important as leaders that our teams and our peers understand our why. Why do we do what we do? Why are we passionate? Why are you, Rebecca, passionate about what you do? Why am I passionate about what I do? What are all the other professionals at InterVision Systems? Why do they do what they do? Because they’re passionate about helping people solve problems through technology.
And I think knowing and understanding that begins to put that human touch on those relationships. And I think that is absolutely huge. The other thing that I know that you know is important, and you talk about it, you and I have talked about this is personal branding. Again, another one of my favorite topics personal branding because I think the why is tied up in that. But what else do you talk about that’s a part of personal branding?
Rebecca Bormann [00:25:27]:
Yeah, I do too. I love talking about personal branding, too, because I think there’s a bit of a misnomer about it, that we have to compartmentalize who we are, like business Rebecca and sister Rebecca and hang out with your friends Rebecca. And especially now all of the data is showing from organizations like Forbes and Harvard Business Review that our teams and our customers, they want to know us. They want to know our authentic selves. They want us to show up as who we are. Of course, yes, we need to be knowledgeable and experts in our craft, and that’s part of what they want to know about us. But they also want to be inspired and motivated to engage with us.
So having your personal brand represent all of you as opposed to just these different pieces is, I think, so important. Now, does this mean that you should put every little bit of your story online or in a blog post? No. Right? We all have personal, professional judgment tools that we can use. There’s different pieces of ourselves in our story that we share in different formats and ways. Right? But it’s taking that wall down and allowing things to naturally come about, sharing why we’re passionate. Right.
So, sharing our why with people in our professional brand, sharing experiences where we’ve had learning moments, right? Those are great. Like those A-has. I love how Oprah Winfrey calls it those a-ha moments. Because if it was something that resonated with you, maybe there was someone else out there that needs to hear that message too. From both a leadership lessons that you learned or balancing being a dad-Jeff, and also being an entrepreneur and writer, things like that. We’re talking in the professional setting. LinkedIn is a business tool. It’s okay to be human on there too.
Jeff Ton [00:27:45]:
Yes, it’s okay to be human and to show your personal brand. Yes. And that’s what I love so much about some of the things that you post out there. I know I follow you on LinkedIn and on Instagram, I think. I follow you in two primary places. And I feel like through your posts, I get to know you even better. And that’s that personal brand coming through and connecting with your why. And I think those are important lessons for our leaders.
Rebecca, I knew when we started this, the time was just going to fly by, and we’re nearing our end of time. But before we get to our call to action, I’d love to know how our listeners can get in touch with you, first of all, and what you have coming up. This episode is going to air at the beginning of June here, probably. So, what things do you have going on and how can people get in touch with you?
Rebecca Bormann [00:28:47]:
Yes, thanks so much for that opportunity to share. So we talked about it. I’m on LinkedIn, Rebecca Bormann Consulting. I have a newsletter there that you can subscribe with for just tips around business development, enrolling mindset, sharing your story, those sorts of things. I’m also on Instagram, RB underscore Bizdev Consulting, and my website is rbormanconsulting.com.
And upcoming I am enrolling for a new Sales training cohort that kicks off June 13. So, this is a virtual cohort. We meet once a week for about an hour and 15 minutes to talk about some of these things like we talked about today: Abundance Mindset, relationship-building skills, understanding the psychology of influence and persuasion, sharing our stories with the why in mind, strategies for getting out there and negotiating so that’s open to all professionals, right? So, sales professionals, business owners, and leaders that are enrolling and selling with their teams. And it’s a really great group learning experience with content that you can take back and implement both into your professional and personal lives.
Jeff Ton [00:30:03]:
Awesome. And for those of you that heard Rebecca say it starts June 13, and you’re listening to this after June 13, and you just went, Damn. Go to her website. I’m sure she’s got another one starting up soon because she’s running these pretty often throughout the year. So, check out her website. We’ll put links to her website as well as her social media accounts in the show notes.
Now, Rebecca, I warned you, we’re all about action here on Status Go. What are one or two things our listeners should do tomorrow because they listen to our conversation today?
Rebecca Bormann [00:30:44]:
Yes. Okay, I’ve got two things. I’ve got two things. One, if you’re not a journaler, start journaling start by I think this is the simplest way to start. Three things every night before you go to bed, write it down what you’re grateful for. And I would make it about experiences. So of course, we’re grateful for our homes and that sort of thing, but three experiences that you’re grateful for that happened throughout the day.
And the other thing that I would suggest is to sit down and take an honest assessment of where are you operating from on the Scarcity-Abundancy Scale in your personal and your professional life and is it where you want to be? And if not, what are some tools that you can start using, like journaling, Affirmations, reading, podcast, all those sorts of things to work on that shift?
Jeff Ton [00:31:45]:
I love that both of those actions are really easy to do. And our listeners know I’ve been talking about Journaling now for it seems like 210 episodes, give or take. So that will be nothing new. And I love the assess where you are on the Scarcity-Abundancy Mindset and then start taking action. That’s fantastic.
Rebecca, thank you so much for being on Status Go today. I really appreciate it. I appreciate your friendship and your support through the years and so appreciate you carving out time to talk with us today.
Rebecca Bormann [00:32:23]:
Oh, my gosh. Likewise, Jeff. All the things this was a super fun opportunity to get to connect with you and your audience in a new way. Totally appreciate being on here and look forward to our next adventure together.
Jeff Ton [00:32:36]:
Awesome. To our listeners, if you have a question or want to learn more, visit InterVision.com. The show notes will provide links and contact information. This is Jeff Ton for Rebecca Bormann, thank you very much for listening.
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