Chantel George had a plan to go to law school. Then, she found out she was good at sales. Really good. In fact, she became one of the best sellers in the tech world. Chantel’s experience learning how to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’, asking tough questions, and challenging the status quo convinced her she needed to start her own sales community. So in 2017, she started Sistas in Sales, the largest global organization for women of color in sales. In today’s episode, Chantel told us how she saw opportunities everywhere – even when they seemed out of reach or hard to spot.
In this episode, Chantel shares:
The earliest lessons she learned about entrepreneurship
Why she’s not afraid of having tough conversations
The advice she got that made her a better manager
Who would play her in a movie
On Leveling Up As a Manager
Chantel: I had a tough time as a sales manager. You know, I really did. I had a tough time telling people that they couldn't cut it. I didn't want to do that. I didn't wanna see my reps, I didn't want to have to tell them they couldn't be employed anymore because of their performance. I wanted to see them as always a work in progress…. I had a really hard time and I had some good advice about it. And ultimately there were two pieces of advice that I got out of that, because what ended up happening was that became such a weak spot for me, I had to do something about it. Or it was going to be a perhaps career ending weak spot.
Two things. One, your team's motivation and their aspiration to work is based upon the lowest performing person. If you don't really look at that lowest performing person and make decisions on them, your team will actually drop to that person's aptitude eventually. And the second thing is: you are spending time with people who may not be the right fit for this job. You're spending so much time with them that you're neglecting your A players and your A players will ultimately become frustrated. And those are the people that you need to make sure that you're turning them into 'A plus' players.
On Her Relationship to the Word 'No'
Chantel: I don't even know if I process it sometimes…. I mean, look, I've heard ‘no’ from the brands that are like our top sponsors this year, you know, that told me ‘no’ four years ago. So when someone tells me 'no,' if a brand tells me 'no,' a sponsor tells me, 'no,' I process this as 'wait until they see what we're about to do next.'
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