Sidney Garcia is a woman after my sales professional heart. She and I share the same sentiments when it comes to how we sell. It is not about what we are selling but who we are selling to– truly listening to the needs of our clients, and building a relationship with them first!
I know this sounds like an easy concept to grasp, but in the sales world, it actually isn’t. After years of being engrossed in the sales industry, Sidney realized that she and her colleagues were being trained to only sell a product or solution without truly connecting with the client to learn what their needs or goals were. This was something that did not sit well with Sidney, so she decided to be a change agent within the sales industry. Sidney recently left her six-figure, cushy role as a Strategic Account Manager to invest time in her business, The Blūm Business Academy; and for this reason, she is our Colorful Dreamer for Woman’s History Month.
“The mission of Blūm Business Academy is to change sales and business culture one person at a time, by putting the focus of sales back on people instead of products/services. That means putting the people-focus on both the salesperson and our prospects/customers.”
Sidney is focused on changing the mindset of the sales professional with each encounter they have with a potential client. After being in the sales industry for about 15 years, I have learned that you must make your sales process your own. As long as it is people/client focused, you will succeed; if you are primarily focused on hitting your quota and only making money, it will deem itself to be a struggle for you, and every sales professional learns this. Sidney sums this up so beautifully stating that “salespeople have way more power as individuals, in owning their authenticity, than they generally realize. Many of us have fallen prey to feeling like just a “number” in an organization and that steals that power. That transfers to our prospects and customers and has damaged how people view sales. When a customer feels like a sales person’s only interest is to make a sale…there’s no wonder they go hiding!”
The main problem is most salespeople really do not have an interest in selling with integrity– this has rarely been a part of the sales culture. At first, many may frown when I tell them that I work in sales, thinking that I am a professional liar that will do or say anything to close a deal and because I loathed how that made me feel, I, like Sidney, has been on a mission to change the narrative. So, Sidney started this mission when she saw herself being hesitant in her sales career and questioning why this profession was the path she has chosen for herself. She went so far as lying about what she did for a living because she didn’t want people to think she was pushy or greedy.
“I genuinely got into sales because I wanted to make a great income while delivering value to people, but then I began to question how and why that intention got lost. When I re-connected with that intention and began to focus on learning how to build deeper psychological connections with my customers, I started to understand them better. As a result, my sales, honestly, were coming with tremendous ease! Internally, I began to feel better about it because the way I was selling was in line with my values.”
Sidney makes an extremely valid and factual statement when she reminded me that “in sales, we are not taught how to use emotional intelligence, behavioral observations, or emotional resilience to connect with what matters to customers so that we can deliver that through our products/services. We are generally taught to memorize features and benefits and assume that works for everyone in a “one size fits all” manner.” As we all know that is never the case; each customer has their own individualized needs and it is important to sell to that, not to just sell the product that fixes just that. Again, Sidney is on a mission to make this statement very clear to the sales community– Sell to the needs of the customer and do not just sell the product!
As mentioned, this mission has inspired and motivated Sidney to leave her very secure “living the dream” job to launch her sales coaching business. She has left a position where she was making more money than she needed, was living stress-free while selling a product that she believed in, and had the most amazing customers. Not to mention, she was given a company car where she did not have to worry about a car note, insurance or gas expenses. Why leave all that?? Well, when you are a person that follows your passion and not just the money, you are moved to do the unthinkable in people’s eyes, and it does not need to make sense to anyone but you! For Sidney, right now seemed like the most perfect time as ever! Her heart just told her it was, and she followed it.
“There was something inside me that realized I wanted to give that sense of freedom I had in my last role to others. I want to give sales professionals the tools and training they needed to use the ambition they possess to create the life they saw for themselves when they took their first sales job.”
Sidney has a vision for her and her brand to become a premium industry leader, and to work for salespeople who are interested in developing their career around integrity, incredible results, and of course, fun! Within the next 2-5 years, she hopes to serve thousands of sales professionals either through direct training or by writing a book. She also hopes to build a community of salespeople who can work with the most amazing companies to help impact people & ultimately help change the world.
Another dream of Sidney’s is to build a beautiful home in Boulder, CO tucked up in the mountains where she and husband can start their family. In addition to changing sales culture with Blūm Business Academy, she wants to leave a legacy for women to give themselves permission to be themselves and get back in touch with what makes them unique. “I’m passionate about mental health (having struggled with anxiety and depression for a number of years), and so I also wish to become an advocate and philanthropist for the movement to de-stigmatize mental health.” When I asked Sidney what is her “why,” she states that her deeper “why” is simply to give others the gift she has been given. She aims to be a mentor like the one she had in Sean Sessel, who guided her to unlocking her inner potential by helping her witness the greatness we all have as individuals. She aims to help others recognize that in themselves with her sales coaching business. Her vehicle is sales training but the deeper meaning behind it is to help people realize that they are not just a number, and neither are their customers; we all have greatness within us all.
To learn more about Sidney’s coaching business, check out her website: www.blumbusinessacademy.com, join her Facebook group, The Science of Relationship Sales, and follow her on social media: @sidneyoliviag
Pictures courtesy of Sidney Garcia