Sales is sexy

Becoming these women making waves and building wealth 🚀

Welcome to issue 10 😱 of The Upgrading Women Newsletter 🔥

I’m your editor, Rebecca Leppard, a feminist and communications nerd who loves attending sales calls. 🤑

Born to two salespeople, one in real estate and one in finance, I grew up in an energetic and ambitious household. 🥘 Imagine the dinner table conversations revolving around customer acquisition and advertising strategies! 💬

In the 90s, I would sneak a read of my father's marketing and career magazines every month as soon as they arrived. 📚 And every year, I happily tagged along with my mother to expos, eagerly handing out brochures of the latest 🏡 housing developments.

Sales and marketing run not only in my blood but also in my pores, as I absorb them through osmosis. 💪💦

So while I generally avoid consuming the news for the sake of my mental health, I keep an eye out for any case studies and inspirations in the sales and marketing world. And since I now write for this newsletter, I will share with all of you 😍 

I wish more women get over the ‘ick’ when it comes to sales because without sales, there’s no business. Learn to love it 💚

Enjoy this one, ladies. I cannot believe that I have produced 10 whole issues without any help from ChatGPT LOL. 🎉

A lot happened last week:
Rechie Valdez became the first Filipino woman in the Canadian cabinet

As someone who’s often been mistaken as a Filipino, I’m feeling second-hand pride seeing this news. She plays basketball too! Enough about me, here’s more reasons I am hyping her up:
🥐 She bakes pastries (I cannot even operate an oven)
🥐 She is the Minister of Small Business and advocates for investing in female entrepreneurs, pay equity legislation, healthcare investment and fighting climate change.
🥐 She’s an entrepreneur and former banker. So unlike most politicians, she knows what she’s talking about!

A rare pair: limited-edition 90s Apple computer sneakers are on sale

We all know that this brand has a cult-like following, so I won’t be surprised if these get snapped up from Sotheby’s vintage gallery. The auction starts at $50,000 and of course: you get free shipping! 😝 

Seriously, though, this is how powerful a brand can be. Nobody cares about whether these shoes are comfortable or even fit (this pair is size 10.5, BTW). With an opening price like that, it’s arguably more expensive than the company’s share! So what the heck is Elon doing with Twitter?

A climate activist questions the Biden administration

Elise Joshi, founder of Gen Z for Change, emotionally questioned the administration for its backwards move towards climate change during the White House Press Briefing, and of course the video went viral. I am right behind her especially because, of course 🙄, women are most impacted by extreme heat. 

News from around the world: another Fillipino powerhouse is on the podium!

This girl has been on the race track since she was 5 😱 and at the age of 18 she will be racing in the F1 Academy with the Italian team. Follow her journey on Instagram. 🏎

Photo from Bianca’s Instagram page

💰 A woman AND a small-business owner?

Tarte Cosmetics announced its programme to grant $300,000 to Black female entrepreneurs this year. Check it out!

Across the pond, our UK small-business sisters are invited to grace London’s flashiest high street RENT FREE 🚨 through this programme in partnership with Westminster City Council. Go ahead, apply, and I may visit your store!

How she did it
Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X 🐤

Photo from Linda’s LinkedIn page

Actually I still don’t know the answer. I just want to make a point that this woman has the toughest branding task in the world! Every marketing pundit and her brother wrote a long list on why the rebrand from Twitter to X is such a bad move. But I want to see how she plays this out. Linda’s success or failure will be a good lesson for us all. Watch this space!

A message from a communications nerd: salespeople ruined sales! 👹

And let’s together make doing business fun again by bringing an empathy and abundance mindset into the mix. When we say it’s about our customers we better mean it!

⭐️ Hyper-personalise your outreach
Hello {first name} is not enough! You need to show them that you know the latest in their industry and if it has/will be an issue for their business how your solution can be of help. This is the GPT era, so no excuses for lack of research!

⭐️ Speed matters
Sales is happening at the bottom of the funnel of awareness, interest, desire and action. It’s the finish line. So the speed of your follow up, proposal and quote will determine whether you close or not. I’m not saying to be pushy but be organised. Tell your potential customer when they should expect you to get back to them and be on time. They need to sense how professionally you treat them. That sense of reliability will beat any price discount tactic every time.

⭐️ Be honest
Yes, too many sales people talk big and over promise leaving the delivery team frustrated and customers disappointed. I always say yes to a potential client but that’s because I know even if I can’t deliver it myself, I will hire someone who can or get the necessary tool if we land that client. I have that hiring power. But if you don’t then honestly say you don’t have the capacity BUT you can refer them to someone else. This is integrity and kindness combined! 💜

Featured Female Founder

From flipping chicken to head-teaching at her own Alt Marketing School, a modern school for marketing professionals, Fab Giovanetti is a force for sure! (Psst… subscribe to her newsletter: thank me later!)

This Italian lady bootstrapped her way to the top and as a fellow immigrant I am here to learn from her. In our conversation on my podcast, Female Founderhood, she opened up about her struggle with mental health issues.

Photo from Fab’s LinkedIn page

That’s what SHE said:

What personally has worked for me always has been, well, writing has been a big outlet for me. So, you know, people say journaling. I think there is a reason because especially when I was really young, it was hard for me to understand what my brain was kind of going through.

I was very young. So I wrote it down a lot and I think the writing, now that I'm older, is also the vocalising and talking to people about it.

Meditation works. Yes, go and do it. But I want to tell you some things that maybe you're not thinking about, which actually are more powerful than we realise, which is also helping the people around us understand how to help us the best when we are how we're feeling.

Because people naturally would want to fix things or help by solving problems or trying to find solutions. And a lot of times, for example, for how I am, I just need that space. I need to say, "I'm not feeling great. I need to just be on my own. It's not you, it's nothing else. It just is." And then it allows me to kind of just think easier and kind of step back. But it's the hardest thing, communication, because it needs a level of self-awareness that can be kind of exhausting until you learn how to live with it.

I think when I am King, we'll learn to love ourselves a tiny bit more. Oh God. Just a tiny bit more. Yeah. You know, just a tiny bit more. We deserve that, I think. And if we do that for ourselves, then we are better for doing it at others. And that makes a hell of a difference.

🤓 More on Upgrading Women or the Female Founderhood podcast.

Facebook is making a comeback

I know not many Gen Zs are on Facebook, but marketers must realise that the world is not only made up of Gen Zs 🤡. In fact, 40% of the world population is actively interacting on Facebook, with new users coming from the US and Canada. It also reported a 12% surge in Q2/2023 revenue.

And guess which feature is the most powerful… Facebook Groups! With every brand fighting for attention and community, having an engaged group is a more coveted position than having that little blue check 💤

The moral of the story: don’t knock a platform because it’s old. Don’t flock to a platform because it’s new.

Find a platform that fits your business needs at this stage. It may change later on, but focus on serving the current audience.

Now if you feel overwhelmed with the fast-changing rules of the game or simply in need of a hand-holding by an agency-caliber content team, this club is for you!

Girl Brand is a content club where can all learn and hype each other up. You’ll also get access to:
💜 Tool and tactic tutorials
💜 Daily post inspiration and engagement
💜 Best-practice insights from our chief strategist 🙋‍♀️
💜 Regular live, global co-working sessions (remote working can be lonely!)

📣 Founding Members pay £47 (or $57) once for a lifetime subscription, while club members pay monthly. So safe a TON of money by joining the waitlist for a Founding Membership today, ladies!

Inspect her 📲 gadget

Something to add to your tech stack: Riverside FM, the virtual podcast recording app that allows you to look and sound like you’re in a proper physical studio.

There’s a free plan for two hours of recording per month, so this is fabulous for someone just starting. And for the ambitious ones, you can host a webinar through the app as well with a video quality MUCH better than Zoom.

I recorded the episode with Fab using my old iPhone 12 and it looks like this. 💜

🤑Psst! If you use this link, our squad at Upgrading Women will get a referral bonus. So thank you in advance!

What to enjoy next week

📕 The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey
Not many people realise that she’s a Black girl with a mean Irish mother and an even meaner first husband. Reading her rags-to-riches autobiography reminded me to never envy what successful people put out in public. The rarely show the battle scar. This memoir is lovely because it’s raw and honest.

🎙We Need to Talk About the British Empire with Afua Hirsch
Deeply emotional and educational six-part interviews with men and women about their complicated identity and relationship with the British Empire. These episodes woke me up from the romance of British monarchy and provided me with nuances and a new lens through which I view what (who) actually made Britain great.

🍿Wanda Sykes: I’m an Entertainer
I reckon she’s the Tina Turner of comedy. She’s been around for so long and she is still both sharp and nimble. She made me LOL on my train back from London last week. Check out the official trailer 👇🏿

That’s it. Thanks for reading.

Did you know that forwarding this newsletter to someone in your network to subscribe will add to your good Karma abundantly? 🤍

See you next Thursday. LOL!