- Posted by Action Catalyst
- On August 11, 2023
- 0 Comments
- Business, coaching, NFT, southwestern consulting, success, women in leadership
Sales leader, artist, and ADHD & mental health advocate Amber Shae Friedman recounts being the only woman in the sales department at every auto and RV dealership she worked at, giving women a voice in her industry, the experience as a client of Southwestern Coaching, the best financial decision she ever made, and the importance of “finding your why”.
Amber’s passions and strengths have led her to a wide variety of unique professional experiences. With over 10 years of sales and customer retention experience, connecting with people and creating the ideal customer experience is a strength that she has carried over to all of her professional roles.
A lifelong passion of creating art is her most recent endeavor, gaining project management and art director experience working with a successful NFT project created by the award winning startup HabitNest. Web3 is a community and cause that she also feels a special connection to.
Formerly she was a trailblazer and sales leader in RV and automotive sales, and now resides in Texas.
The Action Catalyst is presented by the Southwestern Family of Companies. With each episode, the podcast features some of the nation’s top thought leaders and experts, sharing meaningful tips and advice. Learn more at TheActionCatalyst.com, subscribe below or wherever you listen to podcasts, and be sure to leave a rating and review!
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(Transcribed using A.I. / May include errors):
Host: Today we welcome Amber Shae Friedman, a sales leader and a trailblazer for women in the RV industry. Welcome to the show.
Amber Shae Friedman: Thank you for having me.
Host: Tell us about yourself and your background and how you got to where you are today.
Amber Shae Friedman: Well, I would say my sales journey began in 2012 with becoming a sales guide with Land Rover. I met someone and they said, would you like to sell cars? And I said, why would I wanna sell cars ? And they said, well, you know, you would be really good at it. So the job that I was at, Was not a, the best paying job, and I was like, sure, why not? I don’t have kids right now. I was 24 at the time, so I just went ahead and took the leap and went into sales. That’s, that’s pretty much where I learned how to be a salesperson, how to interact with people. So that was great. I did that for three and a half years. So from there I was introduced to Arby sales, which even though it’s built sales, they are much different in the way. , you interact with customers and the culture is a lot different as well. RVs are used to travel and for families to spend time together and they call it the RV lifestyle. And so, and I really loved it because it was a lot of helping people achieve, you know, this dream of spending time with their kids or their families or traveling in a less expensive way. and, you know, create memories that they would share with, you know, generations. And so it was really great.
Host: We know you’ve taken part in coaching through the Southwestern Coaching team, which you say has had a huge impact on your business. What did you take away from that coaching process?
Amber Shae Friedman: Well, that’s a great question. So I did really well in RV sales until March, 2019 is when I. The worst month in, in my sales career, um, literally sold zero RVs and there was a lot of factors in play, you know, but to me they’re all excuses, you know? I just knew that something needed to change, right? So my boyfriend had been using. A coach for years, and he said it’s just completely changed his career that he didn’t think he would be the level that he is without it. And so he, he was like, you really need to talk to my guy. Just hear, hear them out. At that point I was like, I’ll try. And he like, let me just, yeah, I’ll talk to him. And he’s great. And so he’d explained the process, explain what they do. And the one thing that I really remember was when he told me the. The first thing I thought was, well, I just made $0 last month. Is this really something I need to be like, you know, spending money on? Um, and he said, well, let me ask you this, like, how many extra RVs do you think you would need to sell? In order to make that a month. And I said, well, depending on the rv, I mean one, one and a half. And he goes, okay, well, and he said, here are the statistics for people that do coaching with us and here’s how much their, they improve and how much their production grows. So having said that, Don’t you think it’s pretty feasible to say that this would pay for itself, essentially? And I was like, well, I cannot argue with Math . So basically, you know, I did the quiz personality thing where they match you up with a coach. I thought that was just great because there’s a lot of, I actually had interviewed. Two or three other coaches that I knew to make sure that, you know, I was making the right decision. And of course, I think within a minute of our first conversation I was like, this is my person . Like, we just instantly clicked and it was, it was like talking to a sister. So, She really sold me on the program because the other people I had interviewed, I mean, they were good and I’m sure they would’ve helped me in some way, but there’s no doubt in my mind that you guys were the best choice and, and I now tell everybody it was the best financial decision I’ve ever made because, I mean, my sales speak for themselves after I started working with her. What’s great about coaching is that, and what really helped me personally was at the rv. You know, at Land Rover they offered us a lot of training, sales training. Um, they offered us just a lot of resources, a great CRM system, RV industry, everybody pretty much knows that it’s a couple years behind technology wise, then auto industry and that sort of thing. And so there just wasn’t a lot of resources, um, or training or, or any of that stuff. And I, and I’m a. A learner and I like to know what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. And, you know, the processes and the procedures that coaching gave me is what I really needed. I needed someone to teach me how to manage my time properly and, and use a calendar, um, you know, and just have someone to hold me accountable for my actions and. Making sure I was doing what I would needed to do and, and I’m the kind of person where if you just tell me what to do, I’ll do it. But if I don’t know what to do, you know, especially after having a zero month thing when your mindset is kind of messed up at that point. And so, so the processes and procedures and all of the resources was, I think what the coaching part gave me that was the most useful, the confidence that I needed to know that I could. What I knew I was capable of, I learned to not tell clients or customers what to do or what to think, but rather just ask them questions in a way that helps them come to the conclusion that, that it’s best for them. When I started in sales, um, at Land River, I was the only female that they told me pretty much as a female, you will either fail instantly or beat everybody. That’s just how the carpentry, I guess, sees it. So they said, so good luck, . Um, but uh, we’re not really counting on you lasting very long. And so of course to me that means, well, I only have one option. I have to beat everybody. So that’s, that’s what I did, you know, and then at the. Dealership, I was also the only female. So that is a challenge in its own, um, especially in industries where it’s male dominated and there are a lot of preconceived notions on, on females and, you know, even customers not realizing it will assume that I don’t know as much about cars or about RVs just because I’m a female. And, and so I would say that was always a challenge for me and. What was interesting about being the only female in sales is that you are told, um, or just in sales in general in a lot of the transactional sales worlds. Um, you’re told what to do, here’s how you do it. Follow these rules and good luck. You know, and so I definitely have an employee mindset that I was limited, you know, as far as how I could reach out to people or what kind of marketing I was able to do. We had a marketing team that marketed for the dealerships and. I was counting on that, you know, I was kind of counting on people walking in to the dealership looking for, um, you know, an rv. And so that limits you, um, especially when you’re having a bad month kind of thing. And so, uh, learning really to, like I said, the confidence thing and learning that even if you aren’t technically the business owner, you can still have a business owner mindset. What that allowed me to do was realize that I actually bring a very unique perspective to the RV industry as a female. You know, it’s not something that’s hindering me, it’s something that’s unique about me that I believe our veers will appreciate. Cuz they don’t really hear that. They don’t hear a voice, you know, from my perspective, explaining things the way that you know, females or families or anything would like to hear and. What it really allowed me to do. Um, branch out. So the first thing I started doing is, okay, I could think like a business owner, even though I’m a W2 employee, so let’s, you know, figure out how I can do that. And so I started reaching out to other people in the industry that I felt had the same values as me as far as customer service and just helping people. I ended up getting in touch with the rv. Women’s Alliance and so they, they asked me to be on their board and so I helped with a lot of different things and that was great seeing it. And then when I started helping and working with them, they had just started. Now they’re. They’re soaring and they have, you know, a website and a YouTube channel and everything. And, and they’ve really given women in the RV industry a voice. But also it’s not just for women, right? Men can be members as well. And, and we need men in there to help us. And so it’s, otherwise it’s not a quality, right? So, It was all about education and helping spread the word that hey, women, women do sell RVs, you know, and they, they also are technicians, they also are at the factories making RVs. So it’s, it’s not just men, you know? And, um, and it can be fulfilling for women as well, so. So that was really great. And I also hop, mine is, is writing. I’ve always loved just writing articles and stuff, so I contacted a company called Golic who helps customers who are affiliated with say like their veterans or affiliated with, you know, state Farm or just different organizations, helps them link up with dealerships to get specific type of discount. And so I reached out to them and they have a consumer facing website. And, um, they had sent me a couple articles and, and I sent them a couple of edits just cause I’m like that person that sees typos and stuff. And, and then they contacted me and said, Hey, you know, we don’t have. An RV expert here, they said, would you mind writing some articles for us? And I was like, actually, I would love to do that. That’s just something that I’ve, I had actually asked my own company if I can do that for them, cuz they had a blog and they said, nobody pays someone to do that . So I said, okay. So I just started writing for this company and they started publishing articles that I would write. Far as, you know, the top five fifth wheels or the top 10 travel trailers or the different things to do. And it just, just to help educate people because I feel like with anything, when you’re new to something like rv, there’s so many resources out there and information online that it can be very overwhelming and I honestly could never really find. Just an easy to read how to know the difference, like how to know the difference between the different types of RVs, cuz there’s different types. You drive some, you pull some. And so just, um, being able to create that and give that to my customers as a resource was really awesome. And so there was just a great opportunity to get my voice out there. At the end of the day, what it helped me do is create my own brand. That having a business owner mindset means, you know, yes, I work for a company, and yes, I’m representing that company, but at the end of the day, I want people to remember me. I want people to think, oh, I bought an RV from Amber. You should go see her. You know, and so it’s all about. Creating that presence in the RV community. It just grew into this, this really great, unique, you know, that no one else out there is like me. And so it’s been really awesome.
Host: A lot of people can probably relate to your story and your circumstances. What advice would you give to listeners who are struggling right now to meet their goals?
Amber Shae Friedman: The biggest piece of advice that I could give that I think that’s helped me the most is that. You can do anything you set your mind to. Never let someone tell you what you can or can’t do. And it’s one of those things where they say, if you don’t believe in yourself, how can anybody else really believe in you? And so I think it’s really important to. To know why you’re doing what you’re doing. And for me, realizing that helping people is the reason why I was selling RVs. It wasn’t the money, it wasn’t anything other than I just wanted to help people. And so my advice would be to find your why. Find what gets you out of bed every day. And if you’re getting out of bed to a job that isn’t super exciting to you, you’re still getting outta bed for it. So there’s gotta be something that’s pulling you towards that. So identifying. And then realizing that you can do basically whatever you set your mind to. Cause I feel that if you set your mind to something and you truly believe in it, it will happen good or bad. So it’s really about, you know, focusing on, on your mindset and knowing that you have full control over certain things. And it’s really your schedule and your mindset. And so, You have full control over that, good or bad. So just be very aware of what you’re thinking, what you’re putting out there, because, um, good or bad, it will come back to you. Just like that quote that says, whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.