Our special guest on this week’s episode of Conversational Selling is Meshell Baker, the Owner of Meshell Baker Enterprises and SuperFan Solutions. Meshell is an award-winning Keynote Speaker, Sales Coach, and Mentor who works with sales leaders and individuals to inspire and ignite confidence, and influence conversations that cultivate client relationships and new business opportunities. With over 25 years of successful corporate experience in sales, she is on a mission to change the way sales is perceived. 

We chat with Meshell about adaptability and mastery, as well as:

  • The keys to generating more confidence
  • How to quit self-sabotaging and activate your genius
  • Shedding your excuses
  • Overcoming the struggle with your inner voice and eliminating imposter syndrome
  • And more

Mentioned in this episode:


Voiceover: You’re listening to The Conversational Selling Podcast with Nancy Calabrese.

Nancy Calabrese: Hello, it’s Nancy Calabrese and yes, it’s time for Conversational Selling the podcast where sales leaders and business experts share what’s going on in sales and marketing today. And it always starts with the human conversation. Joining us today is the fabulous Meshell Baker, the owner of SuperFan Solutions and Meshell Baker Enterprises. She works with conscious non traditional businesses, sales leaders and individuals to inspire and ignite confidence and influence conversations that cultivate win-win client relationships and new business opportunities. 

With over 25 years of successful corporate experience in sales, she is on a mission to change the way sales is perceived. She believes by incorporating confidence as the core tenant, it becomes transformative for both buyers and sellers. She is also an international keynote speaker, a sales and competence coach and a success strategist. So I think everybody can agree that confidence is, you know, a major requirement in sales. And believing in yourself is so important in achieving goals. I have so many questions for you, Meshell, welcome to the show. And let’s get started.

Meshell Baker: Absolutely glad. Glad to be here. Nancy, truly excited to have this time with you. 

Nancy: And ditto here. So I’ve heard you say people first and profits follow. Tell us more about that? 

Meshell: Well, great question. And the reason I believe in people first profits follow is when you really look at the companies that have done an incredible job of staying and thriving. When you look at the Amazons, or even the Nikes, and the Googles, and like, we can go to Merck, or Johnson and Johnson, the companies who are asked, changes have come because that’s the one thing in business is changes and evitable. But the ones who’ve been able to adapt and grow with their client base and expand their client base, they’ve made it their business to hire and attract the people who actually build their business. Right? It’s so interesting that business has become so focused on making money, when they forget that the people who make the money or the money makers are the people. 

Nancy: Right. 

Meshell: So how do I create more money? I actually attract or and or cultivate a team of valuable people? Because that’s what attracts the opportunity are the people who work for you.

Nancy: Yeah. And you know, when I think of you, I think of confidence, right? Meshell confidence. Meshell confidence. Speak, you speak about your gift in igniting that. We don’t all have that gift. So how do you do it and talk to us about that, too.

Meshell: Well, I love confidence. Because what I’ve seen time and time again, is when we place our belief in something external to us, it will always fail us because nothing stays the same. The only thing that stays the same is us. And we still change you know, we adapt over time. And everywhere you go, there you are. So when you can believe in yourself, everywhere you go, you’re looking through the lens of your eyes and the belief that no matter where what you face, no matter what comes your way you’re equipped and prepared. And that’s confidence. 

Confidence is simply the habit of believing in yourself. And when you have especially sales reps, who are able to do that. So when the comp plan changes when their territory changes, when the customer says no, when the deal you’ve been working on for a year falls through when anything happens external, they are able and equipped to adapt. Without that confidence when it’s simply competence in a strategy, well when the strategy falls apart, they fall apart.

Nancy: Right so you know, I think all of us from time to time, some more than others, struggle with our inner voice. You know, we beat ourselves up, get stuck trying to understand why. And I know you speak of this. At One of a Kind sales we call it head trash. Right? We’re all victim to it from time to time. What are your recommendations to get rid of it? And really keep that minimal?

Meshell: Yes. So Well, one of the biggest things that causes people to have head trash is that they’re focused on a goalpost. So they’re looking at getting somewhere they’re acquiring something external to them, not realizing that you have this beautiful, brilliant brain, we’re all born with 100 billion neurons. Right? So we’re all born genius. Our genius is only activated in the midst of discovery, curiosity, problem solving innovation, that’s when you actually start to realize how smart you are how much you know how much you remember, that’s when you actually start to believe in yourself. 

Now, having said that, on the reverse, then, what most people do is wait for the other shoe to drop. Look at what could go wrong. Remember what went wrong? Remember what someone said. So most people are using those 100 billion neurons against themselves, because your unconscious mind is always working that chatter, right, the critic is always working. So your job in your role is to have a critic work on your behalf. And that requires absolute non negotiable more morning routine. As soon as you wake up, it’s a new day. And when you make it’s your standard to calibrate your GPS, your brain to look in the direction of things working in your favor and make that your habit and standard. 

You will wake up one day and and pleasantly go, oh my god, it is working in my favor. Oh my goodness. Oh, my. That’s, and the thing is, you don’t know when that’s gonna happen. And that’s the challenge. With most of society, they want to know exactly when because they’ve been promised when so many times not realizing that the promises never actually came through. They keep looking for somebody to tell them when instead of just going, I don’t know when, w h e n, and I’m not going to stop until I win, w i  n. 

Nancy: Right. You know, I know. I’m a big believer in vision boards. When I was first asked to pull them together, I thought it was stupid. And now we make it a routine here at the company, everybody does it. I love it. I have it on my screen, you know, I have it posted all over the place. And it really helps give me a dose of Yay let’s get going. I think you agree with that too, don’t you?

Meshell: I am a proponent of vision boards. Every the work I do with any organization, individual or team always requires creating a vision, what is the vision of what you want to create? And yes, I absolutely believe because that gives those 100 million brain cells a target, and that’s the why. So in the midst of what’s happening, when you can calibrate your mind to the why, that’s when your innovation and your genius comes, comes into play. 

Nancy: I love it. And so I’m going to stick with numbers. While we’re talking about it, I watched your podcast on infinite imagination versus fear of rejection or failure. And the number that jumped out to me was 10,000 tries. Tell us what, you mean by that? Let my audience know. 

Meshell: Yes. So there’s this adage that mastery comes about when your expertise, true expertise comes about when you’ve done 10,000 hours or 10,000 tries. Now, it could be sooner or later than that. So the goal is just to stick with a 10,000. And know that repetition is the mother of skill and success. what generally happens is when people are struggling, or when people are complaining about a situation that didn’t go their way or not getting the results, the ROI that they are wanting. You generally ask them well, how many times have you made an attempt. 

You’ll be absolutely baffled at how few people haven’t even made it to a dozen, and they’ve already given up. So when you can set your sights on 10,000, right? If I have not done this 10,000 times, then I have no right to complain. If there’s an infinite possibility of outcome, then just focus on the fact that again, as long as I keep going, I will succeed. And what happens is that success is the opposite. If you flip a coin, we’re in this heads or tails. Or if you flip the coin of success on the other side is failure, setbacks, miles delay. So again, your willingness to keep going to just keep getting up till you hit 10,000. 

If you mark it on your calendar somewhere, you’ll be amazed that before you know it, you’re not thinking about the failures, what you’re what you’re doing is learning from the setbacks and the mistakes and the failure. And you’re getting smarter and stronger, more confident, more resilient, more resourceful. And that’s what you focus on is just going towards the desire in instead of stopping and looking at what’s happening now. 

Nancy: You’re making me think of, Okay, we have a Fitbit. Now we need a sales bit, right? 

Meshell: Wouldn’t that be awesome?! 

Nancy: Yeah, well, 10,000 is a daunting number, right? So I think the message here is just don’t quit, just keep on keeping on, keep on keeping on. And we’ll eventually master it. 

Meshell: Yeah. And so just going back to what you just said, keeping on keeping on, that goes back to the vision, right, of something that is meaningful to you, when it’s not meaningful to you, you won’t keep on excuses will overtake you, your reasons must outweigh your results. Because when the rubbish don’t outweigh the results, you will give up every time. But when the reason or when that when the pendulum swings, or when the scale shifts, you will get up and you will remember your why. And you’ll dust yourself off. 

And even if you take a day off a week off a month off that reason that why will not let you go. It’s embedded in your heart. And you’ll start to see it like it will try to act like you don’t even remember it. But you’ll read a magazine and there’s a phrase, you’ll watch a commercial and there it is right, it will find you. 

Nancy: Yeah, I want to go back to another statement that you publish, that you work with conscious non traditional businesses. What does that mean?

Meshell: I love. So my joy is working with people who love what they love their customers, they love what they do. And they hate the sales process. They hate the marketing process that you’ll hear them they hate, like social media, and to help them to marry the two to merge the two so that they’re there’s no disconnect in how their day goes so that they’re attracting more of their ideal clients. People forget that people buy for emotional reasons and justify with logic. Right behind every sale is a human being and humans are all emotional. So having said that, when you hate the whole sales process, your your communication is 55% physiology, your body language, your eye contact and 38% tonality, that’s 93% of how you communicate is unconscious. If you hate selling, there’s no way you can hide it. 

Not unless, you’re a con artist, right snake oil salesmen, so there’s no way you can hide it. So finding what you love, and helping someone to transfer that in their communication, and confidently connect with those ideal buyers and clients so that they’re there. They’re creating those raving fans who do you know, recommendations, repeat business, and referrals is what I love to do. And when I say non traditional, it’s the conscious entrepreneurs who have a heart, right. So when you talk about money, it makes them uncomfortable, because they’re about purpose. They’re about humanity. 

They’re about changing lives and transformation. So teaching them to make so many calls. So you can get so many leads and follow up this, it does not equate to them, then it has to be in a in the foundation of it has a meaning and it’s something that matters to them. And yeah, I’ve worked with companies like roto routers, I work with massage organizations, I’ve worked with, you know, nonprofit organizations, just any type of organization that really has a love for their, the people that they serve, and they have a forward facing team could be a sales team or just individuals who are looking to increase their engagement and convert more and convert more conversations to clients. 

Nancy: Yeah. So do you have a story? The audience would find interesting? 

Meshell: Yeah, so I actually recall working with a lawncare company here in Austin area and it was all done virtually so never had to go out and that’s what I love. My programs are eight weeks or 90 days, but it was a lawncare company and we looked at they wanted an upsell. So here are the people who are actually going out doing the physical work. And the owner knew that there was these opportunities because they expanded their offerings, they had, you know, upgraded their services, and most of their client base did not know about it, we know you and I Nancy understand, right, it’s always easier to engage in upselling existing clients in a creative way. 

So having said that, our whole program was about changing their mindset, really equipping them to understand what a sales was, what that transaction look like, and why it would benefit them, why it would benefit their client, why would benefit their company, to actually have these conversations and do it in a way that was more authentic to who they were. And it was absolutely incredible to see the success to see the increase in sales that started to happen. So it’s it, like I said, it’s an eight week program. 

And so generally around that second or third week, once they you know, once we get over the hump and the hurdle, you start to see an increase in return on investment and sales results pretty quick there, and you and it’s lasting. So what you’ll see is camaraderie, and the unintentional result when I do teams and small companies, is your culture will change because that’s one of the things that I really impart in the weekly calls is engaging people and understanding that everything you need exists, where you are and how to utilize your team members, and to strategize in a way that’s empowering, encouraging and formative to everyone as participating. 

Nancy: Yeah. What is the fear of imposter syndrome? 

Meshell: So, fear of imposter syndrome is something that pretty much any most successful people experience at some point. And that’s when you are, you are either in a job role that you’ve always wanted, and you feel things like you’re not doing a good job. So perfectionism is one of the things that greatly creates fear of imposter syndrome. So there’s a comparison I’m not good enough, I could have done it better, or I should have done it better. So I tell people that we’re sure it will create a lot of anxiety in your life. 

And it’s one of the driving factors around imposter syndrome. And some people will get promoted really quick or sooner than they anticipated that was in their plan or expect expected or get opportunities quicker than they thought. And they’re like, oh my God, if this person knows, right, so they say fake it till you make it. Well, that creates imposter syndrome. So instead of focusing on being an imposter is going into the state state of I Am, right? I this is who this is the identity of who I’m becoming. So in order to become that person, I must start to speak think and act as if I’m already there.

Nancy: Interesting. I never really thought of it that way imposter. Fake it til you make it is a term that we’ve all heard out there. So wow. You, you know, you’ve got so many talents, and I want to be able to spotlight something that’s really important for you right now. So what would that be?

Meshell: So what’s really been important for me is helping business leaders or business owners and sales leaders to create happy human workplaces is what I’m calling them. The HHW. And that’s really taking their team as a leadership team. I’m actually doing a presentation with a CEO on the board this coming week, and it’s about how to engage them and create that space where they understand they have they are well equipped and able to adapt to any outcome. 

And it’s all around how do you champion confidence in your workplace. And that’s what that’s what I’m really passionate about. And that still it still translates into that sales. And, and it translates into helping people to feel good about the work they’re doing. When they get to work. What you find is most of our society goes to a job they hate scared to lose the job to buy stuff for people that they want to impress that they don’t even like. Right? So when you really think about it, 

Nancy: You’re right, but it’s sad. 

Meshell: It’s really sad, right? So how do we help the one actually create a vision of what success looks like? Not just fail success, but success. And the offshoot is you’ll have the one who is going to succeed in sales. But you also have someone who is becomes a well rounded person is valuable to themselves to me and Zappos has done an incredible job if you ever want to read and look at them, they’ve done an incredible job. So think about it like this. How do you create? Why is it important to create a happy human workplace? Well, how do you attract talent? Your employees go, and they live a life. 

Now, if your employees are sitting at happy hour sitting around the barbecue at the picnic, and everybody’s complaining about their job, wouldn’t you want your employee to be the one to go? Oh, my God, I love where I work. Guess what is the next? What is the next question? Oh, my God, where are you working? Are they hiring? That’s how companies don’t you don’t even have that’s the bus. So you want your clients to recommend and refer you. You also want your employees to do the same thing.

Nancy: Yep. And that goes back to my first question. What are statement people first then profits follow? 

Meshell: People first and profits follow.

Nancy: Yeah. So what is something that you completely believe in that’s true and almost no one agrees with you on?

Meshell: That question. When you first word it, wrote it. It’s one of the interesting questions that telling people they have to, I believe is absolutely counterproductive. And I know that no one believes that this is a rarity. Because when I listen to how most people speak, they say you have to, and we don’t like my question, when someone tells me I have to I go, Why? Yeah, why do I have to? You’ll be amazed at how many people can’t even answer the question. The order to actually follow up with say, you have to again, what I’m looking for is to inspire me. Right? 

When we again, we go back to what I said, Everybody has genius, we have 100 billion neurons, how we activate that genius is we must ignite are all curiosity and creativity and thought, when you tell someone they have to, it’s about you. You just you’ve just given them a list, and they look at one thing, because you’re just generally telling them, they have to do one thing, or you listing a bunch of things. So that’s all about you. When you ask someone a question, what do you want to do? Why does that matter to you? Why is it important? You have actually invoke their critical thinking. That’s the gift that most of the world is not giving each other? 

Nancy: Well, and you said again, earlier, you should do or have two, those are the two that 

Meshell: Oh, my God, don’t should on me and I won’t should on you. I call them nosy words. Because when you think about it, so how I’ve got worked around, I have to it was very difficult at first because most of society speaks that way. I mean, it was like three decades of me speaking that way before I actually became cognizant that I no longer wanted to speak that way. So it really required me to stop and pause to restate to make a lot of mistakes to 10,000. And I knew my mission was to eliminate that language from my vocabulary. 

And I still slip up here and there. Because like I said, three and a half decades, you’re not magically going to stop 100%. And I knew that I wanted to speak because I couldn’t figure out why I hated it when people told me I have to. So I started instead of like being judgmental of them. And I just started asking myself the question like why do I not like this? What what is the what? What is it about this term that is bothering me so much? 

Nancy: Interesting. So we’re coming to the end of our show, which has been fabulous. And I want the audience to at least have one takeaway from you, and, you know, share a thought or a document that you think would empower them. Make their day better. 

Meshell: Yes, I actually offer a download, and I call it The Bank Vault vision board. The goal is to open up into abundance. So when people think about you walk into a bank vault, and you could just take everything in there, that would just be an abundant overflow, right in a bank vault there just really isn’t like you’d be able to do whatever you want in life. And it’s the same principle. When we create the grandest, greatest vision possible. You actually are expanding abundance to come to you because the thing is shoot for the moon, you’ll land in the stars. 

And what people don’t understand is when your dream is big, you actually inspire someone else to dream big. If you dream of a mansion you’ve actually now created and put into our universe world, whatever you want to call it. The idea that someone else all of a sudden goes hmm, I want to be a stonemason. I don’t know why I have a desire. This is how we have the belief that we have more than enough and we can create whatever we want is what will empower us to have the happy human workplace, because most people need to work and that’s how we’ve changed the world. 

Nancy: Awesome. Most important, how can my audience find you, Meshell? 

Meshell: Well, you can just email me at Meshell, it’s m e s h e l l Baker, b a k e r. So it’s my first name meshell@meshellbaker.com. Or you can also follow me on social media and on social media. So all of my social media channels, have my middle initial, so it’s at Meshell R Baker, and I’m on any channel at that handle. 

Nancy: Well, another awesome conversation with a fabulous expert. Thank you all for listening in. Thank you, Meshell, for joining us and to everyone out there, have a fantastic and confident sales day and start counting your 10,000.

Voiceover: The Conversational Selling Podcast is sponsored by One of a Kind Sales. If you’re frustrated that you don’t have enough leads or your sales team complains that they just don’t have enough time to prospect, we can help. To work with Nancy and her team one on one to help you manage your sales team, install her proven outbound sales process and create more bottom line results, email her now at Nancy@oneofakindsales.com. To learn more about Nancy and her outbound sales secrets, grab your free copy of her book, The Inside Sales Solution at oneofakindsales.com/book.