In our search for some of the most remarkable and charismatic women entrepreneurs, we came across Elinor Stutz. She is not only an inspiration to budding entrepreneurs but also existing, established businessmen/women.
Elinor has not only accomplished a remarkable feat, and created a mark in the world of business. We’re sure you want to know more about who she is, and what she does!
Without further ado, let’s jump towards an exclusive interview with Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale.
- Brief us about Smooth Sale, what inspired you to start Smooth Sale?
- What are the products or services Smooth Sale focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?
- Please tell us about your team.
- Please brief us about your professional experience.
- What are the key achievements of your business journey?
- Any client experience you would like to highlight?
- Which one is your favorite quote?
I refer to my sales career approach as ‘Bottoms Up!’ Therefore, I’m answering the questions by beginning with your last, and as the experience reveals itself, you will understand ‘my why!’
My favorite quote is: “Believe, Become, Empower.”
Believe you can, Become that person, Empower others to rise similarly!
As I lay on a stretcher with an ‘irreparable broken neck’, two visions came to me via a near-death experience. As the first vision appeared of a generic figure standing on a mound appearing to speak to audiences globally, I immediately and fervently said Yes! A brilliant gold light then encased my entire body, signaling that I would recover.
The first vision faded, and a second appeared in the form of a life report card. I had high marks on the left-hand side, but the right-hand side was an embarrassment as it was completely blank and entitled, ‘Community Service.’ At the moment, I vowed to give back to communities any way I may. With that, the gold light blinked, signaling again that I would be well, and then slowly faded.
The following day, I was heavily medicated for surgery. Expecting the surgeon to give me words of encouragement, I was dumbfounded to hear, ‘Mrs. Stutz, when you wake up, most likely, you will be paralyzed.’
‘Most likely?!’ He didn’t expect me to make it at all. I responded by using some of his vocabularies – Doctor, when I wake up, I FULLY Expect to be Well! Hours later, he was standing over me as I heard him say, ‘there is no rhyme or reason for what transpired, but in four days, you will walk out of this hospital on your own! During that time, the entire staff on duty came to visit me, ‘the walking miracle.’
Sales skills and speaking up saved my life!
It took me years to sort out ‘what just happened!’ But I never forgot my promise to help communities.
Client Experience in the Sales Arena
Long ago, I was the only sales representative I knew who treated the guards at companies and the people in the basement with respect. Every person I encountered referred to me as ‘A breath of fresh air.’
Accordingly, they were the ones who got me into the C-Suite for Fortune 500 and 100 Corporations. Each year, as the top producer, I proved to be an embarrassment to the men. Management tripled my quota for the following year as they handed my new accounts to the salesmen. So year after year, I had to interview for a new job; it wasn’t long before I realized that the interviewing process follows the sales cycle.
I was at the bottom of the pyramid on otherwise all-male teams to prove. It was up to me to prove, ‘Yes, women Can sell – and do it well!’
What are the key achievements of your business journey?
Upon beginning my entrepreneurship and moving to a new city, I went to a networking gathering of about 200 people. As I announced that I was a sales trainer (already successful in my previous hometown), the entire room burst into laughter, believing that a woman could not possibly know enough to train. Worse, the women ran away shrieking, thinking that I was highly manipulative.
I came to learn that the 3 P’s make all the difference: Passion, Purpose, and Perseverance.
Thankfully, one person came over to relay that to establish credibility, I needed to write a book. I’ve come to learn that our worst experiences are our gifts in disguise as they guide us to the better next steps.
My manuscript transformed into ‘Nice Girls D.O. Get The Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results’ was published by Sourcebooks.
TIME Magazine almost immediately featured the book; ABC-TV News interviewed me, and it soon became known as an International Best-Seller. Toward the end of 2021, the book was declared Evergreen. It will always remain in print – to be among the classics! You may visit my author page here: https://www.amazon.com/Elinor-Stutz/e/B001JS1P8S
Smooth Sale stands for earning a returning and referring clientele that I teach via writing, speaking, and training.
Community Service is the centerpiece for the work. It began with teaching job seekers how to sell themselves in interviews. The many thank you notes for enabling people to secure their desired job led to the next book, ‘HIRED! How To Use Sales Techniques To Sell Yourself On Interviews,’ published by Career Press.
Social media was my lifesaver upon moving to a town where no one understood my purpose, passion, and perseverance in their unknown. A marketing guru taught me to be collaborative instead of being highly competitive. I soon realized how to attract interest online vs. attempting to sell.
Deliberately adhering to the sage advice, Kred declared me to be a Top 1% Influencer and dedicated a page to my work: https://elinorstutz.kred/
Moreover, before the pandemic, I tweaked my near-death story as it applies to business for me to provide inspiring keynotes that receive standing ovations every time.
My life dots now align via social media as I meet people globally (travel has always been a part of my life) and provide the opportunity to collaborate with those who seek out a similar purpose ~ this leads to the next question.
Please Tell Us About Your Team
Without passion, purpose, and perseverance, I would never have made the advances I did. Why? Being an older female, I was scorned and predicted to fail, given I have nothing of value to offer.
But I’m one who never quits; instead, I find a better way to proceed. Due to the ill-treatment in the corporate sales environment, I was determined to make it on my own in the entrepreneurial journey.
As time moved onward and everyone told me to quit, I became more motivated than ever to continue. Moving across the country sadly did not help with acceptance in person. However, I found my support online – better than ever expected.
Community service grew into a blog growing in popularity. As a solo entrepreneur, a collaborative effort for posting business-related content continues to aid the exponential growth. However, via the Twitter platform, I met my remote team that dedicates itself to the same topics that I hold near and dear, that of #diversity, #equity, and #inclusion. I am now on the Social Media Committee for Inclusion Allies Coalition.
Greg Jenkins leads the committees today and invited me to join; his brief description is, ‘Helping leaders understand the value of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to enhance team & organizational outcomes.’ His LinkedIn profile reads as follows: Helping leaders understand the value of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to enhance team & organizational outcomes talks about ##equality, ##veterans, ##diversity, ##inclusion, and ##leadership. Greg got his start in the field upon being stationed overseas via the Military.
Shortly after joining the committee, we were fortunate to have Nirupa Netram, Lotus Solutions LLC, join us. Nirupa was born in Guyana and immigrated to the U.S. at a young age with her parents. Her dedication to studying and the legal field is impressive, including working as a Magistrate in the early stage of her career. Her LinkedIn profile reveals a commitment to Executive Leadership | Global Certified Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI) Consultant, Trainer, Speaker | Attorney Nirupa talks about #business, #diversity, #inclusion, and #leadership
Nirupa’s story below is highly compelling and gives reason for us to consider being JEDI Ready. As we take in her experiences, we can apply the lessons to all business endeavors and society in general. You may read, ‘Are You JEDI Ready?’ Here: https://smoothsale.net/are-you-jedi-ready/
Creativity and humor aside, the JEDI acronym stands for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. According to Nirupa, It’s almost ironic that a substantial portion of the population feels excluded. When we strive to understand the history of one another, more ideas come forth for improvement. May you consider becoming JEDI Ready!
Although our individual experiences are almost 180 degrees apart, they bring us to the same place and time. We dedicate ourselves to the work of the Inclusion Allies Coalition, that of diversity, equity, and inclusion, with the desire of a better tomorrow for all.
What are the products or services Smooth Sale focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?
The Smooth Sale products and services differ from most others. Smooth Sale embraces transparency, revealing the poor early experiences and how I overcame the barriers to advance and achieve what is most important to me. Accordingly, in the books, speeches, and training, I encourage being authentic to oneself to build an admired brand and, with more ease, attract the clientele one desires.
While experiencing difficulties, I became philosophical to create a Quotes Booklet. Examples include,
“Integrity is the soul of sales and all else that you do.
Tomorrow is a blank canvas, begin painting your future today.
We each have one life to live; it’s our duty to live life without regret.”
My stance on selling is not to sell but to listen for a deeper understanding and ask as many questions as necessary to uncover everything on the prospect’s mind to earn respect and trust. Smooth Sale refers to earning a returning and referring clientele.
Brief us about Smooth Sale, what inspired you to start Smooth Sale?
The treatment in the corporate environment was unfathomable and downright shameful. After my near-death experience, I held the commitment to begin benefitting communities at large. And the commitment to myself was to conduct business on my terms with integrity, teach the best of what I know, and encourage younger people to lead in their unique style. My promise has been with me ever since, and as of today, I have accordingly enjoyed almost 20 extra years of life.
A smile always comes over me as people inquire about my team and corporate standing, given that I remain a solo entrepreneur. Although the learning curve for entrepreneurship is steep and ongoing, the results appear to me as a Smooth Sale! In giving my best to communities at large, the receiving invitations and collaborative efforts come my way.