Judy Hoberman Selling in a skirt

From Selling in a Skirt to Walking on the Glass Floor with Judy Hoberman #049

Show Notes:

Judy Hoberman is President of Judy Hoberman and Associates, a company focused on empowering professional women. She is an award-winning, international speaker, best-selling author, trainer and leading authority on women in leadership.

With over 3 decades in business, she combines wisdom and humor with her behavior shaping insights, impacting audiences of thousands as well as small groups and individuals through her 1:1 executive coaching and mentoring  and she is often described as “transformational.”

Men and women lead, sell, manage and recruit differently and Judy is the master at improving performance and company culture, empowering both genders to better support each other’s successes in more productive ways.

Judy also works with companies supporting their diversity and women’s initiatives in the areas of leadership, recruiting, training, coaching, mentoring and retention.

She was a TEDx speaker talking about pre-judging people. She is the author of four books, including “Selling in a Skirt” and “Walking on the Glass Floor.”

She offers a training program that concentrates on women in leadership and the men who champion them, with emphasis on redefining culture.

Judy’s mission…to help one woman a day by following an important philosophy- “Women Want To Be Treated Equally…Not Identically”®

Topics explored:

  • “Women want to be treated equally, not identically”
  • If people just took the time to listen, it would change the whole conversation
  • I need to listen to the questions you’re asking, because you’re asking them for a reason
  • If you take the differences and make them into assets, not liabilities, it’s a whole different ball game
  • Traditionally we were told, ‘go in, go out, get the cheque’
  • This is not who I am, I need rapport
  • New Yorkers, you just know who they are, they don’t even need to speak
  • Being the only woman for years, always having to prove myself
  • Training often built by men for men
  • You’re such a girl, why do you have to make friends with everyone?
  • What drives you, what 3 can you expect from me, and what three things can I expect from you?
  • Would have loved someone similar to me, so I became that for other women
  • “I was ready to quite, and I listened to your story, and I didn’t”
  • If you’ve ‘tried everything’, I’m probably not the right person for you
  • With TED, I was going to tell a story I never told out loud before
  • We all prejudge others in a nanosecond, we have to correct ourselves doing it
  • Don’t talk to me as if you know, you don’t
  • There’s a way you can do it, without being defensive
  • Selling in a Skirt, has nothing to do with the article of clothing
  • Just because I’m for women, doesn’t mean I’m against men, it’s for the men who champion women
  • Wouldn’t you want to know a good way to build rapport? Why she’s doing what you’re doing?
  • Negotiation is all about communication, how do you get people to follow you
  • Sales coaching is never about sales
  • It’s about investing in relationships, being present
  • The secret to selling is stop selling, start a conversation
  • I was the top salesperson because I never sold anything
  • I was the question queen
  • “Why is it so important you put this policy in place today?” then I stop talking
  • A question that I absolutely love love love asking CEOs
  • What do you still want to accomplish?
  • Red flags and warning signs for clients that aren’t a good fit
  • It’s the buzzword
  • The biggest confirmation I made the right decision
  • Serving, supporting and protecting
  • From that day I got more business referrals than you can possibly imagine
  • Before I’d hire someone, I’d always meet their partner. Support is important
  • Listen to Mr Rogers. Find the helpers!


Al McBride 0:03
Welcome to the dealing with Goliath podcast. The mission of dealing with Goliath is to sharpen the psychological edge of negotiation and high impact conversations. For Business leaders with skin in the game, want to be more effective under pressure uncover, uncover hidden value, and build greater connection all while increasing profitability.

Al McBride 0:23
With expert guests across the business spectrum, we deliver gems of wisdom delving into their methods, their thinking and approach to business life and to problem solving.

Al McBride 0:32
This is the grand a cup of insight long form podcast interview, where we take the time to delve a little bit more into our guests experiences stories and to get those priceless nuggets. I’m your host Al McBride and my guest today is Judy Hoberman. Hi, Judy, great to have you on the show.

Judy Hoberman 0:50
Thank you so much.

Al McBride 0:52
Judy Hoberman is the president of Judy Hoberman and Associates, a company focused on empowering professional women. She’s an award winning international speaker best selling author, trainer and leading authority on women in leadership. With over three decades in business.

Al McBride 1:08
She combines wisdom and humor with her behavior shaping insights impacting audiences of 1000s, as well as small groups and individuals through her one to one executive coaching and mentoring. And she is often described as transformational. Men and women lead, sell, manage and recruit differently. And judy is the master at improving performance and company culture empowering both genders to better support each other’s success in more productive ways.

Al McBride 1:39
Judy also works with companies supporting their diversity and women’s initiatives in the areas of leadership, recruiting, training, coaching, mentoring, and retention. She was a TEDx speaker talking about prejudging people. She’s the author of four books, including selling in a skirt, and walking on the glass floor.

Al McBride 1:59
She’s she offers a training program that concentrates on women in leadership, and men who champion them with emphasis on redefining culture. And Judy’s mission is to help one woman a day by following an important philosophy. Women want to be treated equally, not identically. So a lot of fascinating stuff to dive into their duty. So let’s start there. So men and women lead, sell, manage and recruit differently. So tell us more about that. What are some of those key differences?

Judy Hoberman 2:32
Well, I’m gonna make a profound statement that men and women are different. I mean, that’s the truth, you have to go from that point forward. Everything we do is different, not better words, right or wrong, just different. And I believe, if you would, you know, people just take the time to listen to what you’re saying and what you’re receiving. It would change the whole conversation.

Judy Hoberman 2:53
Because a lot of times we go in, you know, talk about recruiting, if I’m going in for our job, and you’re the recruiter, you need to listen to the things that I’m asking, because I’m asking for a reason. But I also need to listen to the questions you’re asking, because you’re asking for a reason. So you know, some of the things are like men are much more interested in the amount of money they’re going to make and the advancement right away.

Judy Hoberman 3:17
Women are as well. But they’re also looking for a different kind of home, not a home like they live in, but someplace where they feel comfortable someplace that they don’t dread going into. So that’s just you know, it’s like a just a little piece of the puzzle. But that’s what it is. It’s all about differences. And really, we are different. But if you take the differences and make them into assets, rather than liabilities, it’s a whole different ballgame.

Al McBride 3:42
That’s very interesting, is it the order effect is so because I would imagine men also want to know if they’re a good fit for this work environment in this work culture. But as I said, an awful lot of men maybe have the the order the other way around, is that kind of the main thing that we want the same things, but just different price, slightly different prayers.

Judy Hoberman 4:01
That’s it, you know, it’s a good way of looking at it, it really is, you can think about it also in the sales process. In the sales process, women have to have a relationship with their salesperson, it doesn’t mean that they have to love them. But they have to, you know, like trust, which is something we were taught when we were little and it doesn’t change, we need that relationship first. And then we can go forward with the transaction.

Al McBride 4:20
Men do the transaction first, and then they’ll start to bring the build the relationship. So it is an order. And I guess that’s the best way to think about it. It just we do want the same things. And as we go further away from like the 50s, in the 60s, in the 70s where everything was, you know, so male dominated as opposed to now we’re getting more women into the positions that you know, that they weren’t invited to before.

Al McBride 4:45
There are more men that want to be home with their kids. There are more men that want to take paternity leave. There are more men that want to have the relationship. So it is changing. It just isn’t changing as quickly as we’d like, but it is changing.

Al McBride 4:59
That’s it Positive to hear them, as you said, Because Because some of the things you were talking about were, I mean, n equals one, you know, I’m, you know, a pool group of one, but just when you were saying, you know that wanting to know, like and trust that that’s very big for me and for an awful lot of business owners that I know. So it’s very interesting to hear that a lot of men don’t particularly have that. Although I do work in an industry where most of my colleagues and bosses have been women. So I’m very, very used to that maybe, maybe it’s,

Judy Hoberman 5:28
that’s a good thing, because it’s different. It’s just different when I was trained. And when I went into financial services, I was trained, there were only men there was I was the only female I was trained to go in and get out and get the check. That was it. It wasn’t have a conversation build report wasn’t that was Get in, get out and get the check. And that was it. And and I kept saying, This is not who I am.

Judy Hoberman 5:50
I don’t do that I would never get on the phone with somebody and ask them, you know, a barrage of questions all about how much money they have, in less time they were sick and the medication that they’re, I would never, I would never answer that. If somebody asked me that, if I didn’t know them.

Judy Hoberman 6:02
Why would I? And so that was the same thing I had to go. And you know, I was always like one step forward. 10 steps backwards, because I would say I can’t do it that way. It doesn’t work for me. And then when I would come in with all these sales, they would say, Well, how did you do that? If you didn’t just get in, get out and get the check? So it did change?

Al McBride 6:20
It did? Yeah. It’s fascinating. Do you find this? You mentioned, you know, company culture? Is there also an element of geographical culture or national culture as well? Do have you found that even just East Coast, West Coast and various areas in between have very different cultures? Or is it just company by company?

Judy Hoberman 6:39
Let’s just say I come from the north east. I live in the south now. And when I first came here, people would be like, Oh, my God, you’re like, right, in my face. I’m like, No, no, I’m just very black and white. You know, where you stand. You never have to guess if I love you, I love you. If I don’t, I’ll still respect you.

Judy Hoberman 6:55
But I may not like you. So you know, it’s very different. It’s very, very different. And people that you know, you can pick out like I’m from New York originally. So you can pick out New Yorkers, you don’t, they don’t have to speak or anything. You just know who they are. And that’s just something the same way that my husband is a Texan. And he knows it’s the same thing. not as pronounced, but I am. But it is culture is culture. It’s the funniest thing. And when people say something like, Did you really say that out loud? And it’s and those are not the New Yorkers.

Al McBride 7:26
Absolutely. I spent six wonderful weeks in New York A long time ago. And I was amazed. I wouldn’t say New Yorkers are friendly might not be the right word. But I found them amazingly engaging and refreshing and direct. It was a breath. Okay, okay. That’s a good one. Yeah, I suppose the worry? Yeah, good point. Good point. Um, fascinating stuff. This, this is excellent. So what you’ve heard, as you said, a 30 year career, and you’ve noticed an awful lot of developments and changes over the years, what have been some of your, some of the bigger struggles you’ve had to overcome, and some of the lessons that came from those struggles?

Judy Hoberman 8:07
Well, being the only woman for a lot of the years, that’s a big struggle, and it’s not that it’s too hard to do, because I would have gotten out if it was too hard to do. It’s just that you are always fighting that uphill battle, always. And you’re always trying to prove yourself, and you’re always having to do more. And that’s not to say that the men were not kind and interested.

Judy Hoberman 8:28
They just were never trained the same way that I needed training. And a lot of the, you know, go back to sales, a lot of the sales training were developed by men for men. And so here, you bring this woman in who says, Well, I need to build a relationship. You know, they would always say to me, you’re such a girl, you have to make friends with everybody. You asked too many questions, and your appointments are way too long. And I kept hearing Well, that’s a relationship.

Judy Hoberman 8:54
You know, that’s how you do it. And so if, if I would take a long time, when I would come back, my manager would say, did you sell it was a yes or no question. And I wanted to give him the reason. And he would say it’s a yes or no question. Did you sell or not? And and I would say no, and not No, but no, and I’m going back tomorrow to pick up the check. But he would never let me get to that and apart. So that was a big challenge for me. And so I would just, you know, send people notes, you know, send my manager notes. I, you know, I didn’t sell it today, but I’m picking up the check tomorrow. So he would know, and he wouldn’t ask me. I will I was also very challenged with how they would motivate me two different things.

Judy Hoberman 9:34
The first thing is they I would have somebody call me at 6am every morning when I first started and say, how many appointments do you have? And I would say it’s six in the morning. You know, like, Why are you calling me? Well, because john has 14, and that’s how they thought they would motivate me. I stopped picking up the phone after a while because I got that.

Judy Hoberman 9:50
But the other thing was every Monday you’d have a sales meeting, and every Monday you would win something and I won every sales meeting every single one I want because I was a single mom with kids. And I had to do well. But I want, you know, tackle boxes, fishing poles, coolers, you name it,

Judy Hoberman 10:07
I won them.

Judy Hoberman 10:08
And so my kids would say, what did you get today, mom? And so years later, when I had another Regional Director, he would say to me, what would you like if you were going to win something? No one ever asked me that before. And I’d say, I don’t really know, I don’t know if it makes a difference. But it sure would be nice that, you know, it would be something that I could use. And he bought me a diamond bracelet, because I was like, the top top top.

Judy Hoberman 10:31
And I thought, whoa, you know, this was great. Nobody ever asked me before. So when I had my own agencies, I always asked questions, I always said, you know, what drives you? Where do you see yourself? What’s three things I can expect from you? And what three things can you expect from me? And so it was that kind of thing that you started to build these relationships. It was a struggle in the beginning, because, you know, I didn’t know what I was doing. They would throw a brochure at me insane.

Judy Hoberman 10:54
Oh outsell like,

Judy Hoberman 10:56
what am I selling?

Al McBride 10:59
Again, it seems like you’re you were ahead of the curve. And you’re on the right side of history, you know, so much these days is about authentic selling, and selling with integrity or heart based selling is, as a mutual friend of ours calls and, you know, it seems to be very much, much more accepted and much more of the norm, or is it the norm? I might just bubble and it seems the norm or is that has it become?

Judy Hoberman 11:24
It’s more it’s more the norm than it ever was? It’s it’s not from everybody, because you still hear people that say, Do you want this? Here’s how much it is, give me a check. Basically, that’s it Get in, get out, get in, get the check. But there are more people that are actually becoming more interested, I always tell people, you have to be interested in your clients not interesting to them. They don’t care who you are not yet. They don’t have that relationship yet. But if you’re interested in them, and you can build that relationship, you will eventually become interesting to them as

Al McBride 11:52
well. Fossil is sort of a oddly remind me of a guy I met in Japan was there a few years ago. And he was telling me the reason the Japanese tend to go out and get very, very drunk with their business context is exactly what you’re talking about, weirdly enough. Now, it’s very masculine approach. But it’s that you can’t hold the mask up long enough, particularly over hours of socializing and alcohol. Right, again, maybe not the healthiest approach.

Al McBride 12:22
But it’s the same point that if I phone you in New York, or in London, or wherever you are, do you go Oh, I remember you from Tokyo. Yes, I’ll take your call that I’m not just another account to you. That is a personal connection. So it’s just a very, very much a masculine natural way of getting to a similar point.

Al McBride 12:41
So as you say, we all seem to be coalescing to a similar point, hopefully. Tell me, because, as I said, you’ve been on this fantastic journey, you’ve been a huge, huge struggles, I’d imagine. But I also huge successes along the way. So tell me what it is that you currently love about your work.

Judy Hoberman 13:05
So I have to go back again and say because I was the only woman and because I had to create my own playbook. It worked for me. When I got to have my own agencies and everything I was recruited into the corporate a corporate position, it was the first time ever that I had gotten a paycheck, because I was always 100% Commission. So that was like a novel idea.

Judy Hoberman 13:28
Like it might, you know, look at my checking account every other week, there’s money deposited there. And that’s like a lot of money. I’m like, Okay, this sounds pretty good, except for the fact that the culture was toxic. And so no money, no money is worth it, because I was physically getting ill. So when I went out on my own after, you know, making this big decision, because again, I’m jumping out I’m not married, it’s not like I have somebody else’s income to protect me or whatever.

Judy Hoberman 13:52
And nothing like that. I just was jumping. Because I was afraid I wasn’t going to survive. And I remember thinking, if I was starting all over right this minute, what would I want it? What would I have wanted, and I would have wanted somebody that looked like me not look like me look like me, but somebody that was in the same kind of position a female that could have said to me, Look, there’s going to be a major detour and a speed bump.

Judy Hoberman 14:16
Just veer to the left. Don’t tell me Don’t do it for me, just tell me what to do. And nobody was there. So I became that person. I became who I wanted. And by doing that, I attracted a lot of women who were in that position. They may not have been the only woman on their team or the only woman in the industry. Not that but they were still new and scared and didn’t have the you know, the ability to have a safe corner safe space to talk to somebody.

Judy Hoberman 14:44
So I became that person. I started doing executive coaching. I started doing keynote speaking I started doing lots of training, and I became that person. So what I love about it the most is when somebody says to me, you know, I was ready to quit, and I listened to your story and I didn’t And now look where I am. And you don’t get that it’s not like you go into this thinking, Oh, I can’t wait to get that story. Because it doesn’t happen like that out of nowhere. You get a message from somebody that says thank you, because of you. And so that’s what I love about it.

Judy Hoberman 15:14
I love to see somebody get it, I love to see somebody just be a sponge. And listen, it’s very difficult when somebody says, Yeah, I tried everything. Yeah, that doesn’t work. Yeah, that’s not going to be good. Yep. That, and people do that all the time. And you just say, Okay, well, if you’ve tried everything, that’s great, you know, and I’m probably not the right person for you. But when they just even if they listen to one little thing, just one thing, it could change everything. Really, honestly, it could change everything. And that’s why I love what I do.

Al McBride 15:42
It’s fabulous. As I said, it’s where you can see that real difference in one of those fork points in people’s lives where they were otherwise potentially going one direction. And then as you said, from your intervention, whether it was literal intervention, one to one, or whether it was as a seeing some or reading your book or something along those lines.

Al McBride 16:05
You see them now in a new trajectory. It’s it’s hugely fulfilling. Yeah, very much very much. On that note, I had a look at your TED Talk. And it was, it was very good. As you said, a nice level of humor and and great stories that what made you pick that theme? That idea? Because I’m sure again, there are a lot of things that you could have done. So, so even just explain to the listeners in a very quick overview, what the the gist of it was with the outline. But

Judy Hoberman 16:35
first of all, you have to remember that Ted has very strict rules and regulations they do. Okay, so the hardest one of the hardest things for me is you have to stand in this red circle, because part of it is they have to video you. And so I like to walk and talk with my hands and all of that. Remember, I’m from the northeast, so this is part of me, you can’t do that.

Judy Hoberman 16:54
But they also give you a theme. And the theme was outside the lines. And the very first time I had tried to get onto Ted, I wasn’t accepted. And I thought, Okay, that’s good. And I don’t even remember what the theme was. Probably I wasn’t supposed to be there. But when this one came up, I thought, well, this is interesting. You know, I’ll try it again.

Judy Hoberman 17:11
When they accepted me, that’s when I started to say, Oh, my God, like what did I do? Because it’s a very humbling experience. It doesn’t matter if you’re a keynote speaker for years, it doesn’t matter. It’s a different kind of thing. And I was I was going to tell a story that I had never told before out loud. And so and I don’t know why I chose to do that. I can’t even tell you.

Judy Hoberman 17:32
But I do remember, I could not get through, you know, Ted asks you to be done by, you know, 18 minutes, but they really liked the 15 minute mark, somewhere over there. And I couldn’t get through the first three minutes at all. And so I kept, you know, trying to decide how am I going to do this, but maybe I won’t tell the story or whatever. But I ended up changing the pronoun. So instead of it being me, I talked about somebody that I knew, and it was easier.

Judy Hoberman 17:57
But it was a very powerful story. And the reason I say powerful is because in the audience, there are a bunch of students, high school students that were invited. And all the young girls came up to me because I talked about being pre judged. They all came up and they said, Oh, my God, I get pre judged every single day. What should I do? So you know, you, you’re sharing a message that’s bigger than yourself.

Judy Hoberman 18:21
And then there are people there. I mean, I, as I was telling, I could hear people going in the audience, you know, and I’m trying to like really be focused. But here’s the funny part before before I decided to do this or write it, you know, right before the dress rehearsal, I was very snarky to everybody. My whole family, I was very snarky. I was I was scared to death. And so I apologize publicly to everyone beforehand. I said, if I’m snarky, it’s just because I’m scared.

Judy Hoberman 18:47
But a friend of mine does neurolinguistic programming. And she said to me, okay, before you do anything, let’s just talk a little bit about what’s happening to you. And she said, when you hear a TED talk, what’s the very first thing you hear? And I said, applause because every single one that you turn on, the first thing you hear is applause said, Okay.

Judy Hoberman 19:05
She said, what color calms you down. I said, purple said, All right. What are you afraid of? I said, I’m afraid I won’t be able to tie the theme together, which is an okay. Are you going to wear anything that means something to you? And I said, Yes, my wedding ring. She said, Okay. So before you get on the stage, you know, close your eyes, hear the applause. See the purple? No, you’re not going to forget anything and turn your brain. And so I did. I thought, well, this is no, no Voodoo. Nonsense, it doesn’t work.

Judy Hoberman 19:30
But I’m going to try it anyway. And it does work. And so I get on stage, and I’m good. I’m like, I’m good. And I could feel like in the first five minutes, I could feel it starting to come up and I turn my ring again. And my husband who was sitting in the front, the front row, and you can’t see anybody. So it’s not like you know, I said to him, don’t sit in the place. I can see you because I know I’ll cry. It couldn’t see him anyway. But at that moment, when I turned my ring, he took a picture. He didn’t know what it meant, but it actually meant that I was releasing thing

Al McBride 20:03
was it was it was quite a touching. Touching video. No, I know, it’ll be, you know, beneath linked beneath the podcast here called the greatest missed opportunity, it’s well worth a look. So thank you for that. Yes. So tell us along those lines so that when people say, you know, you know, people look at me and that I’m pre judged and they expect certain things may good or bad. What do you what would you say in response to them? So take that those high school girls for example, or you know, someone starting out in business or working in one of their maybe their first job or their What would you say to them?

Judy Hoberman 20:48
So if you’re the one that’s doing the prejudging you have to actually stop because your mind will prejudge somebody and you know, less than a nanosecond, it just does. And you have to really correct yourself from doing it. And, you know, we all do it. I don’t I mean, we all do it. And then we can step back and go, I wonder why I just did that. Because it’s the way you look, that’s the first thing that you see.

Judy Hoberman 21:11
And that’s the first thing that you judge people on whether they’re attractive or not short or not, you know, heavy or not, it doesn’t matter, you know, and if you’re wearing something that means you come from another country, everybody, everybody prejudges somebody, everybody. Now, so if you’re the pre the one that’s doing the pre judging, you really have to stop and say, why would I even think that so quickly? Okay. And it probably isn’t your fault, because your mind is doing it.

Judy Hoberman 21:35
But you have to say, Well, I’m not going to follow that I’m going to just judge this person as a person. If you’re the one that’s being pre judged, you have to say to them, like, Why would you say that? Why do you think that about me? I do I ask people because people still prejudge me. They go, Oh, my God, look at you. You’re all put together? Like why would you say that? You have no idea who I am. You don’t you have no idea who I am. Or they’ll say something about your business.

Judy Hoberman 21:57
Like somebody said to me, they, they met me, they didn’t even meet me meet me. They met me on LinkedIn. And they asked me to connect with them in a minute, I got this whole long email saying, I work with other coaches just like you and I’m going to create a website that you’ll print that you’ll be proud of. Okay. I don’t know you, you I didn’t ask for your help. You didn’t look at my website, but you’re telling me already that what I’m doing is stupid. And I said, Why would you say that you don’t even know who I am. You know, that’s what I’m saying.

Judy Hoberman 22:25
You have to be able to and not be You don’t have to be 100% defensive, but you’re going to be defensive. So just take a deep breath and say, why would you think that? What Why would you say that to me? You know? Because if you don’t say anything, then you’re just going along with the same thing like everybody else. Oh, they’re going to prejudge me anyway. And because I still do it. I still do. And I say, you know, okay, maybe I shouldn’t wear this because then they’re going to think of this.

Judy Hoberman 22:49
But I, I, I asked them, like, Why would you say that? Tell me tell me what, what made you think of that about me? And they’ll say, well just look at you or because you You’re so you know, standoffish? No, I’m not standoffish. I’m an introvert. So that’s what happens. As an introvert. I don’t walk into a room go, Hey, Howard. I don’t. If I talk to one on one, I’m good. But if I walk in, and I don’t know anybody, I try to find somebody that looks like they’re as lonely as I am.

Judy Hoberman 23:20
You know, or I wait for or Now what I do is I show up early, so people walk up to me, they go, Hey, how are you? I’m like, I’m great. How are you? There’s a hash right here. It’s an icebreaker, you know, or I wear cool boots. You know, people comment on my boots. Because that’s it’s a it’s an icebreaker. So they’re, you know, there’s ways you can do it without being defensive. But I always want to know what why did you think about what, what made you say that about me?

Al McBride 23:45
And is it just the act of asking that it makes them? Stop? And thank you. Why did I say that? Rather, rather than actually feeling that you’re being defensive? They’re actually get curious.

Judy Hoberman 23:55
I mean, they get curious.

Al McBride 23:57
Right? I would say don’t don’t get mad or sad. get curious. I mean, it’s easier said than done, because you have this reaction. But then to get away, and why did I do that? or Why did I do that? So it’s a, it’s a

Judy Hoberman 24:10
coachable moment.

Judy Hoberman 24:13
Sometimes you have to say, Are you okay, if I called you right this moment? Because I really do believe you need this.

Al McBride 24:19
Yes. And you have to ask permission first. Yes, exactly. So, tell us what might be one of the more common myths or misunderstandings about your field of work. So, I don’t know if you want to talk about maybe being more inclusive in the workspace or if you want to talk about sales or leadership. I’m not sure what jumps to mind. But what what are some of those critical misunderstandings or common myths? I mean, I know we’ve touched on quite a few already, but uh, so I’d be interested to hear what you think.

Judy Hoberman 24:52
Well, I get to, one is when I talk about selling in a skirt they go, we don’t wear skirts, and they’re trying to be funny. But I’ll say has nothing to do with the article of clothing. They go, it doesn’t. And then the conversation starts. That’s usually what happens when I’m talking to, you know, a man that I don’t know. And the other one is, Oh, so you’re for women, you don’t

Judy Hoberman 25:12
like men.

Judy Hoberman 25:15
Just because I’m for women doesn’t mean I’m against men, it means that I’m looking for the men that are champion women, and I encourage them to come forward. So when I’m doing something on leadership that How well do you have something for men as well, I’m like you, they can come into this course as well. It’s not just for women only because they men and women should know how to lead together or work together or sell together or binds, you know, buy from each other men and women should know that. So that’s usually the biggest one I get is Oh, so you’re only about women? You know,

Al McBride 25:43
I’m sort of interested from a purely selfish point of view, when men do come on to your course, what are some of the more common aha moments or lightbulb moments that they have?

Judy Hoberman 25:53
A lot of it is about communication? A lot of it is it especially when, you know, if if you were the type of person that would, you know, segment your population of clients, or potential clients, between male and female, or generations, or whatever, that would be different, but we don’t do that. And so, you know, unless you have no female clients, you wouldn’t want to hear what I had to say. Maybe? I don’t know, but most of us have at least a female client.

Judy Hoberman 26:21
Wouldn’t you want to know how, what she’s thinking? When you want to know what would would be a good way to build rapport? When you want to know like, why she’s doing what she’s doing? You know, I mean, those kinds of things in there, like, because a lot of times men will say to me, why didn’t we ever learn this before? That’s the biggest thing I do get at the end, like, Well, why Why? Why is this being hidden from us? I’m like, I have no idea. But it’s not now. It’s right here.

Judy Hoberman 26:45
You know, I, I will do a training for the same university every single year. And she always says, We don’t take don’t change anything. I’m like, No, but I have to, you know, make it more current, nope, don’t change anything. It’s such a great course. And it’s always standing remotely. And there’s a lot of men in it. And then they’ll they’ll come up at the end. And oh, thank you so much. We never we had never taught about, you know, like soft skills, or EQ or anything like that.

Judy Hoberman 27:07
We just don’t get that like, I, I don’t know why you don’t. But it’s here it is here. And then you know, they all buy my book, I’m not even selling the book, they buy the book, you know, because when you do private trainings, or or keynotes or whatever, you don’t sell anything, you’re giving information.

Judy Hoberman 27:27
So they’ll all say, Can you tell me how to get your book? How do I get to your training, you know, and that’s what happens because they realize this is real stuff, this stuff works this stuff makes it makes our positions easier if we understand what’s going on. So

Al McBride 27:42
absolutely fascinating stuff. How do you coach people in? I mean, you’re very much a part of your work as creating and deepening relationships, which is something thankfully, that is largely been added to the better negotiation approaches in the last 20 years. Something I’m a huge advocate of myself. Do you happen to work with men or women in helping them negotiate or deal with people better? And that sort of contract creation sort of way?

Judy Hoberman 28:16
Yeah, absolutely. Because that’s really important. negotiation isn’t just about, you know, a contract, it isn’t just about a salary. It’s also about like, how do you get people to, you know, follow you. Because you have to be able to have that, again, it’s all communication, which, which it really is. The other funny thing is a lot of people will hire me as their sales coach. And it’s never ever, ever, ever, and probably never will be about sales. It isn’t. Because when you are not comfortable when you are not sure about, you know, what, what motivates you, if you’re not confident, all of those things, when we talk about that and fix those things?

Judy Hoberman 28:55
Guess what happens to your sales, they skyrocket, and then people say, Oh, my God, you’re the best sales coach ever. It isn’t about the sale. The sale is a sale. It’s everything leading up to it’s about investing in your relationships. It’s about how do you, you know, get to the point where your clients are giving you referrals without you even having to ask, it’s all about those things. It’s about being present, when you can figure those things out and get them to work the right way, in some process. Everything else will be you know, amazing. And then you’re like, Oh my god, you’re the best sales coach.

Al McBride 29:29
So it’s all the stuff around it rather than selling it when they’re in place. And the selling is surprisingly straightforward or very tough,

Judy Hoberman 29:38
right? Because the secret to selling is to stop selling, stop selling, just stop selling. That’s it stop selling. Let’s have a conversation. I have always been the number one salesperson, the number one recruiter, the number one you know, agency manager always I’ve always been at the top. If I’m not one, I’m 123. But I’ve always been at the top. And the point is that I’ve never sold anything because all I do is have conversations always I always did I always have conversations I am known as the question Queen, I asked a million questions because I want to get to know you, I really want to understand what makes you tick. Because when you do that, and you ask the right kind of questions, they tell you things that you just like you would never have heard before. But you have to also listen. So, you know, that’s the secret.

Al McBride 30:23
I have to dig a little deeper on that one. What do you consider the the better questions?

Judy Hoberman 30:30
So the better questions are the open ended questions that it’s like an oral essay? You know, I will say to you, like, if when I was doing insurance, I would never say, so. Do you want this policy? How much did you want to spend? Who’s the beneficiary? What’s the face amount? Did I need to know that? Yeah. But I never asked that. I would say, so I’ll tell me.

Judy Hoberman 30:50
Why is it so important that you put this policy in place today? And then I stopped talking. And you’re going to tell me things out, the very first thing I always do is I always say is it okay, if I take notes? Because some people don’t want you to take notes? Very few, but most people go Sure. And so I take out my pad and i and i say so. And then I asked that question, and I start writing down what you’ve told me in your own words, because I you have to listen very carefully. And that’s how you actively listen.

Judy Hoberman 31:16
So I’m writing things down. And somewhere in that little oral essay that you just gave me is your y, you have given me the Y without saying, okay, here it comes here is my y know, it’s in that it’s embedded in there. And when I listened carefully, I understand why it’s so important that that policy is put in place today.

Judy Hoberman 31:37
Okay, now, going further, like, you know, a lot of people, whoever’s listening that has to, you know, create business for themselves. And it’s not necessarily always a sales conversation. There’s one question that I absolutely love, love, love, love, love. And every time I ask it, it brings the relationship to another level. Do you want me to tell you what it is? Or should I just

Al McBride 31:59
do? You can tease us to tell us.

Judy Hoberman 32:04
And it’s funny, because, you know, I’ve asked this of CEOs, and they just stop. And the first thing they’ll say is, no one’s ever asked me that before. And then they start to tell you everything. So my question is, what do you still want to accomplish?

Judy Hoberman 32:19
And they’re like, no one’s ever asked me that before. And then they’ll tell me things. And I honestly believe they’ve never told anybody these things before. And then when they’re done, they say, Well, you know, that was awesome. And then you have another question like, so how do you see us working together? They’re like, Oh, my God, I have so many different ways now.

Judy Hoberman 32:36
That’s okay.

Judy Hoberman 32:37
I didn’t sell anything. I didn’t sell anything.

Al McBride 32:40
I love it. I love it. I mean, absolutely. As a coach, it’s all about the power of good questions. And then, as you say, actively listening to the response. From the negotiation point of view, it’s one of the things that a ton of research, the best, the best negotiators ask more questions, and as you say, better questions. And so it’s, it’s a fabulous, fabulous piece of advice for anyone listening out there. So tell us what are some of the red flags that warn you away from certain projects or people?

Al McBride 33:11
Now I know, there’s a lot of things you mentioned with certain attitudinal things that where they wouldn’t be your client anyway. Right? So we’re actually kind of interested or quite interested in working or talking with you, sir. Any sort of things is sitting, oh, read life, maybe not a good idea. Maybe they need to change their thinking first, what would be some of those little red flags?

Judy Hoberman 33:32
Sometimes it’s really the culture, you can, sometimes you can feel the culture when you walk in. And you can feel the culture when you’re on a call, because you could feel it in I have actually been with somebody that I had to take a step backwards, because the energy was like, like, I felt like I was suffocating. Because it was just

Al McBride 33:50
that sounds unhealthy.

Judy Hoberman 33:52
Totally. And I thought, I’m not getting back into this again. So I you know, and I would say, you know, I don’t think I’m the right person for you. But I probably know others that I can introduce you to or you know, whatever there was, so that that’s always one. That’s a biggie, but there’s a you know, another is that people are just talking, but they’re not meaning what they’re saying.

Judy Hoberman 34:10
For instance, there was a I spoke in front of 4000 people, and they were all in financial services, and they will all managers and leaders. And when I was done, I had more people asking me, they wanted to recruit me back into the field. I’m like, nope, Been there, done that not doing that again. But anyway, so there was one guy who said to me, I really need your help. I have no women on my leadership team, and I really need your help.

Judy Hoberman 34:33
And I said, Okay, tell me why you want to bring women in. He said, Do me a favor, and you throw a number at me, like he wanted to put me on retainer, and he threw this gigantic number at me. And, you know, as an entrepreneur, like you hear these numbers, and you’re thinking like, that can’t be real, but it was real. Anyway, so he said, Do me a favor, go look at our website, and tell you know, tell me what you think. And let’s talk and we’ve booked an appointment for the next week.

Judy Hoberman 34:59
So Go on his couch or go on his website. And they’ve won tons of awards. I mean, like, really tons of awards. And I thought, well, this is interesting. And I look at the leadership team, and it’s 12 men, and the only thing that was different was their tie. Okay, so there’s absolutely no diversity of any kind. Okay, so I call him back on our appointment. And he said to me, did you look at the website?

Judy Hoberman 35:24
I said, Yes. And congratulations. And I listed off some of the awards that he’s won. And he said, Oh, you did your homework. And I said, Well, you know, I, that’s what I do. And I said, so I want to go back to my question, why do you want women on your team? And he said, Can I be 100% honest with you?

Judy Hoberman 35:38
And I said, Well, if we’re going to work together, I would expect that. And he said, it’s the buzzword. And I said, What? Like, what does that mean? He said, everybody’s talking about women. We should have some. So I said to him, okay, so let’s pretend we’re bringing women. I said,

Al McBride 36:01
a craft beer. You know, I hear this new craft beer. We should totally get some in. I hear it’s

Judy Hoberman 36:06
good. Yeah. So I said, Okay, so when they fell, I said to him, so will you be having any kind of training to bring women in? And he said, Nope, same training as the men. I said, Okay. So when they fail, I didn’t say if, when they fail, what are you going to do? He said, Well, there’s millions out there, you’ll just help us get more.

Al McBride 36:22

Judy Hoberman 36:23
So I said to him, you know, I don’t really think that I’m the right person, because I would never put somebody in a situation where they could not succeed. And he said, Oh, Hmm, interesting. And then he started calling me every name in the book that you could think of starting with the B word and continuing through the alphabet. And I said to him, instead of hanging up on him, I said to him, You know what, you just gave me the biggest confirmation that I made the right decision.

Judy Hoberman 36:52
And I said, so I’m going to hang up now. And I hung up. And I never saw him again. I never looked at him again. I never followed him and nothing. So those kind of things definitely are red flags, right from the beginning. Had I got into that I would have, I wouldn’t have lasted anyway, I would have walked because it just it wasn’t, it’s not the right thing. So I, I try to look at the culture. And I try to look at see if people are serious about what they’re doing.

Judy Hoberman 37:16
And I try to look at their history and see, have they tried it and it didn’t work? Are they open to it? Are they you know, they coming into it with an open mind open heart open values, because it’s a different ballgame. If you’re all of one thing, and you bring anything in? That’s different. It’s like Sesame Street, one of these things is not like the other. And so how do you incorporate that? So yeah, that was not a good thing.

Al McBride 37:38
It sounds like it also comes back, if I’m hearing you correctly, so to correct me if I’m better off, but it also comes back as I said, values, but a big part of that is to why again, no. Yeah. Everything is the Why?

Judy Hoberman 37:51
Yeah, no motivator. When I first started in insurance, I hated it, like seriously hated it. I wanted to quit 100 times a day, because I got no training. It was like, here’s an approach or go do your thing. How many appointments Do you I was nothing, there was nothing there. And like I said, I was a single mom with kids. And I had to do well. And so the first couple of months, it was sheer torture every day, I would take my kids to school. And then I would say to myself, Oh my god, I have to drive two hours.

Judy Hoberman 38:20
I don’t even know what I’m walking into. I mean, just everything you could think I would say to myself, because you talk to yourself more than anything, anything else, right? But when I would get there I be it would be fine. Because I was, you know, serving, supporting and protecting. One day I looked at my kids before we were leaving for a school and I said, I have the two most amazing humans in the entire world. Okay, the only my only job is to protect them.

Judy Hoberman 38:43
And it was like, This neon light in the cartoons popped out saying, you just got it, you just got it. And I thought, well, if I could protect my family, why can’t I protect someone else’s? So I took them to school, I remember sitting in the parking lot, moving my rearview mirror and saying to myself, today you have the privilege of protecting someone’s family. And everything changed. I figured out what my y was, but nobody said anything.

Judy Hoberman 39:07
Like why are you doing this? You know, and from that day on my business when I got more referrals than you can possibly imagine. I you know, I I was like the insurance person of choice for contractors. I mean, just like everything. And it was all because I figured out my why. So go back to what I said before, when you’re taking copious notes, and you can hear what someone’s Why is, you know, that they, their best friend died and didn’t have insurance.

Judy Hoberman 39:09
And now then the wife had to go back to work and they had to sell their house and they lost everything and that, you know, just all of those things. That’s the why sometimes, but it could be just because I you know, I want to protect my family. You know, it could be anything, but you have to get to that point and this whole thing about recruiting and retaining and working with people and not it’s all about the why it always is.

Al McBride 39:57
Particularly as I said when there’s that certainty there Through recruitment, which, in my brief experience in a lot of this, that some people who are open to it for good reasons are okay at bringing in people and starting to diversify and starting off that inclusion, but are then quite poor at retaining it. Is it again, related to the wire? Is there? I mean, I’m sure there’s other aspects principles that come in then. But what is it for you that makes the difference? Is it that they that they continue the job they started? Is it as simple as that? Or?

Judy Hoberman 40:32
No, sometimes it is the why, but sometimes it’s because you don’t know your people. And if, if, if nothing else happens, you should know your people, when I would bring somebody in, I would say to them, tell me three things you can expect from me and three things I could expect from you. Okay, I always did that. Because I want to know what the, you know, be on the same page as them, I don’t want to be in a different chapter, I want to be on the same page.

Judy Hoberman 40:55
And then once they started, you know, even if they sold one thing, it didn’t matter, I would say to them, okay, so tell me how you see yourself growing this company. And they’d say, one of three things, I want to just stay as a producer, this is all I want to do is just sell, sell, sell, sell, sell my great. Let me show you how you’re gonna get there. Or they’d say, I want to go into leadership. And I’d say, Great, let me show you how you can get there.

Judy Hoberman 41:18
Or they’d say, I want your job, I’d say, excellent. Let me show you how you can get there. Because I mean, that only if you if you promote me out of my position, it elevates me, but I’m elevating you. So it’s, it’s not from the top down, it’s the bottom up. So I always knew my people always. And before I would hire somebody that had a partner, you know, whether it was a husband or a partner, or you know, somebody in their life, I would, I would bring them in as well.

Judy Hoberman 41:43
Because I would never want somebody that didn’t have any kind of support. It is not easy. When you go into commission based sales, it’s not easy. You have to get it going. And sometimes you don’t have that luxury of saying, well, I’ve got six months worth of savings.

Judy Hoberman 41:55
And I could do this, but always bring in their partner and I’d say here’s what’s going to happen. And you can if you need me, you call me because I’ve been there done that bought the T shirts many times. And so there would be people that would, you know, disqualify themselves right away and say, I can’t do it. I’m like, Okay, great.

Judy Hoberman 42:10
Let me help you find another job. or they’d be feasible, let’s say, because my, because of you, my husband said I could do them. So because of you, my wife said I could do this, you know, I, I’m not asking to get permission, but I just want them to know that there’s support there. So you have to know your people. If you don’t know your people, I don’t care where you are in business, you’re nowhere.

Al McBride 42:31
That is knowing what drives them and where they’re heading their trajectory. Absolutely. And their values, of course, faster. And it’s fascinating, you bring in the partner, I’ve heard that only really once before with a colleague who ran an international franchise.

Al McBride 42:47
And before he’d sell to a franchisee, they’d always want to meet the partner for exactly the same thing and make sure that they were supporting them, because the amount of stress and the toll and whatnot. Yeah, very interesting stuff. It was something that I really liked that you mentioned the phrase, find the helpers. And I just love to get another take of what exactly that means to you.

Judy Hoberman 43:12
So I remember when Mr. Rogers used to say, when you’re in trouble, look for the helpers. And I thought he was talking to me, because I am a helper, I like to help people, I like to support people. So when somebody needs something, they’re not afraid to call me. You know, if you don’t have that kind of relationship, or even the tip of that kind of relationship, no one’s gonna take you up on it.

Judy Hoberman 43:36
But I always tell people, every single I post every single day before 7am, and in the last part of my posts, it always says, If you need help, simply ask. And I truly mean that. Now, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to be able to spend 85 hours with you. But if you have a question, I’m going to answer it for you. I’ve done a lot of different things in my life. I have lots of experience. I know lots of people. So why why wouldn’t I help you? Because, I mean, that’s part of my value system. So no, I always I always listened to Mr. Rogers until I became a helper.

Al McBride 44:10
I don’t think he’s as well known internationally. A lot of people know from the Tom Hanks movie recently. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 44:19
Yeah. Yeah. I know from original, the original.

Al McBride 44:24
Exactly. So just in the in the spirit of helping, if people are listening to this, and they’re interested in what you do, what is one valuable free resource that you could potentially direct them to that would, that would help them with that?

Judy Hoberman 44:40
Oh, my goodness, just go to my website. There’s tons of free just if you need some, you know, if you want a mini guide, you can go to my website is selling in a skirt.com forward slash, special dash offer. It’s a free download. It’s a mini guide of all different things about sales and you know women in sales and what to look for and you know how men and women work so I mean, yeah, but there’s tons of stuff that you can you can download you can look at I there’s videos, there’s interviews, there’s all kinds of good stuff there. So yeah,

Al McBride 45:13
there is a wealth of goodies. I did have a look there has a lot of good stuff on there. So people should really check that out will of course be beneath the podcast on the on the video. And it just what question Should I have asked you that I didn’t? Um, can be a tough question.

Judy Hoberman 45:35
What’s next for me?

Al McBride 45:37
Yeah, what is okay, what is next for you What’s on the horizon for you?

Judy Hoberman 45:42
I do believe that there are some programs that are going to be coming out that have to do with leadership. Right now we do have a sales program that’s out it’s called skirt strategy, which is amazing. Everything I do is about skirt because my business is kept selling in a skirt. So I keep the branding all the way through and it’s so people know when if they see skirt, they think Judy Hoberman.

Judy Hoberman 46:04
So there is a sales program out it’s a skirt strategy webinar calm. And that’s pretty awesome. It’s written by women. It was originally for women, but we have a lot of men that went through it. So it’s okay. That Yeah, I mean, I don’t eliminate anybody. I just encourage people to show up where they should show up. And if I do believe I can’t help them, I will encourage them to go elsewhere. And I have resources elsewhere. But so that’s what’s up for me. You know, the skirt strategy webinar calm, and then there’s leadership coming.

Al McBride 46:36
Fabulous stuff. We’ll we’ll pause it there for a minute, Judy. So thank you so much for coming on the show.

Judy Hoberman 46:42
Thank you so much for having me. It’s It’s fun.

Al McBride 46:44
Thank you. Cheers.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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