Sales Hustle is now Sales Transformation
Feb. 10, 2021

Episode #57 S1-EP57 Bridging the Gap Between Diverse Talent & SDR Opportunities with Penelope Yamauchi

Penelope Yamauchi joins Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle Podcast. Penelope shares her sales story on how she started in the sales world. She shares some helpful tactical sales advice on Sales Development.

Penelope Yamauchi is a Partnerships Account Executive at Vendition. Vendition is an end-to-end Sales Development program for onboarding, training, and preparing aspiring SDRs for a career in Tech Sales. They provide an apprenticeship program that gives individuals the on-the-job training, mentorship, and experience needed to excel in entry-level sales roles.

Penelope is also a Member of Revenue Collective, AA-ISP Silicon Valley Chapter, RevGenius, and Modern Sales Pros.

You can learn more and connect with Penelope Yamauchi on the following links below.

If you’re listening to the Sales Hustle podcast, please subscribe, share, and we’re listening for your feedback. If you are a sales professional looking to take your sales career to the next level, please visit us at and set a time with Collin and co-founder Chris.

Join Our Sales Motivational SMS list by texting Hustle at 424-378-6966. Please make sure to rate and review the show on Apple.

Looking to start your own Podcats? Book a FREE strategy call. 🚀


Sales Hustle - Episode 57 - Penelope Yamauchi

Welcome to the sales hustle. The only no BS podcast, where we bring you the real raw uncut experiences from sales change makers across various industries. The only place where you can get what you're looking for to up your sales game today's episode is brought to you by sales cast sales cast helps.

[00:00:24] Sales professionals transform the relationship building process and win their dream clients. I'm your host, Colin Mitchell. All right. What is happening? Sales hustlers. Welcome to another episode. I've got Penelope Yamaguchi on today. She's an  and we are going to talk about some interesting things and as always keep it tactical so that you can up your sales game.

[00:00:49] Penelope. Welcome to the show. Thank you, Colin. I am so grateful to be here. So just before we jump in, uh, give us your sales story. Absolutely. So I actually, my sales story started at age five. When I started as a competitive swimmer, worked my way to earning a scholarship, to compete at Arizona state university.

[00:01:09] Every single day under pressure worked my way to earning a spot at the Olympic trials. Didn't make the team, but since graduated. Figured out my athlete story after college, figuring out the life and career. And I went through a career in sports marketing. I helped athletes land their first job opportunity after college for four years.

[00:01:29] And that versatile entrepreneurial experience led me to believe, you know what? I can really improve on this. Sales skill that I don't quite have mastered yet. So fortunately, the CEO of ambition, James Nielsen met with me. He's like, you know what? There's a lot of different areas that you could plug into our recruiting business, whether you're a recruiter, a coach or a salesperson, I had the least amount of sales experience compared to my other skills, but I said, I want to do sales.

[00:01:54] So he took a chance on me, never looked back. When I look back to February of 2020, when I first started at bendicion, there was. So much growth opportunity, like a Caterpillar turning into a butterfly. And I believe that I'm in the butterfly stage now, and I'm still learning, iterating, growing, listening to every podcast under the sun so that I can become the most influential salesperson in the space of helping people from diverse backgrounds break into the tech industry.

[00:02:19] So I feel like I'm the gateway, I'm the, the Avenue to open up those doors for them. And that's my biggest, why that gets me excited every single day to sell. I love that I can. Feel your passion for what you do? Um, all the way from Hawaii right here in Hawaii. Yeah. So, uh, I can, I can just feel it, but you know, the thing that, so tell me a little bit about, bendicion like, just tell folks like what you guys do.

[00:02:45] I know you, you, you kind of touched on it and, and why that's so important and why that lights you up. Yeah. So our CEO was actually a former athlete as well, competed at Stanford when he got his masters in engineering and he graduated, he became an engineer and looked and said, you know what? I think I actually am more interested in the sales side.

[00:03:04] So worked his way towards the sales division of his company, grew into a VP of sales at multiple companies. And I think the biggest pain point that a lot of sales leaders and fast-growing companies out there face is that there's just that. Type of SDR that has the grit and tenacity to win and execute.

[00:03:21] But sometimes they're a little too green. They don't know your tech stack. They're not familiar with the actual sales role. And then you don't want somebody who's burnt out over 12 months and not getting a promotion and they're jumping ship to another company. And so there's this kind of sweet spot of the first three months were in leading.

[00:03:37] Bendicion as CEO, James created an opportunity for companies to partner with rendition, get access to the best and most diverse talent pools. And through that experience, we believe that training happens past a one. I'm a former athlete. I had a nutritionist, a weight coach, somebody in the pool, someone helping me in all facets of life in academics.

[00:03:57] So as an SDR, why not have like a machine equipped behind you, helping you. Accelerate in your first three months. And it really excites me the opportunity to do this because I think we've all been there before. Right. We go to Nordstrom or ATNT we meet this exceptional. Salesforce would be like, gosh, you'd be great in tech, but that person has no idea.

[00:04:16] Or the recent college graduate who just competed in the Olympic trials. It has all the energy and competitive and drive and courage in the world, but they just don't have a shot. Right. So we kind of teach them the fundamentals through a free boot camp at sales boot, That's accessible to everyone.

[00:04:31] And then through that, we funnel through getting them to go through this program, accelerate their career, and really launch for the longterm and have access to an alumni network. So fortunately, in my role, as a sales woman, I also get to speak with some of the candidates on a candidate spotlight that I created on LinkedIn, which has been incredibly rewarding and just feeling everything that I do in sales.

[00:04:51] Wow. Okay. There's so many good things in there. I love what you guys are doing now. Let's talk a little bit about like your formal training in sales and like, what are some things that you think have helped you. Coming from a competitive athlete and you know, being in sales. Yeah. So there's a lot of parallels to the sales athlete mindset, and it's all about time-blocking and figuring out how to prepare your day the night before.

[00:05:16] Um, I know this sounds silly, but you and I were both swimmers. We know that if you have a 5:00 AM practice, like your swim bag needs. To be packed. You need to know what you're eating for those three meals throughout the day, you've got class practice, study hall, training, recruiting trips, everything under the sun.

[00:05:31] And before, you know, it it's time for bed. So that's kind of the same approach that I've taken towards my day. I am a 4:30 AM, wake up call type of person. Um, I don't hit the snooze button anymore. Big Mel Robbins, fan five, four, three, two, one. Just get up and through that, um, first initial 30 minutes, I believe that you need to serve yourself first, before you serve other people.

[00:05:52] And so I try to read the daily stoic. I write my gratitude lists. And I also read through categories of affirmations that protein to my spirituality, relationships, finance, and work that maybe are believable yet, but I want to breathe them into existence. And then I go right into a live hit workout that I do on my phone.

[00:06:11] Cause it's COVID and we can't go into the gym. And then through that, I get. I started on my day. And even though we have these amazing technical tools like Riverside, not F that we're using to record a podcast and outreach and Apollo and all the things I still like to coincide all of my efforts with literal marks.

[00:06:29] When I used to swim the 400 individual medley, it was like, K the butterfly was the hardest for me. I was the best breaststroker and I knew I could close it out with the freestyle and just have that grit at the end. But the butterfly is like, you need to take it one, kick one stroke, one breath at a time.

[00:06:44] And that's the same thing with sales, like one rejection cold call tick, tick, tick one email, one personalized email that you feel so proud of when you send it off Beck, colon style. Right. And so all of these things have really. Spiraled me to be great in sales, but I think it also comes to my mom. Um, she is just an incredibly resilient woman and she's the type of person.

[00:07:03] I'm half Japanese. So you wouldn't think she's my mom, she's six foot, one blonde hair, blue eyes walks into a coffee shop or a room or anywhere. And she's the first one dancing. She's the first one talking to a stranger. And I think that really is. Spiraled me growing up, like not only can I be courageous and talk to anyone, but I can actually be creative while doing that.

[00:07:22] So I think all of these like versatile things within my background for anyone listening, that's like, I'm not ready for sales yet. Think about the things you've always been great at, or the things that your parents kind of showed you, um, and apply those to the actual role. And I promise you in due time, you'll, you'll continue to improve.

[00:07:39] Yeah, no, uh, there there's so many good things in there, and I love that you talked about, you know, really taking care of yourself to have the proper mindset, right? I mean, um, with the analogy of like being an athlete and, you know, kind of what it takes to have them onsite and prepare, it's the same thing for sales.

[00:07:55] Like if you really want to be great at sales, Sales. It's not like, you know, hammering out 12 or 14 or 16 hour days on the phone. Like it's taking better care of yourself to have the proper mindset to perform at the highest levels when you're there for eight or nine hours. Um, and so I'm very similar to yourself.

[00:08:14] I wake up early, I have a whole, you know, exercise routine. I have a journaling routine. I have a yoga routine. Like there's so many things that I do. On a daily basis to like, get ready so that when I'm in my role or what I'm doing, because I lead a team, but I also practice sales myself because I just love it.

[00:08:31] And I'm a sales junkie. Um, I still cold call for at least five hours a week. Um, you know, but in order to like, do your best in that role, there's so many things that you need to do to take care of yourself personally, to really execute at the highest level and be a sales professional. Oh, my gosh. You've got me fired up right now.

[00:08:48] And it got me thinking about, you know, yesterday when I had finished my Workday, I was like, Ooh, there was five people who accepted me into their LinkedIn network. So I made these Tik TOK videos where I uploaded a green screen of their background and spoke to it and then overlaid it with some graphics and in Shaw, which is a free app on your phone.

[00:09:05] And I was like, okay. Aching in my body and everything hurt. And I was like, you know what? Yoga is going to help right now. And you're right. Sometimes you just need to listen to your body, take care of yourself. And of course, next day you wake up and you're fine. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now I know that we'll, before we hopped on here, you were talking about how, you know, kind of being creative has, has helped you in your role.

[00:09:23] And, um, and you've kind of touched on that with creating these videos and doing these things. And then I want to circle back to something else you talked about as well, but, um, how has, how are you being creative in your role? To, you know, drive more outcomes. And what are some examples of that that people can maybe try or do or get started if they're trying to figure out, like, how do I be more creative?

[00:09:44] How do I create these videos? What should I do in these videos? How should I read out, reach out when's the right time to use these videos. Tell me a little bit about your experience of like being creative in your role. Thank you. Yes. I think there's the first easiest way to start is depending on who you're selling to, right?

[00:10:00] You could have a highly technical role where these things aren't as relevant. Whereas I'm selling to people who are in sales, in recruiting they're heads of talent. They're used to seeing these kinds of creative outreach strategies, but the first thing is pick some podcasts. That are relevant to your buyer persona, figure out who, um, who you're reaching out to who's on that podcast or the relevant information that they have.

[00:10:22] And just start to drop little value ads on LinkedIn, on their comments, on their activity, on emails, not asking for anything first, just providing value as much as possible, giving them shout outs on LinkedIn, wherever you can so that you can gain this clout and familiarity with the people that you're reaching out to every day.

[00:10:37] So that's the first thing I do in terms of creativity to really get generation going. The second thing is. Oftentimes, when I reach out on LinkedIn, I sent a personalized request. It's short and sweet something I observed of inspiration from their profile or the reason I'm reaching out, but nothing salesy then as opposed to sending another message, when that acceptance comes through, I go to the LinkedIn app and in the LinkedIn app, you go to messages, click the plus sign, click the video, click selfie mode, record that video.

[00:11:08] And in that video, you want to say something along the lines of. Thank you for joining my LinkedIn network. As I mentioned, I was inspired to see X, Y, and Z. The reason I'm reaching out to you is this. And again, thank you so much for taking a look at this video. Not sure if you've received any one of these before, but can't wait to connect, giving the same level of energy enthusiasm, your YouTube hands coming through.

[00:11:28] Right. Hands-free. All of those things. And then you can get even more creative with those videos by utilizing things like video card, tic talk. Um, I use the InShot app. I use the recording app on my phone. These are all things that you can get very specific and creative, but just start by trying a voice memo or a LinkedIn video.

[00:11:47] And then the third and final thing before I was a sales woman, I was a recruiter and I had my own recruiting page that was professional. And it was actually pertaining to the kind of clients. I wanted to reach out to, and this is just an amplification of number one. If you have a podcast that you listened to of a buyer that you're reaching out to, and you want to get in touch with them, give them a quick shout out on the story, giving a screen recording of the podcast that you listened to.

[00:12:10] So all of these elements kind of tie into it, and then you should have a list. Stuff the top, um, companies growing in your given area on LinkedIn, you're reaching out to them and you're checking in each quarter. And then you're engaging with those folks on LinkedIn so that they can see that the creative content that you're pushing out.

[00:12:26] I also do video interviews every single week, and it's all about consistency. So if you're starting off by just posting on your LinkedIn feed, what do I post every STR me? What do I post? I don't know. One of my posts got 396 likes and it literally said. I booked my first meeting of the day on my 96 cold dot don't give up.

[00:12:47] And so many people were so inspired by that. I'm like share anything, be vulnerable. People want to see that vulnerability. Yeah. All right. So many things in there. Uh, just so I want to start with, um, number one, even if you, you know, regardless of who you're reaching out to, even if it is a technical thing, Some of those people.

[00:13:09] They're so used to not seeing the videos or not seeing the creativity. So it can be super effective with those people as well. Also. Um, it's consistency, that's the thing that's important. Right. And in a video reaches out in a way that they're not used to, it shows that you really care that you took the time.

[00:13:27] Um, you know, I like to, you know, Do you, do you, do you recommend like writing out a little bit of a script before, or just like jumping in recording and sending it kind of what's your style? So the, your aim is to impress. So once you have the impressive meat of the sandwich in the middle of the video, then you can open up with something friendly and addressing the fact that you're sending someone something that they probably haven't received before.

[00:13:51] So you could even start it out with like, Hi, thank you so much for accepting me into your LinkedIn network. Maybe you have, or even like a little whiteboard that says their name to open it up. I've seen people do that before as well, but what they're looking for is that charisma, energy and connection, and keep it under 30 seconds, then go right to the meat of the sandwich with like, Boom tying the value that you bring to other partners that are like them to something you noticed on their LinkedIn profile on their website.

[00:14:16] Again, can't wait to connect. Thank you so much. Gratitude, gratitude for taking a look at this video, I would be honored to connect with you. Don't say I would love to, everyone would love to, I'd be honored. I'd be grateful. And then hopefully you can take it from there. Mm, I love that. And you're, you're, you're not like specifically asking or pitching or trying to sell anything, which is so important in, in that early stages of the relationship.

[00:14:37] But one piece that I want to go back to that you mentioned that I think is really important is you talked about listening to the podcast or, you know, either it's just consuming the same sort of content that your buyers are consuming. So you really understand what they do. What they care about and what they're talking about, because then it makes creating those posts, having those conversations with them and creating those videos so much easier because you're consuming the same type of stuff that they are, and you can speak their language and understand, you know, what really matters to them right now.

[00:15:08] What are they talking about? Where are they gathering? So I think that that's a really important piece to be able to kind of use video in and engage with your prospects. And, and I think it's really important. And then you, you talked about engaging with them on LinkedIn too. So, I mean, This is, this is so easy to do.

[00:15:23] And I don't know why people don't do it like you literally, if somebody is important to you, which, you know, if you're reaching out to them, if you're making a video, um, I'm assuming that they're pretty important. That's to some extent, saving those people as a list in your sales nav lead list or whatever it is.

[00:15:38] And then it's so much easier cause you can't just sit around and wait for them to pop up in your feed. The algorithm is not going to let that happen. So you've got to actually be intentional about like saving them in your lead list. Um, and then going in there spending, you know, 20 minutes a day, finding the people that matter to you, engaging saying some thoughts, something thoughtful, um, And staying top of mind with them.

[00:16:00] Um, if you don't have sales navigator, you can do this by like just taking their activity URL from LinkedIn and putting it into a Google sheet, go to your Google sheet, same thing, 20 minutes a day. Go through there, see what they've posted and a gauge. Absolutely. And as it relates to learning style, I'm an audio and visual learner.

[00:16:18] You might be somebody who learns a different way. So think about what it is for you. That resonates, right. But as we're making a cool call blog, you can set up your Bluetooth headphones that is connected to your software. That's calling and your, your music or your podcast. So we'll interrupt every time.

[00:16:31] And. You don't have to set aside time to be listening to these things. You can do it simultaneously, just like when we're kicking and moving her arms at the same time in the pool. And then with that too, I have this like weekend warrior Saturdays that I do after my Saturday morning workout. And, um, you know, Matthew McConaughey and green lights, he talks about this tactic where it's like, you gotta tee yourself up if you're teeing yourself up for the week.

[00:16:53] And it's just a couple hours on the weekend, like grab your coffee, have some fun, get after it and set yourself apart from your peers. Cause I promise you it will pay off. Oh a hundred percent. I mean, and, and, and, and sometimes, you know, it's going that extra mile and doing those things and like a message on the weekend to somebody at our video on the weekend, it's going to stand out because there's a really good chance that nobody else is doing that.

[00:17:17] Or very few, very few. Right to add to the video part, um, oftentimes SDRs won't hold meetings, AEs won't hold meetings. They sent their followup message the day prior or the day of, and for some reason that person doesn't show up, I always send a video text message to that prospect when I'm on the zoom call.

[00:17:36] And I say, Hey, You know, w when we spoke earlier, you mentioned you wanted to talk about X, Y, and Z, that would help your project with this. And I'm on the zoom call right now. If you need to reschedule, let me know, but it sounds like this was really important to you. And I can't tell you how many people have responded, like create video.

[00:17:52] Oh my God. I'm so sorry. I can't believe it rescheduled the meeting. And then same thing goes for if you're, how has that improved your life show or reschedule? Um, I don't have exact percentages, but I, I think there's only been one time that I've sent it where it didn't reschedule. And then, um, also too, when you're working through the sales process or getting approval from multiple parties within the company, um, if you know, they have a meeting with their CFO to get approval on your contract at 3:00 PM on a Friday, like send the video, text that and be like, hope your meeting went well with the CFL.

[00:18:22] Let me know if there's any questions I can answer. Here's my cell over the weekend. Yeah. Yeah, no, these are all great tips, sales hustlers. The main thing is, is like you really, this is hard work. This is not easy. Like to be this good to be a master of your craft in sales. Like it takes a lot of hard work and it takes dedication, like, and it takes proper mindset, right?

[00:18:45] So there's so many things that you need to do work on yourself personally, so that you're your best self professionally, but then it's, it's like staying super organized, being super efficient with everything you do, you know, setting your blocks for different things. Like there's so many things that you need to do to be winning at all levels.

[00:19:01] If you really want to up your game and be a sales pro. And all the things you just said are absolutely true. And another thing is that our thoughts often get in the way of what we manifest into reality. And so if you're at the end of your quarter and you say like, I haven't met goal yet, I'm freaking out.

[00:19:16] I don't know how I'm going to find these guests, what the world's going to give you exactly what you asked for. Or if you say like I'm dominant, I'm amazing. I've already exceeded quota. I'm getting close to it. I'm going to hit all these metrics. Like that's going to manifest into reality. So be careful of that.

[00:19:31] Those thoughts have power. Yeah. Yeah, no, I agree with that. You know, I mean, I interviewed, um, William deck, who's a mindset coach, uh, just recently. And he helped me change some habits of just for my journaling rather than writing my goals down, write in them in more of like, uh, uh, uh, present tense, future tense as if they already happen.

[00:19:51] Um, and it's been huge because you're like, you're, you're, you're like already there you're already. Are believing and feeling that those things already happen. If you're putting that energy out, it's like, Oh, you know, these leads suck or, Oh, the inbound leads suck, or my manager sucks or whatever. The, all the complaints that salespeople typically have, like then yeah, it's going to suck.

[00:20:10] Your experience is going to suck because that's the energy that you're putting out there. So like really taking care of yourself personally, to have a positive attitude and be committed to your craft is so important. Um, And I couldn't, I could not express how important it actually is and how big of a difference it actually makes.

[00:20:29] Absolutely. Yeah. Some of my affirmations to give you an example in the morning are I am a money-making machine. I am, I am open to receiving money from both expected and unexpected resources. And so you got to put it out there, like you said, I might add that. I like that one. Um, all right, so let's talk a little shift gears.

[00:20:53] There's a little bit, right. So we talked about a lot of these things that you're doing, which I love all of them. And I'm so glad that you came on here and shared some of these stuff with our listeners, because, you know, these are the things that you should be doing. Um, you know, if you're not doing some of these things, it's time to start.

[00:21:07] Right. Right now. Um, but I want to talk a little bit about kind of like. Y, you know, admonition, like you guys are really passionate about helping the under represented people in sales. And so tell me like, w why, why that, how did that come to fruition? Like just let's touch on that a little bit more. Yeah.

[00:21:28] So when it comes to an engineering or technical background, a lot of times you can go through some type of course, to get certified, to get your opportunity to go. And then when it comes to sales, there really hasn't been any sort of apprenticeship out there or training program where you don't have to pay a normal little league to be a part of it.

[00:21:44] And the way that rendition differentiates itself is by creating an opportunity for people to actually get paid and learn while they're on the job. While they are in the apprenticeship. And it's so important for companies to have diverse teams for so many reasons. Um, it does contribute to, you know, increase revenue.

[00:22:01] There's lots of McKinsey and Forbes articles that can speak to that. But I think overall what people struggle with, mostly when they're recruiting sales teams, it's like, okay, we have this founding team, let's get our sales team started. And all of a sudden the sales team is like, okay, maybe they have friends.

[00:22:14] Who'd want to work here too. And the referrals, um, come through and then all of a sudden you get to the end of the year and everyone. Thinks acts and is from the same background. And when you don't have diverse perspectives, unique areas of life that people have come through creative ideas that they can add all of a sudden it's like, okay, well, why aren't we performing well?

[00:22:32] And it all comes down to, okay. Like, why don't we hire Penelope? Who's never been in a before, but has been in more of an entrepreneurial role. In been in the recruiting space for four years and see how she does. So it's the open-mindedness around that. And we're constantly pushing our partners to say like, you might have this criteria that you want an experience SDR with at least a year under their belt, but we've taught them the text tool, stack the fundamentals, and we're going to teach them in their first three months so that you don't have to worry about holding their hand through that process.

[00:23:02] These are incredible people, highly vetted. Ready and eager to win. There's a lot of people out there in the world, but it's our job to funnel from the great people to the exceptional ones and then match them with the companies. Oh, that's awesome. So just as we wrap it up here, just tell people where they can connect with you, where they can find some of your creative videos or where they can find out more about what you're doing at the edition.

[00:23:24] Yeah. So you can find me on Instagram at coach C O a C H dot Penelope, P E N E L O P E. And you can also find me on LinkedIn, Penelope, Yamaguchi, Penelope, Penelope Cruz, and Yamaguchi like Kristi Yamaguchi, but without the G. And it's just  with a V. So if you do send me a LinkedIn request, send a personal note in there, sharing the reason for your connection and on, on Instagram, same thing as well.

[00:23:50] Um, shoot me a DM and I'm happy to reply there to serve as a source of inspiration. And one thing I wanted to just leave you with is that I take at least an hour a week to mentor somebody that does not expect my mentorship and does not expect anything from me in return. So, um, I want to inspire everyone out there listening to go find somebody to mentor this week.

[00:24:10] Awesome. I love that. Uh, Penelope, thanks so much for coming on. We will drop those links in the show notes, sales hustlers. If you're listening to the podcast, please subscribe, share with your friends. If you enjoy today's episode, write us a review. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of sales hustle.

[00:24:27] Are you a sales professional? Looking to take your sales career to the next level. If the answer is yes, then I want you to go over to sales,, check us out. And if you feel that you are ready, set up a time to talk with me and my co-founder Chris, I'm your host column Mitchell. If you enjoyed this episode, feel free to leave us a review, share the podcast with your friends.