Uncopyable Women in Sales

Nikki Malcom: A Trajectory of Success in the Aerospace Industry

September 08, 2023 Kay Season 1 Episode 4
Uncopyable Women in Sales
Nikki Malcom: A Trajectory of Success in the Aerospace Industry
Show Notes Transcript

Kay Miller chats with Nikki Malcom, CEO and Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA). Nikki has a true passion for the industry, and feels lucky to have landed in aerospace at and early age. She has a competitive spirit, and was driven by those who doubted her in the early days.  She breaks down the keys to her success, including her greatest strength, along with her personal sales philosophy.  Nikki addresses some of the challenges faced by women in male-dominated industries, and how to overcome them. She also shares her commitment to support  women in the aerospace industry, and shares  specific initiatives she's developed to celebrate women in aerospace.

Nikki Malcom is the CEO and Executive Director at PNAA.  She has been in the aerospace industry for 23 years in various roles including materials distribution, testing, and most recently manufacturing after starting  a business during the pandemic.  After serving on the PNAA board for 5 years, she has accepted the executive position with PNAA.  Driven by her love of all things aerospace, she is dedicated to helping the aerospace industry thrive.  She’s a relentless advocate for Women in Aerospace including registering Women in Aerospace day on may 20th as a day to celebrate the accomplishments of women in aerospace. She has a bachelor’s degree in sales management and lives south of Seattle with her husband of 20 years.


Order: Nikki's F*ck Yeah Journal: A Chronicle for Foul-Mouthed High Achievers https://amzn.to/3EvScjk


Kay Miller interviews women in sales with proven track records, as they share their experiences, success strategies and tools you can use to crush your sales goals. Kay has a history of sales success, earning the nickname “Muffler Mama” when she sold more automotive mufflers than anyone in the world. Kay and her guests deliver actionable insights and real-world tools that will help you overcome obstacles, adopt a winning mindset, and maximize your sales results.

Kay is the author of the book, Uncopyable Sales Secrets – How to Create an Unfair Advantage and Outsell the Competition. Go to Amazon.com and search “Uncopyable Sales Secrets” to order the book, or click the link below.

Order Uncopyable Sales Secrets: amzn.to/35dGlYZ

Speaker 1 (00:00:00) - Welcome to Uncopyable Women in sales. If you're looking for actionable insights and real world tools to turbocharge your sales starting tomorrow, well, you're in the right place. Your host, Kay Miller, earned the affectionate nickname Muffler Mama when she sold more automotive mufflers than anyone else in the world. In this podcast, Kay will talk to another superstar women in Sales as they reveal Uncopyable strategies you can use to rack up more leads, snag dream clients and take your sales numbers through the roof. Stay tuned and get ready to make more sales. And how about this More money.

Speaker 2 (00:00:42) - Today, I have the pleasure of talking with Nikki Malcolm. Nikki is the CEO and executive director at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance, known as the NAR. Nikki's been in the aerospace industry for 23 years, and she loves all things aerospace. She's a relentless advocate for women in the industry and registered May 20th as a day to celebrate the accomplishments of women in aerospace. Nikki, welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much. Kay I'm excited to be here.

Speaker 2 (00:01:22) - Now, I have heard rave reviews of PNAA and you and your team from one of our clients, Auckland products, and I'm sure you know them well and they were telling me that Friday is your annual golf tournament.

Speaker 3 (00:01:39) - Yes, we are very excited. It will be our third annual golf tournaments and Friday in Auburn, Washington. And we raised some money for our scholarship. We have an aerospace scholarship program. So we use that opportunity to raise some money for the scholarship program to help students that are pursuing aerospace and aviation degrees.

Speaker 2 (00:02:01) - That's great. And we'll talk about that a little bit more, because I know you're not only an advocate of women, but just really promoting the industry. And the scholarship is a great opportunity for young people who want to get in this industry and might not be able to otherwise. I did want to bring up one more thing about the golf tournament, and that is that I hear Ursuline is sponsoring it and they're sponsoring the golf canon.

Speaker 3 (00:02:30) - Yes, that is one of the most exciting holes that we have at the golf course.

Speaker 3 (00:02:34) - So it's a giant metal golf canon, which I love because we're in the manufacturing industry and basically the ball goes into the canon and they shoot it towards the green and it's a ton of fun. And that's one of the holes that we raise money for the scholarship so people can donate if they want to shoot the canon, and then we give that money to the scholarship program.

Speaker 2 (00:02:59) - That's awesome. And it does. It sounds like a lot of fun. Have you used the golf canon?

Speaker 3 (00:03:04) - Yeah, absolutely. I would not turn down the opportunity to shoot a golf ball out of a cannon. It's very fun.

Speaker 2 (00:03:11) - Are you a golfer at all?

Speaker 3 (00:03:13) - I am, yes.

Speaker 2 (00:03:14) - Oh, good, good.

Speaker 3 (00:03:15) - I mean, just very, very loosely. I love the golf. I'm not great. You know.

Speaker 2 (00:03:22) - What? Golf is something that's very difficult to dabble in. You know, you either have to be committed or you just have to say, I'm going to have fun no matter what happens out there.

Speaker 3 (00:03:32) - You know? Funny enough, it's because of my sales career that I started to golf because I thought, you know, I should know how to golf if I want to have a career in sales. And then I fell in love with it. So here we are.

Speaker 2 (00:03:44) - That's interesting because I also got into golf because I was in sales and like you in a male dominated industry, which I want to talk about, and when there would be, you know, fun activities for the sales team and a lot of times the wives would come and no, it wasn't the spouses, it was the wives. And they would have a spa day or some kind of excursion, and the sales guys would say, Well, you know, you can go with the women and do the spa day. And I'm like, Hell no, I'm good golf. I want to be in there. And the first time I golfed, I called my husband and I said, I didn't know golf was an aerobic sport. I mean.

Speaker 3 (00:04:32) - I'm going to hit the ball some. Wow.

Speaker 2 (00:04:37) - I must have taken 200 smacks at that ball. I was so exhausted. Um, before we get into more of the interview and the audience of this podcast is Women in Sales, and that has been a huge part of your career. But first, I want you to talk a little bit about you talked about the scholarship program, but A does so much for the industry, so why don't you give us a little of your take on what Anna is all about?

Speaker 3 (00:05:10) - Thank you. So we're the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance. We've been in business about 23 years, which is funny enough at the same time that I've been in the industry. So we're aligned that way. And the goal or our mission is to support the growth and global competitiveness of the Pacific Northwest aerospace industry. And we do that through educational events, big conferences. We have a large conference in February. We have our Women in Aerospace Conference, which is rapidly growing and may as well as many others.

Speaker 3 (00:05:41) - We have webinars, webinars, but really the goal of PNAA is to create a community for people to come together and understand what it's going to take for their businesses to to grow and remain globally competitive. We're in a region that has historically been the largest aerospace manufacturing region in the world because of Boeing, and since then we've grown substantially and now we have commercial space and satellites as well as commercial aviation and defense. So we continue to dominate the manufacturing ecosystem for aerospace.

Speaker 2 (00:06:16) - And you talked about in our area and you and I are both in the Seattle area, which, like you said, has been dominated by Boeing for years. I remember as a kid, you know, so many people's dads worked at Boeing. It was just all about Boeing. Now, were you born and raised in this area?

Speaker 3 (00:06:36) - I was not, actually. I was born in Illinois, raised. I'll be going back there next week, actually. And I was I moved here when I was 11. So most of my life I've lived in the Pacific Northwest, but I'm originally from the Midwest.

Speaker 2 (00:06:51) - Okay, That and I'm sure you love being in Seattle. It's it's so great here. Even though then So since you were here, since you were 11, you were certainly exposed to the aerospace industry, but you got into the industry, like you said, a very young age, 18, which explains why you have been in the industry for 23 years and you still look so darn young. You started early. So but it was kind of an accident or happenstance that brought you into the industry. So I'd love to hear how that happened.

Speaker 3 (00:07:27) - Yeah, I've always been well, not always, but since I was little, I've been obsessed with airplanes. And it started my stepdad had taken me to the the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Air Force Base Air show back many, many years ago when I was little. And I remember the B-2 bomber flying over and him explaining to me what a stealth bomber was. And I just thought that was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. And from then on, I was obsessed with airplanes.

Speaker 3 (00:07:57) - However, it didn't necessarily lead to my job in aerospace. I just I wish, you know, because I do so many of these interviews, I wish I had a snazzy story to tell for it, but I don't. And it's really just that I went to a temp agency and they, you know, did all the tests. And then they placed me as a filing assistant at a company that sold all the material for the Boeing and production airplanes. And then I just worked my way up from there.

Speaker 2 (00:08:24) - Right. You sure did. You you you work your way? Yeah. Um, along that way, you were in sales roles in various positions, and I'm sure in some capacities you still are. We're all selling something, right? We're selling a vision. We're selling our passion. You know, we're selling all kinds of things. So tell us a few of your maybe examples of being in sales. I saw that one of the things that you sold was metal, which I actually back in the day sold automotive mufflers and catalytic converters.

Speaker 2 (00:09:02) - And like you said, there's so many jobs in the aerospace industry and jobs and sales that you never think about. So what are some of the things that you've sold and what made that interesting for you?

Speaker 3 (00:09:16) - Yeah. So how I got into sales from the filing, so did all the outside processing for the company that I worked for, all the heat treating and leveling and all the things that you have to do for metal. And then after September 11th happened, they had to diversify their customer base. And so that was when they put me into sales. Something about I talk too much, I guess I don't know. But now. So they transferred me into a sales role and an inside sales role. But I've sold materials for dead materials for about 17 years and then I got a little bit bored with it because I felt like I knew everything I wanted to know about materials. And so I went into testing, which it's called Dial 160 Environmental testing. So what that was was that we would test all of the components and systems before they got approved by the FAA to go on to the airplanes.

Speaker 3 (00:10:10) - And that was such a cool job. We got to do vibration testing, temperature testing, altitude testing, all of the simulated environments that needed to be done to get a part to pass for the FAA was what I sold then. And then I started my own business after that as a manufacturing sales rep and a sales consultant, which I still do a little bit of the consulting on the side. And so with that, I represented multiple different Northwest manufacturing companies and did their sales for them until I started this role almost two years ago.

Speaker 2 (00:10:47) - Okay. And it's interesting because you say yes, because you say you talk a lot. You're a good salesperson. But I also have a feeling that you're also a very good listener because that is a lot about what sales is about. And I'm sure that you you're a great connector. I can totally tell that you're a people person and you have a passion for helping others, which is very, very important to sales. So what do you you know, what do you think has made you successful in sales? Again, thinking about our audience, who is looking for tips and advice on how they can be better at sales?

Speaker 3 (00:11:26) - Definitely.

Speaker 3 (00:11:26) - And you know, I say to talking a lot in jest, but really what I think it was, is that I had developed a really good relationship with my vendors. So when I was in purchasing or outsourcing, I had developed a really great relationships with my vendors. And I think that that is the biggest thing that I would say has helped me in a role in sales is my ability to develop relationships with people and not base my sales or my success on transactional work, but on repeat work and getting to know my customer and really getting to know their business and helping to understand their business so that maybe it's not just what they ask for, but that I can take a more holistic view of their company and offer things rather than just being a transactional. This is what I need and then sell it to them and move on. But really helping them with their business goals and understanding what they need to be successful and working towards that.

Speaker 2 (00:12:22) - That's really key because, you know, you're the expert in your product, but you really aren't an expert in the, you know, the customer's business until you really do some digging and find those things out.

Speaker 2 (00:12:36) - And as you said, having a relationship, you know, the saying people do business with people they like know and trust. And some people debate that because, you know, you don't always that doesn't always come into play. But I've talked to so many salespeople that basically sell a commodity and you as the sales person are a part of the Uncopyable package. That's what makes them want to buy from you over someone else. And you know the story of what if someone else can offer a better price? Well, what is what will be the cost to them to make that decision? And what is the downside to them that you as a salesperson need to inform them of? And it sounds like that's exactly your strategy.

Speaker 3 (00:13:24) - Absolutely. You know, and curiosity, I would say, is a big part of how I became successful in sales is just sheer curiosity about the manufacturing process and about business and about everything. And I've had that ever since. I mean, I bagged groceries at Safeway and I would go in and I'd want to know what our goals were for the day and everything that we needed to do to be successful, even when I was bagging groceries.

Speaker 3 (00:13:50) - So just that business curiosity has served me really well in my career in sales.

Speaker 1 (00:13:56) - Today's podcast is sponsored by the acclaimed book, Uncopyable Sales Secrets -  How to Create an Unfair Advantage and Outsell Your Competition by Kay Miller. Put the secrets in this book to work and you'll make more sales, grow your network and become a top earner. See the show notes or go to Amazon.com and search for Uncopyable sales secrets to order the book right now.

Speaker 2 (00:14:21) - It sounds like you've always had that curiosity. And no matter what you're doing, I think of a kind of a corny thing. Back when I watched Regis and Kathie Lee, that's a long time ago. My daughter was little, and sometimes I'd watch that and Kathie Lee would say, Bloom where you're planted. And really, if you make the most of every opportunity that like you have, it just builds upon itself. And, you know, you can always do good and do well. Do good by doing good wherever you are. Uh, what would you say are the qualities you've talked about curiosity, You've talked about talking, but also listening.

Speaker 2 (00:15:04) - What would you say are the qualities that have helped you be so successful in sales in particular?

Speaker 3 (00:15:11) - I would say authenticity is a big one. Honesty is a really big one. Have you know, my entire career has been about just being honest and direct. And I trust that people are able and willing to work through things when you're honest with them. And example like your order is going to be late or there's a problem with your order. You know, people that I've worked with in the past would just put it off. Like, I don't want to give the customer a bad news. I don't want to, you know, do the thing. But I think that that has served me really well. And just trusting that people because I have the relationships with them that they know, I'm always going to be honest. I'm going to be clear about what we're looking for and, you know. Always communicate with them. So communication, honesty, authenticity is are all really important factors for building relationships, which is what I would call myself as a relationship seller.

Speaker 3 (00:16:11) - And those have served me incredibly well.

Speaker 2 (00:16:16) - And I agree, it's always fun to call a customer with good news and it's difficult to call them with bad news, but in the end they really appreciate it because you can also say, all right, this is the problem. Your shipment's going to be late. How can I help you? How can we find an alternative solution? I'm helped people buy things from competitive distributors before and they they really appreciate that. So don't shy enough. I agree. Don't shy away from bringing bad news. And you know you are also you are very personable, very likable. I've watched some of your interviews. As I said, our client or just raves about you. So, you know, you really are genuine and authentic and vulnerable. Even So, I think that that is really appealing rather than being a schmoozer, as they say.

Speaker 3 (00:17:14) - Yeah. That I don't think anyone would ever accuse me of being a schmoozer, that is for sure. Yeah. I think one of the I was going to say something.

Speaker 3 (00:17:26) - Was it? We can move forward. If I remember, I'll bring it back up. Yeah, we'll.

Speaker 2 (00:17:32) - Think about it. Yeah, I'm sure. Uh, so here's a question that you. You said that you would like me to ask you, so I'm going to ask you. How does being in sales, how has been being in sales for so long helped you and applied to your leadership role now?

Speaker 3 (00:17:51) - So I think you alluded to it a little bit earlier in the conversation. But sales isn't everything we do. I know that people always like to think that sales is a dirty word or I always hear people say, Oh, I went to the dark side and to sales and things like that, which always makes me chuckle. But being in leadership is a lot like being in sales. You have to sell the vision. You have to sell the people in it, motivating them to do what needs to be done to get to get work, to to succeed as an organization. And I think that the relationship building that I've created one through my sales experience, but I also took a coaching certification that taught me a ton of communication skills, but all of those things helped me become a leader and especially the thick skin that you get from being in sales for this long.

Speaker 3 (00:18:40) - And the way with that, the way that you're able to just kind of let things go faster just because you've it's it's honestly something that once you've been in sales for so long you take for granted. It's just becomes an innate part of who you are. And so you don't think of it necessarily as a skill because it's just it's just who you are and what you do. But it really, truly is a skill to be able to let those things go. To initiate conversation with anyone you meet. My husband always teases about how do you do that? How do you just pick up a conversation in an elevator and get to know someone in the 32nd ride down? And it's it's just skills that you learn over that time that that really help in a leadership role and especially in a front public facing leadership role like I'm in right now.

Speaker 2 (00:19:32) - Right. And I do love your point about having a thick skin, especially for people who are new in sales. But I've talked to plenty of seasoned salespeople and hearing dough is never fun.

Speaker 2 (00:19:46) - And you do really have to find your own strategies for dealing with that. On the other hand, I'm sure you've experienced this, but hearing Yes is like a shot of adrenaline. I swear. I've heard people, you know, and I've asked people, you know, are you going to take my recommendation? It almost feels like a drug going through your system and especially when you know, it really, truly is a win win. And I know that's what you shoot for. Trying to sell the wrong people is not going to work, especially long term. You are not in a transactional business. So, you know, it really is good for the relationship and including what if you say no to them because you feel the detail that the deal isn't right. I mean, that's a huge credibility builder too, and I'm sure you've done that.

Speaker 3 (00:20:39) - I have, yeah. I have told customers in the past, like we're we're not the best choice for you because it's it's sacrificing that sale for the relationship or it's it's the long game and looking at the long game picture versus the short transaction.

Speaker 2 (00:20:57) - Really it is it is the long game and and you know the potential for more sales with them and just your reputation and referrals and all kinds of things that go into that. You know, shoving some something down someone's throat will never work unless you're possibly a used car salesperson. But I mean, I just bought my second car and from the same dealership and one of their mottos is Service sells the second car. So I'm totally loyal to them because they've been so great to work with and really found out what I wanted and needed and said, Hey, we found the perfect car for you to go skiing and do all your hiking and go, you know, carry things and all that stuff. So anyway, kind of digress a little bit there.

Speaker 3 (00:21:46) - I've had some really bad car shopping experience that's so I can relate very much with that sentiment. Right?

Speaker 2 (00:21:54) - You know, they the sales has a bad reputation. And I think a lot of it comes from some truth. I mean, we've all had bad experiences in sales.

Speaker 2 (00:22:03) - And I think what strikes me is that I want to buy. A certain way and I want to sell the same way I would like to buy. And so just thinking about yourself and putting yourself in the customer's shoes is huge, obviously. Yeah. I, of course, have also come from a male dominated industry, and I'm curious to know what challenges challenges you faced or barriers from being a woman in a male dominated industry.

Speaker 3 (00:22:39) - You know, I since I started so young, I faced two challenges one being a woman and two being really young. So oftentimes for me, I'm not I can't quite put my finger on which one was the factor that had people challenge me, if you will. Was it because I was young and I had no experience? Was it because I was a woman? So sometimes those I can't take those two apart or break those two apart. But some of the challenges, you know, as probably anybody in any woman in sales has dealt with, is the being hit on by your customers.

Speaker 3 (00:23:18) - Consistently. And that was a challenge and and one that I really had a hard time with in the beginning of my career, especially because I, you know, it's so uncomfortable. And then, you know, the customer will act really awkward moving forward. And you're like, well, I didn't I don't do this. I didn't I didn't create this scenario. So maybe just don't not return my phone calls because you made a pass at me while we were out to lunch or dinner or whatever those things are. So that would be one of them. The other, you know, just especially in the beginning, not being taken seriously, not being given the credit for doing the things that you did. Um, but I've also had some really incredible experiences and, you know, I often get asked that question of what challenges have you faced? And for me, I try really hard not to dwell in those places because if I did, I mean, being in sales is all about your mindset and being able to click into that confident a rock star attitude.

Speaker 3 (00:24:23) - And if I were to focus too much in those places, I probably wouldn't have been able to do the job as effectively as I did because I would be looking for things that could go wrong instead of just living in my own truth and being confident in what I knew I could do. So every time, for me, it was just like. Okay. Doubt me. I'll just show you differently. So it fired up that competitive spirit in me, even more so than I'm naturally.

Speaker 2 (00:24:57) - I think that's true. You're overcoming that. But I know from what you've said, I mean, you attract really great mentors and I'm sure some of them are women are men. I'm sorry, men, just like when I was talking with Ursula. I mean, they're huge fans. And so, you know, in my experience, some of our worst competition or people that try to bring us down or other women, and I think that's changing. But early in my career, that was a really an issue. And I vowed to be someone who would bring other women up and support other women.

Speaker 2 (00:25:34) - And like I said, not to bash men because, yeah, there are some men that try things or do goofy things, but I'm sure you handle them very easily. I remember early in my sales career and this the first company I worked with, I was the first woman they had ever hired an outside sales and we had a lot of meetings and we were we were based in Rockford, Illinois, great, super exciting town. We would have sales meetings. And I remember one night we were at a hospitality suite. And there was a group of guys sitting around and of course there's alcohol involved, which back in that day I was very careful not to drink. And one of the guys kind of called to me across from the room and said, Hey, Kay, come over here and sit on my lap. I want to tell you something. And in a brilliant comeback, which doesn't always happen. I said. I can hear you just fine from here. And everyone ended up laughing at him.

Speaker 2 (00:26:42) - And it just it sent a message. And I think that really the vibes that you put out, I'm sure that you have had some experiences, but I have a feeling the vast majority of the men you work with are super supportive.

Speaker 3 (00:26:58) - Without question. A large it's it's few and far between that I experience someone who really is not rooting for me or just not not a good person. Let me just say that. Yeah. It's not very often. Certainly they make a mark, right? And it's just like negative comments on the Internet, right? You can get 200 positive and you get that one bad guy and that one bad comment. And that can it can it can leave marks right. And and early in my career and to some extent now I also deflect with humor. But now I also, especially in the role that I'm in, certainly feel a responsibility to shut it down. Right? Just to say, hey, I know, I know you're joking, or maybe you're not joking, but this is how that affected me.

Speaker 3 (00:27:49) - And and I have the confidence now to do that. Whereas early in my career, I was, like, terrified to to push back in any way. Right?

Speaker 2 (00:27:58) - And now you have the opportunity to mentor other women and, and set that precedent and lead with by example. So I think that is huge. And and you've talked I just I want to know, you are so passionate about the aerospace industry. And one thing that you said I heard in one of your interviews or read something that you said is it really is a lot about the people. And it sounds like just a great group of of people that you work with. Um, how I've been asking you, how can we women as women help other women to advance?

Speaker 3 (00:28:37) - So touching back on a point that you had previously about, you know, supporting. I've had similar experiences and. You know, I've been I've oftentimes in my career tried to figure out why that is. And I think that it was a result of our like of our atmosphere, Right? There were only certain amount, certain jobs that women got back in the day.

Speaker 3 (00:29:00) - Right? It was secretary, it was HR, it was accounting. Right. And so all of these women that wanted careers all had to compete against each other for these careers. So it made us highly competitive against each other instead of supportive of each other. And now I know because I've seen this in my own career, is that there's a lot more opportunity available. So I feel like that competition has lessened as well. At the same time as women have recognized, like we're not each other's enemies and started supporting each other in ways that maybe didn't happen before. Um, I think that the best way that we can women can support other women is by propping them up, by supporting them, by promoting them, by saying, you know. Wow. K did a really great job there. Or did you know that Kay also has this talent or this skill that maybe they wouldn't talk about themselves but just really being each other's? Best promoters is the best way. Being in sales, I'm naturally a promoter.

Speaker 3 (00:30:05) - And so it's not as challenging necessarily for for me to talk about my skills and the things that I have going on. But I know that it's something just based on my conversations with a lot of other women that they're really challenged with, about talking about what their successes are and what amazing things they've done. I actually published a journal on Amazon specifically for women to write down the things that they're proud of so that when they're having a day where imposter syndrome is hitting them or they're going into a job interview or something that they can flip through and remind themselves of all the things that they've done that they're really proud of. Because I think that that's a really important thing to do because especially in books, because you get kicked in the teeth a lot and and it's so important to be able to look back and be like, you know, I had one bad day. I'm not a bad salesperson. I'm not a I'm not a bad employee. I just had a bad day. And you said.

Speaker 2 (00:31:04) - You did you publish a journal on Amazon? Did you.

Speaker 3 (00:31:07) - Say? I did? I did, yes.

Speaker 2 (00:31:09) - So tell us what that is so we could find it.

Speaker 3 (00:31:12) - Uh oh, it has. Well, how clean do you want your thing to be? Um. Oh, I love it. You can have this out of your pants.

Speaker 2 (00:31:24) - No, no, I'm this. Read it to read it with the asterisk.

Speaker 3 (00:31:30) - I thought that. I read it just like you would think. But it's. It's not. It's not a book or anything. It's just literally a prompt where. Where people can write in the things that they're really proud of. So, you know, for me, I put in things. I've had it for a little while. I'll write like my workouts or I'll write, you know, I secured a meeting with a buyer that I've really been wanting to meet with or um, secured a speaker now in my current role, like secured a speaker, I was really excited about so that whenever I'm having a rough day, I'll pick it up and be like, okay, maybe I don't.

Speaker 3 (00:32:09) - Maybe I don't suck. Maybe it's just just a bad day.

Speaker 2 (00:32:13) - And think all of.

Speaker 3 (00:32:14) - Our brains.

Speaker 2 (00:32:15) - Tend to go to the negative. So I will include the full title of that book in the show notes so people can order it and I will be one of them. I love that it's such a great strategy to just remind yourself of your successes, because you're right, we we dwell on the negative. You can have how many positive reviews on something, but the one that you focus on and everyone's the same. You know, I hear people who are in the theater or, you know, all kinds of different roles in life. We just like we look at the bad one. So we talk about how to help other women advance. And of course, you have started this Aerospace Conference for women, which I think is phenomenal. And you've also you registered a day, a National Women in Aerospace Day. And so tell me about that.

Speaker 3 (00:33:11) - Yeah. So ten years ago, Pioneer started this Women in Aerospace Conference, and I think it was actually a luncheon the first day that the first year that we did it.

Speaker 3 (00:33:22) - And it was not very many people think it was less than 50. And this year we had almost 300 at the event. So this is our ten year celebration. It's really grown to be such an incredible event. It's one of my favorite, favorite events of the year because it's really it's part business and part inspiration, which is not something that you normally get at a conference. It's either one or the other. And our Women and Aerospace Conference is a mix of both. And we leave that day just inspired and encouraged. And we've had people telling us they're going to go and apply for a promotion when they get back to work because they're feeling so inspired and ready to to take on the world. And May 20th, I registered. It's the day that Amelia Earhart took her flight, and I registered that as Women in Aerospace Day, because we are consistently talking about how we get more women into the industry. And I think a big part of that is celebrating the contribution that women have made to the industry and creating a day.

Speaker 3 (00:34:27) - We have March 8th, which is International Women's Day, but I wanted something more specific to celebrate and promote women specifically in the aerospace industry. And I'm so happy because this year I saw people who are not in my network celebrating it, which means that it's catching. That's a great sign. It's only been a few years now. The city of Kent here in Washington did a proclamation. I actually have it up on my wall. We had it framed and then had all the women last year sign around the frame for the first inaugural. Year. And so it's just I would like it to be as big as possible so that we can see stories all around the world of women that have made incredible contributions both in the past and the present to the industry.

Speaker 2 (00:35:15) - Right. And women obviously, without women, we are going to be lacking some a whole bunch of resources and skills and insights. So this really is serving the industry and serving women. So I think that's just phenomenal. Uh, she we're this time is flying by as I figured it would.

Speaker 2 (00:35:37) - Um, I because I know that you're so excited about the future of aerospace. You've talked about some of your, you know, just experiences being on planes and being around planes and how much it excites you. And one time I saw you said you got teared up a little bit because it's really meaningful to you. And I think that's very exciting. And what an opportunity for you. I would love to know what advice I mean, we've gotten a lot of advice through this interview. So are there any final thoughts of encouragement, whatever that you would give other women specifically in sales? But of course, you are a great example of how that can grow so far beyond sales. But but what would you what advice would you give?

Speaker 3 (00:36:28) - You know, one of the major things that also helped me besides like personality and relationship, but a more technical skill that I created that has helped me in my career was planning, really strategizing what my sell strategy was very oftentimes, almost exclusively. When I experience other outside salespeople, they don't really have a full grasp of the market and what they're doing.

Speaker 3 (00:36:53) - And so they go out and really just pray and pray a lot of times on their customers and don't do the due diligence that I think you owe to the industry and to your customer to do. And so one of the things that I always would do in my roles is create a sales strategy, and that means doing a SWOt analysis, doing, you know, figuring out what markets out there, what what industries will support the product that you sell. I sold materials so, you know, commercial aviation, defense, drones, satellites, space, figuring out all of those different verticals that I could sell that in and creating a true strategy for your sales and then following it because it's really easy to get off track or get attracted to the next shiny thing, but that's not going to go the distance in sales. You really want to have a long term plan that doesn't have you hopping from shiny thing to shiny thing, which is really easy to do when you're in sales and really creating that strategy. And oftentimes I would create one on my own because the companies that I worked from large companies didn't really have anything, didn't have a sales strategy.

Speaker 3 (00:38:02) - They just knew what markets I wanted to go after. But really digging down and creating a detailed sales strategy and oftentimes I use mind maps to do that because that's how my brain thinks. And so that's more of like a technical. Yeah, very. I, I love them. I can see my mind map book right there. That's great. But um, so that's more on the technical side of things to, to really make sure that you owe it to your customer before you go and talk to them to do the research and be ready for the call and ready for your experience with them so that you can be present and, and get what you need out of the call and out of the experience. But aside from that, really just knowing that I think that being a woman in sales gives you an advantage because you're a listener and you if you're confident and you know what you're doing, then I think that. You can you can really be successful in sales in a way that is different. And so having confidence, being authentic and I think that the thing that I had to learn and it took me a really long time to learn was authenticity.

Speaker 3 (00:39:18) - I kept trying to copy what I saw other people doing. And UN copyable sales means being yourself and being authentic because what what you have to offer people is different than what other people do. And like when you're selling commodities, you you are the difference. You you make the difference. Your personality, how you show up. I used to have a boss that would say she she got me an egg timer and told me to limit my calls to the number of minutes I'm on the egg timer because I talked a lot and I was. I really was like, No, I'm not going to do that because.

Speaker 2 (00:39:55) - That's not you.

Speaker 3 (00:39:56) - This person can call eight different people and get a price on material, or they can call someone who they enjoy talking to who wants to hear about their family and wants to understand their life and their business and get to know them on a different level. And they're going to choose me because of that. So be yourself. Time and time and time again and just keep showing up as who you are and be confident in that.

Speaker 3 (00:40:20) - And that's going to show through to your customers.

Speaker 2 (00:40:24) - That is. That's really great. And you're right. You know, everyone is copyable if they let that out. But it's scary. It's a little bit vulnerable.

Speaker 3 (00:40:33) - It's vulnerable.

Speaker 2 (00:40:34) - It's honorable. But as you are, you know, attesting to it, it really works. And we do want to deal with other people, especially with all this stuff with a AI and all this automation. I mean, we are craving a human connection and being authentic and vulnerable is a great way to achieve that connection. Nikki, thank you so much. This was everything I hoped for and more. I really appreciate you spending time with me on the podcast.

Speaker 3 (00:41:05) - Yes, thank you. I appreciate your time.

Speaker 2 (00:41:08) - It was great. And I will have your information, including your book in the show.

Speaker 3 (00:41:16) - Thank you. I don't always promote it in my professional circles, but you know, it is.

Speaker 2 (00:41:22) - It is. All right. Well, you know, I don't use profanity on the podcast, but I can't say I don't occasionally.

Speaker 2 (00:41:29) - Oh.

Speaker 3 (00:41:31) - I do. Very much. Which is which is where it came from. But, you know, I try to keep it somewhat professional on my but.

Speaker 2 (00:41:38) - It sounds like a really great tool that journal.

Speaker 3 (00:41:40) - So thanks.

Speaker 2 (00:41:41) - Thanks. Thanks once again. I appreciate it. And all the best to you as you move onward and upward.

Speaker 3 (00:41:50) - Thank you. Have a great day.

Speaker 2 (00:41:52) - You, too. Bye.

Speaker 1 (00:41:54) - Thanks for listening to this episode of Copyable Women in Sales, Your source for Secrets you can use to make more sales. Check the show notes for links and contact information. And if you enjoyed the podcast, please spread the word by subscribing, sharing and leaving a five star review. You can always learn more by going to UN copyable sales.com/podcast. Until next time, go out and supercharge your sales like a true unstoppable rock star.