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Ian Adams

This was unexpected when I read the tweet. Glad you shared this story though. Negativity in situations like this are completely unnecessary. We can all throw our own conferences with whomever we want to speak. Why are we criticizing others?


Chad Burmeister

Happy ending. "Why can't we all just get along". I like Jill, I like Gerhard. I LOVE AMERICA. Social media is a good thing. Keep it transparent. Jill - may you be the speaker #6 at the next Sales 2.0 conference!!


I have been on your panel and attended few Sales 2.0 conferences and I have promoted various Sales 2.0 content over social media. The reason I did that is because it useful and good ROI. However, like many others I always found it alarming that how invisible "we women" were in the mix.

I have known Jill Konrath for few years, and being part of various discussions about Sales 2.0 and lack of visibility, I can safely say, that Jill taking her reputation out to play, was not an on-the-spur moment gut reaction.
She chose the best way to get your attention to the fact that many of us who participated and attended past Sales 2.0 conferences, have talked about.

What have we talked about? When will the Sales 2.0 conference organizers learn that it is a business benefit to modernize the conference by having representation of 50% of the population in the panel and speakers list.

I commend you to the first grand step you took by selecting 5 out of 10 speakers, who are best and happen to be women.

You say “our sponsors selected 14”. I understand that, but have you considered the possibility that you can ask your sponsor to send women leaders. As most companies have leadership development programs (especially those companies who exist in the modern world of 2013), my guess is that your sponsors will be happy to send their best and who are women, if you specifically ask them. This is not hard.
Ask Robin Carey of Social Media Today. Her Social Shakeup conference in Atlanta that was held this past September, had enormous women participation. It was a very successful first conference and the visibility of women mattered and helped her to have that success. Ask FlowCon organizer Jez Humble and as he says, it is not hard (http://continuousdelivery.com/2013/09/how-we-got-40-female-speakers-at-flowcon/#more-1063). It is a matter of making a commitment. Again this is not charity or a cause. This is a business decision.
As you well know, sponsors and paid attendees have a spend budget and they will allocate that budget across conferences, based on how their brand and presence will be effected. You can choose to minimize the important question that Jill raised, by showing photo ops with Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey OR you can look at the future of Sales 2.0 conferences and determine for yourself if lack of women in the room can hurt future attendances and stilt growth-path. Sadly, this blog response, at least to me, came across as a missed opportunity on your part.

After the Twitter episode, I waited to see your response, and if this blog is what you consider as addressing the issue of modernizing that Jill brought up, I am spending my money elsewhere where I can find the network that gives me the qualitative and quantitative ROI for the spend.

Rini Das

Lisa McLeod

This is a more nuanced issue than many of us have been willing to admit. As a woman who started in sales with Procter & Gamble in the 80's, (big hair and horrible bow ties) I've seen the landscape change, dramatically.

Yet, the fact that your sponsors put forth all make speakers, doesn't surprise me a bit. But I don't believe it's an intentional plot to keep women out.

In my work as a sales leadership consultant, I consistently see women not "going for it." They wait to be asked, as we've been taught since we were girls. My guess is many of those male speakers told their boss, repeatedly, "Anytime you need someone to represent us, choose me."

As humans, we want to point to one simple reason for everything, but situations arise out of a confluence of causes - social history, individual circumstances, past prejudice, and at times, we hold ourselves back, and we hold others back.

Social media, off the cuff comments, thoughtful discourse, they're all part of the dialogue that moves the needle forward.

Thanks for openly addressing this In a thoughtful way. And thanks to Jill for putting it out there,

I'm delighted to be keynoting at the Sales 2.0 conference.

Now let's go sell something!


What bothers me most actually is another facet of society with social media and I believe part of your point. Why didn't she call you directly? Why did she have to trumpet from the mountains to all her followers her dissatisfaction without having a direct conversation. That to me is lazy and insensitive.
Truthfully, for a sales expert that she is I am disappointed that she wouldn't call a strategic ally directly and just ask some questions as that is the basic tenet of sales.

Wolfgang Jilka

Great blog ... and this is a valuable learning lesson for us to keep in mind. It is unfortunate that our society nowadays uses social media to express their dissatisfaction without having all the facts and not even attempting to have a dialogue with each other. Let's slow down a bit and get back to basics. Voice-to-voice can do magic. Wishing the Selling Power team a successful event in San Francisco next week.

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