Kellie Green

Stop Selling Cookies To People On Diets: With Kellie Green

There are so many important conversations that need to happen, especially now. But not everyone is willing to truly listen. And the ones who are willing, may not be listening to you fully. How can we change that?

In today’s episode of The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, Kellie Green, CEO at Green Dolphin Street, an organization that provides workshops, training sessions and talks on customer service, sexual harassment, diversity and inclusion, brings her challenge to the table.

Kellie's problem is that she feels she's not able to reach out to people. What she means is that she offers these courses, and most companies are not taking them because they already have in-house departments taking care of these conversations.  But Kellie feels like they’re failing at it, and doesn't know how to get them to realize the benefits of her programs...

From my point of view, the issue here is that Kellie is offering her company’s services to people who are not actually interested. And my advice to her is to stop trying to sell cookies to people on diets! What I mean by that is that she should try looking for people and companies in need of those courses and conversations, instead of knocking on every single door hoping for success.

Have you found yourself selling cookies to people on diets? Do you have a challenge you’d like to discuss? Reach out! If there's any issue you want to talk about here on the podcast or privately, please send me an email:

Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] Kim Ades:
Hello, hello. This is Kim Ades, I'm the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in-person.  

Today it's my pleasure to introduce my guest Kellie Green. She is the CEO of an organization called Green Dolphin Street.  

Kellie, welcome.  

[00:00:29] Kellie Green:
Thank you for having me. Hello everyone! I hope that you guys are in a well lit, peaceful place, ready to hear some therapeutic, informative information.  

[00:00:43] Kim Ades:
So where are you located, Kellie? Tell us, where are you in the world.

[00:00:47] Kellie Green:
Well, I currently reside in Washington, DC. I am a native Washingtonian. However, I work with people from all over the world and all walks of life.  

[00:01:00] Kim Ades:
And what do you do? What is Green Dolphin Street?  

[00:01:03] Kellie Green:
Green Dolphin Street is an organization where we celebrate in private and speak and educate in public. I teach courses on customer service, life skills, sexual harassment, and discrimination. In my previous experience, I was a former federal police officer for the United States Pentagon. 

[00:01:30] Kim Ades:

[00:01:30] Kellie Green:
And through that, I learned a lot. And after being sexually harassed by one of the best organizations that I still can speak of today in the positive light, it taught me the breakdown of where we are in society and how we misunderstand, misconstrue or divide within a structured organization, which led me to then go into education system.  

Now I come from the education system, my grandmother, she received her PhD in education and she further on had the GED controlled, excuse me. She directed the GED program at the University of the District of Columbia.

So growing up, it was always embedded in me to be a servant to the community, cut with customer service. The importance of lifestyles and how you execute your actions on the job and off the job, completely different. And a lot of times you just should not, even though we in this world, in this time, bridge them together, we forget a lot of the important, common, basic rules of what is in the privacy sector of things and versus what is in the working sector of things. So our lenses can get blindsided.  

[00:03:04] Kim Ades:
Okay. So let me ask you a question just to kind of understand it, so our audience could really understand. Green Dolphin Street is an organization. And what do you do? You provide workshops, training sessions on customer service, sexual harassment, diversity and inclusion. Am I clear on that?  

[00:03:25] Kellie Green:
You are absolutely clear on that. We also perform and provide events. We host events. 

[00:03:34] Kim Ades:
Okay. What kind of events?  

[00:03:36] Kellie Green:
We host all kinds of events and it's based on the tier and on the guidelines of privacy. So the everything is always private. We host events and that-- my clients consists of men, women of all kinds in the walks of life, and when they want to enjoy themselves and comfort and safety and privacy, and still have fun... 

[00:04:01] Kim Ades:

[00:04:01] Kellie Green:
Then I'm the person that you would call.  

[00:04:04] Kim Ades:
I see. Okay.  

[00:04:06] Kellie Green:
So, it's important that we understand that in my nine to five where I'm educating and I'm teaching customer service and the importance of saying "yes, ma'am. No, sir". Yes, sir", I contact. And then through my experience and winning while working for the United States Pentagon with experienced sexual harassment, and this is what got me on the track of opening my own business, starting these conversations, educating the community and helping them find employment, connecting with other industries to say "Hey, I'm not asking you to hire anyone I send you. I'm guaranteeing that if I send you with them well dressed, properly educated with articulation, will you give them an interview? Just the interview".  

And that is something that once you finished the course, each course, customer service, life skills, sexual harassment, and discrimination, those are the most important courses that we as human beings should have had or should have when going into the workforce.  

[00:05:31] Kim Ades:
I see. Okay. So I understand. You're basically equipping people to go and be more successful in their work without falling into some traps because they're simply not exposed, not educated, not trained to provide the kind of customer service to interact with people effectively. Got it. I understand. So, Kelly, what is your greatest challenge? 

[00:05:57] Kellie Green:
Getting the message out there to get companies to be willing to have open conversations, not about customer service, not about the life skills, that doesn't become the sensitive subjects. The system's sensitive subjects are when I speak about discrimination and sexual harassment. Those are the touchy subjects because when you're speaking with organizations of magnitude, such as Disney or such as Hilton or...  

And I'm not saying it was though they have issues. I'm not saying it was though there has been, or Amazon I'm speaking because these are agencies of magnitude with employment staffing 500 people or better.  

When you talk about that you have to be careful because you don't want to educate a community to look for a way to cause harm to an organization. You want to educate a community to prevent. A lot of times we, as the world, we are reactions. We react to things. We wait for something to happen to react.  

[00:07:18] Kim Ades:
So sorry, I need you to go back. Okay? So, it's very important for me to understand what's your challenge. So you're saying the challenge is getting the message out to companies and having them willing to talk about these hard issues like discrimination and sexual harassment. 

And so let me ask you a question. When you reach out to these companies, what's the reaction? What is their response? Are they saying we don't want to talk about sexual discrimination and harassment, or are they saying "we have it covered"? Are they saying, you know, "we don't need to bring this into the forefront of our conversations"? What are you experiencing?  

[00:07:54] Kellie Green:
I'm experiencing that they already have their own... They do everything in-source. They do everything in-house and that's the problem. And through my experience of a sexual harassment case that ended in EEOC with me writing it myself, with me going through the proper procedures and making it into having and being asked "how did you make it this far?" and I'm like "okay, through persistence, reading, writing"...  

But as you go through it and I find out that I'm still loving the agency and it's like I'm fighting an agency that I love, so it's almost like you're in a relationship and, you know, relationships when you have a divorce, you know, you go through all of these ugly things.

So when I realized that it was like... I had a hard time saying "Hey, I'm not upset with the agency as a whole. I'm upset with this individual". And a lot of times I want to teach the agencies how to separate themselves from the individual to allow free space for a victim to have justice without it affecting the agency as a whole. The United States Pentagon didn't sexually harassed me.  

[00:09:14] Kim Ades:
Right. So, I really wanna kind of drill in on the challenge. The challenge is that these organizations have in-house departments that have training or areas where they take care of things like sexual harassment and discrimination. 

[00:09:33] Kellie Green:
And they're failing.  

[00:09:35] Kim Ades:
And you think they're failing.  

[00:09:37] Kellie Green:
I think that that is why we're having so many issues because certain things are not outsourced and here's why. When you're in a marriage and you go--  

[00:09:47] Kim Ades:
Okay, but wait, wait, wait. I want to slow you down because you're going a different track and I'm trying to keep you on track for one minute. 

[00:09:53] Kellie Green:
Cool beans. 

[00:09:54] Kim Ades:
Okay. So you approach these organizations and they say "thanks, but no, thanks. We already have an in-house department for this".  

[00:10:04] Kellie Green:

[00:10:05] Kim Ades:
Okay. So what is your approach? 

[00:10:09] Kellie Green:
Reach out either phone and try to get to human resources, or I would-- once I do, I send an email attached with the proposal, warm-hearted and you know, I'll get that it was a great idea. They love the proposal, but they already have in-house. So at that time, I just keep knocking on doors. I'm not a quitter. 

[00:10:32] Kim Ades:
Okay, so, you know, I hear you when you say... So there's a few things that I think, okay? I hear you when you say that they might be failing, but in a way, when we keep knocking on the same kind of door with the same kind of approach, and we get the same result, which is "we're not interested", we need to do something different. And what we need to do is before we do anything different, we need to think a little bit differently about this problem.  

And so the question becomes, how are we thinking about this problem? How are we approaching it? The way you're approaching it currently is you're going to the HR department. Sounds reasonable. You're already providing a proposal, sounds reasonable too.  

Except you have no idea if they have a need. Right? You have no idea if they have pain and you're not really addressing the pain. You're saying "you should have pain", but they're like "I don't have pain". You're like "well, you need to have pain. I see you. I see your pain". And they're like "I don't see the pain". Right?  

So the question becomes, what's the better approach, right? And the better approach is to offer services to people who need it and who decide they needed and who kind of put up their hand and say "I need this service", right? "This is something that's a problem in my organization and I really need your help in addressing this problem".  

And right now you're attracting people or you're trying to knock on the doors of people who don't proclaim they have the problem. So what's a better approach? I know for a fact that there are so many conferences happening out there in the world that are dying for individuals like you to be on stage discussing discrimination, harassment, DEI, all of those things. 

And who attends that? Individuals who have organizations who send them to these events, that say "we need to be better at this. We have a problem" or "we need to get on top of this". And so when you're knocking on doors blindly, without knowing if they have an interest, you might as well be banging your head on a wall. 

[00:12:47] Kellie Green:
And I am.  

[00:12:49] Kim Ades:
Also, if you're sending a proposal when they're not asking for it, waste of time, waste of energy, waste of a conversation. 

[00:12:57] Kellie Green:

[00:12:58] Kim Ades:
And so, you never want to send a proposal without someone saying two things. Number one, "I want to proposal". And number two is "let's talk about what needs to go in the proposal before I even send it to you because I'm not going to just send out proposals randomly. I want my proposals to be accepted". Right? 

[00:13:16] Kellie Green:

[00:13:16] Kim Ades:
So I'm going to have a conversation with an individual saying "what exactly are your needs?" Once I understand your needs, then I will craft a proposal to address your needs, so that I make sure that it's a win-win because if I'm spending my time writing proposals...  

[00:13:32] Kellie Green:
I'm wasting my time.  

[00:13:34] Kim Ades:
Wasting your time, wasting your energy. You're taking your proposal, you're giving your intellectual property away and it's going into the garbage and there's just no point. And so for you, my advice is to reverse your process. Instead of just knocking on doors to say "who's interested?" You've got to go to a place where there's already predetermined interest.  

So look up conferences that address DEI, attend those conferences, be in the room with people, understand their needs, their issues, understand what they're doing currently to try to address those issues. Then say "perhaps I can help". But also perhaps offer yourself up to be a speaker at one of these events.  

[00:14:20] Kellie Green:
I would love to, I just... You know what? That venue, one didn't come to my mind, first, so that is the blessing that you just gave me. Two, I don't even know how to go about it, but now I'm going to just look up DEI and go forth there. You stated that you know a lot, I would like to ask if you could forward me any information...  

[00:14:50] Kim Ades:
Well, of course, but even if you just Google "diversity and inclusion events", "diversity inclusion conferences", I mean, it's a hot topic right now. 

[00:15:00] Kellie Green:

[00:15:00] Kim Ades:
People are talking about it left, right, and center. Right? So it's not difficult to find. 

[00:15:04] Kellie Green:

[00:15:06] Kim Ades:
You can look up DEI experts and see where they're speaking, right? Like, just follow the trail. It's really, really ready and available. 

[00:15:14] Kellie Green:

[00:15:15] Kim Ades:
What you want to do is you want to be in the room with people who care about this subject. And what you're doing is you're knocking on people's doors and saying "please care about this subject". Right? It's your...  

[00:15:26] Kellie Green:
Like I'm trying to sell a cookie and I don't even know if the person wants the cookie. They might even break out what house with the cookie, but I'm still at the door, like a girl scout saying "sell me the cookie". I received you 100%.  

[00:15:37] Kim Ades:
Exactly. You're knocking on the door with the cookie and they're like "Hey, I'm on a diet. Thanks".  

[00:15:42] Kellie Green:

[00:15:43] Kim Ades:
So what you want to do is you want to be in the room where they're like "man, we can't get enough cookies. Do you have any?" So your approach needs to shift. And before any approach shifts, your thinking needs to shift. And so your thinking needs to go from "Hey, these guys need it" to "let me find people who are putting up their hands saying 'please, please, please, we need help in this department'". And so that's the shift, right?  

[00:16:08] Kellie Green:

[00:16:09] Kim Ades:
Yeah. So in your going from like knocking on doors and practically begging for people to pay attention to you--  

[00:16:15] Kellie Green:
Should go into these conventions and then putting my mouth on the speakers to educate and teach and showing others what I'm saying.  

[00:16:22] Kim Ades:

[00:16:23] Kellie Green:
Yes, ma'am.  

[00:16:25] Kim Ades:
But also just being in the room and talking to people helps you understand what they're looking for, how they're looking for, how they buy things like this, because there's a disconnect between what you're trying to sell and how you're trying to sell it and how they buy. Right? And so you're learning all of that. But I hope that was useful.  

[00:16:44] Kellie Green:
Oh! It was oh-mazing! [Laughs] 

[00:16:52] Kim Ades:
For those of you who are listening to this podcast, I think really at the end of the day, when we struggle to sell something and we use an approach and that approach is something we try over and over and over again, and we still get negative results, a lot of times... You know, there's an expression, right? The expression is if you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what you always got. 

[00:17:15] Kellie Green:

[00:17:15] Kim Ades:
But my opinion is a little bit different and it works like this. If you always think what you always thought, you'll always get what you always got. And so for me, before we make any type of radical change to what we do, the question becomes, what is it that we're thinking about this?  

And in your case, Kellie, your thinking is "they need this". And the question for you is, do they know they need it? Because if they don't know they need it, they're certainly not going to buy it. Right?  

[00:17:46] Kellie Green:

[00:17:46] Kim Ades:
And so that thinking causes you to continue knocking on doors, and what I'm suggesting is to step back and ask ourselves what beliefs do we have about what we're doing, about what we think we should be doing that may be leading us down a wrong path. Right?  

So step back and ask ourselves, how are we thinking about this that's causing a problem. And then think about it a little differently before we take new action. And that's at the end of the day, my recommendation.  

Kellie, thank you so much for being on the podcast with me today. How do people find you? What's your website?  

[00:18:21] Kellie Green:
My website is  

[00:18:28] Kim Ades:
Amazing. Thank you so much. For those of you who are listening, if you have a challenge that you want to share on the podcast, please reach out to me.  

My email address is  

And if you have a challenge that you're not so willing to share on the podcast, but you do want to discuss privately, please reach out to me as well. 

Again, my email address is  

For those of you who are listening, please keep listening, like, share, review, make comments, do well, the things, and I really appreciate you. We will see you next time. Have a great day.

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