Sylvia Pate

Sylvia is the most effective value-based provider I've worked with during my extensive career.
– paraphrasing John Sullivan, Manager Vendor Relations, American Express Corporate


A member of the Avadon Board of Advisors, for 20+ years, Sylvia has helped align management and employee development efforts with the strategic needs of major corporations. Her unique approach to value-based selling, plus first-hand experience in all facets of training design and delivery, have allowed her to work with Fortune 100 and 500 companies across all industries, the U.S. government, and foreign business. Clients have included American Airlines, Anderson Consulting/ Accenture, Disney, ExxonMobil, IBM, JC Penney, NSA (National Security Agency), Siemens, Unisys, U.S. Postal Service, and Xerox.

As Marketing Director, Executive Education at SMU's Cox School of Business, she closed the largest contract for computer-based training in the school's history, beating out Anderson Consulting/Accenture. In that role, she developed the ability to position all leadership education as a critical component in an organization's long-term success plan. As division VP at Pritchett & Associates Inc., (now Pritchett LP) she grew the start-up training operation to annual revenues of $10M, with 50% margins in just four years.

Following Pritchett, her clients have included Jack Zenger of Zenger Miller/Achieve Global, who personally hired Sylvia to launch a new distribution system based upon her innovative approach to selling. (This initiative established the framework for driving an additional $20M in leadership training sales.)

Personal Insight:
“My role as division VP at Pritchett & Associates required I address several key challenges, one being to create a reliable, high-quality facilitator network which consistently delivered program concepts and material, and, which mirrored guarantees made by my sales team. To establish the facilitator network, my team identified, trained and mobilized 35 seasoned field trainers who simultaneously implemented projects sold by our sales team. By year four, our facilitators delivered 2,000 days training annually and we sold and distributed 125,000+ participant material kits.

“Another challenge was to streamline the sales process. Here, out-of-the-box thinking helped establish a sales system in which no on-site calls were made. Virtually all sales activities were conducted via phone, technology, and special events. (This was not telemarketing but teleselling.) This method dramatically cut costs and increased productivity. Daily, each of 10 sales person were able to conduct up to eight, hour-long sales conversations with prospects, while incurring no travel cost or time. And, by using special events to educate prospects, we averaged a 70-80% closing ratio among those who attended.”

© 2014 Norma Owen, D/B/A Avadon Group