Lead With Empathy: Michelle Accardi

“Feel the fear and do it anyway,” says Michelle Accardi, President & Chief Revenue Officer at Star2Star Communications.

Michelle, who has worked in half a dozen different roles in her long career at Star2Star, prides herself on being agile, and says that agility is one of the most valuable skills for aspiring sales professionals and leaders today.

And serving as President and CRO of Star2Star is no small feat. The company has a startling 99.4% customer retention rate, has been featured on the Forbes Most Promising Companies List, and was named on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 five times in the last six years.

Watch or listen to this episode:


Listen on Apple Podcasts

In this episode

What is the secret to Michelle and Star2Star’s success? The short answer is empathy. Michelle talks with host Chris Smith about a car accident that changed the course of her life in her late 20s, and made her realize that people have lives and challenges beyond their jobs — and that being attuned to those challenges can help her make a difference in and outside work. For Michelle, active listening is the foundation of successful sales — and she wishes that universities took the time to teach subjects like ethical sales to aspiring business professionals.

What advice does Michelle have for those starting out in sales careers? Even if you can’t get your foot in the door right away, volunteer to go on sales calls to get a sense of what it’s like to work in that role. Cultivate resilience and perseverance, and be willing to say yes – even if something is new and unfamiliar. If you can work through your own fear, you’ve already won at least half the battle.


  • “Feel the fear and do it anyways.” (5:59-6:02)
  • “So much of sales is just active listening” (8:46-8:50)
  • “Just being open to things is how I make success happen. I don’t say no often, and when I do it’s generally: ‘No, but…’” (23:33-23:46)


Star2Star Communications Website
Star2Star Communications Partner Website
Star2Star Communications Demo Website
Michelle Accardi LinkedIn
Empellor CRM Website
Empellor CRM LinkedIn

Podcast production and show notes provided by FIRESIDE Marketing