From Doubter to Convert: Diva International's ECRM Connect Experience  8/17/2020

Don Gonder, VP of Sales, Diva International

Diva International has been challenging the period status quo since 2003 when Francine Chambers and her daughter, co-founder and CEO, Carinne Chambers-Saini, brought the DivaCup to the mass market, quickly making the company a global market leader in alternative menstrual care.

DivaCup can be found in all key markets and most major retailers across the globe. In addition to the company’s retail efforts, its DivaCares program is committed to advancing the menstrual equity movement through key pillars of Education, Advocacy and Access.

Indeed, the company's Vision, which is posted on its website, reads: "Turning doubters into converts by rebelling against the period status quo." Interestingly, we faced the same situation regarding virtual meetings when we first approached Don Gonder, Vice President of Sales for Diva International, about ECRM's Personal Care, Grooming, Oral & Travel/Trial Virtual Session. His negative experiences on other platforms led to him doubting the usefulness of virtual to efficiently and effectively connect with buyers. But by the time he finished with the Persnal Care Virtual Session, he was converted.

ECRM’s Joseph Tarnowski caught up with Don shortly following Diva International's participation in the virtual session to discuss the supplier’s experience using the platform. 

ECRM: How has the pandemic impacted the way you conduct your day-to-day business, and how has virtual become a part of it?

Gonder: The pandemic has had impacted our business in several ways, from pivoting to a work-from-home environment to new supply chain and logistics realities. As an essential product manufacturer, it was important that we ensured there was no disruption to the supply of product to our customers thus virtual meetings became an integral part of our daily work routine.

ECRM: What were your thoughts and expectations when we initially approached you about the ECRM Virtual session, as well as after completing the session?

Gonder: We just came off a virtual session with another company that did not work out so well. The platform was not as organized and hard to navigate. Plus we recently opted out of another show that went virtual because the participants had to arrange their own meetings and the site also was very difficult to navigate. So at first I was skeptical about the ECRM session, wondering if the experience would be any better. As it turns out, the ECRM Connect platform was a dream to use, 10 out of 10! And no tech hiccups to speak of.

ECRM: Describe the prep process, and how you worked with our Client Success Manager to test the platform and ensure that the settings were optimized?

Gonder: Angela Leggett [ECRM Client Success Manager] was great – from the start we were literally hand-held through the process. The test platform really prepared the Diva International team for what was to come, and gave each of us confidence and necessary skills going into the live sessions.

ECRM: Did you take advantage of the various tools during your virtual meetngs?

Gonder: We did use many of the features, and they were beneficial to our business and meeting success. And with so many meetings, the follow up site helped to keep things organized and prioritize the opportunities.

ECRM: Tell us about how you went about giving your presentation.

Gonder: We registered for the 10-minute sessions, and because of the limited time, the ability to download our presentation to the buyers in advance of the meeting made big difference in how we began. We were able to quickly zero in on the important key points, so that by the end of those 10 minutes we could determine the level of opportunity and what the follow up needed to look like. 

ECRM: How was the quality buyers you met with, and the meetings you had with them?

Gonder: Since we had the ability to vet the retailers requesting meetings, the quality of meetings and buyers was exceptional. We were aligned on the purpose of the meeting, which enabled us to get to what was important very quickly.
ECRM: How do you see virtual playing a role in the future?

Gonder: After the ECRM experience, I am sold on virtual playing a significant role in the future provided the participant experience remains exceptional as it was with ECRM Connect. There are many benefits to a virtual platform, time and financial savings being two key factors. As a B-Corp company we appreciate that a virtual platform leaves an all-around smaller footprint on our environment.


Editors note: Buyers interested in connecting with Diva International can email Don at:


Craig Chmielowicz

SVP of Health & Beauty Care

Craig can be reached at +1 440 528-0445

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