Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
May 30, 2017

#471. Sell How Your Customers Want to Buy. With Kristin Zhivago.

Kristin Zhivago, President at CloudPotential, and author of Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

[1:43] Kristin’s book explains how customers want to buy. In the years since she wrote it, revolutionary trends have arisen, due to mobile and Google. People find you, and want you to fulfill their needs right now.
[4:07] Sales organizations still do outbound, but they have to be prepared at the moment of need, with the desired product or service. Voicemail is a barrier to those who are ready to buy but have just one more question. Answer when they call!
[6:14] Andy’s book, Zero-Time Selling, is based around the urgency of the customer when they contact you. Customers have tools to find you. When you are found, be ready.
[7:30] Sellers need to think like the customer. There is a GAP (Gross Assumption Problem). Find out what the customer wants from your product. (It’s not what you are promoting.)
[10:37] Kristin says even between different industries, there are trends of what the customer needed from the purchase. Seven interviews with existing customers will reveal trends. Give them what they want, and they will buy. Use big data.
[15:23] The job of salespeople is to ask questions, listen, and find out where the customer is in the buying process, what their next decision point is, and not to bore them with what they already know, and to help.
[18:35] If sales methodology at an organization does not allow customer-centric behavior, it’s a problem to solve at the top. The CEO needs to understand it’s not just smiling and dialing.
[23:49] Kristin’s book covers four levels of scrutiny. There is a lot of skepticism, especially in the software industry. Everyone has been burned, and no one wants that to happen again. Explore issues with the customer, to see if there is a good fit.
[26:37] Salespeople must master deep thinking. The first answer to a question is not usually the whole answer. Don’t just skim the surface, but get to the customer motivation.
[27:47] The book Absolute Value shows that buyers can come very close to experiencing the value of your product, before they even speak to you for the first time.
[28:37] Kristin talks about the structure of a purchase, from need, through purchase and referrals. Kristin says to follow the scent. Map the real decision points along the way.
[31:47] The NADA notes that the average car buyer visits one dealership to buy a car. B2B is headed that way. The role of the salesperson is to answer the buyer’s specific questions, and have the tools available to do that, in a timely manner.

May 29, 2017

#470. How to Win By Being Nice. With Doug Sandler.

Doug Sandler, blogger, host of the Nice Guys on Business podcast, and author of Nice Guys Finish First, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[4:29] Doug describes what it is to be a nice guy. It’s doing the right things even when people don’t see, going beyond expectations, showing empathy and gratitude, and catching someone doing something right. People are attracted to this.

[6:00] Negativity is more exposed now, because people post on social media the things they used to keep to say in private.

[8:47] Doug quotes Gary Shandling, “If you don’t think nice guys finish first, then you don’t know where the finish line is.” Doug uses niceness as his MO.

[13:11] Doug suggests assessing your own level of niceness: Do you show gratitude to your staff? Do you catch them doing the right things? He suggests mindfulness. Do you return calls and emails? Do you show empathy? Do you reach out?

[16:06] Doug has a program, “The Nice Guy 30.” It is not about getting anything in return. Create an environment of giving, without an agenda. It becomes more meaningful to you.

[17:13] Doug wrote a popular post, “24 Seconds that Will Change Your Life.” Send out two text messages a day to people you haven’t contacted in the last 30 days. Doug explains the responses you could get. It builds relationships.

[20:21] Winning in business is about winning relationships. Create an environment where people can know, like, and trust you naturally. Set unrealistic expectations, and exceed them every time. You have to do what you say you will do.

[22:27] You get more business from customers you already have, if you develop those relationships. New customers focus on price, while existing customers consider relationship value.

[24:51] Doug tells of a doctor’s appointment when everyone just looked at the PC. Doug asked, “Can we just have a conversation?” Treat everyone as a human being.

[28:15] Robert Cialdini says people like to do business with people they think like them! Being nice, concerned, and asking about them, sends a message. There is a need for instant rapport. Research first. If networking, ask leading questions.

[32:32] Sharing the discomfort of a networking event can open a connection. Show vulnerability, transparency, authenticity, and open up engagement. Doug talks on his podcast the same as with his best friend.

[33:51] Doug’s podcast, The Nice Guys on Business, was started as a channel to promote his services, is now the hub of his entire business, after two years and 330 episodes. Doug’s and Andy’s podcasts are featured on the C-Suite Radio Network.

May 28, 2017

Accelerate! Expresso #08: Weekly Review Show for May 22-27

Accelerate! Expresso is a weekly round-up show that contains snippets from each interview from the previous week’s slate of guests on Accelerate!

These clips have been edited into a tight, short show that will give you just a taste of the insights you missed if you didn’t catch every episode of Accelerate!

In this episode, you’ll hear excerpts from my conversations with my guests during the week of May 22-27. That’s episodes 464-469.

Come listen as I was joined by the following experts: Lee Caraher, William Wickey, Sharon Drew Morgan, Michael FitzGerald and Shawn Finder. In addition, Bridget Gleason was my usual partner on Front Line Friday.

Take a quick listen now. Then go back and listen to an entire episode with your favorite guest.

May 27, 2017

#469. Reduce Wasted Sales Time with Clean Data. With Shawn Finder

Shawn Finder, CEO of ExchangeLeads, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[2:33] Shawn is in Toronto, with teams also in the U.S. and Eastern Europe. ExchangeLeads is a B2B platform that allows sales and marketing reps in the U.S. and Canada to download targeted, validated, and filtered contacts.

[3:24] The ExchangeLeads platform dashboard is available 24/7, to download new contacts, upload and validate existing contacts against threats, and exchange old contacts for new contacts. Exchange makes a spreadsheet of validated contacts.

[4:59] ExchangeLeads subscriptions are $49 and $149 a month, for set numbers of contracts. Clients can also purchase additional credits at any time.

[5:59] Each contact is validated for email and phone, and is checked against 52+ threats. Credit is provided for valid contacts, which go into the main database.

[6:46] Shawn jumped into the field of lists because of dissatisfaction about the quality of databases available. The goal was 95+% quality contacts, with less than 5% error. ExchangeLeads checks contacts manually, and by automation.

[9:42] Manual checks start with lists for the paying clients, and move out from there. Other verification processes are in development to replace manual checks. Shawn recommends companies validate their email and phone contacts monthly.

[14:17] Even the largest companies do not have adequate data standardization in their existing lists. This is a service just launched by ExchangeLeads. When lists are validated, they can also be data-standardized, to make CRM searches simple.

[18:48] ExchangeLeads clears out the database every quarter for bad emails and phones, for a bounce rate of under 5%.

[20:13] Shawn has a wide range of client profiles. Many IT contacts, logistics, telecommunications, and computer software companies; many are looking for C-suite contacts.

[21:07] ExchangeLeads is sold either by subscription or by custom service, building lists, and adding LinkedIn profiles.

[22:23] ExchangeLeads offers freemium (50 contacts are free). The subscription model is sold by inside sales reps. Enterprise salespeople focus on the larger clients for custom service.

[24:33] Shawn has an upcoming sister product planned to help solve the challenge of getting from contact to appointment.

May 26, 2017

#468 Using Questions to Mentor Sales Reps. With Bridget Gleason.

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays.


[2:21] The President was on the way to NYC the day of this recording, so streets were closed, and cars were relocated.

[7:42] The topic is sales questions. Bridget asks how should sales reps go about getting more out of their managers — assuming the manager has something to offer? Reps can look for skills the manager has, that they want to learn.

[10:59] Top-performing reps may be self-sufficient, and not need much input from their managers. Their managers might ask how they can help top-performers achieve their goals. It’s important to have those conversations.

[11:31] Bridget talks about a potential manager interview, and how she ponders what her reps would learn from the manager. A person who has no apparent skills to teach will be eliminated.

[13:18] The biggest challenge of new sales managers is to determine how to add value to their reps. Andy tells of his first promotion to a manager. He studied sales books to improve!

[14:33] Bridget looks for inquisitiveness and self-directed learning in every person she hires. Her last manager hire was an aggressive, curious, and motivated learner.

[16:11] Andy looks for creative problem-solving. He recalls the pressure of his first management role. When he got past his initial tension, he looked outside the box to try new things. Bridget points out that creativity requires autonomy to design.

[19:54] Andy’s daughter sought advice from Andy on how to negotiate a better job offer. Then she did it her way instead, and the negotiation went as she wished.

[20:42] Bridget looks for people who will consider suggestions, but also use their own instinct, brains, and skills, to come up with better solutions, if they can. They may need to get  approval, but they shouldn’t ignore their own better ideas.

[22:31] Salespeople need to take risks. Andy’s career was built on risks he took with the sales system — because he was succeeding. Too much prescription may hold back success.

[23:38] Managers and repeatable processes sometimes make it difficult to experiment. Can reps color outside the lines, and still meet mutual objectives?

[25:16] Bridget talks about the one-on-ones she holds with her reps. Each one is different. She makes suggestions, and listens to their input, to come up with good expectations and meet the required numbers they all have.

May 25, 2017

#467. How to Use CRM to Nudge Sales Forward and Get Things Done. With Michael FitzGerald.

Michael FitzGerald, CEO at OnePageCRM, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[2:42] Michael is also the product person at the company, and he asks clients to contact him by email with product issues.

[3:24] Michael follows David Allen’s GTD task management philosophy. OnePageCRM focuses on getting things done on time. Sales is a sequential set of tasks, and OnePageCRM organizes the tasks proactively in order. Tasks rise as needed.

[6:48] You should always know the very next action to take with your prospects. So, right after you take an action, you input the next action, while the encounter is fresh, and you have good insight for what is needed, and when.

[9:13] Each message of value to the prospect should have an expected response, and the response should be followed by a planned new message of value to the prospect. With OnePageCRM, you readily anticipate the prospect’s needs.

[10:38] Michael designed OnePageCRM for the salesperson, and built it out to meet management reporting needs without burdening the salesperson. It is meant to be as easy as email, and to approach zero admin. Add a contact with one button.

[17:37] Michael works to reduce the number of questions in people’s heads, both in sales, and for salespeople using the app. Just as the prospect should have a clear buying path, the salesperson should use the CRM easily, without challenges.

[20:09] The business owner seller is not the intended user of the OnePageCRM; it is most valuable for small sales teams, selling to companies with multiple stakeholders. As its name indicates, it is an interactive list page you work from all day.

[23:22] Only relevant actions show up on the page. Each sequence is a perpetual loop that continues to the next action and date you have specified, until the sale is complete.

[26:32] OnePageCRM focuses attention on the one thing to be done, so nothing happens late, or out of sequence.

[28:27] As Michael learned sales, he kept finding the message, “To increase sales, increase sales actions.” He took this to mean increase calls, mailings, appointments, and other small consistent interactions to build trust. He calls these nudges.

May 24, 2017

#466 How to Facilitate the Buying Decision. With Sharon Drew Morgen.

Sharon Drew Morgen, Creator of Buying Facilitation®, keynote speaker, and author of multiple bestselling books, including Buying Facilitation, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[2:00] Sharon Drew claims that, including email marketing and call centers, there is less than a 1% close rate on sales. Sharon Drew explains how salespeople are taught to fail, and expect to fail.

[3:27] Sharon Drew’s analysis shows that buying is a 13-step process. The decision to buy is only one point within those steps. Sharon Drew describes the system that controls buying.

[4:57] Systems try to fix problems internally. All elements have to be brought together. A system tries to manage disruption.

[7:06] Until the risk is less than the reward, the system will not choose to change.

[7:27] Sharon Drew uses a story to describe the system. The buyer must account for all decision makers before going forward.

[9:59] The buyer needs to learn the stakeholders. The system wants to get to excellence, with minimal disruption. The salesperson thinks a prospect is one who should buy. Sharon Drew says a prospect is one who will buy. Who helps them prepare?

[13:36] If a salesman does not take the buyer through the Buyer Facilitation process, there is no sale, unless they find low-hanging fruit who have facilitated themselves already. Sharon Drew tells a successful client story with a control group test.

[16:02] The process starts with a good list. Using Buyer Facilitation, there is a 35-40% increase in sales over control groups, over the 35 years Sharon has been teaching facilitation. Sharon Drew tells a client anecdote on how to question.

[23:49] All the facilitative questions help the buyer find their own excellence; they don’t pull data from the buyer to help the salesperson to sell. Sharon Drew describes how she helped KPMG facilitate a big solution for Boeing, through asking questions.

[27:29] The facilitation of the buying process helps the buyer and the seller, but sellers normally are trained to ask questions that are biased to help the seller. A seller can look for buyers who are ready, or they can help buyers to be ready.

[29:26] Through facilitation, the salesperson earns trust, and has credit with the buyer. The seller has taken the buyer off the market. Sharon Drew shares another story.

May 23, 2017

#465. Top Trends in B2B Sales and Marketing. With William Wickey.

William Wickey, Senior Manager of Content and Media Strategy at LeadGenius, and one of the authors of an ebook, 2017 Trends & Tech Guide for B2B Sales & Marketing, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[2:07] LeadGenius, Ambition, and Prezi Business collaborated on the new book, 2017 Trends & Tech Guide for B2B Sales & Marketing. This is William’s second book collaboration with Ambition’s Jeremy Boudinet.

[3:36] William explains how Trends & Tech guides are usually structured, and how this one varies. The authors looked for trends in B2B sales and marketing, and then mapped them to organizational needs, matching technologies to evaluate.

[6:38] William talks about LeadGenius, and the market they serve with analytics and insights. He sees the same challenges and trends outside of tech as within the tech market.

[8:18] William comments on the SDR function rising in inside sales, with the alignment of sales and marketing efforts.

[10:15] The book is intended to reach markets that have not fully embraced tech tools for sales and marketing. William cites manufacturing and construction as examples.

[14:09] William offers suggestions for adopting tech — outbound email solutions, such as PersistIQ,, and Yesware; and solutions for contact data strategy to allow targeted blasts to specific types of recipients.

[18:25] Division of labor allows your reps to spend their time on the highest value activities that they can. Audit your reps’ time on various activities, and look for technologies to make those activities more effective.

[21:31] Outbound can be personalized through mail merge and through targeting. The two efforts complement each other. William suggests a couple of ideas for targeting with the right data, accessing much more than name and address.

[25:31] There is a lot of homogeneity to outbound emails. Go against the trite, expected content. Be specific to the contact. Consider video email.

[28:58] Demonstrating relevance is a big step in the right direction. William is not impressed with zombie, auto-pilot email marketing.

[30:23] Poor marketing and outreach give sales reps a poor response and a bad reputation.

[31:55] Quantity over quality is not sustainable.

May 22, 2017

#464 How to Inspire Lifetime Loyalty with Employees. With Lee Caraher.

Lee Caraher, CEO of Double Forte digital agency in San Francisco, keynote speaker, and author of Millennials in Management, The Essential Guide to Making it Work at Work, and most recently, The Boomerang Principle: Inspire Lifetime Loyalty from Your Employees, joins me for the second time on this episode of #Accelerate! You can also listen to Episode #079, to hear Lee’s first interview.


[2:52] Lee explains the boomerang principle is that companies that encourage and allow former employees to return have a strategic advantage over those that don’t.

[3:07] Lee lists some effects upon culture from hiring back high performers. Boomerangs may stay longer, the second, or even third time back.

[4:27] Careers may span 50 years. Lee discusses the changes to companies and employees over that extended period.

[7:13] Some companies do not mention past employees or acknowledge their existence. Lee explains why not honoring their contributions is bad for company culture.

[8:23] Lee discusses Boomer attitudes, and how they’ve changed, regarding length of employment. The ‘myth of the golden watch’ still prevails, but the reality is quite different.

[11:33] There are reasons that people avoid applying at former employers, and reasons that they should apply. Lee explores these reasons. The key to relevance is to keep learning as an employee. No company is the same as it was a decade ago.

[14:40] Lee’s own company has rehired several former employees, and others are clients. About 90% of their alumni are positive contributors to their bottom line.

[15:47] Lee notes that in her experience, the continuing learning necessary for an employee to stay relevant is tremendous. Her company’s methods have morphed three times since she started it. Everybody changes to keep up.

[18:58] According to Tyler Cowen, people are switching jobs less, and moving less from state to state. Lee compares and contrasts this with her own observations.

[21:00] Lee defines the culture of appreciation. Lee’s father, a surgeon, told her, “If I said please and thank you in the OR, someone would die on the table.” She had to learn to appreciate employees. Research shows it boosts profit 7-21%.

[28:01] Lee discusses the culture of leadership. Millennials like to be acknowledged for leadership. Create an environment for Millennials to thrive, and everyone will thrive.

[30:09] Boomers experienced the best economy ever until the crashes of 2000 and 2008. That economy is over, and it will never again be what it was. Employees need to be relevant to be employed. Employers need the best talent.

May 21, 2017

Accelerate! Expresso #07: Weekly Review Show for May 15-20

Accelerate! Expresso is a weekly round-up show that contains snippets from each interview from the previous week’s slate of guests on Accelerate!

These clips have been edited into a tight, short show that will give you just a taste of the insights you missed if you didn’t catch every episode of Accelerate!

In this episode, you’ll hear excerpts from my conversations with my guests during the week of May 15-20. That’s episodes 458-463.

Come listen as I was joined by the following experts: David A Fields, John H Johnson, Mike Kunkle, Amit Bendov and Elise Mitchell. In addition, Bridget Gleason was my usual partner on Front Line Friday.

Take a quick listen now. Then go back and listen to an entire episode with your favorite guest.