Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
January 21, 2017

Using Social Media in Your Sales Process. With Philip Calvert. #361

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Philip Calvert, social media sales expert, and social media sales strategist, based in the UK. Among the many topics that Philip and I discuss, are Philip’s journey from financial service sales to social selling strategist, how LinkedIn gives salespeople a public face, how to use LinkedIn effectively and politely, and how social media can build bridges, but cannot close sales.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[5:10] As the founder of a networking site, Philip received invitations to speak about social media, not only for financial services, but for law, accounting, pharmaceuticals, etc.

[7:41] When Philip asks audiences  if they know why they’re on LinkedIn, hardly any hands go up. Unless you have been trained on it, you’ll never fully get the best out of it. LinkedIn is the website for your personal brand. People buy people.

[11:02] Everybody, in every organization, is potentially a salesperson. The social media philosophy of a business must be extremely clear, and in a policy book. E.g., “We encourage everybody to get involved, but don’t do anything stupid.”

[12:48] It starts with training people how to build a professional profile. Make sure to have a good photo and some human interest on your profile. List your interests in the Additional Information section, as searchable keywords, separated by commas.

[18:32] The ‘loose connection,’ concept includes connecting with everybody possible, except spammers. What does Philip say is the main function of social media?

[22:41] Social media can distract you with shiny new tech. “Give that a go,’ is not a strategy. Have a strategy about which platforms to use, and how, to create conversations, which can build relationships.

[26:24] Most people never bother to customize the LinkedIn connection request. Do it! Always connect from a person’s profile page, not from the LinkedIn suggestions list, so you can see their interests, to customize your note.

[28:04] What does Philip advise you to do when you get a notification that someone viewed your profile?

[31:43] Use courtesy and common sense to determine the best way to start building a relationship with the person you find on LinkedIn. It may be through LinkedIn, or it may be to pick up the phone, or send an email.

January 20, 2017

How to Build and Manage Distributed Sales Teams. With Bridget Gleason. #360

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my very special guest, Bridget Gleason. On this week’s episode, Bridget and I discuss, among other topics, how she is hiring a sales team for her new position of V.P. of Sales at Logz.io, how to accommodate account executives with relocation issues, and how complex sales need a complex infrastructure.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:04] Bridget’s new job of V.P. of Sales at Logz.io has her looking for technical account executives in the Boston and
San Francisco areas. Her contact information is below!

[3:51] Bridget is, once again, setting up a sales organization from scratch. Challenge number one is time and geography. Her company is a startup, based in Tel Aviv, 10 hours ahead of San Francisco and seven hours ahead of Boston.

[4:56] Learning how to set up and manage distributed teams in a global market is something we will all have to learn to do well.

[7:53] The sales model Bridget is building, is an inside/hybrid role. There will be an SDR team, helping filter inbound and making outbound. There will be account executives, with some experience in SMB mid-market, looking to grow their careers.

[10:18] The biggest challenge of remote management is where people are located, vs. where they are needed.

[13:44] Great employees are requiring flexibility on where to live. Can they be accommodated and still cohere into a team?

[16:04] Bridget looks for people who are self-directed, motivated, smart, and curious, and who have integrity, that have some affinity for technology.

[17:10] Andy looks for big-picture ‘systems thinkers,’ for the kind of sales role under discussion. He looks at what they have done so far, and he asks them probing questions.

[20:26] In Bridget’s view, there is one team — not a U.S. team, and a Tel Aviv team. She looks for team-oriented people.

[22:03] Andy describes a $1B company that does not have a sales function. They have project teams that sell. That team mentality and cooperation are needed for complex deals.

January 19, 2017

How to Influence and “Pre-Suade” Buyers. With Robert Cialdini. #359

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Dr. Robert Cialdini, New York Times bestselling author, with three million copies of his books sold. Dr. Cialdini is known for his international best-selling book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, as well as his latest book, Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade. Dr. Cialdini is the Regent’s Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, as well as the President and CEO of Influence at Work. Among the topics Dr. Cialdini and I discuss are how his own experience of being “a pushover” led him to research how people are influenced to make decisions; the six (now seven) central precepts of influence and how to use “pre-suasion” to prime prospects to receive the value of your messaging.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:36] Robert says he’s always been a pushover to buy things he didn’t want, and to make contributions to causes he didn’t know, while people walked away with his money. This is why he started studying the psychology of influence.

[3:56] He wrote Influence to inform people how to recognize and resist unwelcome influences upon themselves. All of his clients, though, want to harness influence, not to deflect it.

[6:34] If we tap into those fundamental motivations that are universal to humanity, then we have a set of influence tools that will be most successful over the widest set of situations and populations.

[7:07] The 6 key precepts of influence.

[15:11] A tactic used on American POWs during the Korean War, was to ask for a neutral agreement before asking for a big one. The agreement mentally turned them from prisoners to assistants. This also works, to turn prospects to customers.

[18:34] Dr. Cialdini once found he was influenced to make a contribution to a man at his door, who had presented no credentials, and no evidence of validity. Dr. Cialdini made a donation, and felt good about it,  until he realized how he had been influenced.

[21:28] Savvy communicators Pre-Suade, before they deliver their message. It is not changing a person’s mind, but changing their state of mind, so that they willingly receive your message.

[23:39] If you want to sell by quality, rather than price, show an environment of quality in your marketing materials. Dr. Cialdini tells of a study of clouds vs. pennies for landing page backgrounds, for a furniture store. Listen, for what happened!

[28:37] What has been most recently elevated to top-of-mind, when you’re about to make your pitch? That is what will determine how receptive people will be to it.

[29:20] Dr. Cialdini discovered a seventh principle of influence: Unity (being one of us). People say, “yes” in the boundaries of, “we.” Point to existing memberships you share before you ask. Ask advice (as of a partner), not opinion (as of a customer).

[36:37] These principles work effectively in person. But even in an email, if we start it with a personalizing, connecting message, then that re-establishes the human basis for exchange.

[38:37] Andy recommends to all his listeners to read both books: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, and, Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade.

January 18, 2017

Accelerate Your Success by Investing in Your Development. With Mike Weinberg. #358

Joining me for the third time on Accelerate! is my friend Mike Weinberg. He’s the author of two excellent books: New Sales. Simplified, and Sales Management. Simplified. Among the topics that Mike and I discuss are how salespeople can stop being commoditized and how you are responsible for your own development and success as a salesperson.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:08] The biggest challenge facing salespeople today, is being commoditized, instead of being seen as value producers.

[3:12] Why it’s essential salespeople must view themselves as consultants, professional problem-solvers and value creators.

[5:20] Being responsive — which is crucial — does not require you to provide a proposal prematurely. Mike explains why.

[8:06] Take ownership of your sales process. Tell the client you need to meet with them for discovery, so the proposal will be relevant to them.

[11:17] Salespersons used to be mentored in their roles. Now, they are sent out untrained, with a quota.

[12:53] The customer is learning and growing faster than the seller. The buyer doesn’t need the seller for info — they are drowning in it. Provide value by consulting to their needs.

[15:09] Mike’s message: Listen to Andy’s podcasts and link to the guest content; buy the books, especially, Amp Up Your Sales, by Andy Paul, and watch your sales! Invest in yourself!

[19:43] Andy’s lesson: regardless of any training your company provides or fails to provide, you have responsibility for your success, and there are resources available all around you.

[21:03] It’s the top people who invest in themselves, and take responsibility for their individual development. Andy pays a coach, and joined a Mastermind group.

[21:40] Your prospect really is in a less-than-optimal situation. You can help them. If your motivation is to help the customer win, you’re going to win. Prospect them, by all means, with all you’ve got, and get in front of them for discovery.

[25:38] Phone and email outreach methods are still valuable. Don’t give in to people who say they aren’t. Use every channel that touches your client positively.

January 17, 2017

How to Accelerate Your Sales With Lean Communications. With Jack Malcolm. #357

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jack Malcolm, President of the Falcon Performance Group, and author of two books, Bottom-Line Selling, and Strategic Sales Presentations. Among the topics that Jack and I discuss are how a reluctant salesperson became a sales trainer, how Lean thinking clarifies sales communications, how the right questions lead to optimum outcomes, and why your product features, in isolation, are of no interest to the buyer.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:55] Jack was a banker in the early ‘80s, because he wanted nothing to do with sales. Until he was sent out to bring in new customers.

[2:06] Summary of ‘Lean’: create more value for customers, and take waste out of the process. Lean communications are: A, B, C, and D. Add value, Brevity, Clarity, and Dialog with customers to co-create value.

[4:10] Adding tangible value is effective communication. It is clear, improves outcomes, and sustains the relationship.

[5:24] Improving outcomes takes precedence over sustaining relationships when an unfavorable message must be given. Be candid at all times, or you subtract value.

[8:41] Asking questions may help buyers to arrive at conclusions that will help improve outcomes for them.

[10:14] Clarity — the customer’s understanding of what the salesperson is trying to get across.

[10:52] Brevity — answer the two questions on the prospect’s mind: “What do you want from me,” and, “Why should I do it?” Start your meeting with the what and why.

[14:45] Make it impossible for you to be misunderstood. Don’t assume they know your jargon, acronyms or connotations.

[18:18] Dialog begins with listening. You’re never going to get it all exactly right on your own. To create value, create it together. Use ‘Just In Time’ communications. Listen with focus.

[21:14] Four factors for improving outcomes: solve problems, show opportunities, help adapt to changes, and remove risks.

[27:04] Instead of starting with features and benefits, ask what the customer wants to achieve, and work back to the features.

January 16, 2017

How to Accelerate Relationship-building. With Keith Dugdale. #356

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Keith Dugdale, CEO of The Business of Trust, which is a sales consultancy based in Brisbane, Australia, and coauthor of the book, Smarter Selling: How to grow sales by building trusted relationships, by David Lambert and Keith Dugdale. Among the topics that Keith and I discuss are the activities and mindsets that work best for relationship-building, when sales training is premature, and how trust means ceding control to the customer.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:55] Focus on helping a client succeed, and building a relationship of trust, and that will create an environment where they want to buy from you.

[3:32] The ‘I owe you’ approach is that the salesperson owes  the customer everything, for their present commitment of time, and potential future commitment of money.

[6:46] Top executives place a higher premium on their time than on money. They will give time to the person who gives the most return for it. This requires deep advance research.

[8:44] Look at the drivers of the person you are speaking to, the person’s business role, their organization, and most importantly, global and local issues within their industry.

[14:37] The standard sales development process many companies use that focuses on setting up meetings is not about relationships. Behavioral change is needed. Don’t invest in training until other key pieces are set up.

[15:36] Have a business strategy, a key account strategy that everyone believes, and long-term market share and revenue goals. Identify the key players, and who in your organization will build the relationships. Then align your infrastructure.

[18:49] Use questions that aspirational CEOs want to hear. Don’t ask what is their biggest challenge. Ask what is going really well, and, is there anything that could go better?

[23:35] We are losing our curiosity. What are the traits a salesperson needs, to ask the questions that build relationships.

[27:08] Trust, for the salesperson, is ceding control.

[29:50] No one likes to be sold to, but everyone likes to buy.

January 14, 2017

How You Can Accelerate Your Success in 2017. With Mark Hunter. #355

Welcome to Sales Kick-Off Week on Accelerate!

Joining me on Day Five of the Accelerate! 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off Week is my guest Mark Hunter.

Mark Hunter is The Sales Hunter. He’s a keynote speaker, sales trainer and author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price, and most recently, High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Benefits.

On Day 6, this last day of our 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off Meeting the focus is squarely on you. And the steps you can take to elevate your professionalism and performance in 2017.

In this episode, Mark lays out his challenges for sales professionals in 2017, including how to put together a personal development plan, how to develop the habit of curiosity, how to create purposeful personal goals, how to hold yourself accountable for achieving your personal goals and much much more.

Want to improve your sales performance in 2017? Start by investing half an hour to learn from Mark Hunter.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:54] Mark’s 2017 sales resolution is to spend more time with fewer prospects. Who do we prospect? Is a heartbeat enough of a qualification? Mark’s dog has not bought from him, yet.

[2:15] Mark wants social media be one-to-one communication. #SocialMediaWithoutSocialCommunityIsSocialStupidity

[4:50] The number one challenge facing salespeople is to know and accept that their most valuable asset is their time. Use tools to manage your time.

[7:41] Connect with three or four external peers to challenge and motivate each other, to get to the next level. Top performers associate with top performers.

[9:03] Every floor in a building is not the same. Move yourself to the next floor and find a whole level of new opportunities and relationships. It will change your paradigm.

[12:30] What can you do to improve yourself this month or quarter? What can you do to improve yourself over the next five-to-ten years? Mark’s goal is to read a book a week.

[12:51] To read a book a week, Mark will have to: 1) pick up his reading pace, 2) become more focused and retain what he reads, and 3) be able to cut out other activities from his time.

[14:40] Higher-achieving people, while they work out, are listening to podcasts, not to music, to better themselves.

[17:06] Disrupt You!, by Jay Samit, shows that things are changing, and there are incredible opportunities coming, if you open yourself to change, and take advantage of them.

[19:23] Ask your kids everyday, “What did you Google today?” We have to become more curious, and be methodical about it.

[22:50] Curiosity needs to build your knowledge. Have purposeful personal goals. What will you sacrifice to attain your goals? Have an accountability partner who will check in with you.

 

January 13, 2017

How You Can Use Stories and Content to Connect with your Buyers. With David Meerman Scott. #354

Welcome to Sales Kick-Off Week on Accelerate!

Joining me on Day Five of the Accelerate! 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off Week is my guest David Meerman Scott.

David Meerman Scott is a leading sales and marketing speaker, and author of numerous best-selling books, including The New Rules of Marketing and PR, Newsjacking, and more recently, The New Rules of Sales and Service: How to Use Agile Selling, Real-Time Customer Engagement, Big Data, Content, and Storytelling to Grow Your Business.

On Day Five of our 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off the focus is on how you can use stories and other content to create value and connect with your buyers.

In this episode David teaches how authentic storytelling builds connections with buyers; how to create stories that catch the attention of the buyers; why sales pros should be curating content for their prospects, and why you need different content for unique buyer personas.

Click to tweet: How to use stories and content to connect with buyers with @DMScott now on #accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS 

[1:01] David started at a bond trading desk, getting real-time information and pricing, before the day of the web. Losing his job, by company acquisition in 2002, led him to make a career decision. He began writing, speaking, and consulting.

[5:04] When David wrote The New Rules of Marketing and PR, its theme was that web marketing creates content for multiple people at once, and drives them to a buying process.

[5:57] The New Rules of Sales and Service applies the same concept, but focuses on content the salesperson curates, to reach one buyer at a time.

[6:48] Authentic storytelling first creates a narrative for your company, and on top of that, creates stories of value and interest to your prospects. Hire a journalist over a copywriter.

[8:51] Creating interesting stories for our prospects, forces us to look beyond our products and our egos, to the benefits they present to our clients, with stories making clients into heroes.

[9:20] A salesperson might curate existing content about one customer’s experience, and create a story for how a prospect might use the product or service to benefit their own clients.

[12:05] Hubspot measures how people click through from one place to another on their huge site. E.g., 20% of the visitors to the Hubspot CEO’s bio page become paying customers. So, the salesperson needs to know how to approach these visitors.

[14:10] Don’t just tie a new sale back to the original lead source. Find out what the customer also saw and read between the lead and the purchase — gain valuable insights.

[18:24] You need different content for each buyer persona. A college needs one set for HS sophomores, one set for seniors, and one set for parents. Most schools provide one content set.

[19:35] When someone fills in a form, follow the data to see how they got there. That shows their buyer persona, and what content you need to supply to them.

[23:40] Understand how content is used today; be curators of content. Be active on social networks, and create content that adds value for your prospects.

[33:00] Be much more responsive than you are today, to increase the business you bring in tomorrow.

 

January 12, 2017

How You Can Grab the Attention of Busy, Distracted Buyers. With Jill Rowley. #353

Welcome to Sales Kick-Off Week on Accelerate!

Joining me on Day Four of the 2017 Accelerate! Virtual Sales Kick-off Week is my guest Jill Rowley.

Jill Rowley, is a digital transformation specialist, well-known speaker, social selling evangelist, and enterprise sales expert.

On Day Four of our 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off Meeting, we focus on how you can cut through the noise to grab the attention of busy, distracted buyers.

In this episode, Jill provides techniques to you can use to cut through the distractions competing for your buyer’s attention, how to use social to connect with people (not just to sell them), and essential strategies to elevate your digital and social skill sets.

Mastering the art of making authentic connections is essential for every sales professional. Listen to this episode to learn how!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:53] Jill calls herself a sales professional trapped in a marketer’s body. Jill knows her buyers, and advocates for them. She started at Salesforce.com in 2000, after years of consulting, then moved to Eloqua, a Salesforce customer.

[5:00] Salespeople and buyers face the same challenge: distraction. Buyers have a nearly unlimited access to information and people, but are overwhelmed; sellers equally have access to them, but get lost in the distractions.

[6:25] The best salespeople know the customer intimately, at a human level, at a company level, at an industry level. The more you know their situation, the better you can help them.

[7:45] Know the ideal customer profile, so you are not chasing bad-fit prospects, but those where you can create value best; and find their right internal influencer to be your champion.

[11:30] Jill tagged some GE Execs in a relevant Tweet; Jim Fowler, GE CIO, Retweeted it. Through DM, email, and phone they connected in a great conversation. Social has impact.

[15:05] Invest in upping your digital and social skillset. Get training for yourself, and make the business case for your organization to do the same. Your customer is already there.

[19:05] Never send a generic LinkedIn invitation. Customize an invitation to your prospect, because every impression matters.

[22:43] Celebrate customer success. Tweet an announcement of a customer doing something great, not an announcement about your great success. Nobody Tweets your data sheet!

[24:18] Instead of thinking of prospects and customers, think of buyers. Nobody wants to be targeted, prospected, hunted, farmed, or closed. They want to have a buying experience.

[26:18] SDRs and BDRs need to know the buyer, knowing their problems that you solve, and how to connect the dots to get that person’s attention. Get on a learning path, every day.

[30:27] Take charge of your career, and if you do well, you’re going to be rewarded, even if it’s not exactly according to the prescribed structure.

[32:23] Set a pair of reading glasses on your desk, to put on whenever you have a question about what you’re doing, ‘to see it through the customer’s eyes.’

January 11, 2017

How You Can Quickly Engage and Connect with Your Buyers. With Jim Keenan. #352

Welcome to Sales Kick-Off Week on Accelerate!

Joining me on Day Three of the Accelerate! Virtual Sales Kick-off Week is my guest Jim Keenan.

Jim Keenan, (known to friends simply as Keenan) is the Sales Guy, an author, speaker, and consultant, who runs a burgeoning sales empire. You can find him online at ASalesGuy.com.

On Day Three of our 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off Meeting, Keenan is focused on helping you become the best, and most productive, version of yourself in 2017.

In this episode, Keenan provides strategies to help you more quickly and effectively engage with your prospects; to teach you how to really focus on the needs of the prospects and how to build authentic relationships with your buyers that lead to orders.

Are you ready for some inspiration to take your game to the next level in 2017? Start today by listening to this episode now!

Key Takeaways

[1:15] Jim is a teacher at heart and an agitator, who loves change and motivation. He applies it all, in the world of sales and social, through his company and the online tools available.

[3:07] Jim does not want salespeople to worry about what might be ‘the big thing’ coming up. He wants people to ask themselves, where is their greatest opportunity for growth as a salesperson, within their industry, space, and product set.

[3:56] Some of the important concerns of salespeople are being able to connect with buyers, manage their own time, and master all the tools at their disposal.

[5:02] Engagement doesn’t come from a tool. It is difficult, and is becoming more so, as more of your competitors try to engage your prospects. It’s an attention war.

[7:35] Authenticity is the key factor. Authenticity says you are being real, and intellectually and emotionally honest. It isn’t manipulation. It puts the prospect’s needs first.

[11:59] Remove yourself from the equation. When you reach out to a prospect, offer value to them, do not ask for yourself. This requires research, to know what help they need.

[14:01] When you’re authentically committed to their end result, engagement is easier. If you know nothing about their business, they will see you cannot help them.

[15:25] You know that you’re a brilliant salesperson, if a company would hire you, for your expertise, as a consultant to solve the problems in their company that your product solves.

[18:28] The best salespeople are Renaissance people, with a vast knowledge of all kinds of stuff, that they can pull out in the sale, that enhances the conversation.

[21:43] As a salesperson, don’t let your quota be your goal. Own your job. Build over your quota, and include personal mastery and development goals. Plan and calendar how and when to execute your revenue goals and mastery goals.

[23:57] Write down your planned steps. Reverse-engineer them to your goals. Will the things you wrote down get you to the numbers in your goal? If not, re-work them, until you come up with executable steps that will hit your goals.

[29:58] Sales managers need to start focusing on their team as individuals, not on the revenue numbers. Ask, where is my team in relation to the success factors they need? Then build a coaching plan for each representative.