Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
April 14, 2017

Build the Right Relationships with Your Buyers. With Bridget Gleason. #432

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular guest on Front Line Fridays.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:43] The topic is relationships with buyers. The definition of relationship is key. Unless they buy online, and don’t interact with a person, there is a relationship, but is it a friendship?

[3:37] A relationship is a connection. There are fundamental parameters for a buyer-seller relationship that buyers want.

[6:24] The relationship is based on the seller’s performance in support of the buyer’s needs. Expectations of both parties must be met to maintain the relationship.

[9:39] Positive neutrality is the minimum relationship. A buyer who actively dislikes you will soon go to someone else. Should the buyer’s relationship be with the salesperson, or with the salesperson’s company?

[12:06] Doug Sandler’s Nice Guys Finish First, asserts that being nice is the key to attracting buyers. People buy from people — in particular, from people they enjoy.

[14:19] Gallup published a statement several years ago about a huge mismatch between buyers’ and sellers’ perceptions of the value of the relationship. Who values the emotional factor?

[14:55] Where do salespeople get the belief that they should be friends with the buyers? What do buyers want from the relationship? Techniques are easier to teach than likability.

[15:46] A bright person can learn the features of any product well enough to sell it, but can’t always learn to approach buyers on the right personal level. Interpersonal skills are not easy for everyone.

[17:14] Bridget does not hire “jerks.” In most instances, being nice carries you further.

[18:07] You need resilience in the relationship, if and when things go wrong during the purchase.

[19:41] Bridget recalls a sale with manufacturer production delays that were damaging to a buyer. Their past positive experiences helped them to see the purchase through.

[21:09] Difficult situations call for increased communications, not for hiding from the customer. Overcommunicate. Do not let the relationship fall apart from neglect.

March 21, 2017

How To Build Trust-based Relationships in Sales. With Charles Green. #411

Joining me once again on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Charles Green, one of the co-authors of The Trusted Advisor, author of Trust-Based Selling: Using Customer Focus and Collaboration to Build Long-Term Relationships, and consultant to corporations on the subject of trust.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:49] Charlie’s background is in consulting and writing about trust, as it applies to large, complex, intangible services.

[1:35] Charlie addresses how to establish personalized, legitimate links between sellers and buyers in complex sales. Among “know, like, and trust,” which aspect is at the heart?

[4:04] How does reciprocity relate to trust? Charlie talks about a series of asymmetrical interactions. Why does he ‘BARG’?

[7:58] Charlie explains the origin of the handshake. How does vulnerability influence trust? What is the role of small talk?

[8:32] With more technology in the buying process, when does the salesperson need to interact first with the buyer?

[11:50] Charlie talks about challenging, adding value, taking risks, and exposing vulnerability. Complex sales are ‘high-wire.’

[12:44] Trust requires the exact truth. What is the flaw in managing expectations, to ‘exceed’ them?

[16:42] Charlie starts to explain the three steps the buyer takes to choose a vendor.

[19:40] In a proposal presentation, do you focus on yourself, your company, and product, or ask about the buyer’s needs?

[25:46] What is the justification step of the buying decision? When does emotion drive the buying process?

[28:50] Where do you draw the line between value you give away, and value you sell?

[30:25] What is the lie behind ‘tough ideas,’ and ‘adding value’? What is the actual driving factor of the buying decision?

March 18, 2017

Small Talk Leads to Sales Talk. With Stephanie Melish. #409

Stephanie Melish is an inspirational speaker and certified business coach.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[4:09] Stephanie learned sales, and is certified as a business coach and trainer. She wants to impact her community.

[4:39] Stephanie finds the biggest challenge for salespeople today to be lack of experience. Stephanie’s experience came in fund raising. Some entrepreneurs have no sales experience.

[6:00] What does Stephanie say about process, procedure, and scripts? What is the role of knowledge and authenticity?

[6:54] Stephanie has suggestions to replace verbatim scripts. How does she feel when somebody reads at her?

[9:28] To build rapport, embrace who you are, and learn who the prospect is. Know the area code you are calling, and current events there, like sports, and research the social profile of the person. Small talk leads to business talk.

[13:33] Stephanie wrote an article on November 7, about her convictions on the election. What did she say that spiked her unsubscribe numbers?

[15:18] Is it necessary for one woman to break a glass ceiling, either in politics, or in the sales profession? Stephanie urges people to continue to improve themselves, and put their work ethic to good use, to strive to get ahead independent of their gender.

[20:10] Stephanie gives advice to females. Don’t think of sales as a dirty word. Salespeople build relationships. They don’t conduct transactions. Sales is a service. If you are excited about solving problems through relationships, that is sales.

[24:31] Stephanie wrote about Scandal, and Olivia Pope. What is a fixer, and how is a salesperson a fixer in a positive way? Sales is leadership.

[26:19] Stephanie discusses behaviors of a successful leader. What is most important?

[29:04] How do you discover prospect expectations? How can unknown expectations derail a deal? How can you make sure that you exceed expectations?

March 1, 2017

Using Social Teaming to Build Your Referral Team. With Dean DeLisle. #394

Dean DeLisle, is the Founder and CEO of Forward Progress, Inc.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:02] Dean started Forward Progress 13 years ago. When digital and social media came out, Dean wanted to educate salespeople on how to use it effectively.

[2:41] The biggest myth around social selling is that it is as simple as putting up a LinkedIn profile. Opening a door does not automatically invite and attract customers.

[4:32] A study shows that 75% of execs who buy use social media. Connect with enough people to engage with active buyers you can serve.

[5:51] Buyers today do not phone their friends for purchase recommendations; they go to social media connections, and ask them for product recommendations. People trust their network.

[7:18] IDC says buyers are coming into the sales cycle later in the buying process, after their own research. The buyer’s credibility is on the line with each purchase. Connections in common with the vendor or salesperson provide validation.

[11:12] Social teaming is derived from sports team practices, and their recruitment vetting profiles. Dean coaches entrepreneurs to determine, and team up with, the top five people they know well, that would give reciprocal referrals.

[15:40] Dean found 92% of people are actually spending most of their time with people in their network who are not good candidates for their top five team of referral producers.

[17:16] When their top five people aren’t performing, they need 10 more to back them up. Those are the bench. The next 25 on the list are the practice squad. This team of 40 represents the authentic relationships people can manage. Connects to two of the 40 per day, socially, acknowledging mutual business interests.

[19:02] The relationships are scored 0 to 5. A “5,” is a close connection that will regularly provide referrals, sometimes without being asked. You can also look at their social connections and ask for referrals you need.
[20:22] How do I identify my top five? Look at the people you know who already help you. Find the most helpful one, and look for four more like them.

[24:57] To scout for new team members, at a networking event, consciously connect with people you haven’t met, and evaluate them against your top five. You may discover “the next starter.” Daily pick two of your 40 to consider to advance.

[30:43] Not everyone on LinkedIn is your team. Focus on relationships with people you can help, and who can help you. Dean’s team is developing a mobile app with an AI relationship engine to make recommendations. Until then, it’s all manual.

January 25, 2017

How to Close Sales Without Manipulating Buyers. With James Muir. #364

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest James Muir, sales trainer, speaker, coach, and author of The Perfect Close. Among the many topics that James and I discuss are why bad sales practices still abound, essential questions to help advance your buyer along their buying process and how facilitating the buying process builds trust.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:38] James wrote this book to help sales professionals that are uncomfortable asking for commitments in manipulative ways.

[5:11] A majority of meetings with prospects conclude without the sales professional asking for a commitment. You need to go into any encounter with an idea of what you want the outcome to be. Use advancing questions, such as, “Does it make sense to X?”

[7:28] Andy makes the connection to Neil Rackham’s Spin Selling, and asks if the prospect today still needs to be prodded from stage to stage.

[10:14] Asking, “What’s a good next step?” may reveal internal procedures that need to occur before anything external. That tells you where they’re at in their buying process.

[11:51] 50–60% of qualified opportunities end in no decision because sales professionals make assumptions without making a compelling case to change the status quo.

[13:10] Advancing questions show at each step if more justification is needed before going forward. Complex sales, particularly, may slow from insufficient justification.

[19:29] Endowed progress means that the closer one is to achieving a goal, the more one accelerates toward the goal.

[20:28] Commitment consistency is a propensity to sustain commitments, based on the psychological need to maintain internal coherence. Robert Cialdini addresses this in Influence.

[24:39] James tells about a client who refused to work with a sales rep ‘with commission breath.’ Closers who serve themselves are not serving the customer. Be a facilitator.

January 24, 2017

How to Convert Contacts Into Profitable Relationships. With Ed Wallace. #363

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Ed Wallace, Founder and CEO of The Relational Capital Group, and author of a couple of great books: Business Relationships That Last: 5 Steps to Transform Contacts Into High Performing Relationships and The Relationship Engine: Connecting with the People Who Power Your Business. Among the many topics that Ed and I discuss are the steps to you can take to convert sales contacts into relationships, the engine that turns leadership connections into relationships and how you should assess and strengthen your business relationships.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:54] A CPA ‘in recovery,’ Ed was a senior executive at Vertex for 20 years. He was their 9th employee and they sold $1M; when he left, they had 1,000 employees with $120M in sales.

[7:43] There is great potential to improve the existing business relationships you have. It takes time, and it’s difficult, but 90% of executives say relationships are the secret to their success.

[9:47] Ed describes the concepts of the relational ladder and the relationship engine. Each type is appropriate for specific circumstances, with different goals.

[13:52] Ed shares questions to assess the strength of your relationships and shares a process for building strong relationships.

[16:05] Given that you have good intentions toward your colleagues and customers, what is the central challenge of relational leadership?

[16:53] Ed offers to you, Andy’s listeners, to take the Relational Quotient test, an objective measure of 35 human business behaviors, such as email response, call-back time, etc.
[18:35] If you are not getting validation from the people with whom you are trying to build relationships, look at your credibility, integrity, and authenticity. Something is missing. There are no neutral interactions. Trust either rises or falls.

[24:30] Worthy intent is a promise to put the other person’s best interests at the forefront of the relationship. Trust is the inevitable consequence of worthy intent. Asking relevant, topical questions shows your worthy intent.

[26:29] Relational GPS means Goals, Passions, and Struggles. Learning and sharing relational GPS is the universal framework for every business relationship. Let it flow naturally; don’t ask. Ed shares a $10M GPS anecdote of a deal saved by credibility.

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.

December 5, 2016

How to Use Podcasting to Connect with Your Prospects. With Will Barron. #322

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Will Barron. Will is the UK-based host of the Salesman.red podcast. Among the many topics that Will and I discuss are how Will’s background in chemistry and medical device sales led to starting his podcast, how sales professionals would benefit by podcasting and how to build trust into the customer relationship.

November 3, 2016

How to use Channel Partners to Grow Your Sales. With Jay McBain. #296

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Jay McBain, CEO of ChannelEyes, a software company that helps vendors drive and manage channel partner sales. Among the topics Jay and I discuss are why more companies are looking to build their business through channel sales partners, how channel sales are transforming entire industries, the tools that are needed to effectively service and support channel partners, and much more. Join us now!

October 24, 2016

How to Grow Customer Lifetime Value. With Jermaine Edwards. #287

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Jermaine Edwards, creator of the Key Account Hack system and author of Key Account Hack: 8 Steps to Creating Massive and Predictable Growth from Your Key Clients in 90 Days. Among the many topics Jermaine and I discuss are how to make relationship building a central part of your ongoing sales process, why it is the depth of your relationships with customers, not the marginal differences in products, that differentiate you from competitors, the distinctions and links between account management and customer success management, and new tactics to reach deep into the customer’s organization to develop new sales opportunities.