Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
May 16, 2017

#459. How to Use Data Thoughtfully to Increase Your Sales. With John H. Johnson.

John H. Johnson, President and CEO at Edgeworth Economics, keynote speaker, and co-author of Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Everyday, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:42] John is a PhD economist with particular expertise in econometrics. Edgeworth Economics is data-driven and works by processing and explaining very large data sets. One large sector they serve is corporate litigation. John gives some detail.

[3:39] Much of John’s time is spent teaching these issues in courtrooms. His book is designed to bring this knowledge about real-world events to a larger audience, so people can make better decisions with data.

[4:25] The starting point is recognition. 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years. People fear math. These two factors combine into the perfect storm for people to be misled and to misunderstand data.

[9:12] John suggests you should ask intelligent questions. To understand statistics, think about what went into producing the number.

[13:27] Even disciplined statisticians are prone to correlation confirmation bias. Consider, what questions you are trying to answer. Does the data give you enough complete information to answer the questions? What can it tell you?

[16:38] Large volumes of data may tell you something meaningful about your business and sales drivers. The application of this data doesn’t replace the interpersonal skills that are needed to connect and engage with clients.

[18:38] Making decisions on inapplicable correlations will not lead to the results you were expecting. Make sure you understand if the correlation is part of the causation.

[20:21] John comments on common sales stats, such as the Pareto distribution of sales to salespeople. Look behind the patterns. What could be causing them?

[23:10] Forecasting is only as good as the inputs and our ability to use past performance to predict the future. Hone in on the assumptions that underly the forecasting model. Forecasting is always probabilistic.

[28:45] Aggregate statistics about sales may be true, but drawing specifics from generalities is not trustworthy for any specific product and industry.

[30:34] John says managers should frame the question they want to answer and look for data that belongs to the question. Be aware where the data originates, and of assumptions under any analysis of it. Look at how it may, or may not apply.

[32:55] John emphasizes that data is a tool. It is a complement to decision-making. Use all the tools at your disposal. There is no substitute for thinking hard about these types of problems.

February 21, 2017

How to Draw to Win. With Dan Roam. #387

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Dan Roam, President of Digital Roam, bestselling author of multiple books, including, The Back of the Napkin, and the book we’re going to talk about today, Draw to Win. Among the topics that Dan and I discuss are Dan’s history with drawing, Dan’s study of visual processing in the human brain and how it opens the door to greater understanding.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:24] Dan has always drawn. In university he studied organic chemistry and painting, and learned the same structural concepts. Dan wanted to push this modeling concept into business. People remember pictures over paragraphs.

[7:07] Dan’s girlfriend was a nanny in the Soviet Union, and got Dan a visa to work there. He worked at a tourist magazine. He stayed seven years, founding the first Western ad agency.

In Russia, Dan communicated largely with pictures.

[12:09] Dan liked working with business people, helping them clarify their ideas. He came back to the U.S., and continued with the same approach. Dan realized early on that a flip chart would help each person understand a deal.

[15:00] Each time Dan’s company did a flipboard pitch, they won; many times even when, by their small size, they shouldn’t have. They were the ones who drew the client a picture.

[16:21] People want a story, and a connection; they want to trust you. We neglect the fact that people would like to see some honest creativity taking place in the actual meeting. [17:57] About ⅓ of your brain by weight is dedicated to vision. Another ⅓ of your brain is dedicated to processing vision along with other sensory input. That leaves ⅓ of your brain for everything else, besides visual processing.

[23:45] Our brains could hold the imagery from 33 million Blu-ray Disc movies. To memorize speeches, assign each thought to a particular visual, in a train of images.

[27:33] You can draw anything, if you can draw a circle, a square, a triangle, a line, a blob, and an arrow. Use stick figures. This is not an artistic process. This is a thinking process. The simpler the visual, the better the communication.

[28:04] It took years of training to learn how to write your name. It takes about five minutes for an adult to learn the process of drawing. Confidence comes with practice. The picture is another tool in your communication toolbelt.

[32:05] Dan saw that sometimes his pictures worked; other times, they didn’t. Some pictures are processed easily, and some pictures confuse. Dan explains the six brain pathways for images: What, How Much, Where, When, How, and Why.

[36:21] To sell a safer car, draw a car, an accident rate chart, a map, a timeline, a flowchart, and a smart car, in that sequence. [41:10] Prepare 75% of your presentation ahead, let the client provide 25% of the thinking and visualizing process. Ask, can you mark here what you think is the the most important thing? Practice the presentation and the pictures first. Never wing it.

July 25, 2016

How to Build Effective Customer Relationships in a Digital Age. With Susie Miller. #209

Susie Miller is a speaker, coach and author of the bestselling book Listen, Learn, Love: How to Dramatically Improve Your Relationships in 30 Days or Less!

Known as The Better Relationship Coach, Susie joins me to discuss how to connect with people online and build relationships that help you get the sale and differentiate you from the competition.

Listen now to discover hacks on successfully connecting and quickly establishing rapport with prospects you meet virtually, and dramatically improving your customer relationships in 30 days or less.

June 7, 2016

Your Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Is Your Key to Success. With John Murphy.

John Murphy is a European-based executive coach who works with senior executives, business owners, and management teams to help them achieve their business objectives. In this episode, John discusses how to bolster your emotional intelligence and how to find motivation, purpose and success beyond just making money. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • Why is emotional intelligence an essential component to success?
  • How do you self-assess what your EQ is? And where your weaknesses lie?
  • Should making money be the sole purpose for your business?
  • How do you find your purpose in business?
  • Does your business purpose align with your company’s vision?