Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
May 20, 2017

#463. Leading Through the Turn. With Elise Mitchell.

Elise Mitchell, CEO of Mitchell Communications Group, and CEO of Dentsu Aegis Public Relations Network, as well as the author of a very interesting book, Leading Through the Turn: How a Journey Mindset Can Help Leaders Find Success and Significance, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:20] Leading Through the Turn looks at leadership as though riding a motorcycle. She started riding with her husband 10 years ago, and never looked back. She was hooked. Today she rides a Honda CBR300R — sleek, red, and fast.

[4:10] Key concepts are a destination philosophy and a journey perspective. The journey matters as much as the destination. Elise is naturally a destination person. She says her strength of entrepreneurship became a weakness as she hit extremes.

[5:35] Elise had to rethink how she was sacrificing important aspects of life to reach the destination of success. Motorcycling became the catalyst to make her rethink her journey. Now she savors it.

[7:28] Elise explains her drive was pushing her to burnout. She was missing many experiences. She wasn’t investing in living.

[9:09] Elise learned to ‘scrap the map,’ when the family moved away from her large corporate job. She had to decide if she would go, and be bitter, or go, and let change make her better.

[11:40] We can’t, and shouldn’t, control everything. Elise discusses adaptive leadership, about learning to solve new problems in real time, where there is no clear answer.

[13:00] Elise warns against building a company around a leader. She illustrates with a personal anecdote about letting go of control, and delegating — the entrepreneur’s challenge!

[16:09] Every step of leadership feels a little scary if you are ambitious, and want to grow and challenge yourself as a leader, and broaden your impact. Don’t let fear hold you back.

[17:41] A spirit of reciprocity is thinking outside yourself. Elise has a personal professional anecdote. She asked other leaders, “What can I do for you?” She cites Give and Take.

The Go-Giver is in the same vein. Help first.

[21:56] The called leader vs. the accidental leader. Elise has strived for leadership since her childhood. Accidental leaders have circumstances thrust upon them. If you have the heart of an explorer, it doesn’t matter how you got there. Go with it.

[26:41] The higher calling of leadership is to determine what good can you do as a leader. Can you create significance in the lives of others? You have so much potential to open doors.

[28:38] Leadership and significance starts with the individual. Elise discards the grandiosity of philanthropism for doing the right things, one at a time — changing that one person’s life for good; helping that customer further their opportunities.

April 22, 2017

#439. How to Transform Your Processes for Sustained Growth. With Greg Head.

Greg Head, CEO of Greg Head Consulting, and former CMO of Infusionsoft, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:40] Greg details his software sales career since 1987, starting at Egghead. He grew two companies to over $100 million, and then founded Greg Head Consulting in 2016. He likes helping grow companies that look crazy, before they look obvious.

[5:15] Helping companies grow is not easy, and there are treacherous obstacles. Greg discusses signs that show your growth strategy needs updating.

[7:13] The recipe for growth changes as a company grows. Rather than charting a smooth curve, it grows by steps, and each step is different.

[9:33] Greg explains the inflection points of growth from a sole proprietorship to a large company. He compares it to transitioning from ADD to OCD.

[12:04] When Greg was at Infusionsoft, they decided to stop being all things to all customers. When they focused on a particular customer need, and narrowed the product, they went from no growth to 50% growth in six years.

[15:01] To maintain growth in a high-growth company, you must reset the process about every 18 months. The first rule of the game is to know what game you’re playing, and the game is always changing.

[17:12] The sport of growth is like playing in the Pros. You will not play the same role in the same game for many years.

[19:14] A small company that starts off by “making stuff up” as they go, soon has to transition to a business plan. Things change in the maturing process. Amazon started by just selling books, and gradually shifted to a variety of merchandise.

[23:44] Greg talks about assessing past, present, and plans for the future, and suggests pulling your mind like taffy. Block the possibility of failure. Greg discusses a real estate growth firm.

[27:10] The big challenges still need addressing, and we need more entrepreneurs, companies, and people to aim high and go after them, like they cannot fail.

 

March 7, 2017

Cut “No-Decisions” in Half with Great Software Demonstrations. With Peter Cohan. #399

Peter Cohan is Founder of The Second Derivative, author of Great Demo! How To Create And Execute Stunning Software Demonstrations, and expert in giving online software presentations and software demonstrations.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:22] Peter wanted to structure demos to be compelling, convincing, and intriguing. He invented a methodology to do that.

[5:38] The online demo is a critical milestone on the buying journey. It’s the moment when things start to go wrong. Peter shares a story how this can happen.

[8:51] Some use demos as discovery to find out things they should have learned already. Peter says it’s best to do discovery fully before a technical proof demo. The next-best case is a 3-minute vision generation demo before discovery.

[11:03] The overview is one demonstration Peter recommends never to do. These go by various names: ‘show up and throw up,’ ‘spray and pray,’ and ‘the harbor tour.’ Your prospect will jump ship!

[13:00] Focus on what (customer’s pain), and how (specific capabilities relevant to solving the pain). Specific capabilities include only what fixes the pain point. Next, comes the value of change, and critical dates. It’s all about customer situations.

[15:52] Andy views the demo as a story, beginning to end. Peter suggests using customer success stories to introduce a vision generation demo. Journalism’s inverted pyramid is a good demo model: Headline, graphic, summary, explanation.

[21:50] Don’t use a standard non personalized demo. Summarize often, and ask: “Is my understanding correct?” “Is there any new information?” “Is this the kind of thing you had in mind?” “Would you like to see what it takes in software?”

[23:45] When you summarize frequently, you give the audience cues to comment, ask questions, and participate. You reinforce your message, and allow the audience to reflect back what they hear. Ask them to give feedback as they listen.

[30:44] To demonstrate a complex matter like a CRM, break it into chunks, introducing each one, developing it, and summarizing it, with questions. You might have a separate 10-minute demo for each function.

[31:58] Before going to a demo, understand the situation slide fully, and be able to discuss it in depth. Role play a discussion beforehand. Know what you will say, and what you will not say. Prepare. You can cut no-decisions by half, with good info.

[34:44] You want a relationship. After vision generation, follow up with a call: “Are you comfortable with setting a time for a real discovery call?” After the discovery, call to ask: “Are you ready for a demo?” Then ask: “What else is needed?”

 

February 25, 2017

How to Differentiate Yourself by Building Your Authority. With Mike Saunders. #391

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Mike Saunders, an authority marketing strategist, talk show host on The Business Innovators’ Radio Network, and author of Authority Selling: Opening More Doors to Closing More Business. The main topic we discuss is authority selling, and how small business owners, entrepreneurs and sales professionals can increase their influence by building their authority.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:53] Mike teaches marketing strategy at three universities. He also has a digital agency, Marketing Huddle, with a focus on marketing and sales with a strategy of authority positioning, or gaining attention from your audience for your product.

[2:16] Grand Canyon U., Colorado Christian U., and Cardinal Stritch U. are the three universities where Mike teaches marketing strategy, brand management, and “Marketing 101.” Mike just surpassed 140 episodes of his radio show.

[3:44] Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and sales professionals are the audience for Mike’s book. Every business person has something to sell. The book focuses on authority in your niche. Trust and credibility build up to authority.

[6:12] Mike doesn’t imply having an international reputation, like Grant Cardone, as the basis for authority. In your network, be the (fill in the blank) expert, to build authority. Support your tribe, as Seth Godin teaches.

[8:33] Chet Holmes’ Ultimate Sales Machine says that 3% of the market is ready to buy, but many more will buy in the near future. In either case, you have a buyer, and you want to stand out in their minds, with authority positioning assets.

[10:32] The expertise gap can be the space between the customer’s product knowledge and the facts. It also means a sales person’s lack of confidence in their own authoritative expertise for the product, even when they legitimately have it.

[12:15] Sellers need to acknowledge the buyer’s distractions. When buyers are compelled to action, they still need to choose between purchase choices. Make your website landing page professional and expert. That makes sales easier.

[14:25] An authority positioning portfolio is a collection of assets establishing your expertise. It could be a thumb drive with you logo on it, and your website, a proposal, and recent projects in it for a client’s review. It can be on your website.

[15:40] Include media mentions, podcast, radio, or TV interviews — anywhere you are visible in your industry; maybe a book you wrote. When people peruse it, it is convincing. Your competitor probably has nothing similar.

[18:57] Instead of starting with a big media outlet, get on a relevant podcast, connect with a local business reporter, write a business development book. Get social proof, such as testimonials and reviews. Have a structure to seek these.

[28:03] Mike’s approach to tie together content marketing and SEO: compile 10 FAQs and answers, and 10 Should Be Asked Questions and answers, and discuss three of them on one podcast. It drives traffic both to your site and the podcast.

 

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 25, 2016

How to Accelerate the Growth of your SaaS Company. With Nic Poulos. #288

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Nic Poulos, Founder of Bowery Capital, a thesis-driven early-stage investor backing exceptional founders. Among the topics Nic and I discuss in this episode are: why enterprise customers are becoming more willing to buy mission critical systems from start-ups, what strategies help a start-up to get through the growth stage, and how to structure an effective proof-of-concept trial that works for your buyer and you.

October 17, 2016

How to Use Metaphors to Sell Your Intangibles. With Andrea Goulet. #281

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Andrea Goulet, Founder & CEO of Corgibytes, a software/code remodeling firm based in Richmond, Virginia. Among the many topics Andrea and I discuss are how Andrea incorporates her company’s core values into her team’s selling efforts, how to use metaphors when selling your intangible value, and how selling her company’s core values have helped with conversion rates and customer lifetime value.

July 23, 2016

Growth Hacks & Profit Hacks. With Steven Daar. #208

Steven Daar, is the author of Profit Hacking: The Web Entrepreneur’s 3 Part Formula For Maximizing Success and Founder of Conversion For Good.

In this episode, Steven shares the data driven insights that help many of his clients, including several Shark Tank participants, to generate more leads and convert a higher percentage of those leads into orders. Be sure to listen as Steven shares key strategies to hack your growth and profits by increasing the overall value you provide to customers.

June 20, 2016

Using Inside Sales To Increase Revenues in Competitive Markets. With Lynn Hidy. #181

Lynn Hidy, the founder of UpYourTeleSales.com, is an expert at creating profitable inside sales teams. In today’s episode, Lynn and I discuss how companies can use inside sales to grow revenues in competitive markets. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • How to build a motivated and enthusiastic sales team.
  • The impact that your verbal “body language” has on buyers.
  • How to accurately track of your selling time.
  • Measuring the activities that move you forward in your prospects’ buying process.
  • How to create an effective sales script.

 

June 6, 2016

How to Define, Lead, and Own Your Market. With Gene Hammett.

Author, speaker, and entrepreneur, Gene Hammett, is the founder of Core Elevation, Inc. He is a business coach to high-achieving leaders and host of the Leaders in the Trenches podcast. In today’s episode, Gene and I discuss the steps entrepreneurs should take to establish a leadership position in the markets they serve. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • Why understanding your audience is important.
  • How to tightly define the niche market you serve.
  • How fear limits your ability to achieve your goals.
  • What it means to “lead and own” your market.