Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
August 25, 2017

#551. Connecting, collaborating and building relationships. With Bridget Gleason.

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


[2:30] After two years Andy is back to todo lists, because he got behind and his calendar was full. He hopes to keep the situation temporary. Bridget’s company had a good quarter. That gave her 12 hours of relief.

[5:24] Andy trained reps to cold-call sell computers in the Bay Area. One rep partied every night, and never changed his clothes. He burned out. Another rep, who had forged his transcript, left a customer’s office in the middle of a meeting.

[10:25] Companies used to hire hundreds or thousands of new grads, to see who would stick and who would wash out. Bridget has not seen such colorful hires in her experience. She maintains a professional decorum.

[12:31] President’s Club is taken as a time by many reps to go drinking. Bridget talks about why people go into sales, and not safeguard their reputation.

[16:12] There is some expectation of ‘bad boy behavior,’ in sales, including harassment. Andy mentions recent episodes of senior executives forced to resign because of abominable behavior towards women. Bridget fights against stereotypes.

[21:33] In some firms, executives know of bad behaviors, and let them go on. If you don’t address them, they become the norm. Call out harassment. Bridget’s CEO called out someone joking over the line, and Bridget and her team addressed it.

[24:03] People aren’t always self-aware. Talk about incidents before they become a big thing. Be accommodating of diversity. We need diversity. Make people feel comfortable for their voice to be heard.

[26:19] Essential skills in this age include relationships, teamwork, and collaboration. A sales rep must master these.

[27:02] As we welcome technology, and adapt it to achieve what we want to achieve, recognize what it is not set up to do, such as connecting, collaborating, and building relationships.

[27:30] How we treat other people, in and out of the workplace, determines how we will master building relationships. Research correlates behaviors towards people outside of work with behaviors towards those inside of work.

April 5, 2017

#424. How to Sell on LinkedIn. With Erik Qualman.

Erik Qualman, #1 bestselling author and motivational speaker, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate! His books include bestsellers like Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, Digital Leader: 5 Simple Keys to Success and Influence, and his latest book, How To Sell On LinkedIn: 30 Tips in 30 Days.

[1:02] Erik’s background is in digital and search. In 2009, he wrote Socialnomics. It became number one in eight countries, and he started speaking. He has made a career of motivational speaking, while writing five bestsellers.

[3:49] Social selling is a tool to help you connect. You need to use your EQ more than IQ. These tools do not replace selling face-to-face. Using LinkedIn incorrectly is a loss for all parties.

[4:45] You’ve got to network before you need to network — before you need the favor or the transaction. Play the long game, in a short timeframe. There’s an art to the conversation online, as much as there is offline.

[6:10] Listen first; sell last. What’s their issue?

[8:46] Erik supplies four questions to answer in your summary that will make positive connections with your prospects.

[9:55] Follow thought leaders on LinkedIn. Questions asked of them point to challenges, opportunities, and pain points. Provide answers in the forum, to give value, and find prospects. Hard work separates you from your competition.

[11:39] Model your LinkedIn profile after the profiles of the people you aspire to become. Study them, and provide similar value and content. They’ve done the R&D of what works. Use the best from them, and make it personal to your case.

[13:11] Study the network of your competitor. See if you have meaningful connections with any, and reach out to them.

[13:52] Post it forward. You can endorse someone new each day. That is networking before you need to network. When you want a warm introduction, indicate why, and the value you want to be bring to the introduction. It’s a win for each party.

[17:55] Use email for outreach. Erik says to Google how to download your contacts’ email addresses from LinkedIn.

[19:27] The selling happens in the face-to-face meeting. Offer a few specific times and dates to meet, and get an appointment.

[21:49] Erik offers strategic questions that help you find if you have the decisionmaker, and if so, what the budget is — without asking sensitive questions. Ask thought-provoking questions, that give revealing responses.

February 20, 2017

How to Network for Authentic Connections. With Jeff Beals. #386

Joining me once again on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jeff Beals, a sales speaker and author, and Vice President of a major real estate company. Jeff was also the guest on Episode 056 of Accelerate! Among the many topics that Jeff and I discuss are, Jeff’s multiple current jobs, the biggest challenge to salespeople in 2017, how to connect with prospects, how to do networking effectively, whether in person, or digitally, and what you should allow on your own social media.


[1:06] Jeff is a sales author, speaker, and strategist, who trains and speaks all over the world. His second job is VP of Sales and Marketing for a Midwest commercial real estate firm. He also does a weekly business radio show.

[3:30] Cutting through the clutter is the single biggest challenge facing salespeople in 2017. It’s getting harder and harder to reach people where they live and work.

[4:20] Jeff believes in grassroots selling — making connections with people at home or at work. Marketing is at a disadvantage compared to face-to-face interactions by salespeople.

[5:35] Jeff advises reps who use phone and email marketing, (1) to be exceptionally interesting, and (2) to be other-focused. [6:55] The demands on salespeople are not decelerating at all, while the difficulty of reaching contacts is accelerating. Any big data you have, your competitor probably has it, too.

[7:45] Jeff started selling 30 years ago, face-to-face, and by phone. The ability to know how to behave in a networking space can really help you do business in 2017. People crave the personal touch, if it is relevant and interesting to them.

[8:55] Andy’s trend prediction for 2017, is to start seeing the return of the human element in sales. The last mile of the sale is connecting from the data pipe into the client’s needs.

[10:44] Andy mentions Susan RoAne’s How to Work a Room, as a bestselling guide to networking. People know networking is key. Networking benefits Jeff, in both his careers.

[14:20] The goals of networking: clearly state in your mind the desired outcomes — “I’m going to get a prospect, or at least a very good lead on an opportunity, and I want to get valuable information, and meet valuable people, to further my goals.

[20:03] Use the Rule of Thirds. Spend ⅔ of the time with any one person asking about them and their interests, and ⅓ of the time on your own self-marketing expertise. People are self-obsessed; give them a fascinating reason to think of you.

[27:06] Always go to a networking event by yourself. Since that might be challenging, fill your mind with a vision of success. Act the part of a successful networker. Decide to be outgoing. You will incorporate those traits into your personality.

[30:33] Facebook and Twitter impact your personal brand. Don’t post anything there that your customers won’t like. Post photos and things, even family items, that will make you look good in front of your clients.

February 17, 2017

Is Your Process More Important Than Your Prospect? With Bridget Gleason. #384

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my very special guest and honorary co-host, Bridget Gleason. On this week’s episode, Bridget and I discuss a listener’s question, which leads to an exploration of process and customer engagement.


[:59] A listener asks how we, as sales folks, are to get enough of our prospect’s time to do all the activities required in the sales process. This rep has made thousands of calls.

[2:24] Are we over complicating things with our process? Are we aligning our selling efforts with the way the prospect wants to buy?

[4:59] Bridget wants new reps to follow the process, to show they understand it. She does not want “crazy deviation,” but encourages them to use their brain through the process.

[6:46] Managers should be aware of the process. There is a need for information to qualify a deal, and that the right people are involved in certain calls, with as few steps as possible. A process should have some flexibility; not too much.

[8:28] Science shows a large fraction of buyers want just enough information to make the good enough decision, quickly. Herbert Simon explained most people are satisficers; fewer are maximizers, who want to look deep into the details.

[9:22] Robert Cialdini said people want two things from complex decisions: to be good, and to be gone.

[11:32] Part of the question is, how do I get enough time with the prospect to get all the information I need? The way people get time, is to earn time. Add enough value, early, by email, phone message, social media, to earn trust and time.

[14:28] There has to be a dialog between the reps, and the organization, on what works, and what doesn’t, to refine the process, to align with how the buyer wants to buy.

[17:48] Don’t let “the process” replace coaching and managing your people. Don’t suppose that the process is optimized, so the people are the problem. Coach the people.

[19:18] Be in a continual state of evaluation. People are making a living claiming their methods are absolutely perfect. Be wary. Find something that works, but be mindful, evaluate as you go.


January 7, 2017

How to Use Networking to Open the Door. With David J.P. Fisher. #349

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest David “DFish” J.P. Fisher, a sales expert, professional keynote speaker, and best-selling author of the Networking in the 21st Century series of books. David is also the Founder of Hyper-Connected Selling. Among the topics that David and I discuss are how his early experience selling Cutco products influenced his career in sales and sales training, the reasons why networking is an investment in relationship building (and not a sales call), and the secret to being the most interesting person in the room.


[:53] David goes by “DFish” from his band days. He paid for college by selling Cutco Knives.

[3:44] DFish used his networking experiences from building his business as the basis of his Networking in the 21st Century book series.

[5:29] Are humans natural networkers?

[11:00] Why networking is more than just knowing who all the people are who are involved in the buying process.

[12:27] DFish gives his definition: Networking is building a web of relationships with others, for mutual support in finding business solutions.

[15:17] DFish asks people about their significant life events. Then he asks: Who connected or introduced you to that, or helped you to create that? Those connections are networking!

[15:59] Andy recommends The Go-Giver, by Bob Burg, and Influence, by Robert B. Cialdini, to learn more about the influence of the reciprocity instinct in sales.

[18:00] In building relationships, you have to have something to give. That requires intentionality. It doesn’t have to be spectacular or amazing.

[20:30] When you meet somebody, as you network, ask: What are you working on now that’s really important to you? Listen, and then follow up with: What can I do to help you?

[22:43] Weak (or loose) connections, once they know something about you, are more likely to refer somebody to you.

[26:15] Social savvy includes dress and grooming, body language, smalltalk, sense of humor, and listening. DFish shares his views about perceptions and human relationships.

[31:21] DFish talks about networking virtually, stressing that on the other end of the device you will find another human being. Do your research before the interaction.


December 21, 2016

Ten Rules of Sales Success. With Thom Singer. #336

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Thom Singer. Thom is a sought-after speaker, host of the Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do podcast, and author of many books, including, The ABC’s series, and his Some Assembly Required series about networking. Among the many topics that Thom and I discuss are the keys to building relationships, insights from Thom’s writings, and networking tips that are also sales tips.

November 26, 2016

How to Build Your Personal Brand with Networking. With Matt Holmes. #315

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Matt “Handshakin” Holmes, Founder of,and author of the eBook, Six Networking Strategies for Entrepreneurs: Networking 101 for new startups and first-time entrepreneurs. Among the many topics that Matt and I discuss are how Matt realized he could teach others about personal branding, some of his strategies to build and protect personal brand; the importance of online networking; and using networking to build your personal brand.

August 2, 2016

How to Work a Room to Make Connections. With Susan RoAne. #216

Susan RoAne, also known as the Mingling Maven, is a leading international authority on how to work a roomful of strangers to make vital business connections., She is the author of the million selling book, How to Work a Room: The Ultimate Guide to Making Lasting Connections. On this episode, Susan and I cover a range of topics centering on how to work a room, including how to build a network, how to use social media to maintain connections, and practical strategies on how to effectively work a room at your next event.

June 19, 2016

Special Episode: How the Microsoft Acquisition of LinkedIn Will Impact Sales Professionals

This is a special episode of Accelerate! about Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of LinkedIn.

Last week Microsoft announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. What are the implications of this for the sales reps and sales teams that increasingly rely on LinkedIn to connect and engage with decision makers and influencers?

I asked three leading experts on LinkedIn to share their perspectives about what this proposed acquisition will mean for sales reps and sales leaders.

First up is Kurt Shaver, founder of The Sales Foundry, a leading trainer that helps companies use LinkedIn to grow their sales. (Kurt was previously on Accelerate in Episode #94 titled How To Successfully Integrate Social Selling Into Your Sales Process.

After Kurt, I’ll be talking with Miles Austin. Miles is the Founder and CEO of Fill the Funnel. In addition to being a highly regarded blogger, speaker, and trainer, Miles is one of the leading authorities on sales tools that can help you grow your sales. (Miles has previously been on Accelerate. Twice. Check out Episode #5 and Episode #20 for great information about the latest sales tools and technologies.

Finally, I’ll be talking with Viveka Von Rosen, the founder of LinkedIn to Business, a renowned LinkedIn and social selling expert and author of the best-selling classic “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day.” She’s also the author of the upcoming book “101 Ways to Rock Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn.” (coming this summer!) Be sure to check out my previous conversation with Viveka in Episode #153 titled Best Practices To Accelerate The Growth Of Your Sales Using LinkedIn.

May 2, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 146 with Jason Treu. How to Build Relationships that Transform Your Sales and Your Life.

Jason Treu (pronounced “Troy”) is a leading business and relationship coach, and author of two excellent books Social Wealth: How to Build Extraordinary Relationships by Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Lead and Network and Extraordinary: The Art of the Exceptional Life. In this episode, Jason and I explore the steps sales reps should take to build rapport and trust, and strengthen their connections, with new contacts, prospects and customers, both online and in-person. Among the topics we discuss include:

  • How to build connections and relationships that pass the Know, Like and Trust test.
  • How to quickly build rapport with new connections, both in-person and online.
  • The #1 most important social strategy you should implement to build your network of influence.
  • How to identify and prioritize those relationships that matter the most.