Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
August 22, 2017

#548. 4 Cornerstone Habits That Drive Our Success. With Randall Bell

Randall Bell, CEO of the Landmark Research Group, and author of Me We Do Be: The Four Cornerstones of Success, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:22] Randall says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps or sales teams today is keeping it simple. Have a direct message that is simple, well thought-out, and to the point. It takes time and work to get to the simple messaging.

[6:08] Randall wrote his book after a career as an economist, traveling to disasters (WTC, BP oil spill, Chernobyl, etc.) to assess damages. The book is a formula for avoiding disaster and building success. He wrote it in 25 years of experience.

[8:43] Randall wrote, “Today’s habits are tomorrow’s destiny.” An ocean is filled with drops of water. Your daily habits add up. You build wealth a dollar at a time. Simple straightforward steps create authentic growth.

[9:56] Randall’s four cornerstones of life are Me (mindset), We (connections), Do (productivity), and Be (our future and legacy).

[11:20] Me refers to habits to improve the quality of your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. Read to think more. Develop a mission and philosophy. Know and understand your feelings.

[12:33] Andy shares quotes on thinking and life. Randall recommends to leaders to take time in the early morning to develop their Me cornerstone, before the day’s distractions.

[14:48] Randall conducted a rich international survey of the four major English-speaking nations on success status and their daily habits, and correlated the habits with successes. He notes statistical success habits. (E.g., read, and be honest.)

[16:39] The survey was by self-assessment. There were some very direct questions on honesty and integrity. Andy’s father was a tremendous role model of integrity.

[18:02] We refers to building relationships. Randall ranks social capital higher than financial capital. Randall has a network of contacts all over the world, and they are critical to his work. He reciprocates as well.

[19:45] Randall’s success circle are 20-25 long-term contacts and friends who have been greatly successful. The advice they give is smart and reflects their success. We habits include being mindful of being kind. Watch your tone of voice. Wave.

[24:58] Randall explains social exchange. For every negative thing you say or do, say or do six positive things to counter it. Studies support a six-to-one balance of positive-to-negative to maintain social capital. Don’t create a bad first impression.

[28:05] Humility is another We habit. Authentic humility is attractive. A Type A personality needs to be mindfully humble. Randall talks about one of his humility heroes, Leo Fender.

July 29, 2017

#524. How to be resilient when life sucks. With Allison Graham.

Allison Graham, consultant, and author of Married My Mom Birthed A Dog: How to be Resilient When Life Sucks, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:07] Allison thinks the biggest challenge facing sales reps is the noise in the marketplace. Allison started writing a column in 2003. It took her five months to get the job. Today, anybody can publish anything, with little or no merit.

[5:10] Allison suggests a remedy. Salespeople need to flip their script. Talking about their company and product is of no interest to the prospect. Talk about the specific problem you are going to solve for the client, and how you will solve it.

[6:39] Then, get eye-to-eye with the right buyers, make an impression, and talk their language about problems they are having. Let them know you’re the solution provider, and make it irresistible. Tie your product to their problem.

[9:34] Allison has written about resilience. She based a book on her work/life experiences of the first ten years of her sales career. Her sales were good, but her health was miserable. [11:36] You can become a victim, or you can become the Resiliency Ninja. Step into your full potential, your full success, no matter what challenges come. If you can’t bounce back from a low quota, that will influence your ability to sell.

[13:31] A 50% close ratio means 50% “No.” SDRs hear “No,” maybe 90% of the time. Not hitting your numbers twice, makes it tough to bounce back. Getting a “No,” is better than a “Maybe.” Buyers need to decline, until you earn their “Yes.”

[16:30] Resiliency is a skill that applies to both big and little issues. Too many little hurts can become a big hurt, if you are not prepared with resilience. Process issues as they come.

[18:47] Big issues like loss, disease, and divorce, impact performance. Allison created the Resiliency Ninja Formula for the book. It combines self-awareness, strength of heart, body and mind. She developed tools to build strength.

[21:21] These tools fight our internal messenger of BS that always says the worst. Allison describes a writing exercise to enable seeing self-judgments objectively. Flipping the internal script is key to becoming resilient.

[24:00] Allison claims positive thinking will make you miserable. She explains how. Positive thinking without basis leads to despair when there is a problem. Optimism is hopeful, and seeing the best. This is good.

[27:41] Acknowledge problems, and share them thoughtfully with trusted people. Share by giving hope and tools, not sorrow. Share successes with prospects. Allison describes the Continuum of Challenges: stress, obstacles, and adversity.

[36:19] We tend to minimize big things, and overstress day-to-day stresses. We are taught this from youth. We need to acknowledge big hurts, and give less power to little pains. We must learn to process adversity.

July 28, 2017

#523. Coping with the Ups and Downs of Sales and Life. With Bridget Gleason.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:14] Bridget cites a book about living a good life by not stressing about the less important aspects. Pay most attention to relationships, health, family, and purpose.

[3:19] Andy refers to another book with the same lesson. It’s easy to obsess about sales performance. Andy remembers his blood pressure going through the roof at age 23 in his first management job. Do the best you can, and let go of it.

[5:45] Calmness comes with age and practice. Surveys taken in retirement say retirees’ biggest regret is having worried too much. Worry is worthless.

[7:15] Bridget’s nature would be to worry. She works against that tendency, using mindfulness and meditation deliberately to calm the mind. She aspires to not go up and down with the sales number.

[8:43] Andy spent about a month doing little because of sickness. When he started to worry, he engaged in meditation. Bridget relates how she coached a new rep having a low quarter. It’s good to be resilient.

[11:24] The highs and the lows are transitory. Other things in life can compensate. If you put in the basic work, the score takes care of itself. Have patience during longer sales cycles.

[12:44] A man once worked for Andy who had a nervous tic when he was worried about his performance. He had good reason to worry. We need to get out of our own way. We may need to be shown our blind spots.

[13:56] Sales coaching is being neglected, which means reps are looking for direction from a trusted source. This should be their manager.

[15:48] When Bridget is being direct, she is giving constructive criticism, not destructive. She also appreciates that her team shares direct feedback with her.

[17:47] The most difficult conversation is to fire someone. Bridget had to fire a top rep, who had sabotaged the system so he got all the leads. She hopes he learned from it. Andy has had to fire people who had just experienced family tragedies.

[23:16] Though a termination is a business necessity, it is a hardship to the person terminated. The company should make every effort to coach the person before a decision is made. And they may go into a situation that is a better fit.

July 17, 2017

#512. 10X Your Effectiveness with Engaged Leadership. With Stephen Moulton.

Stephen Moulton, President of Action Insight, and author of The CEO’s Advantage: 7 Keys for Hiring Extraordinary Leaders, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:25] Stephen says constant pressure from managers puts sales reps in a panic, which makes them ineffective.

Pressure has always been there, but a slump can put them under extreme pressure. Then they enter fight-or-flight mode.

[4:00] When people have a positive outlook at work, they are 31% more productive. If they interact positively with their team, they are 10X more effective than people who are neutral or disengaged. Leaders affect engagement.

[5:58] Individuals need a supportive environment to be more productive. Managers needs to know their people, build trust, and develop a team ethos to build up each member.

[8:50] Senior management focuses on numbers. Direct managers need to be leaders and put coaching, training, and leadership development of their staff first, before numbers.

[10:41] Managers manage things, leaders lead people. In reality, managers fill both roles. They need to spend more time inspiring and helping their people than working the numbers.

[11:25] Focusing on numbers and the mechanics does not produce the kinds of sales experiences that customers want, that will grow business. Managers need to coach their people.

[12:25] Onboarding should include leadership training. Many companies don’t want to invest the time. Stephen tells of a past manager who discouraged his successful behavior.

[15:02] Managers may get uncomfortable when their people perform in ways outside the process. Instead, they could support the individual skills and strengths people have, and leverage these strengths for achievement.

[16:29] Effective selling inspires customers to go on a buying journey with the rep. People want to be motivated. Reps want to be motivated to be leaders.

[17:19] Emotional intelligence can be learned, if the person has motivation. It is a set of competencies. Stephen gives an example of how he would teach a behavior within an area of EQ competency.

[22:11] Leaders need to lead by example, not by control, but by modeling the standard of expectations. Stephen asks his team to call him out if he falls below his standard. Leaders need to be open to feedback.

[26:49] Hiring is challenging. 95% of biases are unconscious. Have a structured process to measure specific required competencies and behaviors. Test to get information, then evaluate afterward. Stephen’s system has over 90% reliability.

 

July 15, 2017

#510. Coaching Digital Natives to Make Human Connections. With Dan Negroni.

Dan Negroni, Founder and CEO of Launchbox, and author of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage, and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace, joins me on this episode of #Acceler

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:28] Dan sees the single biggest challenge facing millennials, including millennial salespeople as being bombarded with too much opportunity. They need to find the path that works best at that moment for who they are.

[3:08] Dan suggests the process is to figure out who they are, and then to articulate it. The best behavior for them is to ask themselves questions to become more self-aware about their strengths and values.

[4:14] Andy cites Dan’s article on coaching Millennials. Challenge Millennials with great questions to help them think deeply about showing up, and being present, real, and authentic. How am I going to serve?

[5:33] Dan describes authenticity as Millennials see it —  Something real, with no other intended consequences other than helping them, connecting them, or delivering to them. Someone genuine, with real integrity — a mensch.

[7:14] Andy cites The Complacent Class, that says society and our economy are becoming less dynamic, blaming it on technology that keeps us in comfort zones, and not exploring. Dan sees more positives in future tech, connecting humanity.

[10:48] Human-to-human connections are the most important. Dan agrees tech is numbing Millennials to human connections, but when they are taught to focus on others, they are eager to connect. Schools are not teaching them to connect.

[12:29] The Launchbox Inside-out technique connects the dots, starting with the dot inside, using Strengthsfinder assessment; then teaches them about their skills, values, and passions, all focused on others, their brand, and connecting by stories.

[14:02] Employers of Millennials need to provide four things: the ability to learn and grow, authenticity, feedback and communication, and a purposeful, transparent workplace environment. Millennials need to articulate, this, and create it.

[16:54] Data is part of the comfort zone. It is not personal. Feedback involves goals, ambitions, and how to achieve them. Some VPs are removing one-on-ones from the equation. Dan notes statistics on employee disengagement, based on that.

[19:09] Andy cites The Boomerang Principle, about people coming back to the company, and referring customers. Millennials want to work for companies from which they would be customers.

[20:44] Many Millennials think they have the right skills to be a leader. The gap between their ideals and skills is where to coach. They need to be responsible to grow. They need self-awareness. Mixing generations is where magic occurs.

[24:47] Sales Technology enforces conformity. People need freedom to find their way. Sales managers need to coach to individuals’ strengths. Dan cites a Harvard 75-year study.

July 11, 2017

#506. The Swagger Mindset of Top Performers. With Joe Gianni.

Joe Gianni, CEO and President of 2logical Inc., a training company, based in Rochester, NY, and author of Swagger: The Way of the Sway to Sales and Life Success, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:58] Joe says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps is coping with the pressure to change and keep developing themselves to sell. There is tremendous competition. You need extreme talent to win. Find your potential “to be lethal.”

[3:40] Sales reps are heavily steeped in skill and process training. Only those with the highest motivational intelligence master the fundamental skills of peak performers to become the 20%. Joe calls motivation the heart of the champion.

[6:09] Motivation can be developed through a thought sequence that leads to a recognition of core fundamental things. Joe explains these fundamentals, starting with creation.

[8:00] Creation can be asking a sales team: Instead of the least they can do as a team, what is the most they can do? Do they envision themselves as being the number one salespeople? The ‘top’ are the ones who think about it when they wake up.

[9:37] It’s easy to follow the path of least resistance. People don’t recognize that they can dream big, and follow those big dreams. Dream based on who you need to become to make the dream happen, not on who you are today. Have self-belief.

[13:52] Swagger is the difference in the mindset shared by peak performers in any walk in life. They have a different way to interpret the environment. They don’t react as others do in challenges. They have a different internal dialog of risk taking.

[14:52] Arrogance is not the intended meaning of swagger. The most successful people have a different way of dealing with their environments, that they use to develop to their full potential.

[15:51] Swagger is a tolerance of ambiguity. Masters in sales have mastered the fundamentals. It is not magic, it is the mastery, first of their own thinking, and then of the fundamental skill sets of success.

[16:38] Governing core beliefs: Creation, Unlimited Potential, Results are a Consequence of Cause and Effect, (regardless of how uncomfortable the needed cause may be). Luck only works when it means Laboring Under Correct Knowledge.

[20:19] The fourth core belief: Self-esteem/self-efficacy. To kick people to a higher level of productivity, kick their self-concept to a bigger level. Big sales are made by big people. Big opportunities are captured by big people. Learn and win.

[23:22] Feedback needs to be integrated into what you do. Invest in your personal development. Before you can have, you need to become. You need to the talents that lead to what you want to have. Joe tells a client story. Get out of your way.

[29:08] The fifth core belief: Break out of your comfort zone. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. A comfort zone is an imaginary self-limit. You are capable of so much more. It is necessary to face fears and push against them.

July 10, 2017

#505. 5 Proven Habits of Number One Performers. With Scott Ingram.

Scott Ingram, a practicing salesperson in his day job, and moonlighting as host of the Sales Success Stories Podcast, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:13] Scott sees the single biggest challenge facing sales reps as overwhelm, from responsibilities, confusion on tactics and ideas on how to get the job done, and trying to maintain focus in a very noisy environment. Scott has turned off notifications.

[4:53] Scott began the Sales Success Stories podcast to learn what the very best salespeople do. Superior salespeople are too busy to write books. Sales Success Stories offers a forum to the top sales contributor in an organization.

[7:05] Scott has learned that the best salespeople believe in the value their solution brings. They believe it is best in class. Scott explains this is through their passion for their solution.

[8:56] Some sales reps land on the one-in-a-million solution that takes off like crazy. That is a best-in-class case. Competing solutions are also being sold by passionate sales reps, who believe they represent best-in-class, as well.

[9:50] You have to believe in the value you deliver. Scott says the best reps believe in themselves, and have confidence and trust in their process, and their ability to execute.

[13:18] Top performers focus on their clients and care deeply about their results. Scott says the conversations smash the stereotype of top performers. They are passionate on helping their clients and building long-term relationships.

[16:17] Top performers surround themselves with the best, and grow themselves. When they start at an organization, they find the top people for role models of what works. Scott gives an example of one practice. Scott’s podcast is for this purpose.

[18:44] The broadest theme shared among top performers is they have a deep level of self-awareness, they know their strengths, and they leverage them creatively.

[21:52] Find your comfort level. Most organizations have a strict program for sales. Highly successful people who stretch the process may be seen as disruptors, not as cultural fits.

[24:04] Sales is not an assembly line. Bombarding the market more with ineffective calls does not sell. Scott’s most effective SDR guests have been creative, not compliant. Make ‘dials’ more effective, not more numerous.

[29:39] Top performers orient around goals, and develop habits, routines, and actions to make them happen. They understand that a goal is not enough. Routines support goals. Optimize everything you do.

[31:56] Habits are routines. Confidence is built on habits of achievement. Instead of spending all your time halfway engaged in activities, do one thing at 100%, finish it, and do the next one. SEAL Jocko Willink said, “Discipline equals freedom.”

[35:46] U.S. Soldiers are so well trained, and unambiguous about their jobs, that they make the right decisions and take the right initiatives on their own. Andy cites books on WWII by Stephen E. Ambrose. Scott is from a military family.

June 24, 2017

#493. How To Build Your No Sweat Elevator Pitch. With Fred Miller.

Fred Miller, author of the new book, The No Sweat Elevator Speech!: How to Craft YOUR Elevator Speech Floor by Floor, with No Sweat! joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:22] No Sweat is Fred Miller’s tagline. He started with No Sweat Public Speaking, in 2011, and kept the brand.

[2:21] An elevator speech is a personal infomercial. Use the time before or after events to network. The elevator speech is a good start. It can also be used to begin a presentation. It must be a clear self-description.

[6:25] An elevator speech is not a sales pitch. It sorts and sifts between future customers and disqualified contacts, saving time for both parties. Fred’s presentation included an assurance of the value he delivers.

[12:09] Fred’s speech is in the format of an elevator ride by floor. The first floor is give your name. Second floor is describe what you do in threes. Fred’s three are that he is a speaker, coach, and author. Items in threes seem complete.

[17:15] Fred lists his three by the money piece, the passion piece, and a related choice. Speaker, coach, and author follow that pattern.

[19:48] Third floor is a description of your experience. You want someone to easily understand what you do, in simple terms. If you’re published, tell the topic of your last book, or your upcoming book. Or tell how long you’ve been in business.

[23:54] Fourth floor is ‘what,’ “Businesses, individuals, and organizations hire me because…” In Fred’s case it’s, “because they want to improve their networking, public speaking, and presentation skills.” Delivery trumps content.

[27:04] Fifth floor is your why. Fred continues his speech, “They do that because they know speaking opportunities are business, career, and leadership opportunities.” The why is critical. If there is no agreement, the presentation concludes.

[28:07] Fred’s sixth floor is, “They also know we perceive really good speakers as experts.” Seventh floor is the unique selling proposition, “I show them how to develop, practice, and deliver a ‘knock your socks off’ presentation, with no sweat.”

[29:32] Eighth floor is the ‘ask,’ “What do the folks at your place do about networking, public speaking, and presentation skills training?” Fred has a suggestion for starting a formal speech. There is flexibility when you move the pieces around by floor.

[30:50] The No Sweat elevator speech is a methodical process to encapsulate what you can do for the person you are talking to. It is flexible, and it is not pitching a product, but presenting yourself as an expert professional. Also have a short version.

[35:29] The elevator speech requires preparation and practice. Give people something of value for their investment of time in you. Record yourself practicing, and watch yourself video only,  audio only, and with both. Then show someone, for feedback.

June 23, 2017

#492. Are You Prepared to Achieve Your Career Goals? With Bridget Gleason.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:30] The topic is assessing where you are as an individual contributor, where you want to go, and the next step to get there. Bridget talks about assessment, in context of life goals.

[4:13] An SDR position is usually of short duration. It is critical for an SDR to think ahead. Millennials sometimes have a hard time seeking out mentors. Bridget recommends having a mentor who is not your manager, to gain a different perspective.

[6:25] Prospecting for a mentor is like prospecting for customers. They need a pitch and a value proposition. For Andy, some reps have approached him indirectly, leading with questions, to build a relationship, without assuming familiarity.

[7:39] Earn the trust, and the right to ask the next level of question. The first person you talk to may not be the mentor that aligns with you. Enjoy the interaction of the time together, but be willing to be challenged. You need to be open to learning.

[9:18] The next step is to develop a point of view of what sales means for you. Formulate a philosophy — who you are in sales and what you stand for, to see the next step of your career. Your POV will change in time. A mentor helps with this.

[12:36] In tech, there’s always a new bright shiny object, and people rushing from one company to the next. Having a POV puts you in position to find a company aligned with you, so you know what you can offer them to engage in their success.

[13:45] An SDR may learn the steps to become an AE, CSM, or account manager. An AE can prepare for the enterprise side, or large enterprise, or to become a manager. Bridget suggests a gap analysis between you and your goal, including skills.

[16:43] Start by asking for feedback from your manager. You need to know where you stand. Even if there is personal friction, they can still be your ally for success. Peer feedback and mentor feedback is also helpful.

[18:15] Start reading books that will develop your business acumen, biographies of leaders, and broaden your worldview. Career progression involves additional responsibilities, so additional knowledge and a broader perspective is needed.

[20:52] A listener sent Andy a link to an article in which a CIO says he wants to hire people who understand human behavior — who have read Shakespeare. Andy suggests looking for opinions diametrically opposed to yours, and reading them.

[23:32] Some NYT readers are infuriated that there is a conservative columnist writing for the paper. For every POV, there is an opposing POV. Although it is a challenge, be open to learning about them. There is not only one way to sell.

[28:35] Sales leadership starts with the individual contributor. Andy cites Lolly Daskal’s book, and says, never stop learning. Consciously assess where you are, where are you strong, and where are you deficient?

June 14, 2017

#484. What’s Your One Word? With Evan Carmichael.

Evan Carmichael, Author of the new book, Your One Word, joins me for the second time on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:42] Your one word is the one core value you stand for, more important than the others. When you identify it, you can build a life, and a sales career, that is on point, and is much more purposeful than reacting to others’ agendas for you.

[3:08] Beyond food, clothing, and shelter, people need to have meaning. People want to do work that has impact and is meaningful to others.

[3:54] Today, we have more models to follow, to be our own boss, and to get the results we want to get. Being an entrepreneur is not only easier, but sometimes necessary.

[5:04] Your one word comes from you, first. What do you represent as a human being, and how will you bring that to your business? It has to come from an authentic place, so you can make real connections with people, and stand out to win.

[6:58] Evan describes how his life evolved as an entrepreneur in a way that led him to write the book. It was his personal journey. First he thought changing the tagline of his company would help. Then he realized he had to find what he stood for.

[8:31] Evan’s one word is Belief. He then added the credo: Self-confidence, Passion, and Conviction. He recommends everyone to go through this exercise. Once he did this, every project he touched took off, and had success, and intention.

[10:41] This is the connection salespeople need with their buyers. It starts with how you stand out with your values. Evan goes to Starbucks because he loves Howard Schultz’s values.

[12:25] Product value has to be in context of core values. Even talks about a landscaper who “treats every lawn like it’s my Mom’s lawn.” Evan would hire that landscaper, just from that.

[18:51] Your one word is always something positive. There’s a piece of good in everyone. Find your good word. When you hire, lead with the value. Attract people who have like values.

[22:14] Evan tells a story about ‘the fat kid’ Nike ad, which he calls their best ad ever. It takes greatness to start. It’s what you see in yourself, that gets you started, that matters.

[26:24] Evan lives by Henry Ford’s statement, “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Think of the quotes you love. Those will help you find your core value. Evan likes learning from successful people.

[28:37] Your one word is forever, not a 2017 resolution. What’s the one lesson you want to pass on to your children? Think about the happiest things of your life, the people who helped. Find common threads. Distill them to a value.