Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
October 16, 2017

#584 How Leaders Engage and Inspire Others. With Kevin Kruse.

Kevin Kruse, Founder and CEO of Leadx.org, host of the Leadx podcast, and author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs, joins me for the second time on this episode of #Accelerate! Listen to Episode 82 to hear Kevin’s first visit.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:44] Andy starts with a Vince Lombardi quote in which he connects winning, thoughts, beliefs, words, actions, habits, and character. Character is a word we don’t often consider in sales. The foundation for trust is your character.

[6:41] Kevin says the single biggest challenge facing sales organizations today is getting through the noise onto people’s schedules. Kevin contrasts cold calls of the past to getting a prospect’s attention today if they have no urgent need.

[8:20] There is a current pushback against accepting good enough or mediocrity. The buyers and organizations are not making time for innovation. This makes sales harder than before. Provide tremendous value to break through.

[9:40] Andy says sales is still hard, not harder than before, but different. People didn’t pick up the phone then any more than now. There is too much focus on activities and not enough on serving the customer. Scripting and stacks block authenticity.

[13:35] AI and machine learning will take over simple interactions. Reps who can connect with people will have greater value to their customers and their own companies. Others will be let go. Be a lifelong learner and invest in skills.

[16:01] It’s hard to predict the future, but it’s clear that a rep who can connect with a prospect and inspire them to take action will continue to be a valued team member.

[17:25] Kevin thinks many leaders today manage well but forget to lead. Having fewer employees will require fewer leaders. Managers should be coaches of people, not managers of activities. Kevin talks about Leadx AI research for managers.

[21:10] Should we be recording every sales conversation for AI to analyze for coaching? The technology exists.

[23:44] There is an AI app that will listen, transcribe, and provide call coaching in real time, but coaching is not about call tactics. It is about skills, strategies, and improving behaviors. The best reps have high EQ, which is hard to coach.

[25:48] Andy recommends reading The Coaching Habit and learning its framework of seven questions. Kevin discusses employee engagement, and how a manager can foster it.

[27:36] 80% of knowledge worker jobs are under threat from automation. 80% to 90% of people will have jobs, but many jobs will be minimum wage. Universal Basic Income may be coming as a social safety net, but public funds are insufficient.

[32:22] Kevin published “51 Tips to Win at Life (Reflections On My 50th Birthday).” Kevin covers two of the tips: purpose and impact. Kevin finds that life is more than money, but the more value (impact) you provide, the more income you will receive.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

For Vice Presidents of Sales of high-growth SaaS companies and software service companies — Andy is teaming up with his friend Jacco van der Kooij, founder of Winning by Design and author of Blueprints of a SaaS Sales Organization, to launch the Sales Leadership Accelerator Mastermind, an intensive 12-month learning, coaching, and mastermind program for the Vice Presidents of Sales of high-growth SaaS companies. If the responsibility sits on your shoulders to scale your revenue team, to hit the $100 million mark and beyond, then the Sales Leadership Accelerator Mastermind will help you transform how you sell, scale, and develop the capability of your team to crash their goals. Enrollment is limited to a very small group, so, first come first served. Go to SaaSSLAM.com now, to learn more and enroll today.

October 9, 2017

#581 Develop the Habits That Can Change Your Life. With Marshall Goldsmith.

Marshall Goldsmith, one of the most influential business thinkers in the world, the number one leadership thinker in the world, and the author of multiple books, including Mojo: How to Get it, How to Keep it, How to Get it Back if You Lose it, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful, and Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts — Becoming the Person You Want to Be, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[6:37] Marshall says people have become more sensitized to the importance of interpersonal behavior, and are seeking to create positive, lasting change in their behaviors. Managing knowledge workers requires managers to be more adaptable.

[7:44] Marshall notes the difference between common sense and common practice and the gap between knowing what to do and doing it. We over-estimate the importance of willpower. Most don’t think they need the help of others.

[9:54] Admitting to a vulnerability or a weakness still carries a stigma. If the top tennis players have coaches, why shouldn’t the top CEOs have coaches? Coaching is to help winners get better. Coaching is more accepted now than 30 years ago.

[11:17] A trigger is a stimulus that might impact our behavior. One unique perspective in the book Triggers is its focus on interpersonal interactions and perception.

[12:45] Marshall fines clients $20.00 if they start any sentence with “no,” “but,” or “however.” At dinner, one CEO had to go to an ATM to cover his conversation. Change that habit. A rep must help the customer succeed; not focus on themselves.

[15:24] Charles Duhigg proposes three parts of behavior change. For interpersonal interactions, Marshall adds awareness, a deep breath, and choice. After a trigger, think, pause, and make a considered choice to change behavior.

[20:19] Marshall examines a case study of a man choosing to honor his wife instead of competing with her about whose day was harder. He chose empathy and he improved the marriage.

[24:40] The planner and the doer are different. The planner thinking about a diet in the morning is not the same as the doer at the end of the day staring at a chocolate cake. Marshall lists some delusions about planning that sabotage success.

[26:20] We need to realize how difficult it is to achieve goals, how easy it is to be thrown off course, and that we need much more structure and direction than we admit. Marshall explains the daily question process and gives a listener assignment.

[29:11] Active questions start with, “Did I do my best to…” Marshall describes four qualities to a good, hard question. He supplies six great questions to ask yourself daily. He adds that even the greatest sharpshooter can miss a very big target.

[34:06] Read the book and study about the daily questions. Get an accountability partner to call every day and go through the questions. Marshall talks about how going over the questions daily saved the life of his accountability partner.

[35:21] Anyone can be your accountability partner, especially if they are motivated to do their own questions as you do yours. Marshall has paid someone to be his partner. Checklists save lives, and the daily questions are like a checklist.

ANNOUNCEMENT

October is the 2nd Anniversary month of Accelerate! Accelerate! has been downloaded well over one million times and recognized twice by Inc.! Andy would like to hear from you about your favorite episode, guest, or topic. See the complete list of episodes at AndyPaul.com. Leave Andy a message about your favorite episode to receive a free signed copy of Amp Up Your Sales: Powerful Strategies That Move Customers to Make Fast, Favorable Decisions, by Andy Paul. You will need to provide your physical mailing address to receive the book.

 

September 26, 2017

#574 How Superconsumers Drive Your B2B Sales Growth. With Eddie Yoon.

Eddie Yoon, Founder of EddieWouldGrow, and author of Superconsumers: A Simple, Speedy, and Sustainable Path to Superior Growth, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[5:34] Eddie says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is managing their emotions. They don’t deserve all the credit when things go well, or all the blame when things go poorly. They must elevate a client’s interests above their own.

[7:45] If you want something too much, you are less likely to get it. You control your inputs, not the outputs. Eddie suggests reps should ask clients to make decisions mindful not only of the performance of the business, but also of its health.

[10:08] Eddie’s book is geared for B2C. Eddie notes the difference between heavy users and superconsumers. A superconsumer spends a lot and cares a lot about the category and the brand. A heavy buyer just spends a lot.

[13:08] Eddie talks about a brand example: Gatorade. Eddie explains who the Gatorade superconcumers are, and their behaviors around sports drinks.

[16:05] Superconsumers tap into aspirations. Typical consumers buy at the rational level, on need and price. Superconsumers are motivated by image and hope.

[18:31] Superconsumers account for a large percentage of sales, and is not price-sensitive. Superconsumers are made, not born. They learn life hacks, and others can learn the same hacks. Normal and heavy consumers can develop passion.

[21:34] Superconsumers are brand-conscious. They spend their time posting about the category and brand, just as they spend their money buying it.

[23:38] In general, people do not know how to read big data. Spikes in the data are where the “good stuff” is found. Spikes are usually the work of superconsumers. Superconsumers in one category may be superconsumers in nine others.

[28:10] Eddie discusses how superconsumers affect B2B SaaS sales. Look for the superconsumers of time using the product. Know your stakeholders. Word of mouth in B2B is as important as in B2C. Meet the needs of the superconsumers.

[31:40] In B2B, you are not just looking for the heavy users, but for users who are very engaged in unique and alternative use cases. Eddie shares anecdotes of his experience.

[26:54] Superconsumers want premium experiences. Apple has the highest sales per square foot for retail stores. Superconsumers show you new use cases, revealing new lines of customers you never knew you had.

ANNOUNCEMENT

The new Accelerate! schedule starts on Monday, October 2, with episodes released on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

September 19, 2017

#569 Should you become a Certified Sales Professional? With Willis Turner.

Willis Turner, President and CEO of SMEI, Sales and Marketing Executives International, Inc., joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:54] Willis says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is taking time out to sharpen the saw and keep up-to-date on the newest technologies and education.

[4:51] Organizations want sales reps to educate themselves. There is a trend toward self-directed learning, investing their own time and money. A sales professional is in charge of their own career.

[6:29] Work is becoming more flexible and outcome-oriented. Individuals need to keep up with industry education. Sales may be going in a direction of independence, as manufacturers’ reps often are today.

[8:31] SMEI was founded as a nonprofit in 1935. They follow their founding principles of career advancement support by certification for people in the sales and marketing profession and provide career readiness support for college graduates.

[10:25] SMEI offers four certifications by testing: CSE for sales managers, SCPS for salespeople, CME for marketing managers and SCPM for people working in the marketing department. Certification is a validation of individual producers.

[13:28] Certifications test for knowledge, not competence. There are pre-requisites which imply competence. To be certified you need experience in the field. A certification starts with a detailed job analysis and a bank of tests.

[17:22] Andy would like to see basic sales skills covered in sales courses at the university level, to prepare graduates for professional selling and sales management. Willis adds his list of theories and topics that should be taught academically.

[20:00] SMEI continues to update the certifications, based on their detailed job analyses, which are refreshed every four to five years. The core competencies include principles which are not trendy, as well as technologies, which are developing.

[21:50] Customers who are certified themselves in some discipline are the first to notice the value of a sales certification. This drives demand.

[25:34] Hiring managers could add certifications to job postings to help mitigate the risks of hiring salespeople. SMEI issues digital badges as part of the certification. The badges plug into LinkedIn profiles and at career centers.

[31:07] Willis explains the cost for individual certifications, including an online exam prep course, and annual renewals.

[32:19] Willis has not seen any movements toward government regulation of sales. He would like to see self-regulation by peers. People taking the certification recognize why they lost certain deals in the past.

August 29, 2017

#555. How to Be a Power Connector. With Judy Robinett.

Judy Robinett, startup funding expert, advisor to investors and startups, and author of a great book, titled, How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:24] Judy says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is getting sales in the first place. New technology is overwhelming. Meeting someone face-to-face means a 10X faster connection and the possibility of getting your ask.

[3:04] Andy recently wrote about a new sales tool, called ‘meeting people face-to-face!’ It got a very positive response. People have to know you, like you, trust you.

[4:46] Tech tools are about the seller. The focus should be on helping the customer gather information to make a good decision with the least investment. Judy says the tools are coming. She recently judged a pitch event in NY about AI/VR.

[5:58] Geoff Colvin writes that people become more valuable than AI for face-to-face connection. Judy shares an experience and smart suggestions for networking and joining groups.

[9:04] Judy’s shares core beliefs of successful connectors, be authentic, be yourself, show a level of generosity. Do a value match. Include people in your network who have a good head, a good heart, and a good gut. Judy would let Oprah in.

[10:43] Business relationships are relationships first. Ask three golden questions: How can I help you? What other ideas do you have for me? Who else do you know I should talk to? Judy gets introduced to billionaires, and is on panels with them.

[12:30] Judy talks about how she did some homework, found what Mark Burnett needed for an upcoming production, lined up resources, and got a meeting with him, where they agreed they could help each other. Get out of your comfort zone.

[15:45] Take initiative, research, find ways to give value to people, and you will grow your network. Everybody has problems and needs. Judy talks about how she was invited to the White House the first time.

[17:52] Judy gives some examples of how she has helped various billionaires and other influencers, and how she was asked to be a CEO of a company.

[18:50] Elevator pitches are off-putting if not expected. Listen to people about their family, their pet, their finances, and their health. Don’t pitch before a relationship exists. Have a diverse, network of people you know. Treat them as good friends.

[24:06] Judy recommends making it a point to let people know you are humble about your success, and grateful for it. Show people you are a human being. Automation will not replace you. Please help me are three powerful words.

[27:40] Ask, “So, tell me, how are you doing?” This is much different from “How ya doin’?” Judy gives groups of three questions that can push discussions and decisions forward.

August 27, 2017

#553 Push Your Limits to Achieve the Impossible. With Dan Waldschmidt.

Dan Waldschmidt, is a keynote speaker, business strategist, ultra runner, business owner and author of Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Can Achieve Outrageous Success.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:53] Dan speaks to clients on ways to grow and dynamically scale ideas into massive money-makers. He also writes about concerns he faces and addresses in his own businesses.

[1:54] Dan pushes against what is “impossible,” by pushing limits — personally, with running; professionally, by strategizing to make “millions and billions” of dollars; and with clients, helping them to see the world differently, and to excel.

[2:30] Dan’s ultra-running goal for 2017 is to run another few thousand miles, in 100- and 50-mile races, and maybe a 200-mile race. Running gives him clarity for next steps. Transcendental Meditation and running keep him grounded.

[5:31] How did Dan cope when he wanted to quit, 20 miles into his last 100-mile race in the mountains of Alabama?

[8:14] Days after a race, Dan can reflect, “Dude, you didn’t even know that was possible, and you did it! What else don’t you know is possible, that is next on your list of things to do?”

[9:41] Instead of asking for salesmen to close better, ask why your business isn’t creating a brand or a customer experience so outrageously positive, that deals just automatically close?

[10:15] Dan couldn’t finish one race, because he had depleted his salt. Little things can have a fatal effect when you are trying to perform at a high level. The details matter when you answer the phone and how you brand.

[12:15] What are you prepared to sacrifice? Some people don’t progress because they have too many TV shows lined up to watch. Prioritize time. Your choices control your achievements. Be desperate to meet your goals.

[15:48] To perform at a high level, “burn the ships.” Make a list of five to ten things in your life that you need to burn right now, until you cross your continent and build new ships.

[17:54] To be amazing, you have to talk yourself down from your fears. You can learn not only to survive stressful situations, but to thrive, in spite of what happens around you.

[19:40] Successful people refuse to: excuse their mistakes; copy others (instead of building on their own strengths); or look down on others who are struggling (Dan tells of Jeff Bezos’s many years before Amazon turned a profit).

[27:09] Successful people refuse to: waste time doing things that don’t matter; or let the current chaos distract them from future success.

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.

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 20, 2017

#489. The Key Traits of the Successful Salesperson. With Mark Cox.

Mark Cox, Managing Partner of In The Funnel, a sales consulting firm based in Toronto, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:42] Mark sees the difficulty of the sales job itself as the single biggest challenge facing sales professionals today. He explains why, and mentions the basic tools and skills salespeople need to overcome this challenge.
[2:45] Mark suggests two reasons that B2B sales is getting to be more difficult. Mark believes the profession deserves more respect than popular culture assigns to it.

[3:45] Mark discusses demand generation, or cold calling. He says it has has been done very poorly for 20 years. The person you are calling has received perhaps 100 bad cold calls in the last 10 years and they want to get off the call.

[5:12] Besides phone and email contacts, Mark shares advice for salespeople about face-to-face, in-person meetings. He would like to improve almost every stage of the sales process. He wants more salespeople to see sales as a real profession.

[9:35] Mark sees consistent professional training as essential for improving the skills and image of salespeople. He cites Jason Jordan, saying there are no fundamental operating guidelines for sales. Business schools just do not teach sales.

[13:07] Mark remarks that startup incubators encourage sales coaching, and they give referrals to sales coaches such as himself. The most important factor for a startup is revenue, which is based in sales.

[15:50] Mark wrote a blog post, “5 Key Traits of a Successful Salesperson,” listing them as Resiliency, Natural Curiosity, Discipline, Strategic Thinking, and Resourcefulness. Mark explains how proper coaching can help develop all of these.

[18:36] Mark links optimism to resilience. A pessimist has a harder time becoming resilient. He describes his hiring interview process, and how he gauges optimism.

[20:03] Andy refers to the New York Times article on the “uselessness of job interviews.” Mark shares his thoughts,  cites Who, by Geoff Smart and Randy Street, and then mentions his own interviewing protocols.

[27:28] Natural curiosity is a gauge for the salesperson’s opportunity to develop business acumen. He shares an example from a coaching call. Curiosity can be developed if someone wants to learn it.

[30:31] Heavy scripting represses a sales professional’s curiosity. Mark prefers guidelines over scripts. Listen with intent, and consult the guidelines for direction, as needed. The intent is always to add value for that specific prospect.

[33:29] Scripts prevent insights. Mark suggests pausing, and saying, “That’s a really good question.” Some generic questions can be prepared in advance, to initiate useful and valuable conversation.

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.