Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
September 5, 2017

#559. How to ‘Ingage’ Your Sales Team and Customers. With Evan Hackel.

Evan Hackel, CEO of Ingage Consulting, CEO of Tortal Training, and author of the book, Ingaging Leadership: 21 Steps to Elevate Your Business, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

Key Takeaways 

[2:49] Evan says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is focus. Salespeople have too much to say about product. They spend way too much time talking, and too little, listening for what the customer wants.

[3:42] So much content is given to reps that is uninteresting. Products are becoming more complicated. You can spend hours explaining a feature-rich product, when only a fraction of the features interest the customer.

[4:56] Reps end up distracting the buyer by giving them too much to talk about. Listen to what the customer wants to talk about.

[5:20] Spelling and grammar errors, and bad copy, are very awkward. Have a communication expert review what you plan to send to customers, before you send it.

[7:09] The ‘I’ in ‘Ingaging’ stands for Involvement, so your staff, customers, and vendors can become involved in your success. Senior staff who want to ‘ingage’ the company in strategic planning, solicit ideas from the ones doing the actual work.

[11:50] Leaders and managers fear being exposed as frauds. They don’t want their superiors wondering why a staffer came up with better ideas than a manager. But the staff are very pleased to be involved. Evan gives a successful case study.

[17:14] ‘Ingagement’ is coaching, more than direction. When the team builds the plan through coaching, they believe and execute it. Evan has three questions for ‘ingaging’ his team.

[19:35] Evan also has a process for ‘ingaging’ customers. He sets up advisory councils of B2B customers. For consumers, you would do focus groups for a similar result. The goal is to get the customers’ perspectives on the company.

[21:22] Get people together. Evan holds one live council a year, plus web meetings that are updates. Evan asks customers to serve three-year terms. Customers do 80% of the talking.

[25:54] Virtual selling, with no customer contact, leads to increased churn. Relationship-building keeps sales human. Evan likes to have multiple contacts in an organization, so the customer is not lost after a personnel change.

[27:32] Someone from Ingage Consulting visits clients once a year, and usually sees them twice more at trade shows. Other meetings are by Zoom, if possible. Evan describes what Tortal Training is and how it helps client training and e-learning.

[29:29] Andy suggests that top leadership needs to stay involved in a customer’s ‘ingagement,’ if they start, or it is seen as a withdrawal. Evan mentions the difficulty of visiting clients around the country or world. Evan likes trade shows.


January 9, 2017

How You Can Increase Sales through Customer Service. With Peter Shankman. #350

Welcome to Sales Kick-Off Week on Accelerate!

Joining me on Day One of The Accelerate! Virtual Sales Kick-off Week is my guest Peter Shankman.

Peter is one of the most sought-after keynote speaker on customer and social economies; founder and CEO of The Geek Factory; founder of Shankminds; the author of multiple books, including Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans, and the host of the Faster Than Normal podcast.

On Day One of our 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off Meeting we are  focusing on your customer.

In this episode, Peter starts kick-off week by sharing lessons about how you can use customer service as your engine of revenue growth in 2017. Among the key lessons provided in this episode are: how to always exceed your customer’s expectations, why referrals are more effective than advertising and how the role of the sales professional will be changing in 2017 and what that means for you.

Don’t miss this essential start to your ongoing sales education in 2017!


[1:10] Peter runs, a 150-person online Mastermind working through the entrepreneurial process. He is a corporate keynote speaker; he does video stand-ups; and he has published four books, with a fifth coming in 2017.

[1:50] Andy asks about Peter’s ADHD; Peter was perceived as a difficult child in school. Faster Than Normal, which is the number one podcast on ADHD, discusses ADHD as a gift, when it is mastered, and correctly managed.

[5:32] Bosses need to understand that chances are one of their team has ADHD, and trying to fit them into a mold is a mistake. Let them work the way they need, and they will be more successful.

[7:16] Customer Service is a revenue generator when you do it right. Your customer isn’t generally used to great service. If you provide service better than they expect, they will buy more from you. And praise you around the world.

[8:11] No one believes how awesome you are, if you’re the one to tell them. If their friend tells them, then you’re awesome.

[9:37] Ask your clients how you can make their experience better. Show them that you’re listening to them.

[12:28] Customers don’t need balloons, or ‘freemiums.’ They need you to know their name, and that this is not their first visit to your company. Just be attentive. Don’t focus on the sale; focus on what you can do to solve their problem.

[14:04] B2B buyers are people, too. They buy at work the same way they buy as consumers, getting recommendations from trusted friends, just in larger orders. Be a little better than your competition’s horrible service, to win their loyalty.

[18:00] Advertising is a weak tool, contrasted against personal experience, and referrals.

[18:49] How Peter sees the evolving role of salespeople.

[21:48] Value is specific to what the customer wants. Why customers aren’t interested in “dinner and drinks,” but getting their job done on budget in the least period of time possible.

July 4, 2016

Building a Referral Machine. With Tim Templeton. #191

Tim Templeton is an entrepreneur, consultant, speaker and bestselling author of several books, including The Referral of a Lifetime. In today’s episode, Tim shares his strategies for how to build a strong book of business based solely on referrals. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • How to develop a lifetime relationship with a client.
  • How to build your ABC database.
  • How to build your referral engine.
  • How to scale your business scalable using referrals.
February 1, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 81 with Bill Cates. A Bulletproof Process to Accelerate Your Sales Through Referrals

In this episode, Bill Cates, founder of Referral Coach International, shares the secrets of accelerating your sales productivity through referrals. Because it’s so hard to cut through all the noise created by the internet, social media, traditional prospecting and advertising, a personal introduction to a potential buyer is more important than ever. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • The right mindset required to start a successful referral selling program
  • Why customer satisfaction is not enough to guarantee referrals
  • How to create a compelling prospect experience that generates referrals.
  • Why you need to teach prospects how to buy what you sell.
  • The right way to ask for a referral
  • And much, much more!

If you’re in sales or sales management, then you definitely need to listen to this episode.

December 15, 2015

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 51 with Joanne Black. If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get. Effective Proactive Prospecting Through Referrals.

Joanne Black is the best-selling author of No More Cold Calling and Just Pick Up The Damn Phone! In this episode, Joanne describes why you need to commit to making referral selling your primary prospecting outreach. But its not as simple as just asking for referrals. Creating a predictable flow of referrals is a skill that needs to be learned. Joanne details the essential steps required to build an effective referral selling system, and the necessary reinforcement coaching to successfully integrate it into your selling.  As Joanne explains in our conversation, if you’re not proactively building relationships and expanding your network, referrals won’t happen.  If you’re a CEO, entrepreneur, sales leader or sales professional you need to listen to this episode.