Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
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.

 

February 14, 2017

How to Market and Sell for Scaling Up. With Verne Harnish. #381

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Verne Harnish, Founder of The Gazelles, a leading business coach, bestselling author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm, and most recently, Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t, as well as Founder of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Among the many topics that Verne and I discuss are the challenges blocking startups from scaling up and his advice for accelerating your growth.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[4:27] Verne cites research by Bill Gross at IdeaLab, on five factors that contribute to successful scaling: People, Strategy, Execution, Cash, and Timing, with Timing, the most critical.

[8:14] Competition grew by magnitudes with the global Internet. The best defense is offense, so go global in a narrow product line.

[10:58] Jim Collins, in Good to Great, addresses sales automation. (1) Have disciplined people, (2) engaged in disciplined thought, (3) with disciplined action. Once you have your strategy, then (4) add automation. Too early is messy.

[15:16] Marketing is critical. Lean startups need to say yes to everything. But, “What got you here won’t get you there.” Agile scale-ups need a different approach — a well-functioning marketing department, separate from sales.

[19:47] 76% of companies remain home-based, because they haven’t crossed the barrier to finding the first hire, a great salesperson. 3% of companies scale. How do you know you should? Scalers are voracious learners, who don’t know it all.

[21:11] Mark Cuban said his biggest failures came when he thought “he was the smartest person in the room.” Have conviction, but be humble enough to go seek help.

[23:10] Companies may have a book club. Andy has clients do this. To 10X a company, don’t 10X just your own knowledge, but every employee’s knowledge. Don’t outgrow your team.

[24:22] Verne put in his “Trends” column for 2016, “This is the year we get rid of the word, ‘manager.’” Nobody needs a sales manager, they need a sales coach.

[26:45] Sales should call in each day and report “what they’ve heard,” for Quick Market Intelligence. Verne says, “There are two kinds of salespeople — winners and whiners.” Winners report what works and what doesn’t, to remove barriers.

 

February 3, 2017

How to Accelerate Your Sales into 2017. With Bridget Gleason. #372

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my very special guest (and Front Line Friday co-host), Bridget Gleason, VP of Sales for Logz.io.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:43] Bridget likes to finish with the panic before the end of the year. The last two weeks of the year, reps say, “I don’t have anything else to close this quarter.” Bridget says, “So start building up to where you need to be for the next quarter.”

[2:56] By the end of January, Bridget likes reps to be well on the way to meeting their first quarter goals. As VP of Sales, Bridget needs to have the year’s structure — territories, hiring, ramping — all set, to focus on the year’s success.

[4:45] Bridget sometimes postpones personnel issues until the new year, to focus on finishing the year well, but, as soon as possible in the year, has that difficult conversation.

[6:08] Andy says to have those conversations back in October or November — because the problem is evident by then — so you have the team composition in place that you need by January.

[7:01] In sales, the data identifies there’s something that’s not working. Millennials in particular, would like ongoing feedback. If managers provide feedback often and early, then the final conversation isn’t as difficult, because it’s not a surprise.

[8:58] Andy wants to see successes in January — milestones, closes, shared successes — to build team confidence. It is crucial to keep the team motivated.

[12:20] Angela Duckworth’s, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, says great performers are often made by the team, as opposed to great players making the team great. Bridget wants a team that makes people better for being on it.

[13:13] Andy believes a team gives you more people to hold you accountable, because no one wants to let their teammates down. Everybody wants to contribute.

[15:30] Bridget ‘feels that in spades,’ about her company, Logz.io. Team accountability applies not only to sales professionals, but to all levels of a company. It’s a mesh.

[16:35] What has inspired Bridget recently? Angela Duckworth’s book on grit, teaches that intelligence matters, but if others are smarter than we are, we can do a lot to counter that by persistence, and by hard work.

[18:19] Bridget shares a story of a personal sacrifice made by one of her managers, with quiet determination, to help close out the big year-end deals. Some sacrifices are needed and appreciated, without apparent martyrdom attached.

[23:05] In the first month, pay attention to what’s going on; get early successes for the team; and deal with problems, regardless of sunk cost, whether personnel, or projects that will never close. Take a hard look at everything.

January 30, 2017

How to Accelerate Sales with Better Behaviors. With Frank Cespedes. #368

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Frank Cespedes, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School, and author of the book Aligning Strategy and Sales: The Choices, Systems, and Behaviors that Drive Effective Selling, as well as numerous articles on the Harvard Business Review about sales.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:53] Frank was a business school professor, researching marketing and sales. Then he ran a tech firm for 12 years, sold it, and returned to Harvard to teach strategy.

[4:57] Frank mentions a McKinsey study on the effects of the 2008 recession. Companies cut the costs of goods sold, but selling & general administrative (SG&A) expenses, as a percentage of sales, have risen.

[6:30] Companies have done a good job of cutting operations costs, but have done less well with efficiencies in going to market. Productivity studies are now focusing on those costs.

[7:20] The availability of more accessible data shows clearly what it means to be a sales leader in the 21st Century. The CFO and C-suite can see easily what is happening for the enormous amount of money spent on sales.

[8:34] There is a misplaced focus on the number of activities, which means thinking about quantity, rather than quality. Activity is not outcome. Sales is about outcomes. Closed sales count.

[10:58] Andy refers to Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information, by Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen, who say buyers are adept at capturing and understanding the information they need.

[14:31] In the business value chain, from sourcing to service, sales is the most specialized factor. In any industry, what works in sales at Company A, may not work selling at Company B, but sales is the factor most seen as generalized.

[17:28] The SaaS sales model took off in 2008, when it was mandatory to cut back on go-to-market costs. Any successful model is about the entire process. New models constantly disrupt mature models.

[22:28] Every generation relearns basic truisms. Putting new names on old processes can work, if it moves the meter in the right direction.

[24:58] Frank says studies support that 80% or more of sales come from 20% of salespeople. Performance variance in sales is greater than in many other areas of business.

[28:29] Frank’s tips to improve sales outcomes: improve hiring practices, including behavioral assessments; hold regular real performance reviews; use training and development, tracked.

January 23, 2017

How to Accelerate Your Sales Through Stories. With Craig Wortmann. #362

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Craig Wortmann, CEO and Founder of Sales Engine, Inc., a clinical professor of entrepreneurship at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and author of the book, What’s Your Story? Using Stories to Ignite Performance and Be More Successful. Among the many topics that Craig and I discuss are why need to create a Sales Trailer, a sales version of a movie trailer, to very quickly capture buyers’ attention, how to create a story matrix; why stories of failure can be so persuasive and how to set your buyers’ expectations.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:52] Craig worked in a Congressional office in D.C., and joined IBM about 25 years ago, selling the AS/400 in Chicago. Craig credits IBM with great training that prepared him to teach entrepreneurial selling to MBA students.

[6:17] Craig teaches entrepreneurs how to survive, and then thrive, ‘in the wonderful chaos between time-zero and break-even.’

[7:19] Customers will not beat a path to your door; sales is not a subset of marketing; and, the time to hire a salesperson is after you have a sales model.

[10:54] Buyers will not work to understand your message. You have to work to be understood.

[13:29] Create a Sales Trailer. It’s like a movie trailer for sales. You don’t have four paragraphs to tell a prospect about your brand. You have eight seconds to capture their attention.

[14:05] Expectations start to get set in the qualifying phase. When does the qualifying phase begin, and how long do you take to qualify your prospect?

[15:31] The best salespeople can recognize when there’s not a fit, will say so, and will offer to connect the prospect with other resources that may serve their present needs.

[16:42] Entrepreneurial selling includes the step of resetting expectations, which is done in a short conversation after the close, preparing the client for customer success.

[20:38] What’s Your Story? introduces the story matrix, a tool you can use to to develop important messaging themes.

[23:26] Why do stories of failure affect in a positive way?

[26:46] Impact questions uncover better information. They dig deeper, cut broader, and have harder answers. Ask something about the business, the client should know, but doesn’t. Don’t ask impact questions before a conversation is on solid ground.

 

January 14, 2017

How You Can Accelerate Your Success in 2017. With Mark Hunter. #355

Welcome to Sales Kick-Off Week on Accelerate!

Joining me on Day Five of the Accelerate! 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off Week is my guest Mark Hunter.

Mark Hunter is The Sales Hunter. He’s a keynote speaker, sales trainer and author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price, and most recently, High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Benefits.

On Day 6, this last day of our 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off Meeting the focus is squarely on you. And the steps you can take to elevate your professionalism and performance in 2017.

In this episode, Mark lays out his challenges for sales professionals in 2017, including how to put together a personal development plan, how to develop the habit of curiosity, how to create purposeful personal goals, how to hold yourself accountable for achieving your personal goals and much much more.

Want to improve your sales performance in 2017? Start by investing half an hour to learn from Mark Hunter.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:54] Mark’s 2017 sales resolution is to spend more time with fewer prospects. Who do we prospect? Is a heartbeat enough of a qualification? Mark’s dog has not bought from him, yet.

[2:15] Mark wants social media be one-to-one communication. #SocialMediaWithoutSocialCommunityIsSocialStupidity

[4:50] The number one challenge facing salespeople is to know and accept that their most valuable asset is their time. Use tools to manage your time.

[7:41] Connect with three or four external peers to challenge and motivate each other, to get to the next level. Top performers associate with top performers.

[9:03] Every floor in a building is not the same. Move yourself to the next floor and find a whole level of new opportunities and relationships. It will change your paradigm.

[12:30] What can you do to improve yourself this month or quarter? What can you do to improve yourself over the next five-to-ten years? Mark’s goal is to read a book a week.

[12:51] To read a book a week, Mark will have to: 1) pick up his reading pace, 2) become more focused and retain what he reads, and 3) be able to cut out other activities from his time.

[14:40] Higher-achieving people, while they work out, are listening to podcasts, not to music, to better themselves.

[17:06] Disrupt You!, by Jay Samit, shows that things are changing, and there are incredible opportunities coming, if you open yourself to change, and take advantage of them.

[19:23] Ask your kids everyday, “What did you Google today?” We have to become more curious, and be methodical about it.

[22:50] Curiosity needs to build your knowledge. Have purposeful personal goals. What will you sacrifice to attain your goals? Have an accountability partner who will check in with you.

 

January 5, 2017

How to Increase Your Sales Effectiveness. With George Brontén. #347

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest George Brontén, Founder and CEO of Membrain, a sales effectiveness platform based out of Sweden. Among the many topics that George and I discuss are include whether there is a global crisis in sales effectiveness, war stories of sales gone wrong, and the factors that help a sales professional to be more effective.

 

January 2, 2017

How to Close More Deals with Effective Sales Negotiation. With Ron Hubsher. #344

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Ron Hubsher, Managing Director of the Sales Optimization Group, and author of Closing Time: The 7 Immutable Laws of Sales Negotiation. Among the many topics that Ron and I discuss are Ron’s background in engineering, how the sales process is like a manufacturing process, how to get more performance from your sales pipeline, and the seven laws of sales negotiation.

December 15, 2016

How to Sell More in Less Time. With Jill Konrath. #331

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my friend Jill Konrath. Jill is a speaker, sales expert, and author of multiple bestselling books, including Selling to Big Companies, Snap Selling, Agile Selling, and her latest book, More Sales, Less Time. Among the many topics that Jill and I discuss are how she came to focus on selling more in less time, what she learned from her research about concentration, focus and how to eliminate distraction that waste selling time, how to make the most of the limited hours available each, and how you can take the More Sales, Less Time Challenge.

December 7, 2016

How To Extend Your Sales Reach with Social Selling. With Tim Hughes. #324

Joining me on Accelerate! once again is Tim Hughes, UK-based Founder and Partner of Digital Leadership Associates, a social digital transformation agency. He is one of the leading experts on social selling, and author of a great new book, Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers. Among the many topics that Tim and I discuss are Tim’s journey from salesperson to sales expert and author, how social selling is becoming mainstreamed, how the traditional sales methods are being replaced, and why most sales reps are still not taking advantage of the opportunities presented by social selling.