Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
June 28, 2017

#496. You Don’t Close Buyers. They Persuade Themselves. With Harry Mills.

Harry Mills, author of a new book called Zero Resistance: The Science and Secrets of Supercharging Your Sales by Eliminating Buyer Skepticism and Mistrust, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS
[1:10] Harry is in Queenstown, NZ, “one of the most beautiful areas in the world.” Harry discusses the natural features, tourist activity, and wine production.
[3:44] Harry sees resistance as the single business challenge that sales professionals face. He noticed in 2010 that shoppers had gone in one year from five web searches to 10 web searches for one purchase. This gave new power to the buyer.
[6:58] Sellers in all environments are finding it much harder to get early engagement. The average B2B seller is getting in 62% or later into the buying process. Harry says direct persuasion needs to be replaced by insight-led selling.
[10:03] Exaggerations by salespeople have created skeptical buyers, resistant to direct persuasion. Direct persuasion is using your reasons to influence the buyer. Self-persuasion is helping the buyer find their own reasons to buy.
[12:33] Harry explains why self-persuasion has not been implemented in sales processes. He set out to establish a methodology with tools for building an empathy bridge, giving customers a choice. This is how he wrote Zero Resistance.
[14:34] Harry compares old ways to build rapport with his way to generate trust. The empathy bridge was inspired by Nelson Mandela. First, eliminate friction to lower resistance.
[19:56] Harry discusses applying his model to selling SaaS. Research the client to understand their deepest fears and concerns, and find deep connections and commonalities with the buyer. This leads to an empathy bridge.
[21:37] After building the empathy bridge (after research), establishing fused identity, use stories to build connections.
[23:25] The inside sales model uses one meeting to establish rapport. Consider whether the buyer sees you as a friend or a foe. Does the buyer see you have their long-term interest in mind, or your own? Do they see you can deliver?
[28:43] The customer needs to help in crafting their solution, working with the salesperson on a sketchpad or whiteboard. Explore possibilities that would help the buyer; ask them to imagine the solution that will work for their needs.
[33:15] Insight is about what the customer wants; the vision of what they want to be. Harry asks the buyer about their imagined future. He cites Steve Jobs, Andy Groves, and
Jeff Bezos on looking forward and reasoning backward.
[37:18] A complex sale involves all the solutions tied into the strategic vision. Harry uses illustrations to capture one or two key points and leaves the rest to the imagination. Know more about the customer than the customer does.

June 1, 2017

#473. Maximize the Selling Time of Field Sales Reps. With Steven Benson.

Steven Benson, CEO of BadgerMapping.com, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:28] Steven notes that many companies go to market with outside sales, regardless of the trend to inside sales. The most competitive way to sell some products is in the field.

[3:57] Some business models, such as SaaS, do not support the expense of field sales. Badger has customers who have competitors using inside sales and the internet, and the Badger customers do very well against their competition.

[5:09] Field salespeople have always managed customer routes — either on paper or digitally. Badger combines maps, calendars, and customer lists, in one app, working together. Steven got the idea after working with add-ons to Google Maps.

[8:11] Steven clarifies how field sales routing differs from truck routing. Badger factors appointment times into the route.

[9:41] Is outside selling simpler than inside selling? The inside sales tech stack adds complexity. Steven reveals the name that he almost called BadgerMapping.

[12:15] With the Badger app the rep can see all the customers on a map, and filter them. Customers can be sorted by campaign criteria, selected by lasso, set up by time to see, and then routed quickly. Badger cuts the busywork of routing.

[15:32] Badger can be planned a week in advance. You can change the routes as needed, when new things come up. The more in the future you save a route, the more efficient it is.

[17:22] Badger enhances your CRM system, or it will work with a spreadsheet of your customer data. Badger pulls your appointments from your CRM and maps them by priority.

[18:40] Badger can send individual emails, or you can use your CRM mail merge. Badger has dropdowns to collect and capture activity data quickly, and send it back to your CRM.

[23:05] The measurable benefits include lower mileage, less drive time, and more meetings, with meetings more focused on the planned objectives.

[24:25] BadgerMaps is an interesting case, as an inside sales SaaS company whose product is for field salespeople. Do VCs see the long-term value of supporting field sales? A lot of field sales jobs will still be around in 25 years.

[28:26] Steven says there is no current trend away from field sales among their customers.

May 31, 2017

#472. How to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Your Sales. With Perry Marshall.

Perry Marshall, bestselling author of 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:27] Perry wishes he had had the 80/20 book when he got into sales after being laid off. There was so much he didn’t know. He got fired after two years. He got another job in direct marketing, and it started to click for him.

[7:18] Vilfredo Pareto figured out 20% of the people had 80% of the money. In sales, 20% of customers provide 80% of the sales. 20% of salespeople make 80% of sales. There’s always another 80/20 inside. It’s universal, and not only about money.

[11:32] 80/20 is a law of nature, because of positive feedback. Perry spells it out by examples. Past behavior reinforces future behavior.

[13:18] Perry tells how 10 salespeople start off on an even keel, but through positive feedback, one gets way ahead of the others. Some get negative reinforcement, and drift off course. Within a few months the top salesman sells 16 times more.

[15:24] Perry talks about a rock being eroded into the Grand Canyon. When erosion starts, you are on the way to a canyon. Inequalities multiply and compound. People try to equalize things. The best salesmen seek to amplify the inequalities.

[17:33] Perry lists five power disqualifiers. Apply each of these disqualifiers to contacts before asking for an appointment. You will learn which contacts are not leads. Sales starts with, “Well, who do I not pitch?” It’s a disqualifying process.

[20:44] Perry’s friend John hiked to Las Vegas at 17 to become a professional gambler. He met Rob, who taught him ‘racking the shotgun,’ to divide the ‘marks’ from the people paying attention. In sales, separate the prospects using natural law.

[25:38] Perry found that everything in his business matched an 80/20 pattern. You can use it predictively. Perry explains how, with 1,000 Starbucks customers as an example.

[30:19] Use the 80/20 rule to escape being in the 80%. Perry talks about sales styles. He calls his first boss a hostage negotiator. Others tell stories. Perry invented the Marketing DNA Test to help salespeople find their successful sales style.

[36:25] Align the way you sell with customers who buy the way you sell, and products that match your sales style. Perry says you can’t be a consultative seller as a cold caller. Find a role that matches your strengths.

[37:01] Perry writes books rather than cold calling. For him, cold calling would be a $10/hour job. Why do that when he can have the $1,000/hour job?

May 30, 2017

#471. Sell How Your Customers Want to Buy. With Kristin Zhivago.

Kristin Zhivago, President at CloudPotential, and author of Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS
[1:43] Kristin’s book explains how customers want to buy. In the years since she wrote it, revolutionary trends have arisen, due to mobile and Google. People find you, and want you to fulfill their needs right now.
[4:07] Sales organizations still do outbound, but they have to be prepared at the moment of need, with the desired product or service. Voicemail is a barrier to those who are ready to buy but have just one more question. Answer when they call!
[6:14] Andy’s book, Zero-Time Selling, is based around the urgency of the customer when they contact you. Customers have tools to find you. When you are found, be ready.
[7:30] Sellers need to think like the customer. There is a GAP (Gross Assumption Problem). Find out what the customer wants from your product. (It’s not what you are promoting.)
[10:37] Kristin says even between different industries, there are trends of what the customer needed from the purchase. Seven interviews with existing customers will reveal trends. Give them what they want, and they will buy. Use big data.
[15:23] The job of salespeople is to ask questions, listen, and find out where the customer is in the buying process, what their next decision point is, and not to bore them with what they already know, and to help.
[18:35] If sales methodology at an organization does not allow customer-centric behavior, it’s a problem to solve at the top. The CEO needs to understand it’s not just smiling and dialing.
[23:49] Kristin’s book covers four levels of scrutiny. There is a lot of skepticism, especially in the software industry. Everyone has been burned, and no one wants that to happen again. Explore issues with the customer, to see if there is a good fit.
[26:37] Salespeople must master deep thinking. The first answer to a question is not usually the whole answer. Don’t just skim the surface, but get to the customer motivation.
[27:47] The book Absolute Value shows that buyers can come very close to experiencing the value of your product, before they even speak to you for the first time.
[28:37] Kristin talks about the structure of a purchase, from need, through purchase and referrals. Kristin says to follow the scent. Map the real decision points along the way.
[31:47] The NADA notes that the average car buyer visits one dealership to buy a car. B2B is headed that way. The role of the salesperson is to answer the buyer’s specific questions, and have the tools available to do that, in a timely manner.

May 29, 2017

#470. How to Win By Being Nice. With Doug Sandler.

Doug Sandler, blogger, host of the Nice Guys on Business podcast, and author of Nice Guys Finish First, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[4:29] Doug describes what it is to be a nice guy. It’s doing the right things even when people don’t see, going beyond expectations, showing empathy and gratitude, and catching someone doing something right. People are attracted to this.

[6:00] Negativity is more exposed now, because people post on social media the things they used to keep to say in private.

[8:47] Doug quotes Gary Shandling, “If you don’t think nice guys finish first, then you don’t know where the finish line is.” Doug uses niceness as his MO.

[13:11] Doug suggests assessing your own level of niceness: Do you show gratitude to your staff? Do you catch them doing the right things? He suggests mindfulness. Do you return calls and emails? Do you show empathy? Do you reach out?

[16:06] Doug has a program, “The Nice Guy 30.” It is not about getting anything in return. Create an environment of giving, without an agenda. It becomes more meaningful to you.

[17:13] Doug wrote a popular post, “24 Seconds that Will Change Your Life.” Send out two text messages a day to people you haven’t contacted in the last 30 days. Doug explains the responses you could get. It builds relationships.

[20:21] Winning in business is about winning relationships. Create an environment where people can know, like, and trust you naturally. Set unrealistic expectations, and exceed them every time. You have to do what you say you will do.

[22:27] You get more business from customers you already have, if you develop those relationships. New customers focus on price, while existing customers consider relationship value.

[24:51] Doug tells of a doctor’s appointment when everyone just looked at the PC. Doug asked, “Can we just have a conversation?” Treat everyone as a human being.

[28:15] Robert Cialdini says people like to do business with people they think like them! Being nice, concerned, and asking about them, sends a message. There is a need for instant rapport. Research first. If networking, ask leading questions.

[32:32] Sharing the discomfort of a networking event can open a connection. Show vulnerability, transparency, authenticity, and open up engagement. Doug talks on his podcast the same as with his best friend.

[33:51] Doug’s podcast, The Nice Guys on Business, was started as a channel to promote his services, is now the hub of his entire business, after two years and 330 episodes. Doug’s and Andy’s podcasts are featured on the C-Suite Radio Network.

May 20, 2017

#463. Leading Through the Turn. With Elise Mitchell.

Elise Mitchell, CEO of Mitchell Communications Group, and CEO of Dentsu Aegis Public Relations Network, as well as the author of a very interesting book, Leading Through the Turn: How a Journey Mindset Can Help Leaders Find Success and Significance, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:20] Leading Through the Turn looks at leadership as though riding a motorcycle. She started riding with her husband 10 years ago, and never looked back. She was hooked. Today she rides a Honda CBR300R — sleek, red, and fast.

[4:10] Key concepts are a destination philosophy and a journey perspective. The journey matters as much as the destination. Elise is naturally a destination person. She says her strength of entrepreneurship became a weakness as she hit extremes.

[5:35] Elise had to rethink how she was sacrificing important aspects of life to reach the destination of success. Motorcycling became the catalyst to make her rethink her journey. Now she savors it.

[7:28] Elise explains her drive was pushing her to burnout. She was missing many experiences. She wasn’t investing in living.

[9:09] Elise learned to ‘scrap the map,’ when the family moved away from her large corporate job. She had to decide if she would go, and be bitter, or go, and let change make her better.

[11:40] We can’t, and shouldn’t, control everything. Elise discusses adaptive leadership, about learning to solve new problems in real time, where there is no clear answer.

[13:00] Elise warns against building a company around a leader. She illustrates with a personal anecdote about letting go of control, and delegating — the entrepreneur’s challenge!

[16:09] Every step of leadership feels a little scary if you are ambitious, and want to grow and challenge yourself as a leader, and broaden your impact. Don’t let fear hold you back.

[17:41] A spirit of reciprocity is thinking outside yourself. Elise has a personal professional anecdote. She asked other leaders, “What can I do for you?” She cites Give and Take.

The Go-Giver is in the same vein. Help first.

[21:56] The called leader vs. the accidental leader. Elise has strived for leadership since her childhood. Accidental leaders have circumstances thrust upon them. If you have the heart of an explorer, it doesn’t matter how you got there. Go with it.

[26:41] The higher calling of leadership is to determine what good can you do as a leader. Can you create significance in the lives of others? You have so much potential to open doors.

[28:38] Leadership and significance starts with the individual. Elise discards the grandiosity of philanthropism for doing the right things, one at a time — changing that one person’s life for good; helping that customer further their opportunities.

May 19, 2017

#462 How to Get the Most From a Sales Book. With Bridget Gleason.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:28] The topic is books! Andy starts with The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness, by Lolly Daskal. The book helps you identify your type of leadership, what your challenges and strengths are, and how to stay out of the gaps.

[6:16] Andy recalls from the book, “We must let go of the life we planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” — Joseph Campbell, as quoted by Lolly Daskal.

[7:15] Bridget comments on the need for varying personalities and views on executive teams, to expose blind spots.

[8:34] Andy cites The Challenger Sale. Bridget’s first book is The Sandler Rules for Sales Leaders, by David Mattson, for a refresher on the pain funnel, discovery, exploring problems, and having standard rules for meetings.

[12:46] Andy’s second book is Zero Resistance, by Harry Mills. The premise is buyer self-persuasion overcoming buyer mistrust, through the seller’s helping the buyer find their own insights on what they want to achieve.

[16:04] Bridget wonders how much individuals deliberately integrate and actualize from what they read in a book. Andy keeps and integrates the one or two things that ‘jump out and grab him by the throat.’

[18:26] Just reading a book will not make you better at sales. If something jumps out at you, you have to jump back, and go practice it, if it is actionable, so it becomes a habit. Andy highlights interesting points and copies them into an Evernote.

[20:33] Bridget’s second book is Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work & Life, by Stuart Diamond. It’s more about the emotional and interpersonal factors than the tactical and strategic. When you get emotional you lose power.

[22:06] The discussion moves to the interplay and dance between selling and negotiation. They both involve discovery and persuasion. They are all about problem solving.

[24:43] The discussion concludes with thoughts on the great aspects of the sales profession, and the career opportunities and challenges involved. Very few jobs exercise these facets of the creative mind and skillset.

May 12, 2017

#456 How to Outrun the Competition. With Bridget Gleason.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:30] Discussion on running and races, because…

[5:37] …the topic is competition in sales. Bridget says there is always competition, and she offers two approaches. In either case, focus on the customer’s problem, and how you differentiate yourself to solve it.

[8:48] Price is not the competition. Solving the problem, with the greatest value to the prospect, wins the deal. Bridget tells how she was sold a pair of running shoes by a trusted vendor who solved her problem with value, and did it frictionlessly.

[12:13] No one wants blisters — on their heels, or in the buying process! Bridget went with the reputation of Marathon Sports, not the price, and found a salesperson who worked very easily with her.

[13:14] Andy also bought running shoes! His preferred vendor, Road Runner Sports, has excellent service and makes sure of the right fit and shoe. Unless you just have to buy the cheapest shoes, you will not walk out of there without new shoes.

[14:13] Andy likes being a member of the Road Runner Sports V.I.P. Club! He admits, he could wear shoes a little bit longer, but he loves having new shoes.

[15:17] Reps assume there will be a buying decision. Qualify the prospect’s problem, and make sure they understand the value proposition, to make sure it is so. The first discovery call sets the tone for the entire engagement.

[18:05] The buying decision has two parts: whether the prospect will make a change at this time, and, if yes, who the vendor to facilitate the change will be. Be there with the value proposition that fits the prospect’s desired change.

[19:26] ‘Selling past’ the initial buying decision, means that if the customer does decide to go ahead, they probably do it based on the competition’s value proposition, not on yours! If they buy from you, will they be happy? Bridget elaborates.

[21:39] The buyer may be confused between propositions they heard, so after each sale, call the customer to review the deal, from their requirements, to your proposal, to what they bought, and how and when you will deliver it. Communicate.

[24:38] If you don’t clarify with the buyer what they bought, at renewal time they may believe you surprised them, and they will look for an alternative vendor they can trust better. Andy calls the refresher call, the most important sales call you make.

May 5, 2017

#450 Are Sales Roles Too Specialized? With Bridget Gleason and Anthony Iannarino.

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays. This episode also features guest Anthony Iannarino, of SalesBlog.com and author of the best-selling book The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:12] Anthony has written an article about sales roles being broken down into too many pieces, as in an assembly line. He claims the division is disruptive to the client. Anthony explains his views about qualification.

[6:21] SaaS seems to assume that specialization is the right model. Bridget says that assumption should be challenged. Her Israeli company doesn’t rely on this American concept.

[8:25] Anthony compares and contrasts BDR, SDRs, AEs, and AMs, and Subject Matter Experts (SME). He lays out the case that none of this division appeals to, or adds value for, the client, and the client is not interested in it.

[11:26] The closing success in the SaaS industry is very low compared to traditional B2B sales. Anthony talks about how he targeted multiple stakeholders in 1979. “Bellbottoms are back.” Sales is a cyclical business driven by repeating trends.

[12:51] Bridget has not seen sales specialized to the degree Anthony describes. When she has employed SDRs, they have also closed some business. The way for people to grow is not to be confined into narrowly defined roles.

[17:17] SDRs serve their employer, rather than providing value to a client, and burn out in a year. Bridget says Logz.io truly is committed to the customer, and to the customer experience.

[19:56] You can’t qualify before discovery. You need to understand where the buyer is in their cycle, and how to help them. Not every future customer is ready to buy at this moment. “A lead is like a lottery ticket.” — Andy Paul.

[21:34] Anthony contrasts selling and the pipeline, and looking to a future sale. Help get them ready to buy, or your competitor will do that for them. Show them how to fix their root cause problem. Then they will be qualified.

[24:11] Bridget says BANT is a narrow way to qualify. A broader definition of qualifying involves understanding if the prospect has a pain or aspiration that you can partner with them to resolve, even down the line. Sales is problem-solving.

[27:10] Anthony has no regard for BANT, and current sales roles. Qualifying by BANT gives the prospect no value to listen, so you disqualify people who might have bought.

[28:24] Bridget would define BDRs and SDRs into roles that do more than BANT, because prospects will continue to shut them out. Anthony brings up AI taking over sales roles. Bridget has heard it before.

[33:03] Anthony calls out poor performers. The process itself cannot sell. Selling is a human role. The individual makes the difference. Anthony hails the new Account-Based Andy.

 

April 8, 2017

#427. Put Purpose to Work in Your Business. With Scott Beebe.

Scott Beebe, Founder and Head Coach of MyBusinessOnPurpose.com, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:32] Scott gives the rundown on his background in football, theology, corporate, church, and an NGO. After his position was dissolved, he hired a business coach, to start his business to liberate small business owners from the chaos of business.

[4:55] Entrepreneurs today find themselves busy playing every role on the team. Instead of planning how to grow, they haven’t even determined where they want to be in three years.

[7:27] Scott cites Michael Gerber’s E-Myth. You need to provide immediate service, while running a company, and always have a vision story for growth.

[10:24] Six months to six years is a good timeframe for a vision story. How does that differ from a goal? Vision requires time for finances, products, and personnel to mature.

[13:05] The vision story is the detailed snapshot picture of what the future looks like. How does it relate to your mission statement?

[14:21] Your vision story, and your unique core values drive your day-to-day decision making.

[14:44] Unique core values are personal to you, beyond the basic core values such as integrity. Scott gives case examples of how core values inform projects.

[16:43] Scott gives an example how one unique core value works ideally for one concrete contractor, but would not work for someone else.

[18:20] Core values also inform prospect and seller whether they are a good match for each other.

[21:14] Core values win deals. Scott gives another example.

[22:43] “[Unique core values] are the curbs along the side of the road you’re taking to get to your vision.” — Scott Beebe

[24:03] Scott explains by an example what kind of case would justify violating your unique core value.