Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
September 12, 2017

#564 Improve Your Close Rates and Build Your Brand. With Chris Smith.

Chris Smith, CEO of Curaytor, and author of the best-selling book, The Conversion Code: Capture Internet Leads, Create Quality Appointments, Close More Sales, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:26] Chris says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is distraction. Reps need to focus on meaningful conversations with humans. Chris says technology, used correctly, makes it easier, if you work on engagement.

[6:11] AI may start conversations and warm people up, but it doesn’t close sales. Know your numbers. Use digital activities to help salespeople talk to more people.

[8:44] Chris gives an outline of Curaytor. It is a turn-key marketing outsource site. Curaytor has a team and a network of business owners who can use each other’s best ads with a click.

[10:44] Chris explains the Curaytor CAB process. Curaytor helps you Create amazing Content, run effective Ads, and send effective Blast emails. This makes selling easier using data-driven decisions with the resources of a community.

[12:31] Curaytor’s ICP is a successful small business that wants to be more successful but doesn’t have time for digital. Curaytor started from Chris’s influential real estate blog, Tech Savvy Agent. People wanted him to market for them.

[14:34] Chris talks about his book, The Conversion Code. People don’t know how to navigate the digital landscape, so he wrote a book about it, in sections for leads, appointments, and sales. There’s a science to selling.

[15:59] Your job in sales is to get people more emotionally excited than the price, during the time you have their attention. It involves a set of factors that Chris explains.

[17:15] ‘Belly-to-belly’ interactions are still as important as ever, but you will have fewer of them if you are not good on social platforms first, to get the attention of your prospects. The internet magnifies both greatness and mediocrity.

[21:28] Build a great business that creates a great brand. Market what you did to build your business. That improves your brand. It is a cycle.

[24:00] Chris comments on the professionalism of texting with your contacts. People check texts more readily than emails, and texts are more immediate. Don’t let replies to your website sit for hours without your contacting them. Text them.

[26:28] Chris coaches salespeople. When they find a method that works every time, they stick with it. Texting works, if they give it a try. A phone method that works is ARP: Acknowledge, Respond, and Pivot back to what you were saying.

[29:25] Respond, then pivot. A sales script is a framework for a better conversation. Wing it, after you’re making $10K a month using the script. Bill Belichick knows the first 20 plays and the last 2 plays, and the rest, Tom Brady has some leeway.

July 18, 2017

#513. Curiosity Might Have Killed the Cat. But, a Lack of Curiosity Definitely Kills the Sale. With Babette Ten Haken.

Babette Ten Haken, Founder and President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, joins me for the second time on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:26] Babette thinks the biggest challenge sales reps face is that they don’t take the time to discover fully the context of the issue, and so they may propose inappropriate solutions.

[2:33] Curiosity is the hallmark of any discovery process. Data leads to assumptions. Reps need to discover what is relevant, out of all the prior information they receive about a prospect.

[3:34] Andy cites Jill Konrath on ‘overwhelm.’ Information overload may suppress asking good questions. Far too many reps end up convincing themselves, but not the buyers.

[5:06] Playbooks define the process too much. The art of selling is based in discipline. Babette compares it to opera. Interpretation is added by the artist. Being curious creates an organic conversation that cannot be scripted.

[7:04] Technology provides much information to help ‘B’ and ‘C’ players, but ‘A’ players take artistic chances that can’t be quantified. Reps need to feel empowered to act. ‘A’ players ask hard questions that help customers make hard calls.

[10:06] A seller should master relentless curiosity, researching the industry and subject matter deeply, to become expert, and should be ready to ask great, sometimes spontaneous, questions to uncover the customer’s needs.

[11:16] A rep should not be satisfied with only the information their company provides. They should hold informed opinions from their own research. They may find their product needs updating for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

[13:15] “The moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question.” — Jonas Salk. Babette says sales reps stop the process when they think they’ve discovered the question. There’s a question behind the question. What is the context?

[15:10] Never be satisfied. Don’t stop selling before you have the correct solution for the customer. Discovery is needed all during the sales process. It’s like archeology. Keep digging.

[19:16] Reps are feeling pushed to have their deals go through the pipeline at a certain velocity. ‘A’ players step outside the process. ‘B’ players should take a risk to be more curious and try to find out the questions behind the questions.

[23:01] The line is thin between ‘A’ and ‘B’ players. The answer is not for ‘B’ players to copy ‘A’ players, but to take the best practices of ‘A’ players, and apply them to the best version of themselves. Everyone is not the same. Babette explains more.

[26:23] Reps need to be strategic. Managers need to allow sales engineers to go with ‘B’ and ‘C’ players, after the proper discovery is made for a proposal. Babette ends with encouragement to keep the fun in selling, through curiosity.

January 17, 2017

How to Accelerate Your Sales With Lean Communications. With Jack Malcolm. #357

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jack Malcolm, President of the Falcon Performance Group, and author of two books, Bottom-Line Selling, and Strategic Sales Presentations. Among the topics that Jack and I discuss are how a reluctant salesperson became a sales trainer, how Lean thinking clarifies sales communications, how the right questions lead to optimum outcomes, and why your product features, in isolation, are of no interest to the buyer.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:55] Jack was a banker in the early ‘80s, because he wanted nothing to do with sales. Until he was sent out to bring in new customers.

[2:06] Summary of ‘Lean’: create more value for customers, and take waste out of the process. Lean communications are: A, B, C, and D. Add value, Brevity, Clarity, and Dialog with customers to co-create value.

[4:10] Adding tangible value is effective communication. It is clear, improves outcomes, and sustains the relationship.

[5:24] Improving outcomes takes precedence over sustaining relationships when an unfavorable message must be given. Be candid at all times, or you subtract value.

[8:41] Asking questions may help buyers to arrive at conclusions that will help improve outcomes for them.

[10:14] Clarity — the customer’s understanding of what the salesperson is trying to get across.

[10:52] Brevity — answer the two questions on the prospect’s mind: “What do you want from me,” and, “Why should I do it?” Start your meeting with the what and why.

[14:45] Make it impossible for you to be misunderstood. Don’t assume they know your jargon, acronyms or connotations.

[18:18] Dialog begins with listening. You’re never going to get it all exactly right on your own. To create value, create it together. Use ‘Just In Time’ communications. Listen with focus.

[21:14] Four factors for improving outcomes: solve problems, show opportunities, help adapt to changes, and remove risks.

[27:04] Instead of starting with features and benefits, ask what the customer wants to achieve, and work back to the features.

October 27, 2016

How to Have Better Sales Conversations. With Chris Orlob. #290

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Chris Orlob, Founder and CEO of Conversature, a conversation coaching platform for sales teams. Among the many topics Chris and I discuss are how having visibility into sales calls (conversations) is essential for sales leaders today, how listening to actual calls services as a great sales coaching and auto-correcting mechanism and why sales leaders need to understand the important difference between skills and habits/behaviors in the context of sales coaching.

September 8, 2016

How to Use the Social DNA of Your Buyers to Increase Engagement. With Mike Scher. #248

Mike Scher is CEO and co-founder of FRONTLINE Selling, developer of Staccato PRO―a sales development platform that leverages the social DNA of a buyer in order to contact and engage with the right decision makers and influencers. Join us now as Mike and I discuss multiple topics including the biggest challenges sales reps have in reaching the right decision makers, how to balance the quantity of proactive sales touches with effectiveness and efficiency and how FRONTLINE analyzed the data from over 1.8 million outreaches to develop its platform.

August 15, 2016

How You Sell is Your Performance of a Lifetime. With Cathy Salit. #227

Joining me on this episode is Cathy Salit, CEO of Performance of a Lifetime and author of Performance Breakthrough: A Radical Approach to Success at Work. Cathy joins me for a fascinating conversation about how to use performance-based skills to help you achieve a greater level of success in sales. Cathy shares how you can use improvisation tools to have incredibly effective conversation with prospects and to become the seller who you’d like to be.

August 11, 2016

Amp Up Your Sales Conversations. With Peter Gracey. #224

In this episode, I talk to Peter Gracey, CEO of QuotaFactory. Quota Factory has integrated 14 years of sales development expertise into a Personal Relationship Management (PRM) platform, with the goal of streamlining and improving the sale development process. Join me now as Peter and I talk about the art and the science of sales development. And, how a conversation-focused approach to prospecting drives increased sales productivity.

May 5, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 149 with Justin Christianson. How to Maximize Conversions at Each Stage of Your Sales Process.

Justin Christianson is the co-founder and President of Conversion Fanatics. He is the author of the Amazon #1 best-selling Conversion Fanatics: How To Double Your Customers, Sales and Profits with A/B Testing. In this episode, Justin and I talk about how his sales team at Conversion Fanatics integrates the best practices of online conversion optimization into its proactive outbound sales processes. And, how they optimize conversions at each step of their sales process.

Among the topics we address during this show are:

  • Why the right headline on your website is important to your outbound sales efforts.
  • Tips for sales development reps to lead with value and help their prospects to take the next step.
  • Why it’s essential for every sales rep that sends email to prospects to learn how to become a conversion copywriter.
  • How to measure and track the pertinent metrics for sales productivity improvements.
March 31, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 124 with Jon Wuebben. Warm Up Your Leads With Good Content Marketing That Builds Trust.

Jon Wuebben is the founder and CEO of Content Launch, a provider of the first complete content marketing software built for small and medium-sized businesses. In this episode, Jon provides effectives strategies that sellers can use to warm up prospects with good content that starts a conversation with your customers. Among the many topics we discuss are:

  • What is content marketing?
  • Strategies for SMBs to implement their first content marketing strategy.
  • What kind of resources does a small business need to conduct effective content marketing?
  • Simple steps to warm up leads with great content.
  • The 3 key factors of a content marketing strategy that converts leads into opportunities.
  • Why content marketing generates a better ROI than advertising.
March 2, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 103 with Shane Gibson. The 9 Cs of Social Selling Success

In this episode, Shane Gibson, author of Sociable and Guerrilla Social Media Marketing, and host of The Social Sales Podcast, shares best practices for using social selling to build the relationships and stimulate sales conversations with decision makers. Among the many topics we discuss in this episode are:

  • The two primary goals of social selling
  • The 3 key disciplines of using social media to develop a personal brand
  • The 9 Cs (or absolutely key elements) of social selling success

If you’re a sales leader, sales manager, or sales rep, this episode is definitely worth the investment of your time to listen.