Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
August 13, 2017

What Should You Be Doing, But Aren’t? Overcoming The Sales Fears That Are Holding You Back With Townsend Wardlaw.

Townsend Wardlaw is a sales transformation architect. In this episode, he talks in depth about the fears that paralyze many sales reps and provides effective strategies they can use to overcome them to transform their sales results. Townsend describes the common rationalizations that sales reps use to justify inaction in the face of their fears; whether it is fear of prospecting, fear of presenting or fear of asking for the order. He talks about the lessons he learned overcoming his own paralyzing anxieties of public speaking, and how you can use them in your own selling. Everyone in sales has fears about some aspect of selling. But they don’t have to hold you back! You definitely want to listen to this episode.

August 5, 2017

#531. How to Build Trust to Win New Customer Business. With Karl Sakas.

Karl Sakas, Founder and CEO of Sakas & Company, and author of a couple of books, including his latest, Made to Lead, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:46] Karl says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps is competition, and how to stand out from the noise to get their services or products in front of the right people. Karl suggests specialization, as much as possible.

[2:50] Andy wrote a blog post years ago, asking, “When you have pain, do you want to go to a generalist, or a specialist?” If you sell managed IT to large manufacturing firms, you don’t also need to be selling managed IT to law firms.

[4:36] Specialization frees you up to think about your customer. You don’t worry about what you don’t know. Karl talked once at a professional services client experience conference. He knew he was a little out of his field.

[6:46] Karl talks about trust. Do your clients trust that you are the right firm to solve their problem? The book The Human Brand talks about warmth and competence. Can you make your clients feel special while getting the job done?

[8:57] The book Presence talks about trust and competence, which are important when starting a business relationship. Trust precedes competence.

[9:48] Trust starts by specializing. In conversation, drop in references to previous successful work, or anecdotes about similar situations.

[12:31] Share a summary of your onboarding process and your client service approach up front. “Start with the end in mind.” The client needs to know what the experience will be working with you over the years. What is the process to get there?

[15:14] References of clients is good social proof that lends trust. You can keep them anonymous. There are image issues your clients may not want discussed. Speak in generalities.

[17:42] Another issue is meeting deadlines and expectations during the sales process. If you miss commitments during sales, they will assume that was your best effort. There are no unimportant prospect interactions.

[19:21] Karl brings up fast failure. If someone is not a fit, say no. Clients you turn away will respect you for not wasting time. They may return in the future as a better fit. Agreements not to work together are good times to get referrals.

[24:01] Too many times, the lure of the order is stronger than common sense. Karl relates a mistake he made a few years back. Some clients are irrational. Sometimes you are dealing with their unresolved childhood issues.

[25:59] When you get the order, within one business day call back and review the order, going through the whole process. They may be confused what they actually bought, after having talked to several vendors. Make sure you are starting right.

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 10, 2017

#481. How to Get Your Next Job with Social Selling. With Ian Moyse

Ian Moyse, UK Sales Director at Natterbox, and a cloud and social selling specialist, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:05] Ian Moyse describes his own use of social selling to secure employment. Employment is about prospecting and engagement. Social selling tools fit these tasks.

[3:32] Instead of reacting to LinkedIn ads, prospect proactively. Find a role that is not out in the market yet, through your contact base, or differentiate yourself for a position that is already advertised. Ian presents a detailed path.

[5:56] In the tech sector, due to disruption, there is an incredibly high number of people looking for work.

[6:20] Ian says some salespeople shy away from social, because they misconstrue it as frivolous. He suggests using social to network with career-relevant prospects. He cites positive accidental interactions he has had.

[8:56] Ian warns against posting anything that could hurt your chances to find employment. He says networking gets easier as your network expands. He knows 25 people across the globe at one company he considered for employment.

[11:58] Ian tells how he reached out cold to a person at a global company, discussed an article of theirs he had read, his own interests on the topic, and what he could add. He was brought in for interviews. He was seen as a go-getter.

[14:49] Social selling approaches work well to engage with potential employers. If you don’t get the role, you’ve made new contacts. You may be able to add value at a future time.

[15:35] An employer who is offended at your Facebook post or Tweet will not tell you why. They just won’t hire you. Calculate your risks. Employers will look, so, have accounts. There are pros who can help your profile. Or — just change your name!

[20:15] Google yourself! Put your Twitter account on your LinkedIn, to show you have nothing to hide. Show a consistent individual brand that is professional. First impressions count.

[22:03] Include in your profile content of value about your industry. Post articles, with your comments, and comment and ask questions about the content others post. Show genuine passion and provide real opportunities for connection.

[24:51] Be strategic on where you want to be in five years.  Network with people where you want to be. Differentiate yourself, using social selling techniques, for roles that may not even exist yet. Raise your profile by being active. Start now.

[27:50] Consider it like working a large complex account. Show what you uniquely have to add. It’s all about connection. You will find opportunities present themselves that you didn’t expect. Be different. Put your best photo online.

June 3, 2017

#475. If You’re In Sales, Influence is Your Job. With Peter Winick.

Peter Winick, Founder and CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:39] Thought Leadership Leverage works exclusively with authors, thought leaders, and speakers that typically have content with business applications. They build strategies, brands, platforms, solutions, and business for their clients.

[3:23] Peter discusses personal branding and its history in the corporate environment. That is your table stakes. Influence, or thought leadership, is an enhancement to your brand. What perspective can you share with others that benefits them?

[6:02] Influence is your job, when you are marketing or selling. Peter describes influence, thought leadership and differentiation. Influence is not manipulating people to do what they don’t want, but guiding them to do what they want.

[10:34] Personal brand online is a precursor to influence. Have a little courage to be human and transparent, but a stakeholder at a Fortune 500 Company you are targeting for SaaS, does not to see your posts on irrelevant personal topics.

[12:03] LinkedIn will be searched, and so will Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If there are pictures of you on social media drinking and doing silly things, that’s not smart. You can post personal family photos, but don’t push them to people.

[13:20] Peter talks about the spectrum of posting content. Some corporations control what you can post; regulations may be involved. Some corporations give leeway. Original content, such as comments on events you attend, is good.

[16:52] Content you share is not an ask. It is value you are offering, to build your relationship. Providing value is a mindset and a habit. Keep building the relationship after a sale. Play the long game. Keep in touch.

[19:45] Don’t let content marketing be in charge of your relationship with the buyer. Build your influence with sharing, and do not stop when discovery begins. No buyer self-identifies as a sales-qualified lead. Don’t treat them like it.

[22:33] Add your original thoughts to anything you share. Comment on other people’s threads, especially by responding to a question, or add a question yourself, to start a discussion.

[25:01] Leave your anxieties behind. Not everyone will agree, but if your contribution is worthwhile, it will be appreciated and discussed. In professional forums people use decorum.

[26:27] If someone disagrees with your comment, it is an occasion for a discussion. It is valuable to challenge your own views, and for others to examine their own, thoughtfully.

[29:01] Managers promote people when they’re already doing the job. Don’t wait until you are told to develop content. Do it now, within compliance issues. The tools exist for you to add thought leader value to your buyers, that leads to sales.

May 26, 2017

#468 Using Questions to Mentor Sales Reps. With Bridget Gleason.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:21] The President was on the way to NYC the day of this recording, so streets were closed, and cars were relocated.

[7:42] The topic is sales questions. Bridget asks how should sales reps go about getting more out of their managers — assuming the manager has something to offer? Reps can look for skills the manager has, that they want to learn.

[10:59] Top-performing reps may be self-sufficient, and not need much input from their managers. Their managers might ask how they can help top-performers achieve their goals. It’s important to have those conversations.

[11:31] Bridget talks about a potential manager interview, and how she ponders what her reps would learn from the manager. A person who has no apparent skills to teach will be eliminated.

[13:18] The biggest challenge of new sales managers is to determine how to add value to their reps. Andy tells of his first promotion to a manager. He studied sales books to improve!

[14:33] Bridget looks for inquisitiveness and self-directed learning in every person she hires. Her last manager hire was an aggressive, curious, and motivated learner.

[16:11] Andy looks for creative problem-solving. He recalls the pressure of his first management role. When he got past his initial tension, he looked outside the box to try new things. Bridget points out that creativity requires autonomy to design.

[19:54] Andy’s daughter sought advice from Andy on how to negotiate a better job offer. Then she did it her way instead, and the negotiation went as she wished.

[20:42] Bridget looks for people who will consider suggestions, but also use their own instinct, brains, and skills, to come up with better solutions, if they can. They may need to get  approval, but they shouldn’t ignore their own better ideas.

[22:31] Salespeople need to take risks. Andy’s career was built on risks he took with the sales system — because he was succeeding. Too much prescription may hold back success.

[23:38] Managers and repeatable processes sometimes make it difficult to experiment. Can reps color outside the lines, and still meet mutual objectives?

[25:16] Bridget talks about the one-on-ones she holds with her reps. Each one is different. She makes suggestions, and listens to their input, to come up with good expectations and meet the required numbers they all have.

May 23, 2017

#465. Top Trends in B2B Sales and Marketing. With William Wickey.

William Wickey, Senior Manager of Content and Media Strategy at LeadGenius, and one of the authors of an ebook, 2017 Trends & Tech Guide for B2B Sales & Marketing, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:07] LeadGenius, Ambition, and Prezi Business collaborated on the new book, 2017 Trends & Tech Guide for B2B Sales & Marketing. This is William’s second book collaboration with Ambition’s Jeremy Boudinet.

[3:36] William explains how Trends & Tech guides are usually structured, and how this one varies. The authors looked for trends in B2B sales and marketing, and then mapped them to organizational needs, matching technologies to evaluate.

[6:38] William talks about LeadGenius, and the market they serve with analytics and insights. He sees the same challenges and trends outside of tech as within the tech market.

[8:18] William comments on the SDR function rising in inside sales, with the alignment of sales and marketing efforts.

[10:15] The book is intended to reach markets that have not fully embraced tech tools for sales and marketing. William cites manufacturing and construction as examples.

[14:09] William offers suggestions for adopting tech — outbound email solutions, such as PersistIQ, Outreach.io, and Yesware; and solutions for contact data strategy to allow targeted blasts to specific types of recipients.

[18:25] Division of labor allows your reps to spend their time on the highest value activities that they can. Audit your reps’ time on various activities, and look for technologies to make those activities more effective.

[21:31] Outbound can be personalized through mail merge and through targeting. The two efforts complement each other. William suggests a couple of ideas for targeting with the right data, accessing much more than name and address.

[25:31] There is a lot of homogeneity to outbound emails. Go against the trite, expected content. Be specific to the contact. Consider video email.

[28:58] Demonstrating relevance is a big step in the right direction. William is not impressed with zombie, auto-pilot email marketing.

[30:23] Poor marketing and outreach give sales reps a poor response and a bad reputation.

[31:55] Quantity over quality is not sustainable.

May 2, 2017

#447. Winning with the Science of Selling. With David Hoffeld.

David Hoffeld, sales trainer, Founder of Hoffeld Group.com, and author of the new bestselling book, The Science of Selling, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:34] David started in sales by answering a newspaper ad, “No experience necessary. Make $100K your first year!” That sounded perfect! After two months, he saw nobody there was making $100K, but he went to a different company, and did it!

[4:10] David’s book is based on over 1,000 studies that reveal how our brains make choices. David had researched this for 10 years, after reading in a social psychology academic journal  an article that inspired some effective sales behaviors.

[5:41] The Science of Selling is about how the human brain processes information to make decisions. Science shows how brains perceive, so we can align sales with buying decisions.

[8:28] Science discloses reality. If you don’t know the principles of the science of decision making, you can unknowingly work against the sale. Everyone can get better results through understanding the principles.

[13:19] Perceptions are sticky, and lead to confirmation bias. Know how perceptions are formed, and get on the prospect’s good side. Little things can make a profound impact. Smile. It makes you seem more competent, and you also feel good.

[16:00] The science shows that having a few minutes of small talk before a sales call or a negotiation significantly increases the likelihood of a positive outcome. David changed his approach once he learned this, and he improved his results.

[17:38] Besides buying from people they know, like, and trust, people like to buy from people that like them. One of the top ways to build rapport is to show other people you like them.

[19:04] A positive emotional state influences perception. Talk about topics that are packed with positive emotions. Look at the prospect’s Facebook or LinkedIn profile to see positive current events in their lives.

[20:41] Ask people how they are feeling, and listen. They will usually say, fine or good, and they will see you as a friend.

[24:58] Even on the phone, be very mindful of where you look. What you see directs what you think. The prospect on the line can tell when your attention lapses.

[26:50] Balance your extraversion and introversion. Ambiverts combine the best qualities of both to outperform extroverts by a factor of 2:1. Don’t look for extroverts when hiring for sales.

[30:19] What about manipulation? David explains. Influence is leadership. Maintain an intention of service and your integrity. Sell people honestly what they value and need.

April 11, 2017

#429. Mold Your Mindset for Success. With Gerhard Gschwandtner.

Gerhard Gschwandtner, Founder and CEO of Selling Power Magazine, and CEO of the Sales 3.0 Conferences, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:00] Gerhard became interested in sales by a chance meeting with a successful salesperson in a coffeehouse in Salzburg. Gerhardt later went from the theater into sales.

[2:56] Gerhard trained sales reps for a multinational French company. He traveled the world, and ended up in the U.S. He started a company, but still traveled. He reveals the reason he started into publishing, and the development of his magazine.

[4:14] Gerhard saw, as he interviewed successful  people, that there is a certain mindset that shapes the salesperson’s skillset. What else is needed, for sales success?

[7:41] The key to mindset is your inner CEO, or the prefrontal cortex of the brain, that has the power of awareness, and performs executive functions.

[9:17] No-limit thinking is about expecting to succeed. You change your belief systems about your ability, by what you tell yourself.

[10:51] Gerhard interviewed Cal Ripken Jr. (2,632 consecutive MLB games) who has a strong work ethic, shows up, and is committed to be the best he can be. He learned early, the path to success. Gerhardthelps people to envision their success.

[13:50] You have about 60K thoughts a day, with 80% of them negative. Gerhard suggests ways that an accountability partner can help. He also discusses the cadence of success and internal boosts you can give yourself.

[15:34] There are levels of mindset. Gerhard describes them, and how they can be changed. The mindset is your garden, so stop watering the weeds, just water the flowers. Gerhardt offers steps to work with mindset.

[19:42] Good examples can inspire you and help you get over your fears. Gerhardt gives a case study of Bob Carr, Founder of Heartland Payment Systems, whose father left when Bob was 13. Bob started studying U.S. Presidents for guidance.

[22:47] Gerhard encourages putting structure to the dream, and finding your success mentor. Ask. You are not alone, and life is much easier when you have a good support system. People do want to help each other.

[25:18] Technology is mindless. It accelerates everything, but we need to keep in mind that sales is a people business, not a technology business. Pick up the phone and call someone!

[29:28] Neuroscience and psychology are revealing amazing things that are possible. Looking at the science, Gerhardt has assembled 12 modalities into one course that can take you higher than simply “positive thinking.” It can be life-changing.

March 30, 2017

#419. How (and why) to Send a Cup of Coffee to a Buyer. With Braydan Young.

Braydan Young, CEO and Co-Founder of Sendoso, joins me on this episode of Accelerate!.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:43] Braydan and his coworker developed a concept to help reps effectively set up more meetings.

[5:49] Braydan explains how to send a cup of coffee to a prospect.

[6:11] Offering a cup of coffee is a human gesture, not a sales pitch. What difference does it make to the conversation?

[6:52] The operation is simple; a click triggers it in Salesforce, LinkedIn, or Gmail. Email opening is tracked.

[7:32] What’s coming in Version 2? Get ready for Account Based Gifting!

[9:55] Braydan talks money. Who pays for what?

[12:01] Braydan talks about Salesforce integration, and how activity is managed. Sendoso also works in Marketo, HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics, Slack, Eloqua, and Zendesk.

[16:11] Braydan tells of a 75% open rate when users send an email through Sendoso’s platform. Be sure there is good content, beyond a coffee, to engage the reader.

[18:43] Sendoso works with SurveyMonkey to reward for taking a survey; Salesforce rewards registering for a webinar.

[22:24] Braydan names some great use cases. Anywhere on the client-facing side has a case for gifting.

[25:55] One company using Sendoso went from five to 10 demos a week. It also doubled response rate.

[27:42] Braydan describes additional success stories.