Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
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 7, 2017

#478. How to Sell to the C-Suite. With Jeffrey Hayzlett.

Jeffrey Hayzlett, CEO of Hayzlett Group, Founder and Chairman of C-Suite Network, C-Suite TV, and C-Suite Advisors, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:31] Jeffrey reviews his experience, history, and entrepreneurism, including being a global business celebrity.

[4:32] Jeffrey was CMO at Kodak, the world’s third largest patent holder. Kodak decided to protect film. That went badly. [7:06] Jeffrey explains why Kodak had a nuclear materials in the basement.

[8:33] The C-Suite Network is a network for CEOs. They vet everyone who joins. “When you get big enough, you can come in.” They have the first and largest all-business podcast network in the world, with strategic content for executives.

[10:54] The C-Suite Network has sponsoring partners. One way to get in front of the CEOs is to sponsor the Accelerate podcast, that is sent to approximately 500K execs.

[11:47] Jeffrey’s radio show on CBS is All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett. The big challenges Jeffrey hears about: uncertainty over President Trump’s effects on the market (so far, so good); but mainly, hiring, motivating, and inspiring talent and people.

[14:45] Most people who try to sell to Jeffrey as a CEO do not do their homework about him or the problem. A CEO does not have time for ‘a cup of coffee.’ Be relevant and direct. Jeffrey is a ‘driver.’ He responds best to a two-option close.

[19:36] Jeffrey discusses buying decisions that involve C-suite officers. When he was Kodak CMO, he showed all major deals to the CFO, even when within his own signing authority.

[22:44] Jeffrey’s attention as a CEO is engaged by showing him the vision of what’s going to occur through his working with the salesperson. The business case is the way to sell to him. Smart questions can start the conversation.

[23:50] Jeffrey states the transformational rule of thirds. One third adopt early. One third get it eventually. One third never do. Companies spend too much time worrying about the lost third. As you transform, focus on the ones who get it.

[26:12] The ‘power of being irrational,’ is to go for the big stretch goal, when the real objective is to get to a goal along the way. Always go for more — but be careful not to overplay the hand. Don’t cry ‘Wolf!’ Be a great coach; don’t be devious.

March 25, 2017

Make it Easy for Buyers to Do Business with You. With Gavin Zuchlinski. #415

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest  Gavin Zuchlinski, Founder at Acuity Scheduling.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:44] Acuity Scheduling is an online tool to help small businesses and professionals manage their day-to-day events. Clients book appointments, and calendars sync.

[1:32] Gavin wrote Acuity for his mother’s business. He also tried it to generate leads for his own web development business, and that didn’t work, but people liked the product, so he grew it slowly, while still working in cyber security.

[2:35] Acuity allows scheduling while you are not available to answer a call, with no back-and-forth. What kinds of sales uses has Gavin seen?

[4:37] What important benefits has Gavin’s mother’s business received through using an online scheduler?

[5:53] Gavin describes Acuity’s market: it is “vertical agnostic,” so it is useful in many environments. Acuity provides excellent customer support, and is lean, easy-to-use, and powerful.

[7:20] Acuity principles: simplicity, brand customization, and automatic syncing to prevent double-booking of resources.

[10:03] Gavin talks about time saved with online booking, and the convenience to the customer setting the appointment.

[11:53] Gavin cites percentages of users who prefer to book online rather than calling for an appointment. He also mentions email notification of appointments.

[14:06] By reducing friction for the prospect, you boost successful connections. What sort of approaches does Gavin suggest to promote online booking?

[18:55] Acuity provides a variety of approaches and sequences to send appointment reminders.

[21:13] Gavin covers some of the platforms with which Acuity integrates, either directly, or with a connector. Customer service can guide you for your specific application.

[22:25] Gavin gives examples of custom uses, including bowling parties, donut delivery, salons, sales teams, and automatic setup of video meetings.

 

March 18, 2017

Small Talk Leads to Sales Talk. With Stephanie Melish. #409

Stephanie Melish is an inspirational speaker and certified business coach.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[4:09] Stephanie learned sales, and is certified as a business coach and trainer. She wants to impact her community.

[4:39] Stephanie finds the biggest challenge for salespeople today to be lack of experience. Stephanie’s experience came in fund raising. Some entrepreneurs have no sales experience.

[6:00] What does Stephanie say about process, procedure, and scripts? What is the role of knowledge and authenticity?

[6:54] Stephanie has suggestions to replace verbatim scripts. How does she feel when somebody reads at her?

[9:28] To build rapport, embrace who you are, and learn who the prospect is. Know the area code you are calling, and current events there, like sports, and research the social profile of the person. Small talk leads to business talk.

[13:33] Stephanie wrote an article on November 7, about her convictions on the election. What did she say that spiked her unsubscribe numbers?

[15:18] Is it necessary for one woman to break a glass ceiling, either in politics, or in the sales profession? Stephanie urges people to continue to improve themselves, and put their work ethic to good use, to strive to get ahead independent of their gender.

[20:10] Stephanie gives advice to females. Don’t think of sales as a dirty word. Salespeople build relationships. They don’t conduct transactions. Sales is a service. If you are excited about solving problems through relationships, that is sales.

[24:31] Stephanie wrote about Scandal, and Olivia Pope. What is a fixer, and how is a salesperson a fixer in a positive way? Sales is leadership.

[26:19] Stephanie discusses behaviors of a successful leader. What is most important?

[29:04] How do you discover prospect expectations? How can unknown expectations derail a deal? How can you make sure that you exceed expectations?

February 8, 2017

How to Use Sales Intelligence to Engage with Prospects. With Sam Richter. #376

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Sam Richter, Founder and CEO of SBR Worldwide/Know More, and author of the bestseller called, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:37] A new salesperson starts in survival mode, and struggles to convince people to do something. It took a mentor to show Sam the nobleness of the sales profession — helping people.

[6:22] Sam’s core expertise is in sales intelligence — finding information on other people, to help your approach be relevant to what they care about.

[6:42] Your prospects are amazingly passionate about one thing. What is it? It’s themselves. What they care about is their problem, and their motivation might not be what you think.

[9:02] To determine if you are a salesperson, or a sales professional, ask yourself if you have ever recommended your competitor, or somebody else, to one of your prospects, when they were a better fit. If you did, it comes back in referrals.

[12:40] Sales professionals are underutilizing social media for sales intelligence. Sharing content is great, but also search out what the prospect cares about, so when you pick up the phone, you first address that matter, for a quick connection.

[16:12] Sam teaches the 3×5 method. Spend three minutes trying to find five pieces of information about a prospect. [17:07] Twitter has advanced searches you can save to find trigger events, such as new product launches, that give you ‘permission’ to call your contact.

[22:04] YouGottheNews.com is a filtered search engine, similar to Google’s News tab, that searches large and small news publications. YouGotSocial.com is a filtered search to mine Facbook for information about your prospects.

[31:03] Nothing sent through the Internet disappears — not even deleted email messages. Everything on your timeline is available, including friends, and what they put on their pages.

 

January 18, 2017

Accelerate Your Success by Investing in Your Development. With Mike Weinberg. #358

Joining me for the third time on Accelerate! is my friend Mike Weinberg. He’s the author of two excellent books: New Sales. Simplified, and Sales Management. Simplified. Among the topics that Mike and I discuss are how salespeople can stop being commoditized and how you are responsible for your own development and success as a salesperson.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:08] The biggest challenge facing salespeople today, is being commoditized, instead of being seen as value producers.

[3:12] Why it’s essential salespeople must view themselves as consultants, professional problem-solvers and value creators.

[5:20] Being responsive — which is crucial — does not require you to provide a proposal prematurely. Mike explains why.

[8:06] Take ownership of your sales process. Tell the client you need to meet with them for discovery, so the proposal will be relevant to them.

[11:17] Salespersons used to be mentored in their roles. Now, they are sent out untrained, with a quota.

[12:53] The customer is learning and growing faster than the seller. The buyer doesn’t need the seller for info — they are drowning in it. Provide value by consulting to their needs.

[15:09] Mike’s message: Listen to Andy’s podcasts and link to the guest content; buy the books, especially, Amp Up Your Sales, by Andy Paul, and watch your sales! Invest in yourself!

[19:43] Andy’s lesson: regardless of any training your company provides or fails to provide, you have responsibility for your success, and there are resources available all around you.

[21:03] It’s the top people who invest in themselves, and take responsibility for their individual development. Andy pays a coach, and joined a Mastermind group.

[21:40] Your prospect really is in a less-than-optimal situation. You can help them. If your motivation is to help the customer win, you’re going to win. Prospect them, by all means, with all you’ve got, and get in front of them for discovery.

[25:38] Phone and email outreach methods are still valuable. Don’t give in to people who say they aren’t. Use every channel that touches your client positively.

December 30, 2016

How to Reflect on the End of the Year and a New Start. With Bridget Gleason. #343

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my remarkable guest, Bridget Gleason. On this week’s episode, Bridget and I discuss, among other topics, Bridget’s exciting new position, what to do about end of the year reflections, things that are really important, and determining what to do better next year.

October 26, 2016

How to Increase Win Rates on Qualified Leads. With Dan McDade. #289

My guest on this episode of Accelerate! is Dan McDade, Founder and CEO of PointClear and author of The Truth About Leads. Among the many topics Dan and I discuss are the importance of sales & marketing alignment in lead generation, effective strategies to improve sales & marketing collaboration, the differences between inside sales reps and outside sales executives and how to choose the right candidates for each role, and establishing good KPIs, such as the percentage of sales qualified leads an effective sales organization should expect to close.

October 11, 2016

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need. With Anthony Iannarino. #276

I am very excited to welcome back to Accelerate! my good friend, Anthony Iannarino. Anthony is a speaker, blogger, extraordinary sales leader, and author of a new book, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need. Join us in this episode as Anthony and I discuss a range of topics from his new book including, why you as a salesperson are the primary value proposition, how psychology is more important than technology in sales, how a healthy sense of competitiveness is critical in sales, and how to ignite your competitive spirit.       

July 15, 2016

How You Can Be the Golden State Warriors of Sales. With Bridget Gleason. #201

My regular guest on Front Line Friday is Bridget Gleason, VP of Corporate Sales for SumoLogic. Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, has built an incredibly successful team based on a team culture that’s built around 4 core values: competition, mindfulness, compassion and joy. In this episode, Bridget and I discuss these 4 core values in the context of selling and sales performance.

And we talk about how they can help you succeed both personally and as a team. Don’t miss this!