Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
June 15, 2017

#485. Creating Campaigns People Want to Share. With Michael Africk.

Michael Africk, Serial entrepreneur, and CEO/Founder at Inmoji, and a recording artist, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[1:40] Michael tells the story of his past as a recording artist, and touring with Britney Spears and ‘NSync. Those moments set him up with a feeling of entrepreneurism and driving towards success, no matter what.

[8:28] Music is a very fertile space for creative minds and the entrepreneurial spirit. Michael describes his ventures, and his network, that inspired them to launch Inmoji with Perry Tell.

[11:39] Michael picked up hustle from his music experience. He believes he was born with the entrepreneurial spirit. He compares live performance to sales. You need to have a thick skin, and you have to scratch and claw until you get there.

[15:35] People’s use of emojis inspired Michael and Perry to see that emojis could be clickable Trojan horses, linked to any sort of content, dropped into a message. They saw an opportunity to make an SDK for messaging apps with huge user bases.

[19:45] Emojis are tied to typed emoticons. Stickers are branded emojis. Inmojis are applets. When a sender clicks an Inmoji, it brings up brand information the sender can choose to include. The receiver can click on it for the same experience.

[21:54] Michael explains the process. A vendor runs a campaign. The SDK offers up their Inmoji in subscribing messaging apps. The sender clicks the Inmoji for rich media, and sends it to another, who can click it for the same content.

[23:10] Inmoji’s clients buy space in the SDK, and then the subscribing message app displays the client Inmoji, and tracks clicks, both of the sender and of the receiver.

[23:35] Inmoji charges per click, not per exposure, so the click is qualified. Michael gives a use case example. There are potentially several clicks per use. People can listen to songs or watch trailers multiple times, all within the messaging app.

[25:35] Michael says all sizes of companies use the service. A self-service portal just launched at You can select a precise geographic area to release your Inmoji.

[26:56] Michael talks about B2B applications. A tax accountant received great results from a targeted campaign. The portal is easy to use for this. Michael gives another use case example.

[30:07] Engagement rates and authenticity make Inmoji the most effective way to advertise, in Michael’s view. Everything is referral-based and pre-qualified. The person you text clicks on it every single time.

[32:21] Michael talks about expansion. He would love to be on Facebook, for example, but they are on some huge apps.

April 18, 2017

#435. Frame a Message That Resonates with Buyers. With Barbara Giamanco.

Barbara Giamanco, a Keynote speaker, coauthor of the great book, The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, and podcaster, joins me for the second time on this episode of #Accelerate!


[:51] Barbara’s company is Social Centered Selling, in Atlanta, originally focusing on helping organizations develop their strategy around implementing social media into their selling practice, and now, helping frame the entire buying experience.

[2:08] The biggest challenge for sales reps is in framing a message that resonates with what the buyer cares about. Barbara notes how management could improve rep training.

[3:03] Barbara says reps need to research their client and their client industry’s trends and pain points, to know many pertinent facts before engaging a contact. What problems interfere with this rep behavior?

[4:41] Barbara notes that very few colleges provide a degree in sales. To make matters worse, 40% of organizations are not onboarding sales staff with consultative training on sales skills. Kennesaw State University offers an amazing sales curriculum.

[8:04] Students coming from the Kennesaw curriculum are hired quickly, and hit the ground running with top skills. What does Barbara suggest to encourage additional colleges to pick up the sales curriculum?

[10:18] Barbara considers generational issues, such as the Millennial’s aversion to the phone. A sale doesn’t come from a Tweet! Inside Sales reps that are not trained may damage the company brand instead of bringing in profit.

[12:49] People need more training in how to researching industries, trends, challenges, and pain points, and how to spin that into a contact’s accepting a meeting. Quality of outreach is more important than quantity of emails sent.

[18:21] Salespeople call Barbara and ask her to tell them about her business. No. Look on LinkedIn before you call. Look at causes, charities, interests, and company focus. Don’t waste the contact’s time, and don’t roll right into the pitch.

[21:49] New technologies enable more phone calls, but it’s the quality of conversation you have when somebody picks up the telephone that counts, and that is a big gap in skill. Barbara has advice for managers.

[24:40] Harassing by email is not welcome. Don’t ask why someone didn’t respond. They didn’t respond because you didn’t offer them value that resonated with them.

[26:31] Organizations need to evaluate their processes. Hiring more salespeople to make the same errors will not move the needle for an organization. Quality plus quantity is needed. People are buying from people. See Google’s ZMOT theory.

[33:35] Individual salespeople can make a commitment to change the buyer’s perception. Don’t let the buyer lead you down the path. Learn what they need, and how you can help them.

April 5, 2017

#424. How to Sell on LinkedIn. With Erik Qualman.

Erik Qualman, #1 bestselling author and motivational speaker, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate! His books include bestsellers like Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, Digital Leader: 5 Simple Keys to Success and Influence, and his latest book, How To Sell On LinkedIn: 30 Tips in 30 Days.

[1:02] Erik’s background is in digital and search. In 2009, he wrote Socialnomics. It became number one in eight countries, and he started speaking. He has made a career of motivational speaking, while writing five bestsellers.

[3:49] Social selling is a tool to help you connect. You need to use your EQ more than IQ. These tools do not replace selling face-to-face. Using LinkedIn incorrectly is a loss for all parties.

[4:45] You’ve got to network before you need to network — before you need the favor or the transaction. Play the long game, in a short timeframe. There’s an art to the conversation online, as much as there is offline.

[6:10] Listen first; sell last. What’s their issue?

[8:46] Erik supplies four questions to answer in your summary that will make positive connections with your prospects.

[9:55] Follow thought leaders on LinkedIn. Questions asked of them point to challenges, opportunities, and pain points. Provide answers in the forum, to give value, and find prospects. Hard work separates you from your competition.

[11:39] Model your LinkedIn profile after the profiles of the people you aspire to become. Study them, and provide similar value and content. They’ve done the R&D of what works. Use the best from them, and make it personal to your case.

[13:11] Study the network of your competitor. See if you have meaningful connections with any, and reach out to them.

[13:52] Post it forward. You can endorse someone new each day. That is networking before you need to network. When you want a warm introduction, indicate why, and the value you want to be bring to the introduction. It’s a win for each party.

[17:55] Use email for outreach. Erik says to Google how to download your contacts’ email addresses from LinkedIn.

[19:27] The selling happens in the face-to-face meeting. Offer a few specific times and dates to meet, and get an appointment.

[21:49] Erik offers strategic questions that help you find if you have the decisionmaker, and if so, what the budget is — without asking sensitive questions. Ask thought-provoking questions, that give revealing responses.

March 1, 2017

Using Social Teaming to Build Your Referral Team. With Dean DeLisle. #394

Dean DeLisle, is the Founder and CEO of Forward Progress, Inc.


[1:02] Dean started Forward Progress 13 years ago. When digital and social media came out, Dean wanted to educate salespeople on how to use it effectively.

[2:41] The biggest myth around social selling is that it is as simple as putting up a LinkedIn profile. Opening a door does not automatically invite and attract customers.

[4:32] A study shows that 75% of execs who buy use social media. Connect with enough people to engage with active buyers you can serve.

[5:51] Buyers today do not phone their friends for purchase recommendations; they go to social media connections, and ask them for product recommendations. People trust their network.

[7:18] IDC says buyers are coming into the sales cycle later in the buying process, after their own research. The buyer’s credibility is on the line with each purchase. Connections in common with the vendor or salesperson provide validation.

[11:12] Social teaming is derived from sports team practices, and their recruitment vetting profiles. Dean coaches entrepreneurs to determine, and team up with, the top five people they know well, that would give reciprocal referrals.

[15:40] Dean found 92% of people are actually spending most of their time with people in their network who are not good candidates for their top five team of referral producers.

[17:16] When their top five people aren’t performing, they need 10 more to back them up. Those are the bench. The next 25 on the list are the practice squad. This team of 40 represents the authentic relationships people can manage. Connects to two of the 40 per day, socially, acknowledging mutual business interests.

[19:02] The relationships are scored 0 to 5. A “5,” is a close connection that will regularly provide referrals, sometimes without being asked. You can also look at their social connections and ask for referrals you need.
[20:22] How do I identify my top five? Look at the people you know who already help you. Find the most helpful one, and look for four more like them.

[24:57] To scout for new team members, at a networking event, consciously connect with people you haven’t met, and evaluate them against your top five. You may discover “the next starter.” Daily pick two of your 40 to consider to advance.

[30:43] Not everyone on LinkedIn is your team. Focus on relationships with people you can help, and who can help you. Dean’s team is developing a mobile app with an AI relationship engine to make recommendations. Until then, it’s all manual.

January 31, 2017

How to Build Valued Relationships With Your Buyers on LinkedIn. With Trevor Turnbull. #369

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Trevor Turnbull, Owner of Linked Into Leads, online reputation strategist, LinkedIn trainer, keynote speaker, and owner of the 30 Day Sales Machine program.


[:51] Trevor’s agency, Linked Into Leads, is in Vancouver. 98% of their clients are outside of Vancouver. They generate leads, using LinkedIn to turn cold leads into warm prospects.

[3:56] Trevor uses LinkedIn as a tool — a massive database of opportunities — to get his clients in front of their audience at the right time in the buying process. Trevor teaches methods for effectiveness.

[4:50] Trevor has a degree in marketing, but went straight into sales in 2003, cold calling from the Yellow Pages. In 2009, he started using LinkedIn for social selling, human to human.

[7:19] Tip: make sure your profile photo is professional. Don’t treat LinkedIn as an online résumé. Those who view your profile want to know how you can help them, but you have just six seconds to capture their attention.

[8:07] In a LinkedIn campaign, use laser focus. Specifically aim for your target persona, and speak to them directly about pain points, with headline, summary, and supporting media.

[13:31] The 30 Day Sales Machine is a marketing cycle program for a LinkedIn campaign of 1000 connection requests (50 per day), and replying to responses. Use a dedicated email account for a campaign.

[16:45] Don’t just join LinkedIn groups of your peers. Join groups of your target buyers. You have to request to join. Let the group admin know what value you offer to them.

[20:31] In a LinkedIn campaign, define your searches, and save the searches for further filtering.

[23:14] TIP: Use the permission method for connecting: Thank you for visiting my profile. I’m looking to expand my network in the (blank) space, here in (blank). Would you be open to connecting on LinkedIn? This gets much better response than the generic request.

[25:48] If the person accepts, follow up with a message that doesn’t ask for anything: Great to have you in my network, I look forward to sharing ideas. If there’s anybody I can help connect you with, don’t hesitate to ask.

[27:08] Differentiate yourself and start a conversation with a second follow-up such as: I’m looking to get some feedback from decision makers such as yourself on the challenges they’re facing with (blank). Some of your peers have said this …

January 21, 2017

Using Social Media in Your Sales Process. With Philip Calvert. #361

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Philip Calvert, social media sales expert, and social media sales strategist, based in the UK. Among the many topics that Philip and I discuss, are Philip’s journey from financial service sales to social selling strategist, how LinkedIn gives salespeople a public face, how to use LinkedIn effectively and politely, and how social media can build bridges, but cannot close sales.


[5:10] As the founder of a networking site, Philip received invitations to speak about social media, not only for financial services, but for law, accounting, pharmaceuticals, etc.

[7:41] When Philip asks audiences  if they know why they’re on LinkedIn, hardly any hands go up. Unless you have been trained on it, you’ll never fully get the best out of it. LinkedIn is the website for your personal brand. People buy people.

[11:02] Everybody, in every organization, is potentially a salesperson. The social media philosophy of a business must be extremely clear, and in a policy book. E.g., “We encourage everybody to get involved, but don’t do anything stupid.”

[12:48] It starts with training people how to build a professional profile. Make sure to have a good photo and some human interest on your profile. List your interests in the Additional Information section, as searchable keywords, separated by commas.

[18:32] The ‘loose connection,’ concept includes connecting with everybody possible, except spammers. What does Philip say is the main function of social media?

[22:41] Social media can distract you with shiny new tech. “Give that a go,’ is not a strategy. Have a strategy about which platforms to use, and how, to create conversations, which can build relationships.

[26:24] Most people never bother to customize the LinkedIn connection request. Do it! Always connect from a person’s profile page, not from the LinkedIn suggestions list, so you can see their interests, to customize your note.

[28:04] What does Philip advise you to do when you get a notification that someone viewed your profile?

[31:43] Use courtesy and common sense to determine the best way to start building a relationship with the person you find on LinkedIn. It may be through LinkedIn, or it may be to pick up the phone, or send an email.

January 12, 2017

How You Can Grab the Attention of Busy, Distracted Buyers. With Jill Rowley. #353

Welcome to Sales Kick-Off Week on Accelerate!

Joining me on Day Four of the 2017 Accelerate! Virtual Sales Kick-off Week is my guest Jill Rowley.

Jill Rowley, is a digital transformation specialist, well-known speaker, social selling evangelist, and enterprise sales expert.

On Day Four of our 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off Meeting, we focus on how you can cut through the noise to grab the attention of busy, distracted buyers.

In this episode, Jill provides techniques to you can use to cut through the distractions competing for your buyer’s attention, how to use social to connect with people (not just to sell them), and essential strategies to elevate your digital and social skill sets.

Mastering the art of making authentic connections is essential for every sales professional. Listen to this episode to learn how!


[:53] Jill calls herself a sales professional trapped in a marketer’s body. Jill knows her buyers, and advocates for them. She started at in 2000, after years of consulting, then moved to Eloqua, a Salesforce customer.

[5:00] Salespeople and buyers face the same challenge: distraction. Buyers have a nearly unlimited access to information and people, but are overwhelmed; sellers equally have access to them, but get lost in the distractions.

[6:25] The best salespeople know the customer intimately, at a human level, at a company level, at an industry level. The more you know their situation, the better you can help them.

[7:45] Know the ideal customer profile, so you are not chasing bad-fit prospects, but those where you can create value best; and find their right internal influencer to be your champion.

[11:30] Jill tagged some GE Execs in a relevant Tweet; Jim Fowler, GE CIO, Retweeted it. Through DM, email, and phone they connected in a great conversation. Social has impact.

[15:05] Invest in upping your digital and social skillset. Get training for yourself, and make the business case for your organization to do the same. Your customer is already there.

[19:05] Never send a generic LinkedIn invitation. Customize an invitation to your prospect, because every impression matters.

[22:43] Celebrate customer success. Tweet an announcement of a customer doing something great, not an announcement about your great success. Nobody Tweets your data sheet!

[24:18] Instead of thinking of prospects and customers, think of buyers. Nobody wants to be targeted, prospected, hunted, farmed, or closed. They want to have a buying experience.

[26:18] SDRs and BDRs need to know the buyer, knowing their problems that you solve, and how to connect the dots to get that person’s attention. Get on a learning path, every day.

[30:27] Take charge of your career, and if you do well, you’re going to be rewarded, even if it’s not exactly according to the prescribed structure.

[32:23] Set a pair of reading glasses on your desk, to put on whenever you have a question about what you’re doing, ‘to see it through the customer’s eyes.’

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.

December 3, 2016

What’s Your Unique Promise of Value? With John Smibert. #321

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is John Smibert, Co-founder and CEO of Strategic Selling Group. Among the many topics that John and I discuss are the importance of building your personal brand — your unique promise of value; how you as a salesperson can become a domain expert; and why every salesperson should publish on social media.

November 22, 2016

Enhance all Sales Touch Points with Social. With Jamie Shanks. #312

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Jamie Shanks, CEO of Sales for Life, Inc., author of the Social Selling blog, and author of the new book, Social Selling Mastery: Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer. Among the many topics that Jamie and I discuss are common misconceptions about social selling; the necessity for engaging the buyer on every front, including social; surprising data about how different generations use social in sales; and how companies benefit, both in sales, and internally, by introducing social into their selling.