Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
June 21, 2017

#490. The Essential Steps that Influence Your Customers’ Decision-Making. With Barry Schwartz.

Barry Schwartz, Author of multiple bestsellers, including the classic book on decision-making, The Paradox of Choice: Why Less is More, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[2:10] Barry has moved cross-country after teaching at Swarthmore for his entire professional life.

[2:44] Andy mentions he first learned of Barry through a TED Talk, and bought his book immediately. Barry cites Daniel Kahneman, and discusses utility — experienced, expected, and remembered — in relation to decisions you make.

[5:03] Kahneman wrote that an experience is remembered by the average of its peak and its end. If it ended poorly, you will not repeat it. The duration of a vacation is irrelevant. Barry says we are clueless about the influences on our decisions.

[7:33] Barry discusses decisions of the buying process, which he describes as a series of separate experiences and decisions. A good first contact increases the chances that you will get a second contact. The peak-end rule is only one factor.

[10:25] Barry says automatic, unconscious processes (Kahneman’s System One), rather than conscious, deliberative processes (System Two), first influence our decisions. We may deliberate the automated response, to revisit our decision.

[14:14] Barry gives practical advice for B2B salespeople on influencing buyers towards your product. Show your product positives, and help buyers reinterpret any negative factors. Negatives standing alone carry disproportionate impact.

[17:12] Storytelling provides vivid examples that can crowd out some negatives. Savvy buyers may be less susceptible to their automatic processes, but they are still factors.

[18:43] Andy cites Simonson and Rosen, and Barry relates an example of Staples and their printed catalog. When Staples eliminated items in the catalog to save printing, they expected to lose sales. Instead, sales increased in all reduced categories.

[23:09] B2B buyers are not necessarily savvy buyers, because they buy large systems infrequently. There is a limit to how savvy one can be in a high-stakes decision that is rarely encountered. For instance, we’re expert on buying groceries — not homes.

[24:40] Barry explains Kahneman’s Prospect Theory. We’d rather take a small certain gain than a larger uncertain gain. With gains we are risk-averse; however, with losses we are risk-seeking. The neutral point between is easily manipulated.

[28:49] Barry describes the foot-in-the-door technique. A small commitment is easy, which then enables larger commitments.

[30:23] Barry talks about maximizers and satisficers, relating to the good-enough decision. It is miserable and long to seek the perfect solution in a complicated world. Be open to raising standards, but don’t be afraid to accept good enough.

February 4, 2017

How to Tell Stories, Teach Lessons, and Sell Products. With Jeremy Reeves. #373

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jeremy Reeves, the CEO of Kaizen Marketing, and host of the marketing podcast, Sales Funnel Mastery.


[2:09] Jeremy sells by words, as a sales copywriter, through websites and emails, anticipating and overcoming objections without talking. He has helped clients generate roughly $50M.

[5:33] How does sales automation affect sales? Buyers buy some items for thousands of dollars, without personal contact, but does it maximize the sale?

[8:11] Jeremy recalls a client’s experience with a two-step online lead generation campaign. They had a salesperson call prospects who stopped at the first step. With a call, the client increased their qualified leads by 50% over their online results.

[11:00] Is the sales funnel, either online, or face-to-face, becoming obsolete? Jeremy suggests adding more relevancy by segmenting it into specific audiences — multiple funnels.

[15:15] Is Sales losing its value to buyers in an era of near perfect information?

[17:56] Recently, Jeremy has seen an emphasis on building relationships, or engagement. People respond to relatable, emotional vulnerability, in your stories that teach lessons.

[22:02] Jeremy puts personal relatable events into his emails, to create engagement. His copywriting is about getting people to know, like, and trust you and your product.

[25:05] In the current wave of disruption in sales, automation is not creating the necessary human engagement. Relatability is the missing ingredient.

[26:36] Jeremy is working on a new product, and he shares his progress in stories via email with his prospects. He is getting great responses from people looking forward to this product.

[27:35] A story transitions to a lesson, adding value, that transitions to the product. Jeremy gives an impromptu example. Stories work well, for face-to-face, or by email.

[33:08] Showing vulnerability through personal stories helps people relate to you, better than to the ‘robot’ that just visited with a script that didn’t speak to them personally. No one wants to talk to a salesperson, but they’ll talk to a friend.

[36:48] We all have stories. Look for them. A made-up story is inauthentic, so talk about real events, and memories, and real emotions, that lead to real lessons, to sell your real product.

January 23, 2017

How to Accelerate Your Sales Through Stories. With Craig Wortmann. #362

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Craig Wortmann, CEO and Founder of Sales Engine, Inc., a clinical professor of entrepreneurship at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and author of the book, What’s Your Story? Using Stories to Ignite Performance and Be More Successful. Among the many topics that Craig and I discuss are why need to create a Sales Trailer, a sales version of a movie trailer, to very quickly capture buyers’ attention, how to create a story matrix; why stories of failure can be so persuasive and how to set your buyers’ expectations.


[1:52] Craig worked in a Congressional office in D.C., and joined IBM about 25 years ago, selling the AS/400 in Chicago. Craig credits IBM with great training that prepared him to teach entrepreneurial selling to MBA students.

[6:17] Craig teaches entrepreneurs how to survive, and then thrive, ‘in the wonderful chaos between time-zero and break-even.’

[7:19] Customers will not beat a path to your door; sales is not a subset of marketing; and, the time to hire a salesperson is after you have a sales model.

[10:54] Buyers will not work to understand your message. You have to work to be understood.

[13:29] Create a Sales Trailer. It’s like a movie trailer for sales. You don’t have four paragraphs to tell a prospect about your brand. You have eight seconds to capture their attention.

[14:05] Expectations start to get set in the qualifying phase. When does the qualifying phase begin, and how long do you take to qualify your prospect?

[15:31] The best salespeople can recognize when there’s not a fit, will say so, and will offer to connect the prospect with other resources that may serve their present needs.

[16:42] Entrepreneurial selling includes the step of resetting expectations, which is done in a short conversation after the close, preparing the client for customer success.

[20:38] What’s Your Story? introduces the story matrix, a tool you can use to to develop important messaging themes.

[23:26] Why do stories of failure affect in a positive way?

[26:46] Impact questions uncover better information. They dig deeper, cut broader, and have harder answers. Ask something about the business, the client should know, but doesn’t. Don’t ask impact questions before a conversation is on solid ground.


January 13, 2017

How You Can Use Stories and Content to Connect with your Buyers. With David Meerman Scott. #354

Welcome to Sales Kick-Off Week on Accelerate!

Joining me on Day Five of the Accelerate! 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off Week is my guest David Meerman Scott.

David Meerman Scott is a leading sales and marketing speaker, and author of numerous best-selling books, including The New Rules of Marketing and PR, Newsjacking, and more recently, The New Rules of Sales and Service: How to Use Agile Selling, Real-Time Customer Engagement, Big Data, Content, and Storytelling to Grow Your Business.

On Day Five of our 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off the focus is on how you can use stories and other content to create value and connect with your buyers.

In this episode David teaches how authentic storytelling builds connections with buyers; how to create stories that catch the attention of the buyers; why sales pros should be curating content for their prospects, and why you need different content for unique buyer personas.

Click to tweet: How to use stories and content to connect with buyers with @DMScott now on #accelerate!


[1:01] David started at a bond trading desk, getting real-time information and pricing, before the day of the web. Losing his job, by company acquisition in 2002, led him to make a career decision. He began writing, speaking, and consulting.

[5:04] When David wrote The New Rules of Marketing and PR, its theme was that web marketing creates content for multiple people at once, and drives them to a buying process.

[5:57] The New Rules of Sales and Service applies the same concept, but focuses on content the salesperson curates, to reach one buyer at a time.

[6:48] Authentic storytelling first creates a narrative for your company, and on top of that, creates stories of value and interest to your prospects. Hire a journalist over a copywriter.

[8:51] Creating interesting stories for our prospects, forces us to look beyond our products and our egos, to the benefits they present to our clients, with stories making clients into heroes.

[9:20] A salesperson might curate existing content about one customer’s experience, and create a story for how a prospect might use the product or service to benefit their own clients.

[12:05] Hubspot measures how people click through from one place to another on their huge site. E.g., 20% of the visitors to the Hubspot CEO’s bio page become paying customers. So, the salesperson needs to know how to approach these visitors.

[14:10] Don’t just tie a new sale back to the original lead source. Find out what the customer also saw and read between the lead and the purchase — gain valuable insights.

[18:24] You need different content for each buyer persona. A college needs one set for HS sophomores, one set for seniors, and one set for parents. Most schools provide one content set.

[19:35] When someone fills in a form, follow the data to see how they got there. That shows their buyer persona, and what content you need to supply to them.

[23:40] Understand how content is used today; be curators of content. Be active on social networks, and create content that adds value for your prospects.

[33:00] Be much more responsive than you are today, to increase the business you bring in tomorrow.


August 29, 2016

How to Sell With a Story. With Paul Smith. #239

Joining me in this episode is Paul Smith, author of Sell with a Story, Lead with a Story, and Parenting with a Story – all of which are great books on why we need to incorporate storytelling into every aspect of our lives. As I’ve said before in this podcast, stories should be an essential part of every sales professional’s arsenal. Salespeople can use stories to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and to build rapport and trust with their prospects. In my discussion with Paul he gives you great advice about how to incorporate stories into your selling.

August 3, 2016

The Power of the Emotional Connection In Selling. With Mike Bosworth. #217

Mike Bosworth is the founder of Mike Bosworth Leadership, and the author of  the bestselling sales classics, Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets and CustomerCentric Selling.  In this episode Mike and I talk about his new book What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story. Among the topics we discuss are the power of a story in sales; how to make that decisive emotional connection in selling; how to transform how we train salespeople, and how to teach storytelling techniques to sales reps and make them stick.

April 12, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 132 with Anne Miller. Six Steps to Become a More Effective & Persuasive Seller

Anne Miller is an expert in the use of words that help you sell. She’s a speaker, coach, and author of Metaphorically Selling: How to Use the Magic of Metaphors to Sell, Persuade, & Explain Anything to Anyone as well as The Tall Lady with the Iceberg. In today’s episode, Anne provides strategies that any sales person can utilize to become a more effective and persuasive speaker. Among the many topics we explore in this conversation are:

  • How you can become a more effective and persuasive seller in an increasingly visual world.
  • The different vocabulary you should use when presenting online vs presenting in-person.
  • How you must change your presentation style when you can’t see the prospect’s reactions and body language.
  • The four questions you have to answer to create a persuasive story to tell a prospect.
January 21, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 74 with Patricia Fripp. The Essential Ingredients of Effective Sales Presentations That Win Deals

In this episode, Patricia Fripp, President of Fripp & Associates, past President of the National Speakers Association, and one of the leading presentation coaches, talks how to build effective sales presentations that win more deals. Patricia describes how to avoid sounding just like everyone else when presenting to clients. And she shares why “prospects would rather have a good listening to than a good talking to” and how that will shape exactly how you should present to prospects.  Include among the topics we discuss are:

  • The secrets of teaching young sales professionals how to be effective presenters to seasoned, experienced prospects
  • A process to build effective sales presentations
  • An effective opening line that will surprise you
  • When and how to use visual aids (hint: stop using so many PowerPoint slides!)
  • How to personalize virtual presentations

This episode is a must listen for anyone that makes sales presentations to prospects. Or manages those who do!

December 3, 2015

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 44 with Karen Dietz. Harnessing The Power Of The Story To Win New Business.

Karen Dietz, author of “Business Storytelling For Dummies”, is a master storyteller and presentation coach. In this episode, Karen talks about how she turned her PhD in folklore into a successful business career, by helping leaders, entrepreneurs, and sales people, increase their impact, influence and income with the power of storytelling. She relates how stories help you develop better, more sincere relationships with prospects and how stories can deliver unique value that help prospects make the decision to buy from you. Most importantly, Karen provides a simple 5-step framework, using her acronym CHARM, which enables any salesperson to easily structure and tell a story that delivers the maximum impact. Do you want to learn how to use stories to win new business? Then make sure to listen to this episode today!