Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
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!


[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.

March 21, 2017

How To Build Trust-based Relationships in Sales. With Charles Green. #411

Joining me once again on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Charles Green, one of the co-authors of The Trusted Advisor, author of Trust-Based Selling: Using Customer Focus and Collaboration to Build Long-Term Relationships, and consultant to corporations on the subject of trust.


[:49] Charlie’s background is in consulting and writing about trust, as it applies to large, complex, intangible services.

[1:35] Charlie addresses how to establish personalized, legitimate links between sellers and buyers in complex sales. Among “know, like, and trust,” which aspect is at the heart?

[4:04] How does reciprocity relate to trust? Charlie talks about a series of asymmetrical interactions. Why does he ‘BARG’?

[7:58] Charlie explains the origin of the handshake. How does vulnerability influence trust? What is the role of small talk?

[8:32] With more technology in the buying process, when does the salesperson need to interact first with the buyer?

[11:50] Charlie talks about challenging, adding value, taking risks, and exposing vulnerability. Complex sales are ‘high-wire.’

[12:44] Trust requires the exact truth. What is the flaw in managing expectations, to ‘exceed’ them?

[16:42] Charlie starts to explain the three steps the buyer takes to choose a vendor.

[19:40] In a proposal presentation, do you focus on yourself, your company, and product, or ask about the buyer’s needs?

[25:46] What is the justification step of the buying decision? When does emotion drive the buying process?

[28:50] Where do you draw the line between value you give away, and value you sell?

[30:25] What is the lie behind ‘tough ideas,’ and ‘adding value’? What is the actual driving factor of the buying decision?

February 28, 2017

Boost Sales by Building Trust Through Content. With Marcus Sheridan. #393

Marcus Sheridan, marketing and sales expert, Founder of The Sales Lion, and author of the new book, They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer.


[1:06] In 2001, right out of college, Marcus joined two partners to start River Pools. The ‘08 crash almost ended them. They needed traffic! To generate leads, Marcus used content marketing and social media, to answer real buyer questions.

[4:08] River Pools adopted a core philosophy, which Marcus teaches all over the world: “They ask, you answer.” With FAQ content, they became the world’s most trafficked swimming pool manufacturer website, with 500K visitors per month.

[6:39] The big five questions buyers ask are: Money, Negatives (How could this blow up in my face?), Comparisons, Reviews, and Best (What is the best — whether or not I buy it?).

[8:13] The three reasons companies don’t release prices are: fear of competition stealing the “secret sauce,” fear of scaring customers, belief they have “a unique solution.” All are false reasons.

[9:37] Marcus wrote another article, “What are the Problems with Fiberglass Pools?” This article owns the conversation, and it generated $500K in sales. Buyers seek knowledge. They will find the answers they need. To provide answers, builds trust.

[10:48] A prospect asked, if we don’t buy from you, who would you recommend? Marcus wrote an article the five best pool contractors in his area. But didn’t include his own company! Talk about trust building. The article generated $150K that year alone. A series of similar articles earned millions.

[13:54] Who is the “WebMD” of your space right now? If you can’t name it, it doesn’t exist. Your culture must be, to be the best teachers in the world, where people know they will find their answers.

[16:06] In They Ask, You Answer, there are multiple case studies where companies required salespeople to participate with marketing. Sales serves buyers by helping make purchasing decisions. Most of the decision occurs before talking to sales.

[18:22] Marcus praises revenue teams, where marketing and sales are combined. Sales training should include marketing; content creation should include sales.

[19:09] Marcus found that prospects who read 30 pages on their site before a sales visit, bought 80% of the time. If not, they bought 25% of the time. Marcus pushed content. They sold 95 pools that year; the average buyer read 100 pages.
[28:19] As Marcus spoke about River Pools, people doubted the principles would apply to them. So Marcus developed world-class case studies of companies that completely changed the game in their spaces, always by teaching.

[30:37] The book is for people who say, I’m going to do whatever it takes to be the best teacher in my space. CarMax is an example of changing the game by answering critical questions. Eliminate fears, and you are left with trust.

December 5, 2016

How to Use Podcasting to Connect with Your Prospects. With Will Barron. #322

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Will Barron. Will is the UK-based host of the podcast. Among the many topics that Will and I discuss are how Will’s background in chemistry and medical device sales led to starting his podcast, how sales professionals would benefit by podcasting and how to build trust into the customer relationship.

June 1, 2016

The Art of Customer Relationship Building. With Meredith Elliot Powell.

On episode #168 of Accelerate! my guest is Meridith Elliot Powell, an award-winning author, speaker, and coach. She has authored several books, including Winning In the Trust & Value Economy and her latest, Own It: Redefining Responsibility-Stories of Power, Freedom & Purpose, which is about how to build cultures that inspire ownership to create profits. In today’s episode, I chat with Meridith about how salespeople and companies should practice the art of relationship building with their prospects and how to continue adding value to their existing customers. Tune in to learn how you can be the one to win the sale over your competition. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • The difference between a push and pull economy and how it affects how you sell.
  • Why are trust-based relationships essential to sales success?
  • Why, in today’s economy, trust is even more important to buyers
  • How to start building relationships with your prospects and existing clients.
  • Learn how to build relationships that eliminate the stereotypes that have plagued sales reps.
May 20, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 160 with Bridget Gleason. How to Recover From the Big Mistake.

My regular and special guest on Front Line Friday is Bridget Gleason, VP of Corporate Sales for SumoLogic. In this episode, we discuss something that rarely gets talked about in sales: failure.  In particular, the self-inflicted screw up that can end any chance of winning an order with a particular prospect. Bridget and I use examples from our own careers to talk about how you can bounce back from the material mistake, the unintentional oversight or significant error that undermines your credibility with your customer or prospect, and still win the order. Or retain the client. Listen in as we talk about:

  • How to bounce back from a mistake that costs you the order.
  • How to cultivate the strong customer relationships that have resilience.
  • Steps you should take with your customer to recover from a mistake.
  • Examples of the significant mishaps and mistakes that we’ve dealt with in our own careers.
  • And much more. Don’t miss this!
May 2, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 146 with Jason Treu. How to Build Relationships that Transform Your Sales and Your Life.

Jason Treu (pronounced “Troy”) is a leading business and relationship coach, and author of two excellent books Social Wealth: How to Build Extraordinary Relationships by Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Lead and Network and Extraordinary: The Art of the Exceptional Life. In this episode, Jason and I explore the steps sales reps should take to build rapport and trust, and strengthen their connections, with new contacts, prospects and customers, both online and in-person. Among the topics we discuss include:

  • How to build connections and relationships that pass the Know, Like and Trust test.
  • How to quickly build rapport with new connections, both in-person and online.
  • The #1 most important social strategy you should implement to build your network of influence.
  • How to identify and prioritize those relationships that matter the most.
April 13, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 133 with Bob Burg. The Five Laws of Stratospheric Sales Success

Bob Burg is the co-author of the powerful best-selling classic: The Go Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea. The Go Giver is a parable, based on the 5 laws of stratospheric success, that lays out a path to success and happiness in life, as well as in business and sales.

The Go Giver is a proven recipe for achieving success that is based on giving, serving, and placing the needs of others before your own. In today’s episode, Bob and I talk about the five powerful laws of stratospheric success that are at the heart of the Go Giver formula:

  • The Law of Value
  • The Law of Compensation
  • The Law of Influence
  • The Law of Authenticity
  • The Law of Receptivity

Listen now! This is a don’t miss episode.

March 3, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 104 with Charles H Green. The 4 Essential Principles of Building Trust with Customers.

In this episode, Charles Green, co-author of The Trusted Advisor and author of Trust-based Selling, shares the secrets to developing a trust-based relationship with your buyers that can accelerate your sales. Listen in as we talk about:

  • Why trust is not the same as trustworthiness. And what that means for you.
  • Why you can’t fully build trust with a prospect if you don’t them.
  • Why trust is personal. Buyers are building trust with you, not your company.
  • Why trust is not a number that you can measure.

This episode is a must listen for everyone. Any CEO, entrepreneur, sales leader and sales rep should invest the time to listen.

January 13, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 68 with Jon Ferrara. The More Digital We Get, The More Human We Need To Be. How To Pay Forward Relationships To Become A Trusted Advisor To Your Customers.

In this information-packed, rapid-fire episode, Jon Ferrara, founder and CEO of Nimble, and one of the early pioneers of the entire sales force automation industry, lays out what he believes are the dangers of the sales stack becoming too complex and too costly; putting too much emphasis on the technology and not enough on prospects and customers. He describes a simpler approach to maintaining a focus on building relationships with buyers that includes a more encompassing view of their requirements and the community that influences them. Jon shares his “5 E’s of Social Business.” You’ll have to listen if you want learn these essential keys to becoming a trusted advisor to your customers, to creating lasting value-based relationships and to building a community that produces a steady stream of referrals. If you’re in sales, service, management or leadership, then you will definitely want to invest some time to listen to this episode!