Shortly before the end of an exciting year, we had the honour to host a Q&A session with the ultimate sales hustler Steli Efti of close.io on December 30. With his super enthusiastic and entertaining talk, he gave us tons of expert sales and business tipps to kick-off 2016 successfully! Here are my personal take-aways from this inspiring session:
Steli’s recipe for success in sales can be summarized by this mantra: Show up. Follow up. Close.
Eventually, sales success is always about the results, closing as many deals as possible respectively. Don’t wait until your customers come to you. Approach them directly, understand their problems, follow up consistently and close the deal as soon as possible.
During the sales process, you need to pay attention to everyone you are dealing with. You never sell to a company but to human beings with specific opinions and needs. Listen to your potential customers. Ask questions to avoid making assumptions and to truly understand what they want and need. Re-confirm your hypothesis about your customers and their needs constantly.
Even if you are afraid of rejection, be consistent every day. That’s the only way to get good overall sales results. You can learn a lot from deals that you didn’t close by following up event then, asking your contact how you could improve your sales technique the next time.
Steli also made clear that you don’t need to completely understand a technical product to successfully sell it. Focus only 20 % of your time on getting to know the product you are selling and 80% on actually selling. For super specific tech questions from your customers, rely on your tech experts to answer them.
And ultimately, do business to create value for others. If you don’t believe in the product you are selling, you are doomed. Get a job in a company with a product you truly love and believe in and stay open-minded to learn something new every day!
If you’re interested in Steli’s and close.io’s work, follow their blog. I can highly recommend this blog post about a successful founder turned sales intern, talking about closing his first deal for close.io.
Also, read my blog post about a talk Steli gave in Stuttgart in 2013 (in German) and have a look at the pictures of his visit in our Accelerate Spaces on flickr (thanks to Antoine Lê Minh for the additional pictures with our logo!).