Sales Guru Steli Efti; Photo credit: Pioneers.io

published 23 Jun 2015 2 minutes 40 seconds to read

How to Sell like a Pro - Part 1

Most startups fail due to lack of sales. Following up on one of the most successful talks at the Pioneers Festival, we give you part 1 of Steli Efti’s tips and tricks on closing deals.
About the author
Steli Efti is the cofounder & CEO of Close.io, an inside sales CRM you can use to make and receive calls and emails right from within each contact page with just one click. Powerful search and filter queries make it easy to create highly targeted lead lists in just seconds.

Many founders still believe a great product has the natural tendency to go viral or that growth hacking will lead to its success. Whether the product be a service, gadget or software is irrelevant. The truth is, most startups fall short of success due to one basic component: they simply don’t have enough paying customers. Here are my 7 Sales Secrets!

1) Selling isn’t talking

You don’t need to be eloquent and charismatic to succeed in sales. Surprisingly, the best salespeople in the world are the best listeners. Asking questions achieves better results than using big words or persuasive rhetoric to close a deal. 

Selling is about understanding the prospect, identifying how you can help, and finally demonstrating the personalized benefits of your solution.

2) Sell to the right people

In the beginning, choose one niche market and vertical. A targeted audience will allow you to establish a better understanding of your prospective customers’ needs. You will be more efficient and effective in figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

Many founders have a hard time grasping this concept. They may think: Why should we limit our sales and marketing efforts to only reach a small group of prospects (e.g. chiropractic clinics) when we could potentially sell to a much larger audience (all medical practices and health clinics)? However, attempting to cover a lot of ground in the early stages will result in spreading yourself thin.

Focus your efforts. Pick one vertical. Go deep. This is the only way to build predictable results rather than produce random outcomes.

3) Ask for help

Within the context of sales, asking for help is rare. When you are having a sales conversation that loses momentum, try saying this:  

“What am I doing wrong? My job is to help you make a good decision, whether you decide to take our offer or not. But I feel I’m failing you. Help me out here.”

Asking for help is disarming. When you lower your guard the other party is likely to reciprocate.

4) Address the elephant

A common reason sales conversations go nowhere is because of the latent objection - a question or unresolved issue the prospect has on their mind, but does not forwardly express. It is important to uncover the issue in order to better address the elephant and move the sale forward. Dismantling the latent objection is another way of lowering barriers. Ultimately, you want to create an even playing field. Building a trustworthy rapport with your prospective customer allows them to identify with your questions and be receptive to your offer.

Find out more about Close.io and Click here to learn more or sign up for your 14-day free trial. Don’t forget to check in next Tuesday for part 2 of Steli’s lessons.

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