BTM Event Video: Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter – How did you get your first three customers?

Building the Sales Machine (BTM) Event Series: we post clips of the best questions that where answered during our live events, so you can take the best ideas back to your teams and companies for further discussion.

Great sales always works.  One of the things I’ve run into as we grew, particularly amongst the young millennial tech savvy type folks.  Is this lack of understanding around pure sales talent.

I think that the number one skill set for any sales person in the entire world is the ability to ask questions. Straight up, there’s nothing more important in sales.

In order to ask questions, you have to earn the right to ask questions. You have to build rapport, and then you can get to a stage where you can ask questions.  People who don’t get it, think, “asking questions is pushy”.  But really, what’s pushy is the other way around.  The more common approach is a sales person that says,

” oh, David, you need to buy my stuff, its so awesome, its so awesome, it lets you do x, y, z, we won all these awards…..”

That sounds a lot more pushy to me.  The alternative, when using questions, sounds more like,

“thanks for connecting to me, I appreciate it, i think we think a lot alike, tell me about the environment over there?    so you’re doing this?  have you tried this?

You have to listen and comprehend the person’s situation.   You have to ask the deep questions.   For example:

  • have you tried x, y, z?
  • how did that work out?
  • tell me how you’re trying to accomplish…
  • is this thing really helping?
  • i’ve heard bad feedback about, x, what do you think?
  • what does that mean for your business?
  • how so?
  • what’s that mean?
  • tell me about the environment over there?
  • given your situation in this industry, how does that effect you?

Listening! Listening to what the customer has to say.  Thats the ability to connect.  It’s about smart listening because you know where those things will lead.

That how our first sales happened. I picked the right person, and I asked the right questions, then I get to ask for the business and try to close.