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Steli Efti [Close.io] On How To Close Deals On The Phone

The Online Sales Sprint is a series of live-streamed webinars, in which the latest marketing practices are discussed and taught, all completely free of charge. Learn how to navigate marketing and sales in today’s social media and data-driven climate, from success proven Entrepreneurs and Experts across the globe.

Sergey Butko

One of our speakers was Steli Efti, a Founder & CEO Close.io. He told us a bit about himself, his business and approach to entrepreneurship as well as provided with a few simple steps on how to improve your sales results using the phone. Take a deep look below!

Little bit about myself first. I’m originally from Greece, I grew up in Germany so very different in terms of the European cultural spectrum. I dropped out of high school when I was 17 to start my first business. I’ve been a serial entrepreneur my entire life, so I started a number of business back in Europe, by then 10 years ago I sold everything I had about a one-way ticket and I flew Silicon Valley to start a technology company here so then living in California the last 10 years.”

The thing I’m best known for is giving advice around sales to startups and here why I have lifelong experience in selling, and my entrepreneurial superpower has always been sales. The last competitor started that is turned into what is now known as Close.io.

It started as elastic sales. We offered outsourced sales on demand for B2B startups. We did sales over 200 venture-backed startups in Silicon Valley. We decided in January 2013 to release it as a separate business for Close.io which is basically a highly focused inside sale CRM that has both calling integrated out of the box. It is very powerful communication tool that empowers salespeople to do their job better.

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We’re going to spend too much time on why the phone could be a really good tactic to generate sales, but I’m going to highlight a few simple things. If you think about the biggest technology leaps in sales productivity- the phone is still probably one of the top things that happen that empower the salesperson to really not be constrained by their local reach that bating able to have global reach and call people way beyond their physical location.

So the phone has always been pretty powerful at sales. The phone still feels like a very human connection. The phone is really a powerful way to truly be able to ask questions generate insights really learn what is working what isn’t working.”

A few simple steps on how to improve your sales results using the phone. So, the first step that you have to do where you want to use the phone ignorer to generate your sales is you have to reach people. 99% of the time when a phone campaign doesn’t work is because you’re not reaching enough decision-makers.”

“Here are a few tips on how to make your reach trade better:

Step 1: Reach people.

1) Call inbound leads within  5 minutes

2) Take time zones into consideration

3) Outbound- use cold emails asking for introductions first

4) Calendar invites+ Reminders

5) Power dialers & Predictive dialers

Step 2: Sound good.

1) 5 seconds on the phone to create an image/impression

2) 70% tonality, 30% content

3) Sounds smart, enthusiastic & like an authority/expert?

4) State Control is King

Step 3: Ask questions (qualify).

1) Talk 40%; Listen 60% (Active not Passive Listening)

2) Who is your ideal customer?

3) What are red flags/key patterns?

4) Decision maker? Budget? Timing? Competition?

Step 4: Manage objections.

1) Create an FAQ Document (top 25 questions, 1 paragraph answers)

2) It’s about clarity, not content

3) Address the elephant in the room

4) Decoding customer lingo, Real vs. Fake objections.”

Let’s talk about a powerful technique that you should all be using on the phone, and this is the virtual clothing technique. What I want you to do is once you said you start the conversation away that connected and people listened to you, you were able to get a few questions in there  to engage and to qualify a buyer. What I’d like to ask you: ‘What would it take for you to become a customer of our?” That is the power question.

I might get an answer that I don’t like, but this is the answer I needed to hear, like, I’ll ask somebody “Hey, what would it take for you to cover customers?” And they go „Well, we were really interested in your solution, but we’re not going to buy anything until 2020, so we’re just interested in getting educated on what’s going on in the market but the next 10 years”. Now you know not to waste time with these people.”

“Virtual Closing Technique”.

1) Future Pacing

2) Guide me through all steps for you to become a customer

3) Red flags

4) Real vs Fake interest

5) Data to create pipeline (deal size, time-to-close, confidence %)

“I highly encourage you to have sales scripts. This is basic stuff that a lot of teams don’t like to do that and here’s what I would tell you to do: create a simple sales script, don’t overthink it. And then the real money is not in building the perfect sale script, the real money is in the constant improvement in duration on it based on your realists in the field.”

When you have a sales script you don’t have to read it word for word right it’s all about being a robot. It’s about having a guideline, having a well-designed experience on the phone for the user that takes them from “I don’t know who the hell is it” to “I wanna talk to this person or  I want tot buy the solution”. This needs to be designed intentionally and sales script can be a really powerful tool to do, so if you continuously update and improve  them.  

“I’m going to show you actually two real scripts, real quick that we used. Here’s a very first script:

Script: Outbound


Hi, my name is _____. I’m calling some startups in the area to find out if they are a good fit our beta program.

What we do in a sentence is we provide the companies with a sales learn on demand.

Does this sound interesting to you?


1) What is your sales process?

2) Who are your customers? How do you get leads?

3) What’s the customer lifetime value?

Test Closing:

1) We want to start in 4 weeks- does this work for you?

2) The beta program is heavily discounted. It’s going to be 3x/day per salesperson

3) We can only offer you one salesperson to begin with (that’s going be me)

4) What is the decision-making process in your company? How quickly can we make a decision?

>>>>Schedule Closing Call

Scrip: Inbound


Hey! My name is Steli. I saw that you just signed up for Close.io and wanted to personally reach out and say “hi”.

Is this a wrong time to chat?

I know you are just getting started with Close.io and wanted to see how you found out about us and what the reason was that you decided to sign up for the trial?

User Response (answer question/ interaction with user)

I also wanted to make sure that we are a good fit for you and that you’ll succeed with Close.io. I’m curious –


1)What are your main challenges/goals regarding sales?

2) How many people in your learn would use Close.io?

3) 5 More Questions

Closing ( if qualified)

Great. It sounds like Close.io is the perfect fit for you.

Take the next week to give it a good test run and do _____, and then let’s set a time to chat so I can hear how things are going and answer any more in-depth questions for you. Would next week same day/time work?

Set a follow-up time. Send calendar invite.”

Steli Efti shared a few amazing insights on how to close your deals! And we hope you can start applying his hints to your strategy right here and right now.


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