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Is there one way to do sales? Should you model your sales abilities against another person? What if you do not share their personality? In this episode, Steli and Hiten discuss whether sales is natural or learned. Listen in as they share their own experiences in sales and what defines a successful salesperson. Hiten and Steli also give their take on whether or not you can be the best salesperson in the world.

Time Stamped Show Notes:


00:05 – Today’s episode is about sales – is it natural or learned?

00:48 – People have a false impression that they have to be like Steli to be good at sales

01:20 – Based on Hiten’s experience, sales is a learned skill because it is just about communication

02:16 – There is no natural sales persona someone has to have in order to be good at sales

02:31 – Steli says sales can be learned, but there may be natural traits that people have that can help them

02:58 – Even introverts can learn the basics to communicate well and be effective in selling

03:38 – You do not have to perform better than other salespeople, you just have to do good for your own purposes

04:53 – Being loud or communicative also has it risks in terms of sales


05:11 – They can be overwhelming to people and not know when to listen


05:38 – Introverts also have positive traits they can bring into sales such as listening well

07:07 – Hiten learned about sales when he had to raise money for the first time and failed

08:38 – In Hiten’s consulting business, it was his co-founder, Neil, who was doing the sales

08:55 – Hiten realized sales is about compelling someone to believe in you

09:14 – Hiten had to raise money again from investors for Kissmetrics and was successful

10:21 – Hiten learned a lot about sales from Ben, who was the first VP of Sales for Kissmetrics

11:03 – Hiten realized that sales is present in all interactions and it is about the communication, exchange, and also providing value to people

11:34 – The best sale is when you are able to build a relationship with another person

13:06 – Steli ran a sales process on a vendor

14:00 – Steli says sales is result driven communication

15:22 – People are always selling, you just need to get better at it

16:24 – Shortcuts are a waste of human potential and energy and this is the same in sales

17:33 – Steli says people have the misconception that they have to be like him to be good in sales

18:13 – Steli shares how his friend, Patrick, is his opposite when it comes to personality

19:21 – Patrick was in a meeting with a company founder that he wanted as a customer for his startup


20:03 – Patrick asked the founder if he knew Steli; he also told him Steli would not allow him to walk away without asking the founder if he could be their customer

20:49 – The founder agreed to be his customer

21:07 – It was not easy for Patrick’s personality to do the sale, but he was able to close it


21:33 – Steli says you may not become the best person at sales, but that you can always get better at it and be effective in sales

22:08 – Hiten offers an alternative belief—“I do not believe that everyone cannot be the best salesperson in the world”


22:32 – As long as you’re getting results, you ARE the best


23:04 – End of today’s episode


3 Key Points:


Being good at sales is a learned skill.

Sales is result driven communication.

You do not have to fit a certain personality type to be great in sales; just know that you can always work to improve yourself in this area.


Steli Efti:


Hey everyone, this is Steli Efti.


Hiten Shah:


And this is Hiten Shah.


Steli Efti:


And in today's episode of The Start-up Chat, we're gonna talk about sales.

Key points in this episode

Key Highlights

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