Posted on Leave a comment

Which part of your Life you enjoy the most?

Let’s be honest.

What causes Stress? Or what makes you feel energized and rejuvenated? What makes you feel great? What makes you feel stronger as an Individual? In short, what gives you happiness?

For most of us, it is not the WORK that is enjoyable or one that gives happiness. Reality.

So, where’s the problem? Let’s figure out.

Our life should be our message. Our work should speak for itself. We should enjoy it. Just like how we will enjoy a holiday in Hawaii Islands.

And we should have made significant contributions to the area of work that we do and people readily identify us with that.

Is it easy to find such work? Definitely not.

It is a hell a lot of work to find something that touches our heart, soul & mind. When you find something that does, I think you should make it your life.

One can start listing down what he/she hates and gradually move to what he/she loves. This will guide us in the right path.

Sales is a tough job. No doubt. But I think the Sales Guys are a different breed altogether. They are natural problem solvers. Entrepreneurs. Social networkers. Even before the so called social networks came into the picture. They jump up and down when they get orders, howsoever high they grow in their careers. They are childlike people. Always cheerful and energetic.

Have you ever seen a kid’s face when he/she is given a chocolate sundae. Worth a billion dollars.

Treat your Sales Folks with love and respect! They deserve every bit of it. It will make them even more confident and successful.

Celebrate Work!

Happy Working!!

Posted on Leave a comment

Freedom from Fear!

If we think deeply on what’s stopping us from realizing our goals, it is nothing but FEAR.

Fear stops us from realizing our true potential.

But fear can be good as well. It can help us address problems early and solve them. Sometimes even before we encounter them. But solving problems before we encounter is being over cautious. That’s not necessary.

More than Planning and Execution, what is important is this: Persistence. That is the single most important ingredient for Success.

Persistence can be the antidote to Fear. There’s nothing that cannot be achieved with Persistence. Simply nothing.

In Sales, we have fear of rejection and that stops us from even approaching a client. The bright side is that there are a million Opportunities worth pursuing. There is someone whose needs you readily match. Find them. Get them. In the process, you will lose many opportunities, but that’s fine.

Fear need not be feared but needs to be addressed and overcome.

In Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats, there’s a RED hat that signifies feelings, hunches and intuition. It is important to address fears, likes, dislikes, loves, and hates.

Even to Lose a game, we need to first PLAY.

So let’s PLAY without FEAR.

Happy Playing!

Happy Selling!

sales@zignalytics.com

#sales #fear #persistence

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Two Peas in a Pod!

That’s exactly how you and your customer should look like.

The phrase “Two Peas in a Pod!” means “Two people who are very similar, typically in interests, dispositions, or beliefs”.

They say opposites attract each other. But that’s not true in Sales! At least.

Customers do business with people whom they like. They find excuses, reasons & justifications to do business with them. And they like those that are just like them. That’s not strange.

I have been in a number of sales situations and have studied them deeply. What I found is that Customers will go to any extent to buy from you, if and only if they like you. And the reverse is true as well.

Sales is both an Art and a Science!

When you analyze, you find that, more often than not, Customers buy from People who match their Interests and Beliefs.

Early in the process, it is very important to understand the Customer deeply and quickly align with them. Just like how a chameleon changes its colour depending on its surroundings.

Humans can be manipulated they say. But I believe that manipulating our own self is much easier. Build yourself to what the customer wants if you want to strike a deal. I am not talking about those ruthless, unethical customers. Those are exceptions.

How can you become “Two Peas in a Pod” with the customer:

  1. Find customers whose interests & beliefs you readily match. There are plenty out there.
  2. If not, match the interests of the customers you meet. It’s called aligning with the customer. Only if it makes sense, that is.
  3. Treat their problems as your own.
  4. Have the customer’s perspective.
  5. Partner with them.

Years ago, before I became an entrepreneur, I had a colleague who worked in another team in Sales. Whenever he met any prospect or an existing customer he used to smile, just like all of us do. What’s different is this: He used to repeat the last two words in every sentence that the customer spoke. He didn’t undergo any training to do this.  He was doing the same thing whenever he spoke with any of us as well. This probably helped him get Social with the customer. Worth emulating, right?

What are your thoughts on becoming instantly like-able?

Share your thoughts and comments with us.

Write to us at: sales@zignalytics.com

#sales #twopeasinapod #likeable

 

Posted on Leave a comment

What Problems do you Solve?

Whether you are an Individual or a Business, in 2 short sentences you need to communicate what you are doing & what problems you are solving.

Let’s take my case as an example before we deconstruct this.

“I sell CRM Software. I help companies get back their focus on customers, increase Sales and meet Quota.”

In Sales, we call this elevator pitch. In 60 seconds or less, you should be able to communicate effectively what you do, what problems you solve, why should somebody talk to you etc.

If it creates an interest, I think it has done its job. If you are able to get an appointment for a meeting, it means you have got your elevator pitch right.

How you do what you do comes later. Or for that matter, Why you do what you do etc.

Let us say, you are looking out for a change of job & you are in a networking event, I think it helps to have an elevator pitch ready.

Keep a small notebook and a pen ready with you always. Even when you are sleeping. You never know when great ideas will strike.

Even this post was created like that.

In case you are re-writing your LinkedIn profile, it really helps.

Things to ponder over:

  1. You need to have a clear, concise elevator pitch. Not more than 2-3 sentences.
  2. Let the first sentence have not more than 2-4 words. It should be memorable. Something like “I code” or “I create great customer experiences”.
  3. It should
    • Grab attention & retain it
    • Create interest
    • Make you stand out of the crowd
    • Help you build your brand
    • Make you become known for what you do.

It is not easy. We are attempting to pack 10 years of work experience or more in 2-3 sentences. Make sure to pack it with Power and Punch.

Happy Pitching!!

Happy Selling!!

#sales #elevatorpitch

sales@zignalytics.com

Posted on Leave a comment

Starbucks offers Crypto Coffee & a lesson in Customer Experience!

Soon customers will be able to pay for their Coffee using Bitcoin or a fraction of that, of-course. It’s official. Starbucks is teaming up with Microsoft and New York Stock Exchange to let customers pay using their bitcoins to buy the items in stores.

CNN Reported this hot news just now.

What it tells us is this: Brands like to give customers a great experience and some brands take the lead. Customer Experience is the new Currency. Not Bitcoin. Strange yet true.

CEOs, savvy ones, see the world through their customer’s eyes, says McKinsey. And they create great customer experience during the entire customer journey and not just at all touch points alone.

Today, companies are armed with data and insights from that data. Companies can change their processes to adapt to what Customers want. And they remove the pain points.

Customer Perception matters. Companies work on it to make it work for them.

Great Customer Experience means not having a single bad experience. Period.

I have always had great Customer Experience with a particular brand. Their attitude in customer service is phenomenal.

It’s a world where monopolies don’t exist anymore and customers wield a growing power in their hands.

Are you listening?

Offer Great Experience to your customers. No matter how small or big they are.

Happy Selling!!

#sales

sales@zignalytics.com

Posted on Leave a comment

Cabbage Roll, a packaged solution!

I love surprises at the Dining table. Who doesn’t? My wife treated me to something called as Cabbage Roll recently. Heard it for the first time in life.

Ingredients: Cabbage [Red or Green], Chickpeas [Channa dal], Garlic, Pepper, Tomato, Coriander leaves, Small Onions, Carrots, Walnuts, Cucumber seeds. Soak Chickpeas overnight, keep it for sprouting for over 8 hours. Take the sprouts, add Garlic and Pepper and grind it to a nice paste and keep it ready. Take a cabbage leaf, apply the chickpeas paste, stuff it with Tomato, Small Onions, Carrots. Break walnut into smaller pieces and  add it. Sprinkle Cucumber seeds and Coriander leaves and roll it. It is ready. You can add Pepper [crushed] if you wish, for taste.

No one likes to eat cabbage raw. [Though it is high in Anti-Oxidants and fights Free Radicals] Or for that matter raw chickpeas. When you package it nicely, it sells. Ah, it “sells”. Something that sells catches my attention. My mind starts working to understand what makes it tick. I explore its DNA then. So that I can clone it.

Here is the inference from this experience: If you package your solution well, it sells. If it is given in a form that is consumable [or bite size as they are called], it will be consumed. I can see lot of ideas mushrooming in your mind right now.

In my first job, during a road show for Desk Top Publishing [DTP] Solution at Cochin [in Kerala, India], I remember a customer walking in and asking for the solution. What’s strange in that, you may ask. But here’s what he asked, in Malayalam: “Kuppy evade?” In English: “Where’s the bottle?”. He is a hard core Printer and he was expecting the Solution in a bottle. 🙂

Happy Packaging!

Happy Selling!

Posted on Leave a comment

Einstein asked for a bigger Dustbin!

That was a time when he was deported out of Germany and got asylum in the US.

He was taken to a new research centre allocated to him in Princeton.

They asked him if he liked the research centre. Is there any facility that is missing, they asked. He told them that the dust bin kept there is too small and he needs a bigger one.

Why, they asked.

“I am not an expert to do all the research 100% right, the first time itself. I will make mistakes. Hence, the need for a bigger bin.”, he told them.

Making mistakes is the first step to success.

But psychologically, that puts lot of pressure on us and we tend not to do anything so that we can avoid making mistakes. How smart, right? No.

Every single thing we do in day to day life goes through a learning process. We don’t know how to flash a smart card in the local metro, the first time we travel. But eventually, we get it right.

Life does not come with user manual. We learn by trial and error.

Fortunately, when it comes to Business or Sales, there are some specific methodologies, tried and tested ones. But that does not guarantee success.

Making mistakes is common. What is uncommon is taking up a work knowing fully well that we will make mistakes initially. And persevering until getting it right.

Having the determination to get it right, come what may, will lead us to Success.

Happy Succeeding!

Posted on Leave a comment

“Pogo TV is visible even when the TV is off” says my friend!

May be because his kids are watching it all the time, it got etched on to the screen. Though my friend joked, it can be true as well. I have seen this happening in Windows desktop computers.

Even when the system is shut down and the monitor is off, you can see a dim windows screen. Really. No jokes.

It got burnt on the screen since it has been used all the time.

Now, how is this relevant to Sales?

We will come to that in a bit.

People ask – What do you want to be remembered for in life? It is applicable in Sales. We should work on this and get the message across. It should be crystal clear. This is part of the brand building exercise.

And then you have to become ubiquitous as well. Ubiquitous means something that is found everywhere. You cannot help but stamp on a Software Engineer’s foot if you go to a Mall in Bangalore. 🙂 They are found everywhere. Likewise, you and your brand should be found everywhere. Wherever the customer looks for what you sell – online, offline, sideline etc, you should be found.

In Sales, we take pains to understand customer requirements, problem statements, map customer organization, work on a great solution, offer right prices, beat competition but fail to ensure our presence at the place of action. We don’t show up as often as we should. We need to create some excuses to visit. We should get creative on this. They need to see us more often.

Now that brings us to the point I am trying to communicate with “Pogo TV”.

Is your face etched on the customers’ mind? It has to be. She needs to remember your face when she thinks of you. And she needs to think of you when she thinks of what you are selling. Make that connection. It should be effortless for her.

It is now time to show your face to your clients.

Happy Showing up!

Happy Selling!!

 

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Are you in the top of the mind recall?

What comes to your mind when you think of a particular category of Product or Service? That is called as the top of the mind recall. Brands slog it out in the market to achieve this. 50% of the sale is done already. The consumer has already made up her mind. To go with Amazon or Flipkart, for ex. And she is just searching for data to substantiate her thoughts.

We do this all the time. We prefer this to that. We have preset ideas & notions. Rarely we change them. I am not saying we are wrong. We are absolutely right in doing this. This is done based on our past experience with that brand. If it was good, our brain picks that data.

This is not just for the consumer brands. It holds good for anything. Whatever you are selling, it applies to that as well.

In my business, the customer values my expertise and consults me for advise. All knowledge based businesses – be it IT, Medical, Legal or Taxation & Audit, the customer trusts someone. That trust is built over time. Based on experiences gained with that brand.

Couple of things you can do to build your brand and make it top of the mind recall:

  1. Offer a free speech – on your area of expertise.
  2. Speak regularly in your Industry / Associations / Trade Circles etc.
  3. Write eBooks and offer them for free to clients.
  4. Organize regular meet ups on Saturdays at a local club and brand it with a name.
  5. Take up some social cause and solve it.

I know someone who is a Marketing legend and a very popular Author. He takes the pain to reply to each and every single comment he receives for his posts on his Website, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. That is rare. You don’t find such people. To me, he is top of the mind recall. So, what are you doing differently that makes you a rare breed and top of the mind recall?

Happy Branding!!

Happy Selling!!

#branding #topofthemindrecall

Posted on Leave a comment

What helped me win deals & what didn’t?

It has been a roller coaster ride for me in the school of entrepreneurship. Once you become an entrepreneur, nobody tells you what to do and what not to do. You are the boss. And the buck stops at your table.

Well, choosing to have a mentor is definitely a good option. Even if you don’t have mentors, you should have some friends as your sounding board.

When I dissect my years of Sales experience, I can confidently say what helped me win deals and what didn’t.

What helped me win deals?

  1. My expertise.
  2. Becoming well known for my expertise.
  3. Meeting the decision maker face to face.
  4. Having tons of credibility.
  5. Being friendly yet professional.
  6. Slogging to gain the “trusted adviser” position.
  7. Selling myself in the first place and not the product or service.
  8. Providing value.
  9. Not selling on price.
  10. Valuing the relationship more than the deal.

What didn’t help me?

  1. The opposites of the above list – Quoting low price, not providing enough value, focusing on the deal & not on building the relationship etc.
  2. When I didn’t have any energy.
  3. Not understanding customer requirements.
  4. Not validating the prospects.
  5. Rushing the sales process and getting to the proposal stage too fast.

And tons of learning in the process. Still learning.

What were your learning? Have you ever thought about your peak performance and what went in to get that result. There lies the secret.

Step no. 1: Dissect your past peak performance.

Step no. 2: Repeat it.

Step no. 3: Fine tune it.

Step no. 4: Go to step no. 1.

Happy Learning!

Happy Selling!!