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How I landed my first job…

That was 1992. Landed up in Chennai after my Engg graduation.

Took up a Scholarship exam conducted by NIIT. Those days, if you were not studying at NIIT, you were missing something.

Got 50% scholarship for 1 year course.

Paying them back with this post now. 🙂

NIIT didn’t sell software courses then. They sold dreams. You visualized your future.

Little did I know then that I was going to land my first job through them.

Also, underwent a course in Sales at NIS, National Institute of Sales, a div of NIIT then.

Loved my Sales course more. We had role plays & our tutor at times even recorded the call & played it back. Life rolled by.

One day, saw an Ad in the NIIT notice board for Mktg Exec at Sonata. My classes were between 7-9 pm & the student service center was always closed by then.

Went before 5 pm one day. Met them. They said it’s closed. First rejection.

Told them my name & that I’m doing a course at NIS as well. That’s it.

I went to my classes.

Later, after few days, they located me.

I got my first job.

Enjoyed my work so well that I could write a story now for every deal I closed, even after so many years.

Learning:

1. Branding can take you places.

2. Love your job / choose one that you love.

3. Strike while the iron is hot!

4. Marketing is nothing but weaving stories.

5. Product is a given. It’s marketing that makes all the difference.

#HappySelling

#work #job #b2b #career #dreams

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LinkedIn Tip: How to network!

If you want to connect with someone you don’t know, here is a tip:

First follow them. They will get a notification that you followed them. They will look at your profile and if they are interested, they will follow you back.

If they follow you back, you know they are interested.

Now, you can send them an invite to connect.

They will not say “I don’t know”, instead they’ll accept your invitation to connect.

I used to see a veteran walking his dog every morning in our neighborhood. First, I saw him. He saw me. Then I smiled at him. He smiled back. This happened for several days. Then we started saying “Hello, Good Morning”.

We then became friends and spoke to each other. He eventually became someone whom I trusted and consulted for advice. He treated me like his son. I treated him like my dad.

He and his wife even visited our home and invited us for their younger son’s wedding.

Learning:

  1. It is possible to get to know & network with anyone. Did I say anyone?
  2. You can sell to complete strangers [who else will you sell to], but make them your friends first.
  3. Sale happens when there is an exchange of value & reward. Prior to that become likeable.
  4. People buy from people. They know. And like.
  5. Whatever we did offline to crack into an Account applies on LinkedIn as well.

Happy Selling!!

#b2b #changethegame #sales #marketing #likeable #network #linkedin #tip

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Personal Branding!

#JeffBezos says: “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

Whether you are an individual / a business, branding is important.

Some pointers to get you thinking:

1. How do you want to be perceived?

2. What should people remember when they think of you?

3. What do you stand for?

4. Do you make others successful?

5. Do you make lives simple, easy & interesting?

6. What should one expect when they deal with you?

7. How do you make people feel when they interact / do business with you?

8. Do you inspire confidence in others?

9. Do you keep up your words?

10. Do you have a purpose or do you solve a problem?

I’ve had many bosses but I want to talk about just two of them now. One was mellifluous, made great presentations in sales conferences. I like him.

The other wasn’t that stylish / sophisticated. But, nevertheless, he made everyone laugh during his presentations.

The second boss treated everyone well. He mingled with everyone. Spent time with all of us after office. I love him.

See the difference.

How you make people feel seems to be very important.

If you like this post, please click like or clap so that I am encouraged to share more such stories with you. Also, I will know that I am adding value here on #LinkedIn with my #stories.

#HappySelling

#branding #personalbranding #sales #identity #marketing

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War for Talent!!

That was an Oil & Gas Engg Co., They called their employees & their families for a get together.

What’s special about it, you ask. Hang on. I’ll answer that.

Companies are now doing such events to build a strong sense of belonging & culture.

You will find fun events for everyone in the family. Drinks & Great Food will be on the house. Goodies bag at the end of the event.

Here’s where this company differed.

All those mentioned above were part of the event. Plus a talk by the CEO.

He said many families did not know what work they were doing & hence felt a need to talk about it. He spoke in a language that they understood.

There was a short film featuring the CEO, taken at his home, played during his talk, peppered in between. It showed him as a down to earth person [which he is] & as much human as everyone else in the room.

Hats off to the CEO. I am sure he’ll take the Co., to great heights.

Takeaways:

1. It is not just sufficient if your employees share your vision. Even their families have to.

2. Sense of belonging & culture is important.

3. Build a community around your brand.

4. Your Sales people are NOT the only ones who sell. All your employees & their families also do.

5. In the ecosystem of Customers, Partners & Employees, it is your employees who come first. They’re the ones who are going to serve your customers & partners.

6. War for talent is real. Companies that genuinely take care of its people are the ones that will win now.

7. Take care of your employees else someone else will.

Happy Caring!!

Happy Selling!!

#employees #communitybuilding #caring #branding #sales #marketing #warfortalent #community

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Add Value, not Tax!

Once, I was pretty late into an Account. The deal was almost signed when I entered.

Can’t change it.

But I did the unusual.

I didn’t walk away.

Instead, kept in touch. Shared some interesting anecdotes from other customers.

Over time, I became the most trusted advisor.

The customer wouldn’t buy anything without consulting me.

He called me one day & reminded me about what I had told him months before about how a particular solution can save them money & time. I had almost forgotten about it.

The rest is history.

I closed that deal.

I even sat in discussion with their ISP, negotiated a good deal for them.

Implemented the solution. Customer realized ROI in no time.

It was a feather in the cap for him internally.

My learning:

1. Never underestimate the potential of any customer.

2. Just because you lost a deal, it doesn’t mean you will not win any future deals.

3. You can’t win without playing the game.

4. If you add value, you will win.

5. Show up everyday, deal or no deal.

6. Keep rocking, be energetic, smile always. They will like you if you do.

#HappySelling

#b2b #changethegame #scienceofsales #prospecting #sales #underdog #marketing #ABM #rapport

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Rediscovering the “Art” of Prospecting!

John Barrows & M. Jeffrey Hoffman conducted the webinar “John Barrows Goes Back to School: Rediscovering the “Art” of #Prospecting” yesterday or today [depending on where you live :)].

I enjoyed it thoroughly. What an energy & insight. Learnt about “Why you? Why you now?” technique to turn cold calls and cold emails to hot ones. How to get them to call you back?

It is important to connect with the C level but start from bottom. Bottom-up approach. That Fedex story is going to stay with me forever.

My takeaways:

1. Fake it to yourself until you actually make it.

2. Connecting with the non-buyer first to learn something that you can use when you have the live conversation with the buyer.

3. Prefer live conversations with a non-buyer over email interaction with a buyer. [more relevant now, when all of us are getting thousands of emails]

4. Look for triggers while prospecting.

5. Energy and enthusiasm are important in Sales.

6. Keep yourself busy always.

7. Do not jump on the inbound leads at once. Give it some time before you do that.

8. Do not use all that you have learnt in an MBA when you interact with the C Level.

9. Have the maturity to walk out of a deal early if there is no fit.

10. During discovery & prospecting call, disqualify more than you qualify.

#Happyselling #b2b #sales #salesprocess #changethegame

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Startups know how to use time wisely!

3:55 pm is your appointment. Be specific. Ms.Jules has another meeting at 4 pm.

That was a scene from the movie “The Intern”.

The movie captures the #startup scene quite well.

Among all that,

  1. The #speed with which the entire team operates,
  2. The founder getting into customer service calls,
  3. The founder taking special efforts to ensure that a customer, a would-be bride, receives her dress on time in an impeccable manner,
  4. The founder visiting the warehouse and teaching the staff how to pack the stuff after ordering an item from the company herself &
  5. Congratulating someone in the team by ringing a bell when he/she achieves some milestone

are some of the great moments to learn from.

A lesson in #customerexperience #timemanagement

And if there is one difference between startups and big businesses, then this is that: Startups know how to use their time effectively and they don’t do long meetings. Decisions are taken on the fly. People are empowered to take decisions.

In contrast, when we want to reach someone in big businesses, you always hear that they are in a meeting.

Let us pledge to use #time effectively.

Happy Selling!!

#happyselling #b2b #changethegame #sales #marketing #customerservice

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Heard of these cutting-edge tech startups?

They are all #hiring.

  1. Algolia – https://www.algolia.com/ – Search as a Service
  2. ASAPP – https://www.asapp.com/ – Create better customer experiences
  3. BigID – https://bigid.com/ – Data Discovery, Privacy & Protection
  4. Dialpad – https://www.dialpad.com/ – Business VoIP
  5. Frame.io – https://frame.io/ – Video Collaboration Platform
  6. Gong – https://www.gong.io/ – Revenue Intelligence for Teams
  7. Loom – https://www.loom.com/ – Video Messaging for Work
  8. Sendbird – https://sendbird.com/ – Chat Platform
  9. Tray.io – https://tray.io/ – General Automation Platform for Business
  10. Webflow – https://webflow.com/ – Responsive Web Design Tool, CMS

Try to use these tools for improving your marketing & sales effectiveness and also improving your customer experiences.

You can also use this list as Sales leads.

#sales #marketing #customerexperience

Happy Selling!!

#customerexperience #CustomerExperiencetools #Cuttingedgetech #Marketingtools #Salestools #Startups #happyselling #b2b #changethegame #b2bsales #newtech #fundedcompanies #hiring #jobs #cx #marketingautomation #saleseffectiveness #gong #bigid #datadiscovery #leadgen #leadgeneration

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Stay Safe! Happy Working from home!!

I was living in Singapore then. Until I got a job in Singapore & went to work there, I had only seen Singapore in movies & it is needless to say that I was fascinated. From Chennai, I took the noon Air India flight, landed in Singapore after 3.5 hours & it was already 6 pm local time.

There was a pick up. The person who picked me up was doing the driver’s job as a part time one & he was working full time with the Singapore Radio. He was a Tamil, spoke to me like a long lost friend & dropped me in the guest house.

From then on my daily commute was in the MRT to office & back. Found my own PG acco later. The entire city was beautiful & I loved every single day.

I found a Punjabi Restaurant in City Hall & loved Singh’s Aloo Paratha meal for Lunch. I would be doing injustice if I don’t talk about my experience at Hotel Annalakshmi. My boss, Bala, took me there first & I instantly fell in love with the food & experience. Definitely not because of their policy that states “Eat what you want, Pay what you like”. Definitely not. I am not that kind of a guy. I just love good food & ambience.

In the work front, I had never seen such speed & agility. Buying decisions were rapid & coming from a laid back, slow & long sales cycle market, this was a different world altogether for me. I scaled up very quickly.

All this lasted for a while. Then came a shock. It was SARS. Many Indians went back home then. But I didn’t. I stayed back. Singapore Government did their best to contain it. All the elevator railings, lift buttons were cleaned every minute & the admin staff of MRT did their best. Health care people, I read then, were doing a phenomenal job. Unfortunately, many of them laid down their lives in line of service. Dedication. Salute them all.

Such a wonderful place. Suddenly there were many deaths. It was contained soon & things bounced back so quickly.

I am seeing a similar situation now. It has brought all of us together because we have a common enemy. Love & respect for fellow human beings have increased & is at its peak. Did you ever think this could happen?

Stay Safe. Follow advises strictly.
But don’t stop dreaming or creating or taking action or marketing or selling.

Things are going to be fine very soon. Much faster than you think it’s going to take. Will you be ready to quickly bounce back, then?

Happy Working!! [From Home]