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Builder Par Excellence!

He is a small time real estate developer in a neighborhood locality in Chennai.

He doesn’t advertise at all.

He doesn’t cut corners. Instead, he delivers a good quality.

He completes the project as promised, on time.

He lives in the same locality in his own house built by his company.

He follows the law of the land.

Here is what he does:

He converts a vacant plot as small as 2400 Sq feet into beautiful apartments. He has developed over 30 such projects of varying sizes in the neighborhood. Many of his projects are in a plot size of 9600 Sq feet.

I know of one smaller project of size 2800 Sq feet. He had built G + 2 floor where G was reserved for Car Parking and he had three units built in level 1 and 3 units in level 2. He had two units of 850 Sq feet and 1 unit of 1100 Sq feet in each floor. The flats were beautiful, compact and modern. All his apartments were made ready to live. He did all the wood work as well. His apartments were complete with cup boards, covered lofts in bedrooms & modular kitchens.

He had an agreement with the land owner. The owner gets all the four units of 850 sq feet and the builder gets to sell two 1100 sq feet in the market and make his money. Land Owner need not pay anything but gets 4 apartments of 850 Sq feet each in return for the land. Quite a deal, right?

He also agreed to pay the monthly rent for approx. 1 year [or till the time he completes the construction] to the land owner. The land owner was earlier living in the same plot in an individual house, the demolition of which was part of the contract. Hence, the builder agreed to pay the rent.

In Chennai, during that year, there were floods. The rented house was in ground floor in an individual house and it was flooded too. The owner moved out of that house and stayed with his relatives for few days. Then, he met the builder and explained his problem. The builder then arranged one of his unoccupied flats for the family to stay. They stayed there for about ten days. The water had receded by then and the land owner moved back to the rented house & stayed there till the builder handed over the apartment.

This is not how business is generally done. But this is how relationships are built. The builder could have easily said that the floods was not his doing and he could have referred the land owner to the force majeure clause of the contract. But he didn’t. He solved the problem by going the extra mile, by doing something outside the contract, by being simply human.

Now there’s some lesson for each one of us in this story.

Takeaways:

  1. Go out of your way to help customers.
  2. Respect the contract but do more than what is committed.
  3. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes & think.
  4. Timely help has more value.
  5. Always be human.

Happy Selling!!

#happyselling #b2b #b2bsales #sales

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Two University dropouts…

Two university dropouts had a dream. They dreamed of making computers that the average person could use. One of them had a family garage. Both of them started working in that garage. One of them sold his Volkswagen and the other sold his expensive Hewlett Packard Scientific calculator and raised US $ 1300.

They started their company with $ 1300. They took that money and convinced the local electronic suppliers to grant them a line of credit and started the production of their computer.

I am sure you would have guessed what happens next. They went ahead and revolutionized the hardware and software industries. They released their first computer for $ 666 and earned $ 774,000. Do the math. They sold 1162 units of their computer.

But their initial capital was only $ 1300 which is equivalent to the selling price of just two units of their computer.

2 years later, they released their next version and earned a whopping $ 140,000,000 in the next 3 years. Subsequent year they went public and on the first day of trading they reached a market cap of US $ 1.2 billion. #Unicorn

The following year, one co-founder left the company. The company went ahead and launched the next version of their computer 3 years later. The following year the other co-founder also left the company. 13 years later, he was brought back to revitalize the floundering company. Then there was no looking back for this company.

When this company became an unicorn, I was in my fourth grade at school and had never seen a computer. And the only #apple I knew then, was the delicious fruit red in colour.

When you believe in your dream and have the resolve to make it happen, (sh)it happens. When you simply don’t agree to live the life handed over to you, you go on to make the life of your dreams.

Make (sh)it happen. Now!!

The universe is with you in your dreams. And you have to work hard only till the first success. I am not saying you can get complacent after that. But I am saying that that first success will take you further and propel you into greater success because:

Nothing Succeeds like Success!

Happy Succeeding!!

#HappySelling!!

#b2b #b2c #sales #business #entrepreneurship

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Make mistakes early!

If someone had advised me to make as many mistakes as possible, at the start of my career, so that I learn from them, I would have discarded that advice then.

But now, I think that’s the advice I will give to someone who is in the early stage of his/her career or business.

Unless you make mistakes you aren’t going to learn. The best way to learn something is by doing it.

So, let’s do it!

#careeradvice #businessadvice

Happy Learning!

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TED Talks – a source of inspiration!

TED talks are a major source of inspiration. Think of your subject matter and there will be many TED talks on it. These talks are approximately 18 minutes long and are easy to grasp & have some actionable tips or lessons in them.

If you are drawn to some of these talks, then of-course, you can drill deep into the subject matter or the speaker and learn more to your heart’s content.

You can choose from a variety of topics:

  1. Technology
  2. Science
  3. Design
  4. Business
  5. Collaboration
  6. Innovation
  7. Social Change
  8. Health
  9. Nature
  10. The Environment
  11. The Future
  12. Communication
  13. Activism
  14. Child Development
  15. Personal Growth
  16. Humanity
  17. Society
  18. Identity
  19. Community

Here’s the link: https://www.ted.com/

Happy Learning!!

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Ideas are nothing, it’s the execution that matters!

That was a time, a friend of mine & I were deeply engrossed in discussions on what to start. I was running a small Professional IT Services firm & he was employed with an IT major then.

We met during the weekends and spoke about everything under the sun. We kept our eyes and ears open & saw what was happening in the market.

Once, he had just returned back home after a short trip to the US. He asked me if we should develop a taxi hailing app. That was much before “Taxi For Sure” or Ola in India or Uber in the US. I am not sure what happened next and why we didn’t jump into that at that point in time.

I have learnt one thing in life. You have to take risks. There’s no easy route to success. And it’s never late. There’s always an opportunity. Or ways to differentiate what already exists.

If you are chasing a dream of starting up on your own, I advise you to start it as a side gig and work on it passionately outside of your 9-5 job. Rajiv Srivatsa, COO of Urban Ladder, an online furniture retailer said, in Aug 2018: “In the next 20 years, the strongest brands in any category will start purely online, reach out through the power of these marketplaces, and, as they build a sustainable brand, look at other channels to expand to.”

Put on your thinking hats!

Get creative!

Build something!

HappySelling!!

#b2b #b2c #sales #entrepreneurship #business

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What makes a good story?

My wife, son & I are big fans of Mr.Harold Finch, Mr.John Reese, Ms.Root, Ms.Shaw & Mr.Fusco.

These people save people who are in danger by risking their own lives. They are selfless, true patriots, good at heart, efficient & fast. We will not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.

We finished watching the last episode of the last season of #PersonOfInterest on Prime yesterday.

That’s, only the second time so far. With Covid-19 still restricting our social lives, that’s not a surprise.

We love the series. Yet, we are unhappy with certain parts of the story. We wanted the team of protagonists to win all the time. I hope #JonathanNolan takes note of this. 🙂

Here’s the snapshot of the #Story:

Harold builds “The Machine”, an AI that gets its feed from the Gov data, public cameras et al. It watches people, sees violent acts of terror, identifies the danger to people & then segregates those numbers [social security] into relevant & irrelevant [b’cos gov considers them so], sends relevant numbers to the Gov & irrelevant numbers to Harold’s team, who then get into the act of saving them.

The storytelling in this TV series keeps you on the edge of your seat & is definitely worth emulating in our marketing stories, to capture our customers’ attention.

Dissecting it further, I think, the framework for a story is:

  1. You need a purpose. [borrowed that term from Harold].
  2. You need problems to solve.
  3. You should become God. Ok, you become a saviour of sorts.
  4. But let them be the hero of your story. Or identify themselves with the hero.
  5. Show proof, maybe case studies.
  6. Be honest. Let truth be told. Flaws can remain. We are just humans after all.

Happy Storytelling!!

#HappySelling!!

#b2b #sales #marketing #business

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Why do you find Pizza Hut next to Domino’s?

We went shopping. Our son, who is 12 years old, noticed something during the trip.

Once we got back home, he asked:

Why Domino’s & Pizza Hut are next to each other everywhere?

That’s a good observation, I told him.

This is called as #NashEquilibrium named after the mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr.

In game theory, let us say, there are two players – Alice & Bob. They choose strategies A & B respectively. Then (A, B) is a Nash Equilibrium, where the players don’t have any other better strategy other than (A,B) that maximizes their pay-off in response to the other player. [credit: Wikipedia]

NE applies to a #zero-sum game whether there are two or more players. If you add up the profits of all players & subtract their total losses then it sums up to zero.

You don’t gain by changing your strategy in response to your competitor if they also don’t change theirs. On the contrary, you stand to lose if you change your strategy. The optimum level is discovered and each party sticks to the same strategy.

This is the reason you find,

KFC next to Taco bell [& Burger King & Mc Donald’s].
Pepperfry next to Urban Ladder.
Max Fashion is followed by Reliance Trends & Pantaloons.
Petrol bunks located next to each other.
Starbucks, Costa Coffee & Barista next to Coffee day.
Restaurants are grouped together.
Jewellery shops in the same location.
Silk Saree shops all lined up together.

You may want to watch a TED-Ed video titled “Why do competitors open their stores next to one another? – Jac de Haan” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jILgxeNBK_8]

This is the reason you find Amazon’s “The Great Indian Festival” overlapping Flipkart’s “Big Billion Days”.

This is election season everywhere. Some countries have two players whereas we have multiple players, in India. 🙂

Find your Nash Equilibrium Vis-a- vis your competition!

HappySelling!!

#b2b #b2c #sales #innovation #entrepreneurship

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Perspective in Sales!

#Perspective roughly means “a feeling or opinion about something or someone” according to the dictionary. In other words, it’s a viewpoint or standpoint.

It has something to do with a person’s cultural background, age, qualification, experience etc.

Now, what is perspective in #sales?

It is the seller’s point of view.

According to a 2018 #CSO #Insights report, “The Growing Buyer-Seller Gap: Results of the 2018 Buyer Preferences Study,” the buyers are most likely to reward sellers who provide insights & perspective during the sales process.

“To do that sellers must understand the buyer’s business, demonstrate excellent communication skills and focus on post-sale success”, according to #MillerHeiman Group,

They say, “perspective is the best way for sellers to differentiate themselves from the competition. They further state that the ability to deliver informed insights separates top sales teams from the rest of the pack in today’s marketplace.”

Miller Heiman group further says, “Perspective could be data, insights or information that helps buyers see their challenges and solutions in a new light or causes them to think differently. It could be a case study or an innovative idea.”

They are of the opinion that “by providing buyers with the right combination of mindset, insight and experience, you can differentiate your sales organization from the competition and develop more meaningful relationships with customers.”

So, we get it. It is perspectives all the way. Conveying your perspective to the buyer, making the buyer to think differently, helping them solve their problems & helping them grow their businesses will see you through.

On the lighter side, here is an example of perspectives in life:

I drew this picture today [can’t believe, I did]. What are your thoughts?

You might imagine that this is a picture of a twenty something woman with big eyes, a bright smile & full of energy. That’s your perspective.

On the other hand, someone might look at it and say “this is someone with grace, kindness & full of love at an age where her warm smile beats the best make-up kit ever made.” So, that’s another perspective.

Coming back to Sales, offer the right perspectives & insights that benefit your buyers’ businesses.

Offer perspectives & insights. Win hearts!

#HappySelling

#b2b #b2bsales #innovation #problemsolving #elevatesalesprofession