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#tech in #sales

Young couple. Jus’ married. That was their first movie together [b’cos it was an arranged marriage]. They went to the theater early, to beat the crowd. Stood in the queue & asked for corner seats when they reached the counter.

Not anymore. You can book seats of your liking online. Thanks to #technology.

You make your own pizza online & get it delivered in flat 30 minutes. You use their kitchen as if it is your own.

You assemble your own computer online. Dell revolutionized this concept long long ago. #directmarketing

In future, you will make your own coffee in your coffeemaker @ your home. You are already doing that. Aren’t you? What’s the difference, you ask. I hear that.

You will start brewing your coffee @ your home just before you leave from office. It will be ready when you get home. Just the way you like it.

And the AI in your car will look at the traffic & suggest you the best route to take to get home faster, easier, in style & with comfort.

#Sales has changed as well. We have bots answering our customers & taking care of them. Whether they like it or not, we don’t care. Jus’ kidding.

We now know when our #customers are opening our #proposals, how long they looked at it, whom did they forward it to, their email ids, what will be our revenue next Qtr, what our competitors are up to, who our customers are talking to, what’s the latest news about our customers, who in my target segment are ready to buy / looking for products that I sell, what our customers are talking about, what our customers are saying about us etc. We know much.

But as long as emotions & feelings are there with humans, sales cannot be on autopilot. Beyond a point, that is. You still need to sell. At every touch point.

I receive many automated emails. The senders don’t do any homework on me. Why should I then bother to reply?

Your customers have a need to feel special. And they are special, aren’t they?

We can / should use #tools & #tech [b’cos this is 2020] but it is our #humantouch that will make all the difference.

#standoutfromthecrowd

#HappySelling!!

#b2b #b2c #business #entrepreneurship #innovation

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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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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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Become a Leader!

What are the sure shot ways to get known as a #leader in your #career?

It’s nothing less than what we guys in #Sales do, to get the clients attention. Some interesting #analogies here. #Lessons from Sales.

  1. #Volunteer: I know you have a #KRA to achieve. But what will show you as a leader is the amount of contribution you do towards organization’s goals even if it is not directly linked to your KRA.
    • In Sales: At times, we do some good things for the clients that may not be related to what we sell. Call it genuine interest in helping clients.
  2. Publish Papers: Write Industry #BestPractices, #ApproachPapers, how you solved a particular nagging problem with your creativity, you get the idea.
    • In Sales: We write White Papers that are completely unbiased & may not narrow down to what we sell. This improves our credibility.
  3. Do what others don’t do: Stop cribbing, stop talking bad about anyone, stick to your goals, keep up your deadlines, have no excuses.
    • In Sales: We don’t do anti-marketing. We have conviction in what we sell. We solve problems. We deliver. On time. We keep up our words.
  4. Connect with your peers across the globe & learn from them.
    • Sales: We learn from our competition & from our clients.
  5. Work with others. Don’t go solo.
    • Sales: It takes the whole company to sell.

#HappySelling!!

#HappyLeading!!

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Developing a customer’s mind-set!

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

I started my career selling Publishing Software & High Resolution Laser Printers before moving into Enterprise Software.

Working with Printers & Publishers & also coming from a Mech Engg background, I quickly developed an eye for precision in printing.

The first line in this post is a Pangram – a sentence that contains all of the letters of the English alphabet [not Google’s parent company]. 🙂

This is to check the typeface or fonts. Initially, I used to wonder what the meaning of this sentence is.

My clients looked at the samples I gave them, with lenses kept close to their eyes.

I gave them both image & text samples.

I met clients in their shop floor where printing was on. I have seen the printing units of many newspapers / magazines / security printers / big printers / small printing shops.

At one point, I started thinking like the way they think. Call it “mirroring customer’s mind-set”.

From then on, I was forever on the “Problem solving mode”.

Some lessons learnt:

  1. Understanding market needs
  2. What’s your expertise?
  3. What’s the [one] problem that you are solving?
  4. Who is your customer?
  5. Who are his current vendors?
  6. Why should they buy from you?

I strike the best conversation with customers when they are at work but are little relaxed & are in a vacation mode.

These festive times are one such time if your clients are from the manufacturing sector.

I met a Senior editor at a magazine at a time when he was just then blessed with a baby girl. He gave me a box of sweets. That was my first meeting with him. I came back to office & shared the sweets with my colleagues.

#HappySelling!!

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What’s your Social Selling Index [SSI]?

Before I get to that, in today’s world, you exist only if you are in #Instagram, #LinkedIn, #Facebook etc. Right / Wrong?

Couple of things to do:

  1. Post regularly on your subject matter.
  2. Share other people’s insightful posts. [like this one :)]
  3. Like & Share valuable comments on other’s posts. [I encourage you to start with my post :)]
  4. Be resourceful.
  5. Have a social media playbook.
  6. Have social media goals.
  7. Create a content calendar.
  8. Be creative.
  9. Be helpful.
  10. Stay on course.

LinkedIn Social Selling Index is a measure of how effective you are in:

a) establishing your personal brand

b) finding the right people

c) engaging with insights

d) building relationships

B2B buyers like to deal with Sales professionals who have been referred by someone they know or trust. So, it is important to connect with people in your industry and build trust and confidence. They may be referring you to someone they know who might fit your buyer persona.

Here’s my SSI in this pdf. I dropped from a score of 78 to 72 now. This is computed daily.

You can find yours here: https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi

HappySocialSelling!!

HappySelling!!

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What makes a good speech?

My son came up to me & asked me what makes a good speech. He had just finished his elocution @ school.

My thoughts went back to my college days.

That was an Independence Day in India but we had some special classes. Our class was the only one that was present that day in college. Our Principal asked us to join the Flag Hoisting. We did. He gave a speech & asked one student & one staff member to also speak. None came forward.

Yes, you guessed it right. It was ‘yours truly’ who had the courage to go on stage, extempore. I spoke something relevant. Then I got stuck somewhere. Then somehow managed & concluded it. Later my friend told me that our I year English teacher liked it very much [since she had clapped vigorously after my talk].

In the later years, I learnt about “pauses” during speech to drive home the point. It was supposed to be effective, I learnt.

In our Sales presentations, it is extremely difficult to keep the audience interested till the end.

I learnt to:

  1. Be objective.
  2. Keep it short & to the point.
  3. Stay on course.
  4. Narrate stories.
  5. Use humour.
  6. Engage audience. Connect with them.
  7. Be human. Some errors are fine. In fact, they are actually needed.
  8. Deliver tons of value.
  9. Give a reward to the audience at the end, for listening.
  10. Ask for feedback.

I did a presentation to GM Finance of a manufacturing company on data warehousing solutions long ago. I spoke the Finance language. End of Period reporting. Shortfalls. Budgets. Year-to-date. Month-to-date. Drill down. Roll up. Collate reports from various divisions. What the top management wants to see. Dashboard. KPIs. Etc etc.

He was mighty impressed. He asked me if I had a finance background. I told him, I didn’t. He was surprised.

Speak their language. Win their hearts.

HappySelling!!

salespresentations #storytelling #publicspeaking

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How to Master The Art of Video Prospecting!!

Some of you had expressed interest earlier in learning more about using #Videos in #Sales.

I just attended a Live Masterclass titled “How To Master The Art Of Video #Prospecting” by Morgan J Ingram.

He is the man to go to for Videos. I believe he has so far made over 10k videos. Follow him, ask him, take his classes, do whatever. He is too good. I highly recommend him.

Interviews with Reva Pellerin (she/her) & Ellie Twigger added value.

Videos are going to take a big chunk of your interactions with customers, going forward.

If you can’t be there in person, then videos are the next best thing.

What’s more? Videos can be saved & played over & over again.

If you are like me, looking at starting off with videos, now’s the time to do that.

1. Duration of 90 seconds or thereabouts should be fine.
2. Smile.
3. Be Happy. We can see that in your video & no one wants to see a sad face ever.
4. Ensure good lighting.
5. Look at the camera. [Not at yourself. Don’t care about your shirt etc. I didn’t mean you can wear a crumpled shirt. You get it!]
6. Just be human.
7. Just one idea per #video.

When the replay of the webinar becomes available, I will share it with you all here.

Stay tuned. [for the tips & tricks as I go along].

#HappyCreating!!
#HappySelling!!

#videoprospecting