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How to become a consultant?

In my first job, I used to sell two or more competing products in any category [MS Office Vs Lotus Smartsuite, MS Exchange Vs Lotus Domino [notes], MS SQL Vs Oracle WG / Ent, Scala Vs Oracle Apps etc].

In such a scenario, I was more successful, when I probed deeper & then suggested a suitable solution than just quoting for the product the prospect asked for.

When I probed, I became a consultant & was treated differently. And I controlled the deal.

So, what questions should you ask:

  1. What makes you look for such a solution?
  2. Why are you having this need?
  3. What’s the problem?
  4. How are you solving it currently?
  5. Why would you go for product X?
  6. What are the other cheaper alternatives?
  7. Can you not live with the problem?
  8. What’s the cost of not solving the problem?
  9. How long do you think you can avoid solving the problem.
  10. Have you done your research on us?

And talk prospects out of the deal than into it. That way, your conversion rates will be much higher and you will be saving lot of time by qualifying the prospects. Those that qualify will have lots of respect for you and will close for sure.

Those that don’t qualify too will have respect for you and will get in touch with you in future.

Happy Selling!!

#happyselling #b2b #b2bsales #sales

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You know sort of…

“You know sort of”

A colleague was drawing lines in the scribbling pad given by the resort while the sales conference was on. He was drawing four lines and a fifth one slanting and making it a bunch of five lines so that it would be easy to count later on.

He was drawing a line whenever our chief [Managing Director & CEO at that time] said / repeated “you know sort of”.

Those are called fillers.

You can hear these fillers often, in Zoom calls & Virtual conferences these days.

My son’s online classes are such a big nuisance. There’s a girl in his class who makes it a point to say something every minute. And it is so annoying because of her fillers – “eh eh umm eh ah”.

Years ago, I gave a talk [extempore] at College on a Republic Day and I was lost in between for the right choice of words. I used gesture to fill the gap. That turned out to be a pause during a speech. The pauses are so powerful, I read later.

These fillers are,……wait……..”you know sort of” a pain.

My colleague, at the end of the conference, counted the lines and found it to be 1131 lines. That is, our CEO had used that phrase [or filler] that many times during his talk. A big round of applause, please.

Did you like reading this post? Show your love by clicking on one of the buttons that are made lovingly by LinkedIn, just for your use. That will help me share such snippets from my life more often. Even if you don’t show your love, I will still share them. Because, I love writing. 🙂

#freestylewriting #unofficial #funatwork

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How to connect with prospects on LinkedIn?

I send invites to prospects on LinkedIn to connect. Most of the time, I write a note. But I never try to sell. Do you know how will it be at the receiving end?

  1. Let’s say I received an invite from a person I don’t know. Just because I don’t know him/her, it doesn’t mean I won’t accept the invite.
  2. I do business with complete strangers but I make them my friends first.
  3. Whether I buy product/service or sell product/service, I need to build rapport first.
  4. I need to trust or become trustworthy as the case maybe.
  5. If you are not interested in investing your time and effort in building up this relationship, this will get nowhere.
  6. Do not forget to personalize the invite. Address the person by name. Understand what they are doing and talk about it. If they were in news recently, connect with it.
  7. GOLDEN RULE: Never sell anything without building rapport & trust or without getting to know the person offline.

Take a look at one of the invites I received recently. It teaches you what you shouldn’t do.

#HappyLearning

#HappySelling

#b2b #b2c #sales #marketing #prospecting

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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!!