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How to be likable in Sales?

I like you. Those are the 3 words each one of us like to hear often.

Do you want to be successful in Life & Career? Do you want to know the science of people? Do you want to know what motivates them? Read on.

During my school days, I did not play any sport. But in the fag end of my school days, the last two years, I played Hockey & I loved it. During my college days, I played football. Loved that even more.

I had spoken in Prayer assemblies in School, acted in dramas & have spoken even extempo during college. But I was an introvert. May be, you can say fearless introvert. If there isn’t any personality type like that, let’s create one.

I chose Sales as a career because I liked it & I had dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.

I faced rejections in Sales. But I didn’t fear rejections.

I never had any fear of rejection. In Sales, what we get everyday is nothing but rejection. Yes or No?

Getting rejected is better than not participating in the game. Losing is the first step to winning. So, I lost often. But learnt in the bargain.

They say it takes 5 emails to make someone take note of you. Likewise, during those initial days of my sales career I used to think that I need to show up often in front of customers. I used to create excuses to meet. I used to do some homework before my meeting on what to say when I meet them. To be specific, I used to think, what interesting things to say during the meeting.

If I had had the training that I am receiving now, at the start of my career, I would have crushed it then.

Let me explain. I learnt quite a few things on “how to be likable” in a training by Vanessa Van Edwards.

The crux of what she said is this: If you are genuinely interested in people, they will like you back.

She said: There are 5 phrases that you can use in your everyday conversations to make people like you.

The 5th one was this: Last time we met you spoke about…..
Say for ex, you say: “Last time we met you were saying that your husband was not feeling well. How is he doing now?”

Here is the link, in case you want to know the first 4 phrases / are interested in a free training by Vanessa. I promise, you will love it. https://www.scienceofpeople.com/

My Take Away:

  1. Keep your conversations with clients interesting & great.
  2. Look for the best in people.
  3. Stay attentive & remember all the little things.
  4. Think about your clients all the time. And tell them that.
  5. Find new ideas to be interesting.
  6. Change your expectations to change your outcome.
  7. Our beliefs dictate everything we achieve.
  8. Likability creates a positive feedback loop.
  9. Be Generous when you praise.
  10. Work on liking and getting to know people.

Like & Be likable.
Happy Selling!!

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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]

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Do you want to look good or stay healthy?

They are mutually exclusive, it might seem. Let me explain why and how they are not.

But before that, let us get some facts straight. Looking good is so powerful, the “in” thing to do, to go for. I get that. Not to mention the opinions people might have about you by just looking at your looks.

When “looking good” is approached separately, it may or may not be healthy. Sometimes, you may even be pursuing something very unhealthy. If you know the science behind the fairness creams, for ex, you will know this and you will readily agree with me.

But not when looking good is approached together with staying healthy. When “staying healthy” is the goal, “looking good” happens anyway. It’s a by product. You cannot help it. Even if you don’t like it, it will happen. So, it makes sense to go for good health.

This is a Perfect Analogy for “Getting Business” and “Building Relationship”. Now, if you find & replace “looking good” and “staying healthy” with these two words, it makes perfect sense. Yes or no?

So, there you get it. You go for “building relationship” and the other naturally happens. It has to.

In the initial days of my Software Sales Career, when I was wandering the Tier 2 towns and cities in the State of Tamilnadu, India, frantically searching for customers, I found one automobile dealership that had all the required DNA to become our software reseller in that region. We eventually appointed them as our Partner for the region.

The owner had done his Engineering from IIT & PG in Management from abroad. I bet, you cannot say that when you first look at him. He had that ruffian looks. But after he starts speaking, you may have to change your opinion about him. He inspires confidence, commands respect. When you are with him, you get a feeling that you can achieve anything. Yes, any dam’n thing. What a man, he is. I am yet to see anyone who is like him. My salutes and respects to him. He continues to inspire me till date.

Take Away: Focus on building the relationship. May your interactions with your clients inspire confidence in them & command respect from them. You will get a call from them when they need your services.

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Sales professionals are positive thinkers!

I am passionate about Sales. I truly believe that Sales is one profession that is unlike any other. No business can survive if Sales does not perform and perform well. Come to think of it, all the sales folks across industry verticals share some common traits. They are all performers. They all think they are born to win, lead, educate, help, bring about a smile, change the way anything is done, change the world. They all generally treat people very well. They trust others. If you look closely at Sales people, they will not discourage other sales people. I answer my phone with courtesy and talk with enthusiasm to the caller and answer her questions in the most polite manner even when I know that I have no use for what she is trying to sell – be it a personal loan or a credit card or a car loan. It is a frame of mind. Positive one at that. If you are a true sales professional you will get what I am saying. That positive frame of mind is what makes us different. That’s what makes us go out in the market, do prospecting, meet clients, build relationships, build trust and finally truly help customers achieve what they want to. No pitching. No “Sales”. No hype. No “Marketing”. What I am good at is what I will do. And leave the rest to the professionals who are experts in the respective areas.

Now you know why I love Sales.

Let me tell you a story. Week after week I was projecting a very big number from one particular account in my reports. My manager asked me not to project it. But I continued projecting it. That was a time I wouldn’t listen to anyone. And speed did matter to me as well. Usain Bolt wasn’t known then, else I would have considered him my role model. In this particular account, things were moving at the speed of a tortoise. But I wasn’t ready to give up. We had a meeting with our Principals [whose products we were selling] and I continued my projections even in that meeting without naming the account since there were other competitors. So much so that the Country Manager asked for a meeting with me and my colleagues after that session. Obviously, when the number I quoted was far higher than the sum of all the other numbers quoted by all of them [present there] put together. I was confident. I was asked what was my plan, how will I make it happen, how did I break up the numbers and what are the billables. I answered them all. Our Principals promised to work with us in that account. Eventually we won that order. It was huge. One of a kind. Record breaking during those days.

The message I am carrying with me all these years is this: I am a successful sales person who strongly believes in helping customers. There is no other sure shot smart way, I can think of.

Hope I pumped up your energy levels. You have it in you. Don’t forget your past successes. There lies the recipe for your success. Feel the raw energy in your veins. I listen to peppy music. I keep a hand grip on my table and keep pressing it from time to time. More importantly I keep a list of accounts on my table that I have won so far in my career starting from my first job. That inspires me a lot than anything else. Try it out for yourself and let me know.

Happy Selling!!

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Big Potatoes rise to the Top on a rough road!

American football player Knute Rockne said this: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

When floods or Tsunamis cause a havoc, we have seen people rising to the occasion and providing help. What about the people who are affected? What do we learn from them? We will get to that in a bit.

Robert H. Schuller explains a true story from a village called Idaho in his book “Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do!”

Story now: Idaho has potato farmers. As you may know, potatoes are priced according to their sizes. The big potatoes are priced high, then the medium ones & the smaller ones are priced low. They are first sorted, bagged and only then loaded on to trucks.

Farmers spent a lot of time and effort in grading the potatoes those days. But not one farmer.

People asked him how does he manage it. He said he took the roughest road to the town. And naturally, the big potatoes rise to the top, medium potatoes land in the middle & the small ones fall to the bottom.

Schuller says this is not only true to potatoes but a law of life. If you are tough, you will rise to the top.

The rough road has to end at some point. And it will.

Coming back to the lessons from a natural disaster, people get really tough. They are forced to become tough to sail through. Their mindset is tough. How shall I explain? They think they can achieve anything. Nothing is an obstacle for them. And their bodies naturally adapt.

Sales is tough. Get tough to sail through.

Some ideas to get tough, from Robert Schuller:

  1. Dare to dream.
  2. Commit yourself to it.
  3. Dare to try and to take risk.
  4. Failure is an event and not a person.
  5. Never quit. Never ever.
  6. Hold on for a little more time.
  7. Inspire others.
  8. Beginning is half done.
  9. Pay the price. Full price.
  10. Practice Possibility Thinking: Never reject an idea / a possibility because –
    • you see something wrong
    • you won’t get the credit
    • it’s impossible
    • your mind is already made up
    • it’s illegal
    • you don’t have the money, manpower, muscle, or time to achieve it
    • it will create conflict
    • it’s not your way of doing things
    • it might fail
    • it’s sure to succeed [What? yes some people are so humble that they don’t want to succeed]

Get Tough!

Happy Selling!!

#salestips #successtips

sales @ zignalytics dot com

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Where do you get ideas, ask my friends!

It makes me think. Where do I really get ideas to write?

It’s a beautiful rainy day. Sitting by the side of the window in our beautiful office, my thoughts are flowing and my fingers are typing them as they flow. It’s 10 past 6 in the evening.

Except for the occasional interruptions I have from the notifications on my android phone [I hate notifications], I am not disturbed at all.

I get inspired by the daily events in my life and the conversations I have with others. And the conversations I have with myself too. 🙂

The other day, a friend told me that he doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings. Wow! That’s a good behaviour. But is it possible to live like that?

Let us examine this in the Sales context.

You cannot afford to hurt customers. No matter how rude they are.

You may not agree with them all the time. But you need not express that in a way it hurts them.

The work around is to find a solution to their problems that fits them in all sense. That would make them say “Yes”.

Some thoughts around this:

  1. Proposing the right solution
  2. Increasing their productivity
  3. Cost savings
  4. Easy to switch, use & adopt
  5. Low maintenance cost
  6. Availability of resources
  7. Future road map, upgrades, new features
  8. Far easier to exit.
  9. RoI
  10. Vendor commitment [that’s your commitment]

We have got their back covered. There cannot be any more objections. The question can now only be: “How soon can you deliver/implement?” or “where should we start first?” or “what variants/options do we have?”

Look for those buying signals.

Close Deals. Win.

Happy Winning!

Happy Selling!!

sales at zignalytics.com

#sales #closing #artofdealingwithclients

 

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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!!

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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!!

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Never Give up and other Tips!

  1. Never Give up. That’s what differentiates an achiever.
  2. Keep Prospecting. You need new customers.
  3. Regularly meet your existing customers. You need them more than they need you.
  4. Keep solving problems. One at a time.
  5. First, pretend being busy then actually get busy.
  6. Get recharged when your batteries are down.
  7. Eat good food. Take sufficient rest. Unplug and Restart.
  8. Read good books. Make it a habit.
  9. Keep a journal. Visit the past week and plan your next week. Time Management is crucial for success. You don’t have “forever” to achieve what you want to.
  10. Write down your goals somewhere and visit it often to see if you are on track.

Happy Selling !!

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How to develop a sense of urgency and achieve more in less time

Your prospects are not in a great hurry. At least not most of them. They seem to be quite happy with the Status Quo. But don’t you know that enthusiasm is contagious. And if you pack energy and sense of urgency into your action, they are bound to match your speed and energy. So, let us understand how to achieve more in less time by developing a sense of urgency.

“You can’t move mountains by whispering at them” – Pink
mountain
  1. Set your sights really very high. Don’t worry about how you will achieve them.
  2. Break that vision into smaller achievable goals.
  3. Break that further into smaller activities or tasks.
  4. Have energy. If not, get your dumbbells and go for 3 sets of shorter reps 8 – 10 each. Or hit the floor and go for 3 sets of 5 push ups each and start pumping up iron. Get those muscles.
  5. Add passion and sense of urgency. Act as if you have fifteen meetings in a day. While you have to submit five proposals. And go for two negotiations. That is your normal day.
  6. There are three types of people in this world – one, those who take things as it comes and are happy with it; two, those who take things as it comes and are frustrated with it and then there are Sales people, the rarest of rare breed, those who make things happen. With or without the “Sales” title.
  7. While you have created the sense of urgency, do not over react or walk all over others or ill treat them.
  8. Instead treat everyone with respect, courtesy and kindness.
  9. Remove the obstacles. Do not spend time on investigating who had put the road blocks. Just keep moving.
  10. Don’t accept mediocrity in anything.
  11. Pack Energy and Enthusiasm into everything you do.
  12. Wear a smile on your face. Even while you speak on the phone. It sounds nice and the receiver on the other end knows that you are speaking with a smile on your face.
  13. Focus on results.
  14. Be disciplined.
  15. Have the courage to walk the untrodden path.
  16. Imbibe the qualities of a leader.
  17. Break all the rules. And Set your own rules.
  18. Create something every day.
  19. Don’t worry about the tough times. They are there to bring out the best in you.
  20. You were not born to be complacent and hence always be doing many activities and setting up new activities. Keep yourself busy and engaged.

Happy Selling !!