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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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Great Conversations start with empathy

All of us humans have a basic need to be understood. What we stand for, why we do what we do, where are we going & what gives us satisfaction. This is the core of all human beings.

Let us think for a moment when was the last time we had a great conversation with someone. If you go deeper into that conversation you will understand that it was EMPATHY that struck a great conversation.

Even your foes will listen to you if you empathise with them. And may finally agree with you and even work with you. Who knows, you both can even become great partners.

In Sales, empathy plays a very important role.

Customers will do business only with someone who understands them completely.

It is great conversations that lead to great relationships. In Life and in Business.

So, how do we start and have great conversations?

Some thoughts:

  1. Ask open ended questions – for ex, what gives them energy and/or drive?
  2. Acknowledge their work, achievements & challenges.
  3. Admire their +ve qualities.
  4. Ask for advice.
  5. Talk about something that you learnt recently.
  6. Share interesting anecdotes. Who doesn’t like to hear stories?
  7. Talk about some challenges you faced & how you dealt with them.
  8. Keep up the momentum. No dull moments ever.
  9. Move forward: Always talk about your dreams, goals, ambitions.
  10. Deliver Juice: Some ideas that will make you both travel in the same direction together.

Happy Conversing!

Happy Selling!!

#greatconversations #sales

sales at zignalytics.com

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Cabbage Roll, a packaged solution!

I love surprises at the Dining table. Who doesn’t? My wife treated me to something called as Cabbage Roll recently. Heard it for the first time in life.

Ingredients: Cabbage [Red or Green], Chickpeas [Channa dal], Garlic, Pepper, Tomato, Coriander leaves, Small Onions, Carrots, Walnuts, Cucumber seeds. Soak Chickpeas overnight, keep it for sprouting for over 8 hours. Take the sprouts, add Garlic and Pepper and grind it to a nice paste and keep it ready. Take a cabbage leaf, apply the chickpeas paste, stuff it with Tomato, Small Onions, Carrots. Break walnut into smaller pieces and  add it. Sprinkle Cucumber seeds and Coriander leaves and roll it. It is ready. You can add Pepper [crushed] if you wish, for taste.

No one likes to eat cabbage raw. [Though it is high in Anti-Oxidants and fights Free Radicals] Or for that matter raw chickpeas. When you package it nicely, it sells. Ah, it “sells”. Something that sells catches my attention. My mind starts working to understand what makes it tick. I explore its DNA then. So that I can clone it.

Here is the inference from this experience: If you package your solution well, it sells. If it is given in a form that is consumable [or bite size as they are called], it will be consumed. I can see lot of ideas mushrooming in your mind right now.

In my first job, during a road show for Desk Top Publishing [DTP] Solution at Cochin [in Kerala, India], I remember a customer walking in and asking for the solution. What’s strange in that, you may ask. But here’s what he asked, in Malayalam: “Kuppy evade?” In English: “Where’s the bottle?”. He is a hard core Printer and he was expecting the Solution in a bottle. 🙂

Happy Packaging!

Happy Selling!

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Einstein asked for a bigger Dustbin!

That was a time when he was deported out of Germany and got asylum in the US.

He was taken to a new research centre allocated to him in Princeton.

They asked him if he liked the research centre. Is there any facility that is missing, they asked. He told them that the dust bin kept there is too small and he needs a bigger one.

Why, they asked.

“I am not an expert to do all the research 100% right, the first time itself. I will make mistakes. Hence, the need for a bigger bin.”, he told them.

Making mistakes is the first step to success.

But psychologically, that puts lot of pressure on us and we tend not to do anything so that we can avoid making mistakes. How smart, right? No.

Every single thing we do in day to day life goes through a learning process. We don’t know how to flash a smart card in the local metro, the first time we travel. But eventually, we get it right.

Life does not come with user manual. We learn by trial and error.

Fortunately, when it comes to Business or Sales, there are some specific methodologies, tried and tested ones. But that does not guarantee success.

Making mistakes is common. What is uncommon is taking up a work knowing fully well that we will make mistakes initially. And persevering until getting it right.

Having the determination to get it right, come what may, will lead us to Success.

Happy Succeeding!

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“Pogo TV is visible even when the TV is off” says my friend!

May be because his kids are watching it all the time, it got etched on to the screen. Though my friend joked, it can be true as well. I have seen this happening in Windows desktop computers.

Even when the system is shut down and the monitor is off, you can see a dim windows screen. Really. No jokes.

It got burnt on the screen since it has been used all the time.

Now, how is this relevant to Sales?

We will come to that in a bit.

People ask – What do you want to be remembered for in life? It is applicable in Sales. We should work on this and get the message across. It should be crystal clear. This is part of the brand building exercise.

And then you have to become ubiquitous as well. Ubiquitous means something that is found everywhere. You cannot help but stamp on a Software Engineer’s foot if you go to a Mall in Bangalore. 🙂 They are found everywhere. Likewise, you and your brand should be found everywhere. Wherever the customer looks for what you sell – online, offline, sideline etc, you should be found.

In Sales, we take pains to understand customer requirements, problem statements, map customer organization, work on a great solution, offer right prices, beat competition but fail to ensure our presence at the place of action. We don’t show up as often as we should. We need to create some excuses to visit. We should get creative on this. They need to see us more often.

Now that brings us to the point I am trying to communicate with “Pogo TV”.

Is your face etched on the customers’ mind? It has to be. She needs to remember your face when she thinks of you. And she needs to think of you when she thinks of what you are selling. Make that connection. It should be effortless for her.

It is now time to show your face to your clients.

Happy Showing up!

Happy Selling!!

 

 

 

 

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Are you in the top of the mind recall?

What comes to your mind when you think of a particular category of Product or Service? That is called as the top of the mind recall. Brands slog it out in the market to achieve this. 50% of the sale is done already. The consumer has already made up her mind. To go with Amazon or Flipkart, for ex. And she is just searching for data to substantiate her thoughts.

We do this all the time. We prefer this to that. We have preset ideas & notions. Rarely we change them. I am not saying we are wrong. We are absolutely right in doing this. This is done based on our past experience with that brand. If it was good, our brain picks that data.

This is not just for the consumer brands. It holds good for anything. Whatever you are selling, it applies to that as well.

In my business, the customer values my expertise and consults me for advise. All knowledge based businesses – be it IT, Medical, Legal or Taxation & Audit, the customer trusts someone. That trust is built over time. Based on experiences gained with that brand.

Couple of things you can do to build your brand and make it top of the mind recall:

  1. Offer a free speech – on your area of expertise.
  2. Speak regularly in your Industry / Associations / Trade Circles etc.
  3. Write eBooks and offer them for free to clients.
  4. Organize regular meet ups on Saturdays at a local club and brand it with a name.
  5. Take up some social cause and solve it.

I know someone who is a Marketing legend and a very popular Author. He takes the pain to reply to each and every single comment he receives for his posts on his Website, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. That is rare. You don’t find such people. To me, he is top of the mind recall. So, what are you doing differently that makes you a rare breed and top of the mind recall?

Happy Branding!!

Happy Selling!!

#branding #topofthemindrecall

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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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Belgium Vs Brazil, the Story of an Underdog always inspires:

First & foremost, the underdog does not have any status to be safeguarded. It has no false sense of titles or ego. It operates without any such pressures. It knows that it is fighting a top dog & hence it does its homework, ups the game, puts up a tough fight & the best foot [a metaphor but literally in football :)] forward. It has minimal resources but uses them efficiently.

On the contrary, Top Dog thinks it is superior, unbeatable, strong, talented & nothing can stop it. It makes mistakes but fails to learn from them.

Fighting against odds is common. What is uncommon is not giving up till one succeeds. The fighting spirit inspires. It catches up with everyone like wildfire. It boosts confidence levels and spearheads one to higher efficiency levels of operating. We start thinking that we can reach our goals in spite of all these odds and work towards that.

I am inspired by Romelu Lukaku of Belgium who ran with the ball like a wild river till he passed the ball to Kevin De Bruyne who helped score their second goal.

Whatever it is, we need to enjoy the game 100% to be successful in it.

Fighting spirit sends blood to our nerves & we get unimaginable strength to win.

Happy Winning!!

#inspiration #success #sales

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What brings you to work everyday?

The following thoughts give me the adrenaline rush and get me to work:

  1. What value can I deliver today to my customers and prospects?
  2. What problems can I solve?
  3. How can I better my yesterday’s work?
  4. To learn something new today.
  5. Opportunities I want to create today.
  6. Activities that I had planned for the day.
  7. To help customers get what they want.
  8. Do what others will not do. Take action, that is.
  9. What trends can I set today?
  10. To have fun and enjoy the day.

Share your thoughts. Tell us what gives you the kick.

Happy Selling!!

#sales #activities #work #opportunities

Get in touch with us for any help in Sales:

sales@zignalytics.com

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Lessons to be learnt from our failures!!

Failure is the best teacher.

One thing that is common to all of us is this: We all have failed at some point in our careers and/or business. Yes or No?

But what is not common to all of us is this: Some of us learn from those experiences whereas some of us don’t get it and keep making the same mistakes over and over again until, yes, until we learn from those mistakes. We fail only when we don’t learn from our experiences. It is important to learn from our experiences and not commit those mistakes again. And we should never stop trying and should dare to make “new mistakes” [read “new lessons”]. Life provides a canvas for us to draw anything we like.

Lessons to be learnt from our failures:

  1. What went wrong?
  2. What can I change, the next time I am faced with a similar situation.
  3. It is the effort that is important and not the outcome.
  4. I am happy that I tried and learnt yet another thing that will not work.
  5. Situation demands the best from me and I am capable of giving my best. Even if it is a cliche, I will repeat it: The best is yet to come.
  6. My homework needs improvement.
  7. My tools need sharpening.
  8. I need to believe even more in myself.
  9. I need even more dedication.
  10. I need to work smarter and harder.
  11. I should build on my personal brand.
  12. I need to do what others have never tried ever and thereby set a new trend.

Happy Selling!!

 

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash