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:
Offer a free speech – on your area of expertise.
Speak regularly in your Industry / Associations / Trade Circles etc.
Write eBooks and offer them for free to clients.
Organize regular meet ups on Saturdays at a local club and brand it with a name.
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?
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?
Becoming well known for my expertise.
Meeting the decision maker face to face.
Having tons of credibility.
Being friendly yet professional.
Slogging to gain the “trusted adviser” position.
Selling myself in the first place and not the product or service.
Not selling on price.
Valuing the relationship more than the deal.
What didn’t help me?
The opposites of the above list – Quoting low price, not providing enough value, focusing on the deal & not on building the relationship etc.
When I didn’t have any energy.
Not understanding customer requirements.
Not validating the prospects.
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.
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.
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:
What went wrong?
What can I change, the next time I am faced with a similar situation.
It is the effort that is important and not the outcome.
I am happy that I tried and learnt yet another thing that will not work.
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.
My homework needs improvement.
My tools need sharpening.
I need to believe even more in myself.
I need even more dedication.
I need to work smarter and harder.
I should build on my personal brand.
I need to do what others have never tried ever and thereby set a new trend.
If you have to thrive in Sales, you should read, read and read. There are various benefits of reading – improving concentration, reducing stress, enhanching knowledge, building skill in a particular area, improving memory, improving vocabulary etc. In general reading is good for everyone. But it is a must for Sales people. Let us take a look.
How will reading help in Sales?
You will become a thought leader in your specialization.
You will improve your selling skills.
You will improve skills in your area of work.
You will be able to articulate well during the Sales Process.
You will become a great StoryTeller.
Customers will consider talking to you first when they are looking for help.
You will be able to take the discussion from a transactional level to another level.
Your personal branding will soar to greater heights.
You will find newer ways to engage with your customers.
It will not be an exaggeration, if I then say, Only a voracious reader will win “The Best Sales Person of the Year” award.
What books did you read recently? Share it with us at: sales at zignalytics.com
My book “You are a Spark!” is published. It is available for purchase on Amazon.
You are a Spark!
by Kannan Kasi
250 nuggets of motivation
Having spent many years in Sales & Marketing and in Recruitment, I realized that most people don’t enjoy their work. I thought if they enjoy their work or choose work that they love, they would go places. I understood the common mistakes people commit in the workplace. I decided to help these folks. So, a couple of months ago, I started writing some tips on Facebook with the title “Tips to Enjoy your Work!”. Slowly, the tips turned motivational. Then it struck me why not write a book with such nuggets that can help people reach their goals.
So, here it is. 250 nuggets of motivation to propel you into higher productivity and to help you reach your goals. A completely different perspective. Crazy Insights. If you practice these advises for 21 days, you can see a marked difference in your thoughts, outlook, vocabulary, perspectives and you will be on your way to great achievements.
Question everything. Ask why not? Tomorrow’s problems cannot be solved with yesterday’s tools or thinking. This book will help you think in a new direction.
In the book, I have said, Be Crazy, Be Stupid, Be illogical. Stick your neck out. Don’t follow the crowd. Etc. And, I have practiced what I have preached. This book is a result of such thoughts. It doesn’t follow the set norms for a book. If I inspire you to take action, right or wrong, without thinking whether you will reach your goals or not, my job is done.
I hope you enjoy reading it. I firmly believe you will be inspired to take action and achieve the desired results. At first, you may fail. Then, you will succeed, for sure.
None will tell you that you may fail at first. But that’s the route to success. Be brave. Stand out. Create history.
There is no playing it safe. You have to take risks. Remember, there is little competition for taking risks.
Every day brings new opportunities with it. Spot them. Pursue them with a dogged attitude. You are not born to take life as it comes. Live life on your own terms. Live the life of your dreams.
You don’t need to know everything to the last detail when you start off.
You don’t need to have big dreams. If you dream of a small office with 10 cabs, it is just fine.
Don’t make a pitch. It doesn’t matter. What matters is this: Your product or service. If it is useful, efficient, cheap, saves time then it will sell. Pitches don’t sell.
Customers are always looking for a better product or service at a cheaper price. They are not willing to pay more. Look at the total volume of sales and the net profit you will make instead of the % you make in every single transaction.
With so many scandals – toxic work place culture to squeezing drivers pay to delaying drivers payments, if Uber can be valued at US $ 69 Billion, think of the value one can create if those scandals are avoided. But, at the end of the day, scandals don’t matter. Service does.
We should take only the good things [focus on the +ves], leave the rest and move on.
We should adapt fast to the changing landscape.
We should be in news always, preferably for the right reasons unlike Uber.
You don’t need to invent anything new. If you solve one problem, it is just fine.
You don’t need to think 10 years ahead or be futuristic. But when the opportunity presents itself, you should be able to kick ass, grab it and scale up in no time.
Execution is of paramount importance. Idea is a given.
Got up early today at 5 am. Then, the usual morning routine continued. Quickly, started my digital assistant ‘Google Now’ to tell me where I should focus my time today. First off, what’s the news today? How is the weather? Traffic in the route that I am likely to take today?
Can you give me a snapshot of people I am likely to meet today and also let me know what their political affiliations are? What are their food preferences? What are their priorities at work? What characteristics do they expect in a vendor? Why did they fire the last vendor they had? What are our chances of winning this deal? How should I tweak the proposal to make sure that I get the deal?
What should I eat today? I have taken too much protein this week till now. So it is essential to consult Google Now what I should eat to get a balanced diet for the week. Can you build up my menu for the day? And can you ask Roger [robot] to pick them up from the stock in kitchen and refrigerator and set my breakfast at 7:08 am at my work table at home office?
How many hours of work have I put in this week and how am I doing against my goals for the week? What are the pending tasks? Can you prepare a spreadsheet and line them up all? I have no time you see. Send it to my mobile phone when I go out for a walk.
The clock showed 6:23 am by then. Went out for a walk. Google Now sent me the report as requested. I viewed it. Took some action on it during my morning walk. Sent out mails to customers that were pending. In fact Google Now assembled the mails and asked for my approval to send out those mails. Just had to swipe and the emails were sent.
6:43 am: Returned home. Took bath. And it was 6:48 am then. Time to pray. Took 23 seconds and looked at my tablet and recited a prayer. Took a deep breath.
Asked Google Now, what dress I shall wear for the meeting. Asked, how shall my handshake be? Is there something I should carry with me for the meeting? Is the customer I am meeting this morning at 8:12 am, business like or friendly or ethical? [Mutually exclusive.:)]
Took my digital assistant’s help and got the deck ready. Checked out if the customer I am meeting is on his way to office.
7:08 am: Roger brought the breakfast to my work table. Thanked him. Quickly finished the grub and saw google now updating my weekly calorie intake and it said what I need to take still so that I can get the balanced diet for the week. It searched online for organic food vendors and it went about ordering my food for the rest of the week, of-course only after taking my approval. It was by then 7:31 am.
7:33 am: Cab arrived. Took the self driving cab to the metro station. 7:37 am. Waited for 60 secs. Took the 7:38 am train to MG Road.
Prepared for the meeting by going through the decks assembled by Google Now. Spoke to a colleague for some information.
7:59 am: Reached MG Road. Cab sent me a message that it is waiting. Took the cab to reach the client’s office. On the way went through the info sent by colleague and assembled by Google Now. Went through the report it prepared about the client and their project. Reached client’s office at 8:06 am. Too early for the meeting. All set for the meeting at 8:12 am.
8:12 am: Client side manager arrived. Shook hands as suggested by Google Now. Talked to him as suggested by Google Now. Shared docs as suggested. Spent a long time with the client. Exactly 6 minutes and 15 seconds. Had black coffee in between. Promised the client to start the project once we get an agreement. He promised to talk to his boss and send the confirmation around 10:08 am.
10:09 am: Received the order confirmation. Informed Google Now. It was the first to know this. It celebrated the order by ordering [?] a cake online for me. I asked it to deliver it at my office. And asked it to inform my team members and get ready to start working on the project.
10:30 am: Reached my office. Team members were ready to start the project. Google Now had sent me a rough draft of roles and resp of each team member. I approved it and they received it. They all agreed. 10:45 am: Project work started.
10:50 am: I took my digital assistant’s help to scout for new customers. Saw what my competitors are up to. Where are they focusing their energies? What is their road map? Where are they likely to be in 5 months? Have they recruited and expanded their team or not?
12:42 pm: Got back home for lunch. Finished lunch at 1:05 pm. Decided to work from home post lunch. Did prospecting. Lined up prospects for meetings and demos the following week. Kept google now informed. It celebrated the appointments and cheered me to do more. It sent me a nice book written by Chet Holmes. I decided to call it a day by 2:00 pm.
What a hectic day it was.
Accomplished much. Planned even more for the coming week. Will do as planned.
How was your week? What are your plans for the next week?