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?
Fear of failure: Most of us are afraid of Failures. It is because of this fear, we seldom start.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
We don’t like failures. But what we fail [no pun, no intention here] to understand is that without failing we will not be able to succeed. So, start accepting and embracing failures.
And without failing we will not evolve to become better individuals than what we are today. Failure is utmost essential for our growth. So, don’t be afraid to FAIL.
If we are not failing at all, it means we are not trying anything new. And that means we have stopped innovating. This can only lead to negative growth and winding up soon. Throw your fear to the ground, get up and start pumping iron and run.
Learn from others. The high achievers learn from others as much as they dare to try new things.
We like to be within our comfort zone. And we don’t like changes. But success lies outside our comfort zone. Always.
Teach yourself new skills. Not necessarily in your trade or profession. It can be anything from swimming to karathe to table tennis to golf to computer programming to learning a foreign language.
Success does not teach us anything. Early success only makes one arrogant, complacent and capable of permanently failing. “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” – Bill Gates
Do things you have never done before. High achievers don’t aim for incremental improvements. Instead they go in a different direction and build new solutions. That are a complete paradigm shift.
Make “ACTION” your mantra. Right or wrong, take action. Inaction is worse than failure.
If we study the Psyche of all High Performing Sales Persons, we will be able to understand that there exists many common characteristics. Not all Sales people are born. Some are trained as well. Everything can be learned, practiced, fine-tuned and excelled.
Let’s take a look and find what are the characteristics that sets the High Performing Sales Persons apart:
Goal oriented [Long term]: Those who have set goals tend to achieve more than those that don’t have any goals.
Possess Objectives [Short term]: They take series of smaller steps that are measurable, show progress in each step and confidently move towards their Goals.
Communication: They are great communicators.
They don’t give up ever. Call it Perseverance, if you will.
They focus on achievements. They measure time in terms of achievements and not in seconds / minutes. What did you achieve today?
They qualify customers before spending time and effort. So this is one important trait to learn. If you eliminate the customers who are not going to buy, you are getting closer to those who are going to buy. Ask tough qualifying questions. You will not regret doing this.
Organizational Politics helps the High Performers and they are naturally the blue eyed boys of the top management. If you cannot sell yourself internally how are you going to sell to your customers?
Accountability: They are accountable to their Managers and to their Organization.
They meet the decision makers and work with them.
They don’t leave anything to chance. No place for any ambiguity.
They question themselves, why will the customer buy and why from them. They find the answers for these questions.
They are good at developing rapport.
They are in control of the situation.
They are optimistic, enthusiastic and flowing with energy always.
They are receptive to new ideas.
They are truly professional.
They believe in having fun in the process.
They need to get their adrenaline pumped up before they start working on a project.
Let us now “examine” what are metaphors, why should we “employ” them in Sales and how can we make them “pay” us. Is it easy to use metaphors in Sales ? If it was easy, why everyone is not using them ? What makes them so “attractive” and “image-provoking” ? Will the use of metaphors “drive home” our point ?
What is a Metaphor ?
It is a figure of speech. Where you use one thing to refer to another. The two are not related. But they both share same characteristics. For ex, if you compare Argument and War, then that is a Metaphorical concept. In an argument there is no physical battle where as in a War there is. But both share similar characteristics like attack, counter-attack, strategy, winning, losing out etc.
It is not clever use of words. It is more to do with the concept. It is a thought process. You elevate the thought process to a greater height. Man generally thinks in terms of metaphors and readily understands metaphors. That is because we all think in terms of images. And communicating through visuals is more easier and makes a great impact.
Concept of Journey and Business“milestones” [which itself is a metaphor for achievements] is a good example that we can see in boardrooms and sales conferences. Other examples:
He is hooked on to his mobile device for the last hour or so.
You are rocking.
I am on top of the world.
He is upwardly mobile.
He has a single-minded focus.
That deal is in my radar.
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” –William Shakespeare
Can I buy some time from you ?
Try to pack more persuasion in your words.
Enjoyed my morning walk in the Sun kissed meadows.
Why should you use Metaphors in Sales ?
Human beings think in terms of images and metaphors help create a visual experience in the minds of the customers.
Retention of images is for long term whereas text is retained only for a short duration.
To make a point.
To simplify complex things.
To take the discussion to a far greater height.
To stand out in a crowded market place.
To get the customer interested in abstract ideas.
To make the customer visualize your product / service.
To help create a relationship between your customer and your product / service. It is like saying: “Light. Years Ahead.” You know who says that.
To generate more sales.
How to use Metaphors in Sales ?
No more talking. Or talking texts. Talk only visuals.
Use it in such a way that you get the buyer to tune in. And not tune out.
Get the customer to see what you are saying.
Appeal to the Right Brain.
Buying is an emotional decision. Once you get the “connect”, Prospects will find their own justifications to buy your product or service. And metaphors will help you get the connect.
Avoid cliched [overused] metaphors – “force to be reckoned with” etc.
Get creative and build new metaphors. If you are selling holiday resorts, you may want to say this to your prospective customers: “Leave your jewels in your bank lockers; we will give you stars to admire.”
Your metaphors should open the creative eyes of the Prospect.
They should connect with the dreams that your Prospect is chasing.
The metaphors you use should help you build your brand. Forever.
Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.
1. The Road Not Taken
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5
Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10
And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. 20
Your Prospects are not seeking a Commodity but are seeking Transformation. The route to the transformation does not matter much as long as the Transformation is guaranteed in a specific time frame. Transformation means “a marked change in form, nature, or appearance.” A metamorphosis, in essence, is what your prospects are seeking. For ex, from a caterpillar to a butterfly.
Whether you sell products or services or both, it is not that which you are selling that your prospects are seeking. Instead they are seeking transformation and if your product / service guarantees that, then you have a deal. Please get this.
Your prospects have some dreams and are vigorously chasing them. And if your product / service helps in realizing those dreams, then they will buy. Say for ex, if you are selling cars and your prospects dream is to acquire a status and if one of your vehicle categories satisfies that and you are able to communicate visually how that will improve his or her status, then you have a sale. Prove it to them that it helps them realize their dreams and they are going to have a transformation. And a lifetime achievement. And let them know how they are going to break records and create new ones.
How to sell a dream. Here are some tips:
Story Telling: You should look deeper and you will have a story to tell. Make it appealing with plenty of visuals. Because a picture is worth a thousand words. Somewhere, in the story, there should be a connect to the dreams of your prospect and how you can help realize that.
Focus on their dreams and the transformation they are seeking.
Highlight the losses if dreams are not realized.
Focus on the benefits of the transformation.
Connect your product / service at this instance and prove how it is going to help in the transformation.
Visualize the transformation and clearly communicate that vision to the prospect.
Use metaphors to make the prospect experience it, in his / her subconscious mind.
State and then Repeat the salient features. But only through stories.
Create characters in your story that the prospect can identify with.
Be human. Not a robot. Because you are talking to humans and not robots.
We all want to close more sales. Right ? Let us understand what it takes to close more deals. First and foremost, I am sure you have heard this: Don’t rush the sales process. And don’t delay it as well. The right speed is what will determine the outcome. The speed that matches your prospect is the one that will help you land the deal. Customers would like to buy and don’t like to be sold.
You can close more sales, if
You don’t rush the sales process
You add more value during your interaction with your prospects
You understand the prospects pain points and provide point solutions to resolve those pains
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
Set your sights really very high. Don’t worry about how you will achieve them.
Break that vision into smaller achievable goals.
Break that further into smaller activities or tasks.
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.
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.
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.
While you have created the sense of urgency, do not over react or walk all over others or ill treat them.
Instead treat everyone with respect, courtesy and kindness.
Remove the obstacles. Do not spend time on investigating who had put the road blocks. Just keep moving.
Don’t accept mediocrity in anything.
Pack Energy and Enthusiasm into everything you do.
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.
Focus on results.
Have the courage to walk the untrodden path.
Imbibe the qualities of a leader.
Break all the rules. And Set your own rules.
Create something every day.
Don’t worry about the tough times. They are there to bring out the best in you.
You were not born to be complacent and hence always be doing many activities and setting up new activities. Keep yourself busy and engaged.