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Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Ditch the Pitch!

Yes, you heard that right – that’s for all you marketing and sales people out there!

Now, I’m no marketing/sales guru – I’m on the other side; the receiving end; the ‘victim’ of sales spiel.

So, from a customer’s perspective, here are some pearls of wisdom that could prove valuable to you in the long run.

Have Conviction

Believe in what you are trying to sell – be it a product, or a service. And let that conviction show. For example, if you are trying to sell me a Merc, do not drive up in a Beamer. Or, if you’re pushing a Samsung flagship, don’t brandish an iPhone at me! In short, sell it if you truly believe in it – don’t sell it because it’s what pays the bills. Better still; don’t ‘sell’ (more on that, later).

But, please don’t try to park your bulldozer outside my window…

Do Your Homework

That brings me to my next point – try and find out a bit about me before you approach me. Am I the right person to sell a bulldozer to?! Don’t take the phrase “selling ice to an Eskimo” too seriously!

Know what I want, what my aspirations are, what I need, what my pain points are; then come to me if you think you have a solution that works. Not otherwise.

Respect the Customer

You are not Einstein, and I’m not the village idiot. So, don’t get started on how you know everything – you don’t. Don’t assume you know more about my territory than I do. Tell me what I want to hear, not what you want to say.  Give me a chance to speak – don’t hog the conversation. And, don’t impose yourself on me – if I say I don’t have the time to speak with you, I probably don’t. This is especially pertinent for pesky cold-callers. Value my time, because it means a lot to me.

Know Your Product/Service

Make sure you know your stuff thoroughly before you approach me. I’m not interested in listening to you making a speech (memorized from a script) – I want to know about the features that are different.

Don’t demonstrate to me a product that is work in progress – if I don’t see the feature, I don’t want your goods. If something does not work when you are showing it to me, you simply do not have it. Period.

Show Value

What do you offer that can improve the quality of my life? How can I really benefit from your product? What sets you apart from the competition? If you main ‘differentiator’ is price, don’t bother – I’d rather spend a little more for something really good, than buy something sub-standard just because it saves me a few coins.

Be Honest

If you don’t have it, admit it. Do not tell me a feature is available, when you’ve probably never even heard of it. If I’m out shopping, I’m looking for a product/service that suits my specific requirements. Not one that only has all the standard features, glorified to sound as if they are exclusive.

Importantly, don’t try to swindle me – do not try to dump something on me that is more expensive only because it means higher commissions for you.

Don’t ‘Sell’

Don’t sell me anything – assist me in the process of buying. I’ll trust you a lot more if you come across as someone who is sincerely trying to help me satisfy my requirement. Even if I don’t buy from you now, I shall always place you in my “trusted” list for any future requirements.

Don’t Berate the Competition

Your offering might be wonderful, but that doesn’t mean others haven’t done a good job at a similar product/service. When you start berating your competition, you are only really demeaning yourself. Every product has its pros and cons – yours does, too. Marlboro and Camel will both kill me – it’s a matter of choosing my poison, really!

And Finally…

Ditch that pitch! Don’t go along with a scripted sales pitch. It really irritates the hell out of a customer! Let the conversation flow, understand me and my requirements, and try offering a solution. For me, you are the face of the product or service – the brand ambassador. Command my respect.

Listen to your customers, and you could make the difference between a good sales person and a bad one. Or, you could just pass this off as the ramblings of a Scrooge!

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OMG!

Since childhood, I’ve been told that:

  • God keeps tabs on you
  • God punishes you if you’ve been bad
  • You are answerable to God for all you do
  • God dictates the course of your life

It has finally dawned upon me.

God is – the Missus!

Off-topic: An interesting conversation about “my wife” vs. “the wife” can be found here.

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2014 – A New Beginning

Over the past couple of years, I realize I have completely ignored this blog. And, it’s not because my life has ceased to be exciting or because Stwabbit is now a big girl – I guess I should just put it down to sheer laziness!

In a retrospective moment, I woke up to the fact that this blog is an integral part of me, and killing it would be akin to killing a part of me. Now, that’s not something I’d be looking forward to.

So, here’s my New Year Resolution:

Shall post here, at least once a week. 

Since age is catching up on me, I need to have enough memories stored away for my fast-approaching fading years 🙂

Here’s wishing everybody a very happy year ahead, and to new beginnings!

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Back online

Image

It’s been a while since I posted… a lot has been happening in my life.
To start with, I’ve switched jobs… after almost 6 years in the previous organization, I felt it was time to move on. So, I did 🙂

Apart from a new job, I also have a new member in my family – pictured above. She’s adorable…

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An (Corporate) Ocean Tale

Once upon a time, deep in the ocean, there flourished a civilization. There was business, there was trade… in short, there was everything that can be expected of a civilization.

There existed a big corporation, run by sharks. And, there was a small organization, run by octopusses. The sharks employed lots of sharks to do their work. The octopusses had squids to do their bidding.

The Octopus organization had a few pet fish. One day, they entered into a contract with the Shark organization to hire the fish out – now, the fish were expected to entertain the sharks. The sharks had a lot of fun chasing the fish around and troubling them; the poor fish ran around in circles and cribbed to the ocotopuses and squids, to no avail.

One day, the sharks gobbled up the fish.

The octopusses and the squids couldn’t care less.

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NTK = Need To Know
WTK = Want To Know
WTF – Needs no explanation 🙂

Of late, I’ve had the opportunity to observe a strange phenomenon concerning human nature – people tend to want to know about things which are not directly affecting what they are supposed to do, but would rather just have information that they absolutely need to know about the task they are assigned to.

I strongly believe that need to know should be coupled with a desire to know, for effective information dissipation to occur. Separating need from want is fine while budgeting your personal finance, but not when knowledge is involved.
People tend to ask a zillion questions about unrelated topics, but fail to come up with relevant questions when the time comes for them to really understand things. One excuse I recently heard was, “I can’t think of what questions to ask!”

The same person was asking a barrage of questions when sitting through a knowledge transfer session for someone else’s topic!

This kind of attitude is, in my opinion, living in denial. Topics one is not concerned with are like gossip – nice to hear and discuss. Topics that need attention and effort are incomprehensible – it’s easy to say “I’m dumb – I can’t understand anything – so don’t tell me more than I need to know!”

It’s a kind of disclaimer – I tried to do something with the knowledge I was imparted (not that I bothered to ask for clarifications!), and I have no idea how to add value or go that extra mile! Hence, you have a job done; no pride taken, done with the least bit of interest and no application of thought. It’s great to be able to hide behind a curtain of stupidity! A job done, but not a job well done…

It’s a sad state of affairs – such people exist, and such people procreate to raise another generation of fools. Where exactly is the human race headed? Or, are such people the missing link in Darwin’s theory of evolution?

My Disclaimer: This post is about some people, not all people!

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My Condolences…

Tejaswee is no more.

A mosquito bite snuffed out her life. She succumbed to the deadly dengue virus, last week.

I didn’t know Tejaswee – didn’t even know she existed, till I got to know of her sudden demise. It shouldn’t affect me. Yet, I grieve.

So, who was Tejaswee? She was the nineteen-and-a-half year old daughter of IHM, a blogger of repute. Tejaswee had her own blog, too, which I discovered today. Too late.

Life, for her, was just beginning. She had dreams of a great career and a lovely family. She had written a lovely letter to the future – a future which will, sadly, no longer arrive.

Being a parent, I can imagine what IHM and her family must be going through. I hope they have the strength to cope with it.

May Tejaswee’s soul rest in peace.

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