Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dilbert talks about sales

It is honestly true when it comes to selling your solution/product (IT products/Services) to a life science company - Pharma/Bio-tech/Medical devices etc. It also becomes lill difficult to convinence your internal (boss) and external customers.

Making a good strategic sales presentation needs loads of efforts, better insight and also great team lol.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Generation Gap

Yukta is growing every day and every minute and needless to say it is a delight to spend time with this Wiz kid….every single time I meet her and spend time with her she teaches me so many things. I come from a typical middle-class Indian family I grew up with my parents and a younger brother (in Indian standards, I come from a nuclear family). Most of the Indian families have a very common mindset for upbringing the kids and showing love to their kids. Some of the most common traits of showing love are:

You feed your kids (even guests) with loads of food in spite of their resistance. For example I loved eating chapatti in my childhood (Indian bread), I could hardly eat 2 chapatties with my favorite curry…..but my parents always made sure they served 3 chapatties inspite of my resistance…though you are full they still expect you to eat little extra and they feel this is the way to express their love……I honestly enjoy such love…I can see the twinkle in my mom or my wife or my relatives eyes when they force me eat that 1 extra bit. I always felt nice when I was forced……… showed the extra love.

On contrary when I try doing the same thing to my daughter Yukta she hates it…she is little less than 3 years but acts so mature and elderly. There are several instances I want her to eat something she just does not like it. As recent as last month, we went out to Pizza Hut and I ordered for pizza and mock tails. She didn’t touch even a byte in the pizza coz it had capsicum instead she ordered Potato Wedges and relished it. Since I like mango drinks I ordered maaza for Yukta she didn’t bother to touch maaza but enjoyed her fruit punch. I can clearly see the Generation Gap. I remember the first time I ordered a dish in a restaurant was on my 19th Birthday and my dad said “My sone has grownup he orders his own food…”

Every time I plan to buy clothes for Yukta she just does not like to wear dresses of my choice……She selects her clothes with her fav color and the way she wants it…she tries the dress once…appreciates the work by wearing it and seeing herself in mirror and then buys it…..I mean they are so independent at 3. I always wanted to buy my daughter loads of pink dresses…I have this stupid fantansy to buy pink if I had a daughter and blue if I had a son….but Yukta says “Papa pink is not good for me…I like Green”. Fortunately Green happens to be my fav color….to be more precise I am obsessed with Green color and thank god Yukta likes Green….

She also has a different way of using my Laptop:

In a nut shell if I have to say from things as trivial as food or clothing or outing kids of this generation do what they want and like to do not what their parents like or want them to do….I see a huge GENERATION GAP….its time for us to sync with our kids and start thinking as they do.

5 New Things in life

I am Back to Blog (B2B) after 2 months. Job is keeping me very busy these days, working towards getting some new customers on board.

It had been wonderful quarter (June to Aug) on personal front. Here are few amazing things I have been doing over last 3 months that makes me feel good:

1. Biking: I have got into this new craze of biking. Brought a new TVS Apache RTR 180 on July 27, 2010. Became member of BBC (Bangalore bikers Club). Had been biking around in the city now, planning to drive to Savandurga next weekend. Last time I went for long drive was in Jan 2010 (during my book release) it was an amazing 440 KM drive on Pulsar 220 CC bike. We hired a bike in Pondicherry and drove to Tiruvanamali, tirkhoilur etc. I am hoping for lot of adventures to happen in the area. My collections currently include: Apache, HHonda SLD and Wave. Planning to buy a Thunderbird classic in Jan 2011 J

2. Reading: I some how felt because of the crazy schedule I have stopped reading books which is obviously bad L I have re-started my reading habit. Currently reading “Success Build to Last”. I had been to Avenue road over the weekend and I could purchase 63 amazing management books for just 4200 INR (all thanks to pirated and second hand books). Planning to read atleast 1 book per month.

3. Cooking: Since I am staying with dad at Bangalore my responsibility at home now includes Cooking. I have learnt many new dishes and have started experimenting with my cooking skills. I am not great at cooking though but I manage to cook tasty stuff.

4. PhD: There seems to be good progress in my PhD. I am expecting a paper to be published in next 2 months. I hope I can also start working on my thesis now.

5. Photography: in the recent past I have developed this new craze for photography. Got a new Sony – Zensis 14.1 MP camera. So far camera is great I was always told Sony does not make good cameras however I love this camera coz its GREEN!

So new hobbies and new things in life plus loads of office work is keeping me very busy these days. I have decided to blog at least twice a month now. Till then SayoNara

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Bill Gates’ 10 advices to young people

Before retiring in July 2008, Bill Gates gave the following advices to high school students. Who knows you will become a second Bill Gates after learning from these valuable advices?

1. "Life is not fair - get used to it." 
-> The world is never fair. You know this? You can never change the whole world. Injustice still exists in the current society, so you should try to adapt. 

2. "The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself." 
-> Your extreme self-esteem may make your job inconvenient. Don't attach too much significance on your self-esteem as people care about your achievements rather than it. 

3. "You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with car phone, until you earn both." 
-> Normally you can't be rich if you have just finished high school. However to become an executive, you need to obtain both: a high school certificate and the money. 

4. "If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure." 
-> Don't complain that your boss is tough. When you are at school, your teachers always stand by you whenever you meet problems. However if you have thought that all your problems really come from the hard requirements of your teachers, you shouldn't look for a job. Simply if there aren't strict demands from your company, you will do nothing and quickly become unemployed. Then nobody will give you a hand. 

5. "If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them." 
-> Don't blame your failure on your destiny. All you need now is to stay calm and start from scratch. 

6. "Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room." 
-> You should show your gratefulness to your parents for spending most of their lives for your living and growth. All the "outdated" of your parents today is the price they have to pay for your growth. 

7. "Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life may not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life." 
-> Keep in mind that you can always become a leader, so that you will have more motivation to strive for your career. 

8. "Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time." 
-> Don't always wait for holidays or you will be left behind your colleagues. That backwardness means elimination and unemployment. 

9. "Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs." 
-> Everybody likes watching TV, but you shouldn't watch it too much. As that actually isn't your life and your thinking will be influenced. You yourself have to determine your own life. 

10. "Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one." 
-> You should be nice to everyone. Life has happenings you could never expect. Be open to your boss, don't say bad things behind his back as it will bring you nowhere.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The 5 step mantra

I am a big time follower of Seth Godin I feel Godin is God-in marketing. I have been reading various articles he wrote about marketing, communication, relationship management and generic management issues. One thing that caught my immediate attention was his 5 step mantra (formula in angrezi). I feel these 5 qualities make prefect (honest) sales executive:

1. Go, make something happen.

2. Do work you're proud of.

3. Treat people with respect.

4. Make big promises and keep them.

5. Ship it out the door.

When in doubt, see #1.

There are so many things which are seemingly insignificant yet very powerful to be a great sales executive. I would also recommend these books of Godin to sales and marketing folks of next generation J

Friday, April 30, 2010

GV – Never take NO for an Answer

GV will be leaving shortly to UK on work (I will miss all the wonderful informative sessions with him). Since we were busy with work we didn't realize it was 2:00 PM already. The lunch in office is served only till 2:00 PM, so as a caring boss GV offered to take me out for lunch (I wish we get late for lunch every dayJ). During our lunch we spoke many interesting stuff, one of them was "Never Take NO for an Answer (NTNA)" (I guess this is going to be the title of my second bookJ).

What is NTNA?

Most of the times we tend to accept the defeat even before waging the war (ohh forget about waging the war, even before planning for it). Okay, let me simplify this. GV quoted a wonderful example "Let us say we go to a PUB (Bangalore is known for awesome PUBSJ, suitable example). I see a beautiful girl and wish to dance with her, now the probability of the girl saying Yes is 50% and probability of she saying NO is 50%. Most of the times we assume that she would say NO and would not dare to ask her…resulting in loss of prospect/opportunity. We completely forget the probability of her accepting it and saying Yes to it. We forget completely that both Yes and No have equal probability in this situation. If you can convert 50% of NO to 100% why can't we do it for YES? We don't lose our life by giving a try. All you have to do is ask her, if she says no then keep trying till you get a Yes. Never Take NO for an Answer."

This is such an awesome theory. I feel this is a perfect formula to be a good sales executive. During my previous employment we participated in a government bid, we lost the tender/order. Since I had worked really hard on the tender I wasn't willing to give-up the sale. The deal was won by HCL Technologies – if I had accepted the NO it was a dead sale, instead I approached HCL to check if they want to outsource it to us – the answer was clear NO. I mean come on why HCL would outsource it to a small company like ours. I then approached the VP to check if they need any resources for the project (I guess since I had been following-up for a long time, he agreed to meet us and discuss). After presenting him the strategy he finally agreed to engage 20% of our resources into the project on contract. (After this I left the organization, so not sure what happened). I was really happy that we could get a small piece of the project outsourced to us in spite of losing the tender.

Action Item: "Never Take NO for an Answer (NTNA)" and A deal/sale is lost only when you give-up.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

I love adidas logo

I always wanted to post this logo on my blog. I had an adidas store on my way to work in hyderabad (panjagutta), this store had a huge poster that said "Impossible is Nothing", it was very inspiring quote. I used to start my day looking at that motivational quote.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wear heart on the sleeve – redefined

I always wondered why we live so much for the society, neighbors, relatives and friends. Why don't we live the life the way we want? No matter how many movies you see (3 idiots, tare zameen par) we still feel engineering and medicines are the only freaking professions on this earth. Why don't we encourage innovation and out of box thinking? Have you ever seen (I am talking about things 20 years ago) someone telling their kids to become a wild life photographer or actor or beautician in India, no ways.

Now the best part is things are changing in India and I feel great about it. I have been visiting various pre-schools and day care centers in Bangalore (exploring them to get admission for my daughter Yukta). I have been talking to so many kids between the age of 3 to 6 years and I was startled to listen to these bright kids talk. What are their plans for life? (I thought it's too early and immature question for these kids). Here are few things that these younger generations are aspiring for: Astronaut, Writer, Photographer, commercial pilot, police and there was one girl who said she wants to be a doctor (obviously her mom and dad are doctors). The strange things, in fact the good thing was there was not even 1 kid who said he/she wants to be an engineerJ.

I always loved interacting with people, travelling, speaking (I am a chatter box), I had this fantasy to wear suit to work every day – not anymore though (mostly influenced by Hollywood movies) and making money. After my engineering I chose to be in sales and customer facing jobs. Initially I had too many NO's and DONT's from everyone I knew. Now I enjoy being a sales guy and being successful in what I do J.

Okay, here are few outstanding examples of what you call Wear heart on the sleeve. Vaibhav Gupta (B. Tech in Chem Engg from IIT Bombay and PGDCM from IIM Calcutta) resigned his full time job to start a Tea stall, do not believe it check out the website. It is a chain of tea shops across different malls in the country. They offer 30 different varieties of tea.

Prabhkiran Singh of IIT Mumbai runs a lassi shop after college hours. Here is a brief extract about the shop: "The 20-year-old from Punjab who came to IIT-Bombay three years ago, didn't find a decent lassi joint in the city, and hence would rely on his mother's recipe every time he craved one. That marked the birth of Khadke Glassi — now a stall set up on a computer trolley, operating after classes at IIT close. The Rs 10,000-venture now has a fan following of close to 500 on Facebook and apart from IIT students, alumni and faculty, residents of Powai, crowd around this little corner every evening". Here is the link to the complete story.

I am hoping we will soon see a paradigm shift in India when it comes to choosing the right job/career.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tele-selling DO’s and DO NOT’s

I landed in my office an hour late due to hectic travel over the weekend. I was little busy checking and responding to my emails and planning my day…. I got a call from a salesperson who breathlessly told me what she did, her products and services, about her organization and why I must buy her product.

That's it.

No rapport-building, no questions about whether I might actually need what she has, no asking for permission. She just assumed I'd be happy to set aside some of my valuable time for her to make a more detailed sales pitch. As if I sit around my office twiddling my thumbs, wishing a salesperson would stop by to break up the monotony.

The technique she used—asking an either/or question rather than a yes/no question—is an old one. The supposed idea is that you don't give the prospect the option of saying no, so you're more likely to secure an appointment.

I can't believe big companies (and some so-called sales experts) are still training salespeople to use garbage like this! The tactic didn't work when it was first conceived and it doesn't work now.

On the contrary, it can work against you. It's a manipulative, annoying, high-pressure approach that makes prospects uncomfortable, angry and skeptical. Not how you want to start out a sales call.

I've done business with this company before, but this salesperson's ham-handed attempt to set an appointment annoyed me so much that I'm actually less likely to buy from them in the future. (At least their competitors don't call me up and try to force their way onto my calendar.)

When you're making cold calls, keep these principles in mind:

  1. Respect your prospect's time.
  2. Ask permission for everything.
  3. Offer something of value. (And no, your brochure, informational DVD, or catalog is not something of value)
  4. Make sure you do not call your prospects during peak business hours.
  5. Do not assume every prospect you call will be waiting to buy your product.
  6. Make the pitch more interactive.
  7. Be clear and pleasant in everything you speak.
  8. DO-NOT-REPEAT your sales script. Understand your product or service…not your sales script.

Arrrrghhhh....I hate this

I can't believe life can get so damn busy!!! It's been 21 months since I wrote anything on my blog..infact I even forgot that I used to Blog once upon a time…so sick L

Since last month I started using this office 2007 (Microsoft office obviously) and every time I open MS Word it prompts do you want to create new document or Blog post? I then realized I had a blog and I had some serious people following my blog…firstly, my apologies to all readers of my blog for not updating it (I am sure people might have stopped visiting my blog assuming I have vanished or had a memory loss LOL). Life has been treating me well and few milestones in last 21 months:

  1. I became an author finally!!!

    I wrote my first book on personal finance (, I am unable to advertise, sell or even keep track of number of copies sold…yes thats me, so sick and unorganized.

  2. Got into final year of my PhD
  3. Job change

Anyway I don't want to make this a notice board…..I will be posting interesting and useful stuff J