Here’s a first post under a new category called ‘Management Mumblings’.
I recently addressed and interacted with about 70 really smart MBA students, with whom I was sharing experiences from my corporate career, and about starting up and growing, with the objective of encouraging entrepreneurship.
In comparison, I’ve always found it easier to interact with people from industry, comfortable with discussing anything from industry problems, current affairs, new ideas, etc. Interacting with freshers, often makes me a little nervous. They are highly impressionable minds after all, often easily influenced. That leaves us with a great responsibility when advising them on matters such as career, ethics, values, etc.
One popular concern among these students was fear of the possibility of landing a job that might involve sales.
A lot of us are not too fond of marketing, and many detest sales. Selling has always been that inhuman task of lowering ourselves, often to the point of unimaginable desperation, to close a deal, before moving to the next one.
I attempted to change their impression of marketing and sales with a simple change of perspective. I hope you too find some benefit in it that helps in some aspect of your career or business.
The times we live in, have come a long way from days when we had a limited set of friends, and everyone knew what was going on in each others lives. The current times see us with a few hundred, if not a few thousand friends, most of who are online, several are complete strangers, some we’ve never met, and most we almost never interact with.
Given this reality, whenever we want to convey events, achievements or updates about us, we post things online, or tweet about it, or convey it in some such way. Be it selfies with a Starbucks cup, a new job, a marriage, loss of a family member, a holiday, a new pet, anything. We convey it online to our friends.
If you have done one or more of those, ever, don’t you think what you’ve been doing is a form or part of marketing? As is with our resumes and the confidence with which we speak at interviews. Which means we are already marketers to some extent, and have been doing a decent job with marketing ourselves. How cool is that?
Now all we need to do is extend that skill to our jobs if it demands so. Identify what differentiates the products/ services we are trying to sell from that of our competitors, and convey the same to prospective customers with the logical and convincing points that we’d like to hear, were we being convinced to buy that product/service.
This won’t make you a killer salesperson just yet. But hopefully it will warm you up to the concept of marketing and selling.