Are you Sold to the Idea?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Are you Sold to the Idea?

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.

Salesman

Source: here

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.

We have come a long way to the times we currently live in. From times when we had a limited set of friends, and everyone knew what was going on in their lives. To now, when friends are in the hundreds or thousands. Mostly online, many 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. We tweet it or blog 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.

Qualities of Salesman

Source: here

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Look forward to your views. And if you liked this one, consider following/subscribing to my blog (top right of the page). You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

Sell Blankets to Eskimos

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Sell Blankets to Eskimos

This post requires you to think a bit. Might be difficult on a Friday night, but do give it a thought over the weekend.

We all know how challenging the life of a salesperson can be. Unrealistic sales targets, unwelcoming prospective customers, unending follow-up calls and meetings. And then demoralizing posters outside offices and the crushing pressure of time as end of the month approaches. Not to mention clients who like the thrill of being pursued by multiple businesses.

Salesperson 3

image: glasbergen

And if all that was not bad enough, there are the trials of making it through the day with erratic food timings. I have spent a grueling stint in a Marketing role, and while I had the luxury of driving for meetings, lunches were more like a mirage in the desert. I always had 6-7 bottles of water stacked up, and that usually kept me going. From skipping lunch to spending time explaining a concept to a prospective client, to pecking at food at god-forsaken eateries, to the thrill of eating after a chain of hopeful meetings.

The internet connection at home was down recently. Finally when the engineer showed up, it turned out that the re-configuring would take about an hour. There was a big mug of tea waiting for me, so I offered the engineer some. He declined, saying he suffered from acidity, and tea would only worsen it. Something I am very familiar with, thanks to the poor eating regime I’ve followed over the years. But, it got me wondering about the thousands of sales people and field engineers who spend long hours chasing prospects or fixing things, resulting in them neglecting their own health. So I wanted to ask you, for ideas on how we could find a solution to the people who sell all the awesome stuff, and for those folk who fix our gadgets and appliances whenever they act up.

Salesperson 2

image: TrinityMarketingSystems

Can you think of ways by which sales and support folk can have their meals on time? Especially when they’re doing the rounds?

To get the ball rolling, here are a few initial thoughts that came to mind…

  • a very basic concept of a reminder app on the mobile, reminding the person to drink water, or have lunch, etc.
  • food delivery services specially focused on delivering to sales & support personnel on the go. They should deliver to anything from the crossroads at ABC junction, to outside XYZ company’s office, or outside the PQR store
  • this one’s my favorite, something I’ve personally been longing for, to streamline my eating schedule. Food in capsules. Just pop a few in, and you’re good to go. Beats even the army’s combat ration MREs

Let’s have your ideas, and hopefully someone can actually start working on a business service that’s focused on selling to those who sell.

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Look forward to your views. And if you liked this one, consider following/subscribing to my blog (top right of the page). You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and on Twitter.