Tag: Starbucks

Are you Sold to the Idea?

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.


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


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.


The entire buzz in the recent past about Starbucks coming to India reminded me of this question that popped up in my head when I was at a Starbucks at a mall in New Jersey last year.

It was probably a weekend, the mall was crowded. There were a good number of people queuing up to get their caffeine fix or to grab a quick bite before getting back to shopping. It was apparent that the café was short staffed. There was a growing line of people waiting to order, and a fewer, but slowing increasing number waiting to pick up their orders. There was only 4 staff members.

Which brings me to the question.

What would you do in a similar situation, if the total staff strength was 4 (including you), handling a growing queue of coffee lovers. Would you:

  • Divert a larger number of hands to taking orders (so that you could lock in the revenues, so that customers would complain/ grumble at best, without you losing any business (since the queue to order is moving fast, and the money’s coming in), or would you
  • Have an  equal number of staff taking orders and preparing too, or
  • Would you have more staff members preparing customer orders, while letting the line to order grow, so that customers’ who’ve already ordered didn’t have to wait too much, and as the line to order would obvious grow longer, those in a hurry could go about doing their work and perhaps come in later when the lines were shorter, and those who didn’t mind waiting, could.

Let me know what you would do in a similar situation.

Your choice will speak a good deal about how you would run your business, your priorities, the whole jazz.


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