Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Selling By Research (SBR) : THE FATE OF THE COLD CALL

Hi Friends,

This blog post has been republished on popular demand. Have a great day.

The day is very near when the “Cold Call’ will become extinct. Yes! ---I mentioned exactly what you heard.
Before all of you come onto me for ‘blasphemy’, I would like to clarify that I am only talking about High Value Capital Equipment selling and this is not generalized to include all types of selling. But why should cold calling be extinct in capital selling.
The answer is simple. Because of the internet and globalization.

Tell me one thing. Suppose you are the customer and you have allotted one hour of your precious time to Mr.X who is from a company manufacturing water-line valves. Say, you carry out turn-key projects involving water distribution and you need some competition among your vendors. But what does Mr X do? He asks you what you do, he asks you about your projects, tells you that they manufacture valves and asks you whether you have any requirement. You conclude that this gentleman is on a cold call..What you do next depends upon the selling capabilities of Mr. X and I'll leave you people to think of a way vide which Mr. X can  be penalized because of his audacity.
Now consider this. You receive a phone call from a reputed valve manufacturer who knows about your company etc. He tells you that he has learnt about your bagging a multi million dollar contract (you are impressed) and that he, Mr Y, would like to give a presentation on his they save you energy, etc)
I don't need to be a magician to tell you that the next order will be bagged by whom.

Now, let's bring you onto a secret. Mr Y received some news that the project has been allotted to your company. He then finds all about you, your requirement. He is a make approved by the consultant. He wants to come and tell you all about why his valves should be purchased. Mr Y has done his research and therefore wins.Mr Y shows the customer what's in it for him or where the customer will win, unlike Mr.X.

This is all the more true in recent times because technically almost all brands are equal. Their prices differ because of quality. Unfortunately, quality is not a tangible parameter. Whether you get the order today depends still more on your research therefore.

This , ladies and gentleman, is the art of SBR at the basic level. No more cold calls in this segment will succeed. If you recognize this and accept it, you will save valuable time.

Recently, a slogan called "Never cold call again" has become popular, but I think it was me who first said those words, in capital equipment and heavy machinery selling'. Anyway, whoever was the first, the fact remains that cold calling is a dying art and as soon as SE Asia leaves it, the better.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Selling By Research: (SBR) and the six serving men.

I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
…from “The Elephant Child”; Rudyard Kipling

This is a verse that remains popular to everyone till date. Kipling’s six serving men even to this day aid us a great deal in our quest for misplaced idealism and unworthy perfection. But now, enough of chit-chat and we go back to the class and continue interaction with Sales By Research (SBR)
First, let us consider the first three. What, Why and When.. What we are about to discuss here is the new or rather ‘mixture of common sense and old thinking in a rubber stopper sealed bottle’ and giving it an almighty shake’ which has been termed by yours truly as ‘Selling by Research’.
This is not a magic potion aka ‘Geriatrix’ is just application of the principles and habits of us homosapiens which the majority of us tend to do and therefore have been classified as normal.Let us imagine a person Mr.No’all who really knows everything about the planet. Due to his encyclopedic knowledge if you ask Mr. No’all anything about Earth, he can tell you everything about it. But when you ask about the moon. If you want to restore Mr. No’all, draw a link between the moon and earth...and on & on he goes again. Similarly, what I have done here is to make a link between already known and proved concepts and SBR
Here I want to remind all of you that the sales I am talking about here is capital engineering high value equipment, not other products/or services. I have no reason to believe that  SBR will not work except that I have not tried it out practically. Logical thinking appears to suggest it will work but the impotency of logic in different situations has been so well documented that I have the greatest qualms in saying ‘YES’. Indeed, it is better to say NO and be happily proven wrong,  then to say YES and embarrassingly proved to be wrong.
All having been satisfactorily defined, we now return to Kipling’s last serving man ..who is …HOW

“How” was a person of infinite patience, which
Was a perfect avatar as suited his immense size;
And had there been a contest of "one track minds"
"How" would have undoubtedly won the prize.

SBR can be defined as the act of breaking up of a sales process-which appears impossible or not feasible into small pieces thereby altering one’s view and perspective and then going on subdividing till each is solvable. Research is required  to do this subdividing. The individual sub divisions are then solved and the results combined in the same order. This continues till you arrive at the original ‘apparently impossible’ question , this time with the answer at your other hand. The research is done and information collected and compiled. When you get this information, you get power because “information is power” and with this power-you use it to get over the apparently impossible sales task.

In my next post , we will talk about How in a more detailed manner. If anyone is interested in the entire poem of Kipling, the following link will lead you to it

That’s all for now, friends!!!
Until the next post, it’s now
Hasta Manana

From Bilbo

Sunday, February 05, 2012


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