Showing posts with label arindom borah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label arindom borah. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Lying To Your Customers, In Industrial Selling

           Is lying to your customer justified in Industrial Selling? Why not? people think and reason. In the FMCG line, people do it all the time in product advertisements. So, why not in Industrial goods and Capital Equipment? Moreover, we are talking about a few white lies here and there. What is so wrong in it? 

     Sorry for doing it this way but lying in Industrial Selling is simply N-O-T A-C-C-E-P-T-A-B-L-E. The big deal here is that lying and sales have become so intertwined that customers simply add safety periods on to time periods being given to them. And, I talk here in case of both Internal Customers and External Customers. In a business organization, all the people to whom a person gives out information are its customers. For example, assembly gives out information to dispatch as to when an order will be ready which gives information to dispatch which gives information to Sales regarding a dispatch. Thus, dispatch is the customer of assembly and sales is the customer of dispatch, they are Internal Customers. Sales passes on the information to the External Customer. The information flow  in many organizations is everything but the truth. Therefore, the salesperson's information is bound to be a distortion too. The difference is that all these negative points are filed in the customer's mind. When the next sales chance comes up, it becomes that much difficult for the salesperson to apply his organization's competitive edge as that has been worn away to some extent because of these distortions or lies along the product chain. There is one way in which this can be minimized and that is by progress posting online in the company's own servers or using cloud servers. Each and every point or station needs to have its on-line progress posting which should be accessible to the relevant departments. In any case, the sales person should not lie in such cases but tell the truth. He should not make any confirmations unless he is sure of what he is confirming.

     This is the main area i.e. post sales before delivery periods that such things happen. One great thing about telling the truth is that in 90% cases, your relation with the customer will not be affected. In fact, the customer's dependability on you will go up when they realize that you can be relied upon to give an accurate picture of what is happening. The primary objective of a salesperson should be to build up relations with the customer, for it is only relationship selling that is going to mater in the coming future. If you do not know, what relationship selling is or unsure, you can take a look at what this blog has said about relationship selling in past posts. Just do not bring up that much abused word "next week" when the customer asks you when he can expect his delayed shipment. Just say " you do not know" and ask for time to give an accurate position to the much stressed customer.

    Lying is mainly post-sale lying that we are talking about here. Pre-sale lying becomes redundant if you have good product knowledge. If you are not sure about something, tell the customer that you want to check it up and ask him for time. In many cases, you'll be surprised at how easily you get the time. 

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The Mechanics of Creativity



The Creativity theory

  Hi friends.
This is your friendly neghbourhood blogger again and this time we will tackle the mechanics of creativity. In this post we will start from where we left off.

Last time,we discussed creativity in general  and concluded that creativity is nothing but looking at things from a different perspective.Now, so many different things happen in our range of vision that the brain employs a filtering system so that we see only what will interest us. The other things also happen but those files go to the recycle bin of our mind and are then eliminated altogether. Maybe, some are retained as temporary cookies which will explan subconscious and conscious vision,but that is besides the subject of discussion.

The Gorilla in the basketball court

 I read about this a long time back and I may not be 100% accurate but its good enough for the purpose. In a study of cognition, a group of volunteers are taken to a basketball court where the opposing teams are in white and black. The volunteers are told to count the number of passes the team in white make. The whistle blows and soon a high intensity passing game starts and lasts for about 1 to 2 minutes. In the middle a man in a gorilla suit comes up, beats his chest, and then walks away. When the time runs out, the volunteers are asked about the number of passes and they give the answers. They are then asked about the gorilla and nobody recalls seeing a gorilla.

 If you want to check it out for yourself, there are plenty of videos posted on by colleges and educators.You can easily get a lot of links from google. However, most people find that it doesn't work as well as described, because they are already watching out for the gorilla,which is not supposed to be the way its done. You already know about the gorilla which you are not supposed to know. Therefore, I am linking another video which shows us the same thing, allbeit, in a different scenario alltogether.Check it out by clicking HERE.

How does creativity work

We have become so accustomed to thinking in the same old way like “Event A will lead to B and B will lead to C”, i.e. in a cause and effect way that starting to look from a different perspective is difficult. Let us now bring Edward De Bono, into the picture the man who first coined the term “Lateral Thinking”  and who is considered as the leading intellectual authority on the subject of creative thinking. Dr. De Bono has written a long list of books on the subject of creative thinking starting from 1969 and has more than 35 years of experience in this field.   

Creativity and a Sense of Humor

In his book “Serious Creativity” Dr. De Bono, describes the humor model of lateral or creative thinking. Dr. Bono argues that in normal cases, our thinking process moves in the conventional straight line of cause and effect, as shown in the figure below. Going along this main route of thought, one  comes across various sidetracks, following some of which and then reversing direction, we can come back to the originating point i.e. we can think creatively and maybe, find new answers to existing problem, or in other words, exercise innovation. However, like the gorilla, we never see them, as we mentally block these sidetracks and go straight and straight on, in the usual and common way. We therefore need a way to make these blocks appear. Dr.Bono calls these ‘provocations’ i.e. events which provokes us to leave the main track and enter the sidetrack, naming them 'po'.


Sunday, March 23, 2014


Yes, Its true. Sales Rejection, if handled right, can be one of the most potent selling tools, provided of course, that your boss is not the younger (or elder) brother of Hari Sadu (of the TV ad fame).

Why's that? That is because it is only by rejection that one learns. I remember once in my first visit to the man who will be placing the order, as I shook his hand and I handed over my card, Mr. Customer was just looking at my company name and logo and then he asked me " Do you deal with XYZ's products? " and incidentally XYZ was our main competitor-the No 1 in the country with us at No.2. I stared at him, taken aback and told him that they were our competitor. The small room was full of nervous energy and the funny point struck both of us. We smiled and the tension was broken. I told him that I am there to sell my company's products and that I did not have a clue as to how to do that, so I would be obliged if he gives me some advise as to how I can convince him to give us a try-out. That was the start of an excellent relationship and I'm happy to say that after three years, I had replaced most of XYZ's products by ours.Anybody can sell new products to a new factory but phasing out your competitor is not easy, let me tell you. 

Whenever you read success stories of people, do you really think that this person , who has written a book on sales, succeeded every time he pushed. Nope-that is impossible.  Rejection is as much a part of the sales rep's official experience as acceptance is. In fact the average sales rep is more at home with rejection than acceptance.What you need to do is after each rejection, you need to list down and find what went wrong. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013


The United States of America.
Custer's last stand : The battle  of Little Bighorn 25th June 1876.

As the buffalo became scarcer, Indian tribes lives became hard. The Indians have had enough of being pushed into reservations too, the final straw being the US violation of  the treaty of Black Hills, and the unstoppable incursion of white Americans,
 as rumors circulated that gold (as in California) was there for the taking in the Black Hills. General George Armstrong Custer, a potential future US president, by nature headstrong, fought against forces led by the Indian Medicine Man and Chief "Sitting Bull" and Chief " Crazy Horse".
        Custer disregarded his scout's information that the Indian camps were enormous in size, and estimated about a thousand braves whereas, actually there was 2000-4000 Sioux braves. As was obvious, Custer and the US 7th Cavalry were wiped out, the only living being remaining being ironically Custer's horse 'Commanche'. Custer only had about 700 troopers  and then further proceeded to divide them into three units.

     No guys, you are still at the same site. I just started off in a different tack this time. Remember all the feedback you had to provide about competition including the market share variance if any and the order value of the competitors in the last quarter etc. Let's admit it this kind of data is impossible to give if you are selling capital equipment and your market is vast. I had often found myself as the sole person of my company in charge of everything of a state ( area  not less the entire UK). These forms were frustrating for so often you were required to give break-ups and they were huge waste of time. Moreover, it is quite probable that these forms were used as rough paper -no one ever read them-What do you do?-you collect market data or do you sell? I believe that the objective is served if your boss tells you what information he needs any time (when his boss calls him) and what he needs some time. You than satisfy his need by a mail/letter/fax whatever.
Simple, isn't it? The Indian mentality is to see if you have given the info in the form..Gee! Another example of why western sound marketing principles will not work in South East Asia, unless you tailor make them so as to suit the natural conditions.Coming back, the competition often had offices having three-four officers while I had to operate from my house, and they ruled.(I finally started targeting big customers and making my brand superior in numbers.and I kept my job that way)

          The point I want to make is FORGET all those things you may have heard about the quality of our sales people vs. theirs. These even out in the long run. What matters is how many players you have compared to the opposition. In an organizational perspective, it is the financial muscle you have.

  In this post,I want to continue my take (through Ries and Trout)on Karl Von Clausewitz's ideas and an important one is " Always keep your forces concentrated in an overpowering mass"-in other words' attack with all your resources at the decisive battle because history shows us that the army which is larger in size always wins. In WWII, had the US not joined the allies-giving them a huge superiority in numbers-the English and the French were being outfought and would have lost.   If you are American, than maybe your national anthem would have been "Dixie" if General Robert E. Lee had 25,000 more men. I did not know that either but the fact is that in Gettysburg ,1863 General Lee had 75,000 men while General Meade of the Union had 88,000 men. 


Saturday, September 07, 2013


Hi Friends,

So-how are you and how's life been treating lately..Me? Its been a lousy few days.

As you must be knowing by now about my addiction with the net,I was on a high the other day when I saw a blog post. My eyes stuck to the title which said " Now shove this paper on sales face-Marketing". not those exact words, but I'm sure you get the drift. 

I stared at it open-mouthed in surprise and tried to know more about the author. But no information was available except for his name. Then it struck me that holy shit! this guy does not know the difference between sales and marketing as yet. Just think of a hypothetical situation where you are walking along with a werewolf expert in a deserted countryside. Suddenly a werewolf sees you both and gives chase, and your friend asks you " Who's that guy?" ..Eeeps!!! And you were counting on this dude to protect you!!! 
So, this post is gonna be about Marketing and Sales-the much misunderstood dynamic duo-so that the werewolf doesn't get you............

      The entire act of fulfilling a need of a section or few people by allowing them to purchase whatever it is they want is called marketing. Marketing is not one thing-it is a process where different activities come together and start from checking the need an entity has, devise way to fulfill that need, and sell it to the person who is wiling to pay the highest amount of revenue. We have our needs implanted biologically and later psychologically inside us since we are born. In the womb, all its needs were catered to automatically but after birth, the baby say feels odd and therefore bawls. It wants milk which he got every time he wanted it. So it now bawls and presto it gets it. This is the process of breast-milk marketing.  In subsequent posts, we are going to visit a man named Maslow, who will a important cog in this learning process.

We will learn about the need, how to fulfill it, how to position it, the importance of advertising, where to target it,how to give it, how to fix the costing etc. Look at the illustration above guys,  the cards here are the different functions, the card house is marketing. Some of the cards are more important like the one at the bottom-those are card (sale); card (need); card (costing). The cards above are slightly less important maybe. It all depends upon the application.

Rahul Bajaj and Bajaj Auto Ltd.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Stage II : The Most Important Stage

Hello Friends,

We now come to the middle 
portion, and the events that take 
place here, are going to make or 
break, all the hard work done. 
Here the main job is to
“Follow –Up”. Yes –I know that
follow ups can be a bit of a bore
But dude, there is just no help for it. You want to sell, you have to develop enthusiasm for follow-up
"Follow up has to be done if you want to sell."

There was once this Sales Guru called Pup
Whose favorite dish was fish-heads in Ketchup’
“The three basic rules" he'd say
“in the science of sales any day"
“Is follow-up, follow-up and FOLLOW-UP”

In Public Sector Tendering, what happens now is that Materials Dept. sends your file back to person who indented for it. This means the department and the officer who required it in the first place. I am assuming that you have built a relationship with the him/her by now. After that post in relationship selling, I am assuming that you-my readers-are using it to the extent possible.A few things have to be kept in mind when you are participating in Public Sector selling through Tenders, of capital equipment.

1.The "Indenter" is interested to know whether the equipment that you are trying to sell will give him the service he requires or not. Even if there is a single iota of doubt, he won’t proceed ahead on your proposal. Therefore, what you need to have in dollops is confidence. Because trust me, very few people can let their inner confusion not show outside. (The indenter will be an experienced person and he will barely need to ask two or three questions to know that you have no idea of what you are speaking about.). So try to get rid of all your confusion if you have any.

2.If you are representing a foreign OEM, then your product may have done fabulous work in Brazil and Peru. Do not make the mistake of glorifying these achievements. Their presence on your experience list is enough. Maybe you are new in India and have sold only one or two units so far. Glorify that achievement. That will serve you in better steed then the South American glorious stories.

Now, what about service? Do you have service people in your company who are competent as well as presentable? Or,  is your management only thinking about recruiting people? Or, maybe you have already hired experienced engineers and you've sent them overseas for training? Please note that you should not tell lies and untruths. If your product is slightly technically inferior, tell the truth. Even a person who is not the champion intellect is more likely to buy a slightly technically inferior product but with good service rather then a sophisticated gizmo which requires four(4) days for someone to come over from Koln.

Always remember that “ what the customer is interested in knowing: is how your product can help his organization in the subject application. He is definitely not interested in knowing about anything else before that..not the strict QA policy you have..not the prize for CRM your Paris Office, nor even your recent order from Mars. This may appear to be obvious but we sometimes fall victim to our ego's. Talk to the point.

 It maybe so that your competitor's equipment had failed somewhere. Maybe your accessory life is higher. Do not criticize your competitor. Do not bring these up. Sometimes you have to be a little unethical!. But  do keep a professional looking paper which lists everything...on a plain white paper with you where your competitor's evil record is exposed and your advantages are monetized to the extent possible. Use it discreetly only when required. (say customer says”I heard that your equipment caused problems in… from… You can then say its funny, look at this..maybe I’ve got something here..Aaah here it is..I’ve never told you anything because I don’t believe in negative marketing)

That's the end of Part II and the file goes back to the Materials department.
Looking forward to the next time,we sign off now
Your friendly blogger