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Journey of Salesman to Entrepreneur

This is my first interview I have done with my ex boss Mr Vital who is started his career as sales men then started small start up and now he is helping thousands of his clients by his solutions. His Company now earns 60Cr turnover.
Me: Hi sir,

Vittl: Hello, Good evening, how about you?

Me: Excellent, I just want know your journey details, can you spare your 10 minutes of time with me.

Vittal: The first things you mentioned was motivational about why people might consider entrepreneurship as their option as opposed to working for an existing organization what are the really the motivating values here well I can suggest three reasons one is the freedom to do what you love two is security for you and your family and one thing I remind everyone is that no one is going to provide for their security except for them and not to rely on the government because who knows what could happen there here are young people who are looking 40 years down the road at retirement.

Me:  yes.

Vittal:  and especially today that we have a pandemic and govt economic slowdown then third is opportunities that are unique to each and every one of us everyone has a unique set of skills knowledge relationships reputation and these give each of us the ability to do something or to start a business that potentially nobody else can and so developing that and taking advantage of that opportunity is one of the drivers of entrepreneurship you get an Entrepreneurship

Me:we hear a lot one is the the positive motivational bout passion finding something that you’re interested in exciting about or excited but rather than trying to pursue a career there but we also hear that Entrepreneurship is very hard work it can be grueling sometimes overwhelming and so forth and so perseverance right is important and both passion and perseverance were central to your talk but an interplay between the two was  interesting how does that work

Vittal:  yes I see them as feeding on each other they don’t necessarily go together you can’t have one without the other for example if you have you can have passion with out skill and that is not likely to lead anywhere long-term I call it a passing fancy or you can have skills out passion but that’s drudgery it isn’t likely to be very sustainable but the combination of the two is very powerful and they feed on each other I call that combination flow some people call it flourishing it goes by different names but examples of passion driving skills are when you are so deeply engaged by an activity or a subject that you spend so much time with that that the hours go by like minutes

yes: right

Vittal:  there your passion is driving perseverance it’s making perseverance easy another an alternative example is  your manager  driving passion there you could if you just dedicate yourself to working on or learning about a particular activity so that you start to get good at it and feel good doing it then that’s an example of perseverance making you or helping you become passionate about.

Me:  alright and make as you find out that you’re passionate about something that you wouldn’t have become passionate about had to do not persevered exactly it has a certain threshold and so on

Me: yeah very good a lot of your toppers are the middle part of your talk focused on personal psychology how many cases people can have self-defeating

Vittal: psychological happy habits rather but then also self empowering right psychological habits so one of the things for example you mentioned was being careful about negative thoughts

for example and how do you deal with negative thoughts of course we’re all going to have negative thoughts but what’s their place in in the process one of the things I say is never say anything negative about yourself and if you have to use the past tense that’s the way I used to be but it’s not the way I am now or it’s not the way I am going forward or it’s not the direction I’m going in I emphasize that there’s the brain is like the human brain is like an iceberg with only 20% of it consciously aware of the messages that come in and 80% of it unconscious and that unconscious mind is doing a lot of processing of messages and some of those messages that we repeat to ourselves again and again it accepts as truth and so a negative idea can turn into reality so we don’t want to repeat negative thoughts about ourselves that’ll hold us back so I suggest that for any negative hought that might creep into your mind think of a specific incident no matter how small where you did the opposite if it was at a party you put everybody else at ease if it was in a game you were the star and keep that specific incident in the four fold of your mind to think about it maybe write it down maybe describe it and detail maybe tell others about it and then let that push the negative thoughts out of that work with honest self-evaluation where sometimes it is appropriate to recognize that you do have deficiencies weaknesses you’ve made mistakes and you do have to confront those in order to learn from them so we don’t want to go down the road of denying that one’s weaknesses or that one has engaged in inappropriate behaviors or whatever so how do you balance what you were just saying with an honest to self evaluation including evaluation of weaknesses that you have well as I said it’s okay in the past tense this is what I’ve done before this is the way this is this was my performance okay before and maybe you can identify some improvement to that performance even since it happened if so great that’s progress already starting and then then you can talk about this is the direction I’m going in and this is what I plan to do in the future.

Me: what about decision making?

Vittal: play a very central role including others in the decisions delegating decisions trusting others to make the right decision and treating each other people other or the others and respectfully in the same way that he or she would like to be treated right so including criticism that criticism is constructive criticism not blame storming and all that usual stuff that you hear about something I often say is look for and find the good in the people around you this is something I look for another executives and and try to work on in myself and build on that good right no matter how small so just as it’s helpful to me to build on the small good things I’ve done so is it really good for others to have you and others recognize the good things they’ve done acknowledged them and that and built on them so then an important part of the entrepreneurs function is going to be selecting people who are in the team and their psychology and their attitudes right that they bring to it are also going to be adding to the mix so are you gonna people who have technical skill sets but they might not be the right social mix if they don’t have that same ability to control contribute positively positive feedback loops and so forth so there’s a lot there on the one hand you want to find people who have a positive mindset and who will can-do attitude and who will contribute to those cultural elements that we talked about that we did that we’ve just talked about and at the same time you don’t want to get everybody identical in the company because if everybody is identical then somebody isn’t necessary and the there are lots of ways to think about diversity the way that seems to be most valuable to any team

Me:  as far as I can tell is cognitive diversity any business team so how do different members of the team think about things are do they all

Vittal: what if some of the ways people can be different some people focus on the big picture some people focus on the individual components some people are more relationship and dealing with other people some people are more transactional and having a mix of those Different styles I think strengthens the team in fact Scott page at the University has done tests that find that diverse teams that are diverse in cognitively outperform teams that are stronger but less diverse more homogeneous cuz they’re double-edged sort of the cognitive diversity because then you have cognitive styles and they can clash right as well as being complementary to each other so as part of an additional level of management is being able to manage the clash constructively

Me:  yes and and I do think there’s you can go too far and thatthere’s an optimal middle ground.

Vittal: okay I think of them as three overlapping circles say like a Venn diagram if they’re two all overlapping that’s suboptimal but if they’re completely non overlapping the members of that team may have trouble working together

ME:  okay fair enough issues of money and funding obviously come up a lot in out of ownership right at all levels but particularly the the entry stage young people are often deter because they don’t think they can raise the funding or they don’t know how to think about the the funding process and you did have some advice about seeking funding but not until you’re ready all right so what does that mean when are you ready to seek funding

Vittal:  well I do think there are a finite number of times in a company’s life that are optimal for fundraising and they are right after the company has achieved a significant milestone that reduces risk to potential investors and when would those times be well typically Well here’s some examples if you are profitable that eliminates the risk that you can generate revenue if you can generate revenue that eliminates the risk that you can get customers if you have customers that eliminates the risk that your prototype works and if you have a working prototype that eliminates the risk that your idea can even be made to work in the first place so those are exempt of milestones that we probably be perceived as significant risk reducers by prospective investors of course the key question is how can a entrepreneur get to that point where they have reached one of those milestones that’s  perhaps take some funding just to get there and so I encourage them to look at all of their resources and so we fill out that chart that has lots of different types of assets on it you may have a spare bedroom great that means that I don’t have to rent an office I may have some computer equipment and access to the Internet great that means I don’t have to buy that equipment whatever a friends-and-family can provide initial funding I can be creative about how I engage others to get involved with the company I can perhaps offer a combination of stock and flexibility in addition to capital in that way get a desire hitting people who are enthusiastic about the product or the project right and so the conversation is necessarily lower but they’ll get more psychological rewards.

Me:so being creative in all those dimensions absolutely right toward the end you also talked about ethics which certainly as an ethics professor I found refreshing and you raised the provocative question about whether entrepreneurship is ethical particular essence in business ethics we don’t hear a lot about entrepreneurship  so what – or your thoughts there

Vittal: I do think it is one of the most ethical career choices you can make and let me explain why I say that first of all we as you said we don’t often hear about entrepreneurship what do we hear about we hear about corporate philanthropy as being very ethical we hear about graft and corruption and theft as being unethical I don’t disagree with either of those but I don’t think it’s the whole story and I don’t even think it’s the most important part of the story and helpful to look at the stages of the entrepreneurial process what does it require for somebody to become anpreneur well they have to have an idea which they have to develop that takes rationality creativity persistence they have to have the courage to strike out on their own that takes courage they have to have intellectual honesty to reject an idea for which there’s no customer demand as I eventually was forced to do with my first company when I after six months finally accepted the fact there was no customer demand for a cool new technology called conditional voting and you have to create win wins with your employees with your customers or else they’re not going to deal with you they’re going to go somewhere else so all of these qualities in an individual that entrepreneurship demands our qualities

Me:  I think it’s fair to say we’d like to see in the people around us our neighbors and our co-workers now consider the social benefits that entrepreneurship generates.

Vittal: it’s impossible to be successful as an entrepreneur without making the world a better place by creating more choice more innovation lower costs or some combination of the above because again if people don’t feel their world is going to be made better by your product or service they don’t have to buy answer they’re going to go elsewhere similarly all of your stakeholders the employees shareholders and customers and partners have to their worlds have to be made better or else they’re going to go elsewhere so both individually and socially I see lots of qualities that we’d like in our co-workers and neighbors that entrepreneurship brings out in the people around us and which entrepreneurship demands if you’re going to be sick festival at it and if you stand back and look at the tens of millions of entrepreneurs around the world  who are all serving customer needs and creating these win wins and innovating they are driving improvements in quality of life standard of living and economic growth around the world and all that is deeply ethical absolutely and and incidentally guess what’s funding most of the philanthropy  in the world entrepreneurship right so given all of those factors

Me:I rest my case that entrepreneurship is among the most ethical career choices you can make so as an individual entrepreneurship require certain virtues of character for the venture to succeed it has to be a network of win-win relationships that are developed those make the world a Better place in a number of respects Including philanthropy because of all of the extra wealth that it generates all thanks Very much for your time sir,

Thank you

 

Categories
Sales

Mistakes to avoid during customer meetings by every B2B technical sales engineers

From the last few years, If you observed, particularly for the market in India was changed drastically compared to the way it was doing earlier.

If you analyzed the market and you would be definitely understood that digital solutions are having huge momentum.

If you are not realized and also not change to take on a new role in technology solutions. You will befall behind in the next couple of years.

So, you should expand and focus on learning updated technologies like digital marketing, new digital age sales skills for new opportunities.

I truly believe, since many technical salespeople with diversified experience in offline sales and a stronghold on B2B sales cycles will get success easily.

Initially, you may get confused,  the way new marketing technology is working but remember it is just the medium of marketing channels that are changed but fundamentals remain the same.

Sales fundamentals are always the same for ages.

In sales, you would have found that when you pay attention& focus on every stage of the sales cycle, from the first contact to the “ singing the deal ” you will succeed the most of the deal.

Sales happening in very three simple stages:

  1. Finding leads.
  2. Discussion with Prospects.
  3. Agreement with Customer.

In the new regime of B2B technical sales, engineers are very often doing mistakes that can harm business growth.  In the B2B sales process at each stage, these mistakes will lead them to pay heavy costs. I will discuss a few mistakes below in detail.

Not talking to the right contacts

Especially in new and young sales engineers in technical sales are mostly spending their time with the wrong person.

Since you got a lead that does not mean that lead will be the decision-maker.

As everyone knows in technical product sales, decisions will be happening at multiple levels but that does not mean you have to convince them at all levels.

You just find the right decision-maker.

If you don’t ask who is decision maker, surely, you would have wasted your time and energy convincing the wrong person by the end no use.

You need to do your research to understand all the people who are involved in the buying process at each level completely.

When you qualify the lead to a prospect and before going to meet,  start doing a google search to their official website and to know more about what they are into, and what products they are dealing and how big the company is?

Who are their potential buyers ( some times it also matters, we can use of their buyer’s references too off-course it happens only if we already know some of their customers and how they are doing business, goals and their business vision?

It will benefit one way of building a relationship with prospects, and they are also comfortably listening to your sales pitch at a later stage.

Basically, they should resonate with you.

Even you check with other sales team members also, to know if they have reached out to this prospect in the past or working currently with any of their other branch or their associates.

And before the meeting, you just want to confirm them about their scheduled time and who is else will be in the meeting and request them to invite all the decision-making authorities to participate in the meeting so it can speed up the sales process.

You should Identify the right prospects and maintain better rapport with them, contact at different levels would be like a ladder for your business.

In the ladder every spoke is impartment to move upwards, this approach would lead you happening towards the sale by the end.

Talking more than the customer

Most of the time majority of the salespeople talking about their product/service than understanding the customer properly.

If you don’t let the customer speak, you will never be able to understand their pain points.

The real selling process starts when the customer starts sharing his pain points.

Customers are don’t bother about your features and quality men ships, they just focus on what they get and how their investment going to solve their problems.

Technical salespeople should practice to ask open-ended questions and listen to the customer.

Understand their pain points and address their problems with your solutions.

Remember when you meet the prospect means it is already a qualified lead, so, based on the situation only you should talk and find the right fit between your product or services and the customers’ expectations.

For that, you will choose questions mostly related to their implied needs and explicit needs.

It is the Sales engineer’s role and responsibility to find out what the prospect is exactly looking for and what is their current needs?

Then we know how the prospect is giving important and what urgency to have products or solutions that they looking for.

How they are currently managing the situation without having the proper desire solutions?

Then explain the features and benefits of your products/solutions without overpromising.

You have to honestly admit and make educate customers about outcomes. So there is no dispute after selling.

Actually, before going to meet customers, you should list down all the features and functionalities of your products/services and also noting down the benefits that customer might get from each of you product feature and functionalities.

Desperation towards the sales

Most of the salespeople are more often jump into the sales pitch and spend most of the time on how to sell their product/solution/services than a clear understanding of the customer’s requirement.

I can understand their psychology running behind to reach they are of target numbers. But it won’t bring those results.

If you don’t present yourself honestly, Customer will never be able to disclose what they are exactly looking for.

Hence you can’t get the right information and in the end, your solution may not fit your customer.

Finally, they will drop you from the race.

Sales will be happened based on friendship; people will not buy until they are convinced that you are their genuine friend.

Be genuine with customer concerns, Think about what you can do if you are

In their situation and then provide solutions.

Because customers always want to know how you can best meet their needs that the competition is not offering them.

Through consistent communication and feedback, you can also discover better ways to help them solve their problems.

So that do research, keep adding value to customers, continue engagement in all possible platforms, solving problems from time to time, listening to their feedback, and should take action promptly.

With these notes I want you to remember every time before you think about your own Sales efforts, take these findings to your mind. You can become one of the top executives.

 

 

Categories
Blog My Talks

How I am writing My First Blog Post-DDIP

Hey friends

with this Blogpost, I want to share my experience on how I am writing my first blog post.

I am made an outline with the help of MindMeister mind maps and followed these 6 steps while working on my own blog.
1.Reasons
2.Research
3.Resources
4.Rewrite
5.Reachout
6.Revenue

1.Reasons:
Before starting the blog, I have asked my self a question

“why I am going to start/write a blog? ”

Then I concluded with the few major reasons
1. It is because in the process of learning my digital marketing course.
2. is because want to do Affiliate marketing
3. Is to Establish a connection with like-minded people

2.Research:
On Niche topics, Tools required content ideas, etc.

Niche:
Niche is a very important and most essential decision before starting a blog.
A niche is nothing but a topic that we want to write about in our blogs.

Selecting one niche on which we can write is a brainstorming exercise.
We should have good knowledge about that niche so that we can freely write the best quality blog posts for our readers.

I am planning to make a separate blog on how to choose a Niche for your blogs.

Tools& Technology:
There are different blogging platforms are available. Based on our goal we can choose any one of them.

1. Free blogging sites providers-Like bloggers, tumbler etc with this we just focus only on blog writings rather than building the website and other technicalities, but our blog names are with their respective subdomains. Not custom domain names.

2. There are also Guest post websites – like Medium, Ghost, etc
we can post directly our articles there, In such blogging sites they have existing bloggers community, different blog writer posts available in a similar interest, we can reach out them.
3. Another option is we can have to choose to design blog sites by building our own website. It will give us authority and personal branding,

Domain & Hosting services: I have done my research on these service providers too.
Is the first thing most to do is research for domain names.
Because It is our online address that our readers can type in their browser to reaching out to us.
Remember, if once it is registered, difficult to change later. A good domain name always defines our brand value in the future.

Hosting is a service that our blog post files are kept stored.

Nowadays most of the Hosting service providers are providing domain name service. Service providers like Wix, Bluehost, Namecheap, siteground, GoDaddy, hostinger etc. you can choose based on the cost and services.

I have plan to make a separate blog on how to choose Domain and Hosting services for your blog.

Content Ideas:
The first step in writing the blog is to choose a good topic, for that, we need to get the right ideas.
Only While we doing the research we can get some ideas. Without doing research we can’t get.

In our niche area, we can use google keywords or any SEO tools for getting good topic ideas.
Go to different blogging sites on the same topic or in our niche and read
we have to take notes while doing research. understand the gaps that need to be cover in the topics.
Start researching on it.

Talk to our niche market audience what they are looking for.
we need not be an expert on the topic, but Make sure we have to add value through our post.

3.Resources:
Tech setup: based on Research and budget, we have to purchase the domain name and hosting services either from the same service provider or choose from different service providers.

I have brought both domains and hosting services from namecheap.com

later I have chosen the WordPress platform for setting up my blog.

I have installed it and added plugins and themes that are needed initially.

Created my own basic personal blogging site.

I am planning a blog on a detailed tech setup of a word press blog in the coming days.

Content generation:
Setting up the blogging site is alone not sufficient.

The content generation mechanism is important once we started a blog post.

we have to go through and read various blog posts in our niche topic.

Make notes out of it and create an outline in a mindmap.

This can be useful while we sit for writing a blog post on a selected topic.

4.Rewrite:
we have to start paying focus on writing with the gathered information

Creating a Title is key for the blog post,

it is the one that attracts readers to jump into our blog post.

If we can hook the readers with a good title and introduction sentence they will stick to our blog.

We can start our blog post in several ways to keep the audience’s attention.

start with questions? Or start with defining problems of niche audience or
start with a small story or talk directly about the pinpoints that our targeting audience is facing.

Now that I have outlined for my blog post and content information so that I can start rewrites the copy of researched information as per my designed outline structure. if necessary I can make subsections too.

Conclusions:
To conclude the end by Just re-write the whole article in a very short paragraph with 2 or 3 sentences that can remind the entire article to the readers.

The blog post cannot be successful unless we can convince users to take action on the blogsite

so we should include a call to action. like sign up for updates, newsletters or We can be asked to leave a comment or to share in their social media accounts or directly asking to buy our product

5.Reach out:
once we completed the writing and published an article in our blog

it is absolutely necessary to share with people otherwise it has no sense of writing a blog post.
We have to start sharing with our friends and relatives for feedback through their social media platforms.
And also share with your network groups.

I need to strategize to reach out in different social media platforms

6.Revenue :
I know making the blog as a money asset is the time testing job.
need to be patient and consistent on blog postings. It completely depends on the value that we are providing to our readers. Blogs can be monetized in different ways,

if our blog has more traffic money come from ads or if we add value to our readers through content and target niche audience they can buy our products ( it is either affiliate products or own products).

So with this, I hope it could be helpful and leave your feedback on the comment section and subscribe my YouTube channel for more updates

Thank you.