Make them want you. How to make clients chase you for business

Never follow up with your customers. These are the notes from my conversation over a zoom conference call with Suresh, CEO founder of MacApp studio, Chennai. From extremely humble backgrounds, hailing from the interior part of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Suresh now runs a multi-million dollar IT services company in Chennai Why … Read more Make them want you. How to make clients chase you for business

5 big mistakes startup founders are making each day

My heroes are the ones who survived to do it wrong, who made mistakes but recovered from them. Bono Just because you aren’t hungry, doesn’t mean you won’t feed your kid.  You and your business are separate, you got to feed your business, for it to survive.  If you are a small business owner or … Read more 5 big mistakes startup founders are making each day

How to dramatically increase your revenue per customer

Research says 71% of businesses don’t have a plan to increase revenue per customer after a deal is closed. What? In simple words founders and business owners are rejoicing over a small transaction and in the process walking away with lots of cash lying on the table. The closest analogy is that of a marathon … Read more How to dramatically increase your revenue per customer

How to sell to the US? Here are some practical strategies

This blog is for technology startups and growing companies who are building services, products and solutions but are selling in the domestic market. With my close to 2 decades of experience in business development and sales, I can safely vouch that selling to the US is lot less difficult than selling inside India. I have … Read more How to sell to the US? Here are some practical strategies

Be the “Muhammad Ali” in your Selling career

In corporate B2B Selling career life isn’t very far off from what we face in our personal lives. We see downs, failures, depressions, pressures, criticism, politics, and a host of negativity that requires us to face them chin up.

Your Sales career
Fight like a boss

When things go wrong — DON’T QUIT. Fight it out like Muhammad Ali would have done against the best of his adversaries. Quitting is easy, no wonder people quit all the time.

Quitting is a facade to what is actually escapism in reality.

We think escaping our current scenario would lead us to a land of roses.

In reality we encounter similar people, personalities and scenarios manifested in different forms.

Fight it out. Stay there long. Take some punches. Know for a fact that your time will come to deliver some as well.

You should also read How to Put yourself in Harm’s way.

Take a stance

Develop a stance to be with the right, bold and fair people and situations. Ali had a body language and demeanor of a “winner already”. People respect righteousness and bold behavior.

There are bound to be times, when we feel ignored and walked over.

Let people know that you don’t like it and isn’t acceptable to you explicitly.

Work on alternatives that would suit you and the organization.

Rarely in our work places we see strong people, with strong opinions getting a raw deal because they choose to shape their careers by being with right people and showing up at the right places. Right is might.

Take those punches well in your Selling career

Lets look at tough times in our working lives.

New assignments, non amiable co workers, wrong projects and how can we forget politics.

There is no fun in getting punched and then quitting.

The real game is in staying there long enough, getting those blows, falling down and rising. People with great and long careers didn’t reach there with an easy stroll — they would have fought for it and fought well.

Pain makes us stronger. Cultivate mental toughness because we are here for the long.

Hit with a strategy

Ali was famous not only for his powerful landings but also for his wily and foxy moves.

He could judge and measure his opponents so well, that he knew when and where to hit.

Understand what you are up against. Detach and assess the situation.

Break it down issue wise. Start hitting. Hit them with a purpose to dissolve them and see them falling in front of you.

I refer to people, tasks and situations as “them”.

Don’t hit when you haven’t thought well enough. You will look like a maniac and wreck. Calm down, internalize and then hit.

The best way to test our toughness and resilience is to be in negative situations and with equally tough people.

Don’t duck them. Get muddy. Get sweaty. Fight’s on.


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5 Sales Techniques to learn from Narendra Modi

Sales is 80% inspiration 20% perspiration!

This article is a simple take on sales techniques that we can learn from different world personalities.

Sales lets you learn from so many different quarters like sports, entertainment and sometimes from politicians.

Also read how to be the Mohd. Ali in your job.

It’s been ages since India had a leader who would be written so much in the international media for his personality and charisma than all the issues that plagues this nation.

Narendra Modi probably after Rajiv Gandhi comes with a natural flair for oratory and a likable personality that helps overcome the political protocols set with statesmen world over and allow him to be seen more as a friend.

The master in sales

He comes from the state of Gujarat known for their business acumen and strong grit in getting things done.

He has a goal and vision in mind and goes about like a true salesman to get people investing in India and bring those dollars in the house. Some traits that we can learn from Modi the leader and the brand that he is and his style are as below:

The gift of the gab: 

You just can’t deny when he held thousand of people rapt with his mere words and dreams at Madison Square Garden NYC.

It wasn’t that a country’s PM was addressing a diaspora.

They had come to see the man talk and talk he sure can.

His control on his pitch, painting a vision so serene that you would eventually buy comes with a combination of pauses, electric moments and the right amount of satire.

He is a complete natural and doesn’t miss a beat or fumbles when he speaks in English as well, which isn’t his first or second language. He has made a career by opening this gift and really utilizing it.

Sales is all about Relationships:

Like a true salesman, he is busy networking and growing India’s business. (Click here). Until Modi, I haven’t seen at least Indian leaders taking selfies with the who’s-who of the world.

Be it the serious Chinese premier to the Australian PM to the kings of Dubai.

They all fell in line to this simple gesture of taking a picture.

He cares less about selfies but conveys a message that these people mean something to him and they are willing to do business with him.

Modi goes that extra mile, literally to make them feel wanted in this business relationship and invokes cultural linkages of the past to generate that special warm and fuzzy feeling.


Sell to your strengths:

Modi knows India’s weaknesses but he is optimistic about India’s strengths.

Hence he sells the “clean India” drive at home and sells “make in India” abroad.

These initiatives are looked on as inspirations for a lot of third world nations.

He is selling exactly what he should be selling i.e. India’s demographic dividend and the entrepreneurship drive of the youth.

No wonder billions of dollars are continuing to pour from all over the world either to make something in India or to support something made in India.

Be liked first: 

Modi is liked at home, liked by our neighboring countries and liked everywhere he visits. He personifies the hope that he has come today to sell.

The number of votes garnered by him in the general elections have surpassed all imaginations and shows the liking of the Indian population to his leadership and his visions.

Marketing preceeds Sales techniques :

The “Modi” brand literally dominates all form of media that this generation demands you to be seen at.

From twitter to All India Radio, people can’t help but follow him. Second most followed person in China’s social media is an indication of his strong brand equity.

His flamboyant attire speaks sophistication yet stands out, like the pin striped suite with his name written all over. Leaders are supposed to communicate and he does that really well.

All the above without an MBA degree or professional experience. And above all, Modi does teach us something very fundamental that is to “keep it simple”.

Are you on the 3 people who just CAN”T SELL or WON’T SELL, find out here.

Discomfort is your best coach

You want to grow fast? Make discomfort your friend, ally and a coach. A coach no doubt is a person who shows your the mirror and guides you. Let’s see how you can push yourself from your comfort zone and make discomfort your coach.

“Nothing grows in the comfort land while there is gold in the discomfort patch”

I keep getting pitched by these young blokes just out of college trying to sell you DK DVDs and some BBC glossy books.

They have no option but to earn by hustling on the streets.

I have been seeing these young men and women for long and may be couple of years back I had bought something from them.

Its a tough racket.

It was around 6 pm and I was getting down my car trying to get into my grocery store and these young boys, looking desperate and tanned by the Indian sun, in their bright orange T shirts approached me and started their usual hustle trying to sell me some encyclopedia.

Obviously I wasn’t going to buy; I was tired and wanted to just ignore them.

Related post : How to be a fighter in your sales career. Read here.

I don’t know what hit me; I engaged with them and thought of doing an impromptu on-the-street-sales training.

I asked them if they had any sales training at all. All they were told by their agencies, is to be polite and rattle off as fast as possible to potential middle and upper middle class gents and ladies getting off cars. 🙂

I told them I wanted to give them something free provided they are willing to listen to me.

They agreed, which was a relief for me since I thought they might just ignore me and walk off to another car owner and pitch them. It would have hurt my ego.

The coach starts working

Asked them to speak slow, have a smile, look straight into the customer’s eyes and ask them if they owned “world class” books and they could get lucky on the spot if they bought, because of the discounts.

If the customer speaks, do not interrupt, nod with the same smile, tell them they again, it would be good for their kids or use it as a gifting option.

And at last, “2 Nos from the customer and just go”. Wished them luck and was moving away. One of the guys asked me if I could show it to them as to how its done. Holy cow!!

Again I don’t know what hit me, I thought this could be fun and this will be a real test of me and I didn’t want to fail in front of those just-hatched chicks. I took one of their ID cards, carried the goods in my hand and straight went in to a guy who looked equally tired like me, getting out his car.

Asked him if he thought these are great books and if he owned them.

Thankfully he didn’t have them and he was new to the city. I told him he could have these books at throw away price.

He said, maybe some other day. I said, this offer is today and its at the price of a medium pizza. That caught his attention.

He paid me 700 INR and the deal was done under 10 minutes. Sold him 2 encyclopedias!! Whoo hoo and Phew! Relief.

Went straight to those guys whose eyes were now projected out of their sockets and were looking at me like they have spotted a movie star. Told them to stick to basics and never give up.

Keep smiling and be proud of what they are doing. They couldn’t stop thanking me.

I loved doing this on the street.

I know I was lucky, extremely lucky however it taught me to stay in the edge, be on the streets, meet more people and sell more.

I loved putting myself in harm’s way and getting a small kick in the bargain to have done it, just like bungee jumping.

Don’t wait for a coach to appear

If you are serious about getting a coach, they wouldn’t show up at your place providentially.

You always don’t need a coach who happens to be a person. Your situational awareness can be a great coach.

Try doing things that you have never done.

If it helps you grow, amplify what’s working for you and do more of it.

Why not?

What crazy and whacked out things have you done lately?

These are the 3 people who suck at Sales!!

Disclaimer: Let’s face it, there are tons and more tons of written information out there on Sales, Lead generation, Marketing, and anything and everything to do with business. I run the risk of getting my content lost in this massive ocean called the Internet, however, I thought my version of this story should come out, … Read more These are the 3 people who suck at Sales!!