Ankur Shiv Bhandari

Never criticise competition! You’ll be the biggest loser

We recently moved to a new and bigger office for our business Asbicon in the UK and were looking for telecom companies to set up a phone system exchange with extensions etc. and had invited a few suppliers to assess our needs and provide options with quotes. Sales person of one of the suppliers had finished his presentation and was on his way out while another supplier’s salesperson came in. He said to me ” The cowboys are also pitching” IT WAS AN INSTANT TURN OFF!!

He started with talking about why this other company, his competition was useless and why he was much better etc. Although his solution was reasonable however, his credibility in my mind hit a bottom when his starting pitch was criticising competition. This is one example, we come across many such situations in dealing with sales people.

We need to focus on facts not negativity. We absolutely need to show why our product/solution is better but that needs to be done focused on facts rather than by insulting competition. If a client brings up competition or even if you proactively want to address the strengths you have versus competition, it is advisable to acknowledge that the competition provide a product/solution and they might have their own strengths but you are here to show why your product/solution is better

Focus on your strengths, your key points of differentiation and invest your energy positively in elevating your credibility

Compare don’t criticise

Ankur Shiv Bhandari

“If You, Then I”- The most powerful negotiation tool

You are in a client meeting wanting to get agreement for a new product you want the client to sell. The client asks you for promotional support-you agree, the client asks for lowering the minimum order quantity- you agree, the client asks for reduction in price- you agree. Sounds Familiar? Did you get anything extra in return for agreeing to all those demands which might cost extra to you?

Now think for a second… What if when the client asked you for extra promotional support and instead of a straight yes you replied with:

“If You can agree to a minimum order quantity of X, then I will be happy to increase promotional support”

Similarly for any demand what if you use this response of “If You, Then I”?

Using this response will most likely help you to:

1) Not give anything without getting something in return
2) Strengthen your position
3) Create a fair negotiation platform
4) Provides the buyer with an incentive to agree to your requirements as well

There might be certain demands that you have which might have lower cost for the client but higher value for you and likewise, some demands that the client has which have low cost to you but high value to them. However, if you don’t ask the question of what you can get in return for agreeing to a demand/agreeing to a concession, the trading of those benefits cannot happen.

Infact, not only in a business scenario, try this out in your personal lives, with your partners, with your children. Next time when you get a demand for a new video game try something like ” If you get me an A in maths, then I am happy to get you a new PS” and see the magic happen….

Ankur Shiv Bhandari

Resilience can bend almost anything and anyone!

Weekend words of thought inspired by this great video shared by a good friend. Staying strong in the face of adversity and holding your position can frustrate any adversity trying to impact you.

Be strong and watch the challenge wither away!

If you are not living on the edge, you are wasting space!

Not my quote but has stayed with me since I heard it many years ago. In the mad rush to achieve whatever we have set out for ourselves, we forget to relish and enjoy the journey we have to take to get to our goals.

Many a time it is those adrenaline rushes, the palpitations, the anxiety, the eagerness, the unknown, operating outside comfort zone etc. that keeps us on the edge but feeling alive and excited. It is normal to be in those situations if you have set ambitious goals. If you don’t experience these either you are not following your passion or your goals are very conservative.

Next time you start feeling uncomfortable when you set yourself a stretch objective, relish it. You might miss that feeling one day.

This clip from Only Fools and Horses sums it up nicely for me..

Ankur Shiv Bhandari

Do what is right by your conscience. Trying to match to everyone else’s definition will not work

I genuinely feel that almost everyone starts with a strong moral compass and the ability to take right and fair decisions. This is refined over time by one’s experiences and education to help distinguish between right and wrong. The way human fabric works, we are able to absorb what comes our way in terms of information and make choices.

This compass gets corrupted when one tries to do things by the definitions imposed by others of what is right. Some examples being influences of religion, customs, peer pressure, society perceptions etc. In our hearts we all know what is the right thing to do but still do what others tell us is right. In many such situations in the end neither we are happy nor are the people whose direction we have followed as what is done is never enough. This can lead to a feeling of despair.

Follow your heart and feel the strength that provides you. Notice the burden of not doing what you really wanted to slowing drifting away!