The-Birth-of-a-Salesman-with-I-Wish-I-Could-Sell

The Birth of a Salesman with “I Wish I Could Sell”

Hello Everyone,

For those of you who don’t know me, I pride myself on being a salesman at heart. Having started my sales career in the 90s, I have seen interesting changes in sales team’s profiles at different levels and in different geographies across the years. I have been lucky enough to have supported sales and marketing initiatives in more than 50 countries and across different channels from the most organised to the most fragmented such as those supporting BPL ( Below Poverty Line) consumption in the developing world.

In the recent few years there are a few key topics around Sales & Distribution management which I feel very passionate about and I look forward to sharing my thoughts on those with you. One topic which I have seen discussed a lot recently is the relevance of a Sales person in today’s Digital world. I have seen some posts marking the phenomenon as the death of a sales person’s role, lost world of sales etc etc. This amuses me quite a lot as in my view this changing landscape is and should be “The Birth of a Salesman”, birth of a salesman who can be relevant in today’s world, birth of a salesman who can use his amazing skills from previous experiences such as relationship building to bring more life into the management of current channel landscape and birth of a salesman who combines richness of being able to understand customer needs with the agility of being able to fulfill them through the modern digital methods.

I will share more details on that perspective through this medium of “I Wish I Could Sell” so watch the space. Through “I Wish I Could Sell”, I will be sharing blogs that capture my learnings from the sales journey across years and geographies. I will also be sharing podcasts on key areas impacting the world of sales.

Look forward to connecting.

Regards,

Ankur Shiv Bhandari

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 by 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….

Customers don’t know what they want, You do!- Make a decision

How many times have you doubted the strength of your product or service? How many times have you asked yourself the question “Do they really want what I am selling?” Am I wasting my time?”. However, if you genuinely believe that the Product or Service you are selling is going to make a positive difference for the customer, then the power is really in your hands, not theirs. “Customers don’t know what they want, You do!” is a bold statement to make, I know. However, think about this. You have spent 5 years perfecting or learning about a Product, Service, Model or a simple proposition. Chances are you have looked at it from multiple angles and viewed it within many scenarios and in many cases know the value it can bring to your customer from different areas more than they know.

The onus is on you to articulate that in a simple way for your customers to help them understand the benefit of what you are proposing and help them believe why they really need it. But before that you yourself need to believe, what you have can make that difference. Steve Jobs believed Apple can change the world and it did, Colonel Sanders of the KFC fame believed that he had a winning recipe and it did win and I can quote many others but I guess you get the gist. For any of these,success did not come overnight but they persevered and it did come. Many of you might have seen the Steve Jobs movie where he said “People don’t know what they want until you bring it to them” is so true.

A similar scenario plays out from my chosen clip today from the movie”The Hundred Foot Journey”. Have a look and would be good to know what you think?

Regards,

 

Ankur Shiv Bhandari

Passion in Sales- What are the boundaries?

For the past many years, there is a daily ritual I have. Watching a movie or a series episode everyday. I devote 1 to 2 hours almost daily towards this and feels quite therapeutic, relaxing and interestingly enough provides me with some good insights. After all, the cinematographic worlds many times are a reflection of our real worlds. There are certain clips which inspire,motivate or even force you to think about applications in real life. I will be sharing some of those in days to come but this particular one from a movie I recently watched was hilarious and thought provoking at the same time. How much passion in Sales is Good? Are there or should there be any boundaries? What do you think?