Friday, December 30, 2011

An Appeal to my visitors

An appeal to all visitors 

Dear Friends,


It appears that this blog does attract visitors-maybe small in number-but nevertheless-i am glad that some of you has found value in my ramblings. I want to make a request that before you go out of the blog, please comment.  Be frank and tell me what you like or dislike about my blog and are there any changes that you feel are required. Help me so that I can make this blog better.
"Man is not an island" sad someone (not me 100% :-) ). But without comments and suggestions, I am beginning to feel like an island now. So please please write a line on this blog. There is a separate link for visitor's comments. Help Bilbo to help you better.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

SALES LEADS: Subtle nuances of the species


Hi Folks,

Lat us go back to Sales-leads generation.As you will realize that although I have categorized "lead generating" in a no of types, the basic idea is the same-you got to develop a nose for the ‘apparently trivial but it’s not’ stuff. 


Where is the source or where are the sources ? They are all around you .Let me illustrate.
Think of Sunday’s paper job ads..company X wants experienced, dynamic blah blah for their new plant at Y (news!)..headline in page 5, ..the minister has said that land distribution will not be a priority (news!)…google new projects ..a lot of leads will come up and some maybe right next lane. All this information collected The fact is that despite your competence and expertise to sell, in minimum 25% cases you do not get the news in time. And when you do, it’s too late. (Of course, a few cases will always be there in the “current flow” but 25% is too high a figure).




We have discussed sales leads from the net.  Sales leads from the newspaper, seminars & conferences, 
networking etc. are more or less the same.  Therefore, Collect the information, do some research and be the first with the data. This three activities make up the second law of Sales Management  under ‘Lead Generation’. I will like to explain (to the extent required) as regards three of the points, as they differ slightly.
Leads by references : If you have started practicing relationship selling, then at the end of the supply & commissioning process, ask the customer to refer a few prospects to you. If the customer is pleased, he will give you genuine leads-from some meetings, social occasions etc. A rough rule of the thumb is that such deals work out 33% of the time immediately and after some time, even 50%.The beauty of this method is that the customer is pleased to give you the reference and he, as per human nature, wants to please your company, of which you are the representative. 

A word of caution here, the moment of interaction here is critical. Do not indulge in it when the customer is not in a good mood. He may be pissed off at someone else and not at you but nevertheless , wait.  Think and observe customer carefully before you approach him. But, you’ll say, " Dude, if the customer is pleased  at my work but is in a bad mood which has got nothing to do with me, how can this affect me?" It can.. because of  human nature. Once the word ‘No’ comes out of his mouth, he or she will never say ‘YES”-even though he may want to. This is because most customers like to portray themselves as men of their word. Otherwise it harms their reputation as macho and business savvy decision makers. So, think thrice before you approach the customer but certainly do so.

More in my next post

Love
Bilbo

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Verification

google-site-verification: google6d869ee2e44e1c28.html

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

SALES LEADS: HOW TO GET THEM FROM THE NET-Part II

Hi Friends,


If you will remember, we were discussing sales leads connecting to sales of high value capital engineering equipment and we had just started talking about a free B2B business portal called www.processregister.com
You need to go to this portal (look at my last post for a screenshot of the portal’s home page). On the extreme left you will find a yellow box with links to catalogues, products, PROJECTS etc. Click on projects and you will see at least 200-300 nos of medium to high value projects in India, at different stages. Some  have been completed but most are 'in the pipeline' stage. To make things easier, the projects are even categorised into groups on the basis of the industry. 
Please refer to the screenshot below


The information given against each project is limited but sufficient, You get to know the project status, the cost, the promoter, the location. With these details anyone can come up with a plethora of information on the project from the net. Now the 80/20 law works here too and some of the projects will have been finished. But, you have what you wanted 'sales leads'. If you cannot cash onto this information and land up a few good and dandy orders, you are not a salesman. Time may very well be consumed specially in the first cases but later you will build up your own comfortable work cycle and when that happens, I really feel sorry about the competition. For readers outside India, this site does not list projects outside India (till now-so, maybe they have plans to do so)but my point is that there are a lot of sites on the Internet which can help you.What you need to do is to find them. 


If you do not take advantage of the net but rely on the same old unreliable word-of-the-mouth for your sales leads, well its your funeral buddy!!The internet is here to stay and revolutionize our creativity and the sooner you think about it that way-the better, 'coz in this story the turtle never wins the race, nor he is ever likely too.

Just a word of caution. It will not do if you devote all your time to do the above and be complacent about your work. This is a lose-lose situation. You have to give your routine work the same importance(if not more). The reason is simple. Not everybody will be convinced that what your doing will be good for the organization. People may call your activities as 'research'. From man's early days, we have always had an inherent negative attitude towards creativity inside ourselves along with a partisan streak. People think at least sub-consciously that they are the best. (For example, maybe some of you are thinking what gives me the right to give big lectures?..ha haa)

It is very easy to get carried away and ignore your work -your routine work, your reports etc. Don't do that -that can be fatal.
Wishing you luck
Bilbo

NB: If even after all that you have some problems in comprehension, you are welcome to get in touch with me for additional help, on a professional basis of course.




Friday, October 21, 2011

SALES LEADS: HOW TO GET THEM FROM THE NET-Part 1

Hi Friends-Sorry for the long wait. We will discuss about Sales-leads from the internet today”. A lot of people have the opinion that sales leads from the internet are worthless because everybody has access to them”.That is bullshit with a capital “B”. 

Yes, if you want to be spoon fed, then I agree. But, spoon feeding has become obsolete today. If you are selling high value capital equipment and want some leads and if you are willing to use your head a little, the net is a goldmine for “SALES LEADS”.


Let me illustrate. Let’s say that you are selling Stainless Steel Fittings all as per API. Now, when you are selling high value equipment, you get only one chance i.e. when the new plant/project comes up. Because you haven’t the chance to make repeat sales within a month like someone selling welding electrodes, the cycle is get in first-convince customer and get your order. People coming in last usually don’t get the orders. It's the early bird which catches the worm (though personally, I don't much like worms)

Get two orders and maybe you are on the way to a comfortable bonus. So-what do you do. Make sure you get these two orders by targeting 8 customers. If getting in first at 8 customers dose’nt  result in two orders, may be you are not thinking hard enough, or maybe you disagree with this blog. Its'a free world-ladies and gentlemen-you do have the right to disagree with me. The catch is that you won't get your orders that way. You can't sell a product on which you do not have the confidence. So, just how are you going to get your leads without that confidence in me. So, don't waste your time here (in fact all those who disagree leaving will make those people who agree all the more likely to succeed).

But where are these 8 leads going to come from-not just sales leads but authentic requirement based sales leads. (By selecting 8 potential customers, you are also in line with the 75:25 law This is a modified form of the Pareto Principle)...From a site called processregister.com (that’s one way).Process register.com is a free info site for people like us that is those that are selling high value capital equipment.

A screen shot of the site is below.

Study the site until next time friends, when we will study how this site can help generate our sales-leads i.e 8 nos potential sales leads. This site can make you rich forever!. So study it friends till the next part and,
Until then,
its love from
BILBO




Sunday, October 16, 2011

APOLOGIES

Sorry to all of you out there. I was thinking about posting the first post about sales leads but it will be delayed a little. Watch this space same time tommorrow. We will start with sales-leads from the net and I promise you, this is gonna get an A+ in originality.
Hugs from
BILBO


zwani.com myspace graphic comments
Myspace Sorry Graphics

Sunday, October 02, 2011

SALES LEADS : GENERALIZATION AND CLASSIFICATION (ON THE BASIS OF THEIR GENERATION)


In "Corporate Capital Equipment Selling" we will discuss "Sales Leads and their generation" in detail since "sales-leads" are the first obstacle which confronts the beginner.



There are no dearth of books on "sales leads" but Indian Management Gurus are sadly silent on this subject. Therefore, as the beginner consumes book after book in search of that elusive magic potion called "success", the young debutante falters as she (Instead of "he" , this chapter is being written with “she” to avoid charges of gender bias)follows method after method, but nothing succeeds so the debutante finds herself denouncing self-help sales books, getting frustrated , being suspicious and ultimately even quitting sales altogether. This is a pity as there are few professions which offer the challenge, dynamism and creativity as Sales.


"Sales-Lead" generation my friends, is the easiest part of the sales process"-and that is a fact which I hope to be able to make you see for yourselves through this blog. The first law of "sales of capital equipment" is that the ease of sales-leads generation is directly proportional to the sales value. It becomes all the more interesting when the values are moderate or high.

Again, if the debutante salesperson is subjected to pressure from all sides, one fine day, the salesperson will lose interest in his job which is a lose-lose situation. This is something all bosses should try to avoid. Treat your subordinates like your less experienced equals, (which they are) indulge in pep talks every now and then and lead from the front. Most importantly, brief your assistant as to the purpose of his work. (There is nothing more demeaning then asking your  junior to do a task and not telling him/her why the work has to be done) If all these are carried out, I can say without doubt that your sales will be spectacular. For this special effort, your rewards (they will start to show after about a year) will be your position with your customers. You will be able to pluck orders from the air and insert it wherever you like.
Sales leads” to which we return now, can be divided into various types based on different parameters. However for easy comprehension, I feel that the following classification based on source is very helpful.
1.     Leads via the Net:
2.     Leads via Newspapers
3.     Leads via consultants
4.     Leads via references
5.     Leads via Networking (sales leads)
6.     Leads via friends
7.     Leads via marketing ploys or Guerrilla leads
       8.  Leads via seminars, conferences, exhibitions etc..
    ....to be continued







    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    HOT LEADS AND HOW TO GENERATE THEM


    In Sales & Marketing parley, you must have often heard  people going on and on about ‘leads’. What are these leads in the first place? Leads are discrete packages of information, which if handled right, can make the sale. It’s a FACT that whatever you are selling, there are people in your sales area at any moment of time who need to buy the item or has a problem for which, the item you are selling is  the solution. What we have here is a genuine case of demand and supply. What has to be done is to find out where the demand exists and to whom you have to meet to do so. The hardest part is this 'finding out part'.

    Let us hypothetically consider a case study of a is A who is selling 'b' goods/services. At the same time we have a customer C who either wants to buy b outright or will buy b, once it is explained to him how b will fulfill his need. Here, your cue is to interrupt saying “so what’s the big deal?” the big deal is that both A and C are unaware of each other’s presence in the planet. Unless A is aware that C needs his product, he cannot make a sales call to C. Forget the demand in C’s company, A doesn’t even know that there is a person called C who is capable of taking a decision regarding purchase ofand thereby he can make an easy sale. (When I say easy sale, I do not mean a con game. I mean that C is knowledgeable about B and/or really requires B).
    Now let us suppose that all such information are packed into small boxes and kept separately, in an organized manner. Whenever a sales-person wants to make a sale, he just collects a box, opens it, reads the info inside, says “Aha!” and off he goes to a buyer(whose information was there in the box), makes the sale and everyone is happy. This box is therefore the lead. Leads are indispensable little boxes of information, which will escape your attention maybe 8 times out of 10.  But these simple leads and your rate of generation of them, can make all the difference between a successful salesperson and a failure.

    This is all the more true today as the rate of change in today's world is very high. Time is at a premium and there is no time for practice or 'dummy-runs'. Trying your best is just not good enough. This is very important so let me explain it again with the help of an analogy. Say you are a soccer player in the EPL. Now, maybe you are so skilled that you can bamboozle all defenders and kept the ball in the opponent’s penalty area for 30 minutes. But until you shoot and the ball bulges the netting, your soccer skills are of no good. So, working hard but failing to get orders due to ignorance about lead generation, is not going to get you a raise. And if you repeat all that hard work without sales for a few months, chances are more that you’ll get the pink slip. Today, in the sales bus, there is no room for passengers.
    Now that we have clarified about LEADS, we will talk about how to generate them next time. Till then, its love from


    BILBO

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    THE ACTUAL PROCESS OF SELLING

    I am today starting on the actual selling process-friends! Akshooaly, I was trying to do it for the last few months, but everytime I thought I’d start, I’d think of something which appeared to be a bloody life-and-death matters, so the son-of-a-gun never came out of the womb. But today’s a different story altogether

    Through I’m going to introduce you to a slightly different way of selling -it’s called SBR which is short for 'Selling By Research' and the cool thing here is that you do not have to worry about no culture shocks, not even regional shocks. In SBR, you don’t have to worry about anything and a steady pace you will go along. This does not mean that you don’t have to work hard-you have to.But what you have is steadiness, pulse free pressure, no stress and you find yourself at-ease and smiling all the time. The logic behind this is at the beginning, you fix your speed and your pulsations if any. 
    Therefore, you are never surprised if you sell the SBR way cause you always remain a step ahead of the competition & let's be honest- your bosses ( who can also be time wasters to the nth degree sometimes). The SBR way of selling is nothing but common  sense but its value lies in the eerie ability it gives you to know what's round the next  corner. you can easily dodge the shit thrown at you  by anticipating every move he or she makes.

    And like all what I have written after we left the road fork, SBR is applicable only to capital high value selling equipment. Finally, SBR selling has been compiled by, classified and tested by me but it's not patented. So-you can use it without looking over your shoulder
    That's all for today friends. Bye and Cheers-till the next time when we shall be covering 'Sales Leads and how to generate them'


    So keep watching this space!!
    Bilbo




    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    Ethics and Relationship Selling




    Hi Friends,
    Its me again (that's a daffy statement) . I had thought that we would today venture out into new grounds, new worlds etc and all that. But-I have received mails from one or two people who said that relationship people will not work since it's unethical. "Why?" Because we are selling customers our goods through false and fake beliefs.

    I would like to clarify here that it's not that all all-my readers. You are definitely not selling under false pretensions. I think I emphasized that you have to be sincere in your relationship. No bullshit -that's a strict no-no-and no cowshit either.

    I will repeat that in relationship selling you are being sincere. If your product may has a teeny-winny fault, you have to tell him about it (or her sorry). Tell him what can happen as a consequence if the fault occurs and it is compounded by y and z happening, then A can happen. And then after some time, tell him /her the chances of everything happening together. Tell him the points where you are better. After giving all the info, let him decide-chances are that he/she will do so in your favour and even if not, the next big order will come your way. That way you are not compromising ethics.

    I can guess the new question now? What happens if my product is a loser. If your product is a loser in all ways, I will suggest you ditch the ship. You have to face the facts. You are going to operate in the area for a long long time but your company can afford to force you to lie. You can do so but only to the flying customers. What you can do is to take out your cell-ring your boss- and let him take the role.

    I do agree that in trying to maintain ethics, you have to start thinking like a politician sometimes. But these come with the job! Remember, who is going to be there for the next 15-20 years. Support that party! That's finis for today friends.
    And do please leave some comments. If there is any problem call me up at +919830598417 or mail me at want2know 19@gmail.com
    Hope you have a good day or night, wherever you are

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    A Pile of Shoes

    This post has got nothing to do with sales and marketing. It is just that this is a sort of break for of you out there.

    I guess all of you have read about the Holocaust and the Nazi Concentration camps.I have too and to be honest, it never struck me as such a big tragedy that the world wants me to believe.
    I am not anti-Semitic but I didn’t see the reason for the hullabaloo.People die in my country day-in and day-out.

      Genocide has been carried out by all-powerful countries, so why is this so special-US, Britain, Spain, Portugal, France et al.I wondered what was all that big deal for.

    I came to know the answer from this photograph. The picture shows the pile-up of shoes of those human beings killed. They had to remove their shoes, throw it into the pile and then  enter the gas chambers at Auschwitz. 
    I have only today realized the importance of the holocaust, as an example of the evil to the ultimate apogee. Look at the photograph and if you have some imagination, think back. You will have a lump in your throat.

    Sunday, June 05, 2011

    The Smile and the Alter-Ego



    We have covered the knowledge and the confidence part of it (the requirements for a successful professional sales career). Now let us take on the other stuff.  All the remaining stuff can be possessed by just and being practical and thinking of Charlie Brown (Who? Why? What the? etc..as you must be thinking if you have been with me till now..). I'll explain.

    Let us make a resolution that whenever you feel that you are weighed down by your information, lack of-confidence, the criminally partial behavior of your boss to a dumb cow, office politics etc. and you are starting to sink, just mutter to yourself "Charlie Brown".. Why Charlie Brown?  Why not? 
    Just tell me does Charlie Brown has any problems with anyone?. No. What will his reaction be if he was called by the dirtiest phrase there is?... Nothing. Charlie will shrug it off. Does Charlie have any jealousy or any kind of negative feelings? No .How do you know that? From his face! Think of Charlie , picture him and think that if Charlie was visiting this customer today, what would his approach be when he meets the security people. Cool and polite ! Charlie does not have a rude bone on his body.
    (It is my personal opinion that Charlie , Calvin and Hobbes are philosophers. The world will be a much better place if students are taught about Charlie, Calvin & Hobbes instead of Plato & Aristotle)

    So the third thing you need to have friends is “Charlie Brown”!! Finally, always be polite to the security staff-they are just doing their duty. Maybe someone is being overzealous and you are feeling the first pangs of anger! 'Charlie Brown'. well, at least someone is doing his work over-zealously then the opposite. Give your anger the bird, and  stay in your Charlie Brown mode-you will be able to go in faster inside the plant than those snobs calling themselves salesmen who want VIP treatment. Don't believe me ?Try it out! You will see that it's not fiction. It's fact! "Charlie Brown"!

    I have always been Charlie Brownish in my professional life and I think I have almost saved a year of my life- counting up all those 5 minutes to 30 minutes delay that an  average VISP (very important sales person) wastes trying to convince the security chief how great he or she is and why they should therefore be allowed in without delay.

    So-now you are all prepared; maybe we will venture out and maybe meet a customer very soon
    Till then, it's bye from Bilbo.
    And remember,
    “Charlie Brown”! And once more....all together
     “ Charlie Brown”..

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    THE ALCHEMY OF CONFIDENCE


    WE START WITH A BANG HERE -FRIENDS! The women opposite has it in her.. has what? ... confidence..of course. (I have by intent termed the model as a woman and not a lady ...cos Kenny Rogers. LRB..and even Eric Clapton  has not painted a confident feminine personality in their songs.). Do you think that she can do anything possible for her to do? Do you think her capable of kicking ass? Do you think that she knows everything?...
    Well, I don't know about you guys but my answer is yes. Look at the eyes and lips-the body language. This is a picture of one hell of a confident lady. This is confidence friends. And it comes with a little homework. Say, you are going out to sell pumps then you should know something about pumps. You may say "what's something"here-its that amount of  information related to the values of the product which a sales person should know like the difference between two models in your product line. Also,its the answer to the question by the customer " so, what's my cut-or what am I going to get out of it". Here the first person means the customer's organization. So, you should know what will satisfy him or her,
    which will be in 99% cases..money!You can say "low maintenance" or "energy savings" or whatever, but its the dollars , which are meant

    Before approaching the customer, make a mental check list and tick out the squares connected to product knowledge, technical matters which may be discussed, what are the customer's existing pump makes? What is the customer's application? Can I offer him something which will save him money in the future and is the offer provable with other customers? Do that, just try to kill all those butterflies in your stomach, open the door after knocking and ask him permission to come. ( Yes, butterflies fly in the stomach of all salespeople despite the experience-your boss has them too. There are different ways to solve this affliction. Mine is to tell myself that OK what is the maximum that the person inside can do to me. He can't arrest me or hit me. At the most, he can throw me out of his room..so what am I so nervous for...and the butterflies just stop flying....you can do that if you want and the technique is not patented!)
    Now the last point that is, your product saving the customer money. It may be so that there is no way. Both your and the competitor products are equal in quality. This will happen in a majority of your cases. You can still replace your competitor. How to do that ? just wait for my next post
    Love
    BILBO

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    JUST BACK FROM MORDOR

    Gollum with "MY PRESSIOUSS"
    Hi all of you out there,

    I am really sorry for the long absence but I had to go and scout Mordor. Was I impressed? Wow man! Even now my teeth is chattering in fear. Luckily-had a long talky-talk with Tolky today and convinced him that me going on to Mordor, will not be that captivating. So now, it's Frodo!!
    Well, I come first before my nephew!!!Moreover, I have had my share of adventures and it's Frodo's turn now
    Coming back-I inserted a poem in the blog because no one wants to drone on and on in one subject for years. A little amount of interruptions -these have to be short- increases comprehension more or should I say "the presumed ability of comprehension" ??
    Anyway-back to my favorite topic again " SALES" from the next post onwards. Till then, its bye from

    BILBO

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    FLYING WITH BALLOONS


    DSC00124 

      Well love! I was sleepin’ and dreaming- of a ludicrous world lacking
    Ego  and the rat-race; pretense and hypocrisy-had also been
    left behind..  the sky was tinged with a fiery crimson and red ,
    And the color of the oceans , love!….an exotic green! 


    This world knew not the laws of  logic and science;
    e.g.of the laws of Newton and the curvature of space.
    And our existence is as shapeless blobs of virginal energy,
    -pure and unadulterated---no body -no face.

    And then suddenly, we were flying, love! at a gentle speed             
    Over the wild colors of the strange terrain below,
    sometimes, waiting for a cloud to pass, before we
    fly again and sometimes, just going through.

    On we flew, powered by multitude of  balloons, soaring above;
    They were in a myriad of colors-green and blue and red..
    And after a while we landed at a place-as beautiful as any Eden
    And there was a house meant for us..complete with the karmic bed.

    And then there was desire..my hand was between your legs ,
    and we sought to couple, our writhing souls clasping each other tight;
    And then love! as the LCD screen flashed “ 90% complete”,
    love! some  son-of-a-bitch- turned on the light !
    NVS4840
       ************************************************************