Practice makes a man (& woman) perfect

Affirmative action, Marketing, Testing

I like to read a lot of books, listen to a lot of audio recordings while I am travelling and also watch sessions on YouTube. I am gatherer of information. So intellectually that’s a great thing. However not all that I read/hear/see stays with me until I apply it.

When we were young and new to the selling profession, our bosses did trainings of all the kinds, to tell us things that are good about our product and then about how bad the competition is, and what all questions the customer can ask. But when we went out to do our first call, everything went flat. The customer asked all the questions for which no training had been given, the customer found all the features that competition gave, as useful, while ours were useless to them. How many of you have had this situation with your first assignments.

Its only after you go through the customer meetings, that you realise, what is of value to which kind of customer. There will be some customers who will value what you have to offer and most won’t. But until you get down into the market to actually start selling you won’t be able figure that out. Practice is what makes you perfect.

The same can be said of ANY kind of knowledge. Until you practice it, you won’t know what may work and what may not.

In marketing, because there’s a lot of psychology involved, its very difficult to do arm chair thinking and decide what will work. Until you go out into the market/ Google/ other media and actually check out what the customers need, what the competition is doing, all your thought process has no significance. This does not mean you don’t do planning. But planning without action is worthless. Money comes into the bank only when someone sells something. And that can’t happen if you don’t get out in the market and sell.

And who would know this more than me. I am one of the biggest procrastinators and gatherers of knowledge. But I LEARN only when I actually try it out in whatever field. So most of the things I write on this blog, are there because I have tried and tested (failed for general folks) and become better.

So whenever you get some information, try to use it before looking out to acquire more information. That way the information will become knowledge that will stay with you for a long time.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Making a Difference

Affirmative action, differentiation, Lifestyle

I was listening to an interview of Sir Richard Branson of the Virginia brand today. It was a fairly dated interview, I think about 10 years old. I found it on ilovemarketing.com.

There were three things which stood out for me in this interview. One was the fact that the whole philosophy around which Sir Richard Branson operates is how can he and his companies make a difference in the world.

Even when someone asked him for advice to entrepreneurs, he mentioned about how you can keep increasing the circle of influence where you make a difference, as your company grows.

The other thing which stood out was his emphasis on protecting his time. These people who were interviewing him had all paid a quite a handsome amount to his charity to get an opportunity to interview him. But on the clock he politely closed the interview.

The last thing which I was amazed about was his focus on his family. I have not known too much about him so didn’t know anything about his family. But the way he spoke about how he always ensured , inspite of the fact that he has such a huge business empire, that the family was together was a delight to hear.

If people who run such huge companies can find time to be with their families and also do good and make a difference, then we should be able to also do small bit to the society in which we live.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Being Relentless – a Marketing discipline

Affirmative action, Marketing, persistence, Sales

Relentless is an adjective.

Synonyms – Persistent, Non-Stop, Continuous…

An adjective qualifies the noun – grade 5 English grammar course. In this case, the noun is going to be a person. A relentless person a persistent person is how this will be used.

So what is the significance of this English grammar lesson for today’s post.

The other day in one of the posts I mentioned about the I love marketing podcast episode with Chris Voss and I explained why I admired him because of his usage of of words.

With a background in hostage negotiation you have to be careful with your words and the words should have the the exact Nuance of what is being thought by the speaker. That is one of the reasons why his vocabulary is so good.

During the podcast, one of the questions asked to him was on the launch of his book, in 2017 I think, and how he went about promoting it.

One word that he mentioned which immediately stuck in my head was the fact that he was RELENTLESS in ensuring that he was on two interviews a week at the minimum, to promote his book which he is doing to this day.

While the book – Never Split the Difference – is very good, but if people don’t come to know about the book they will not go and buy it. It’s a terrific lesson in marketing from a hostage negotiator. If you keep yourself aware you can get marketing lessons even from the small kiosk on the kerb.

We may have a terrific product or a terrific service but if people do not come to know about it then people will not buy it.

In one word Chris had put out such a big strategy for marketing

Everyone knows about Coke. But they relentlessly advertise about their product so that when you visit the shop or restaurant and you are thirsty the first word which comes out of your mouth is a Coke.

Everyday in marketing and I include sales as part of marketing, if you are not somehow reaching more and more customers everyday , by some mechanism , you will not be able to build a sustainable pipeline and a predictable business.

You need not be brilliant, you need not be teriffic , but if you want to succeed you have to be relentless, persistent et al.

Till next time

Carpe Diem!!!

You just said Yes – You just said No revisited

Affirmative action, Delegation, Productivity, relationships

Everything in life has an opportunity cost.

For everything that you say Yes to , there’s something that you said No to , right there. Which could mean that you said Yes to a non essential task which won’t get you anywhere closer to your aspirations. This same time will not be available for you to do a task which could help you meet your aspirations.

I happen to be one of those people who aren’t able to say No easily. Which makes me among the biggest culprits of breaking this rule.

Then you should not be reading this post, because it is only theory, except the fact that I am taking affirmative action to get out of the habit. I have written about how I have eliminated all , but an extremely few apps, from my devices and stopped all kinds of alerts. So now I don’t say Yes to looking at all the alerts from different apps.

The other thing I am trying to measure is a “no” index everyday. This is where I specifically say No to things. I want to see how high can it be taken. Earlier I have tried other mechanisms of saying No, but each time I would do that I would feel guilty. So now I am trying to gamify this. On a weekly basis I am tracking the index like the stock market to see if my trend is climbing up or not.

Being a person who works very hard on relationships, I am now delegating the job of identifying and starting relationships with people to others in my team. I support them rather then get into the activity myself. There are glitches, it also takes more time and I have to do a lot of hand-holding, but I have a feeling its starting to show results for me, because now I don’t have to say Yes , to cultivating every relationship.

If you have found other practical ways to say No to more things, then please put it in the comments below, I would love to learn and practice more productivity methods.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!