Success is a proportion of Failure(experience)

experiences, Sales

In April my team had planned an event in which we were to get about 20 odd people, into a conference room, showcase some of our products/services and have dinner and cocktails. Suddenly about an hour before the start of the event we started having rain. Typically when it starts raining in Delhi, the traffic almost comes to a standstill. Soon we realised, where we were expecting 20 odd people only 3 came. The event was a big flop show.

Now we could look at this as a failure of my team and the marketing agency we had engaged, for doing the event, because they were supposed to ensure the attendance of people in the event. We were dejected but that is the way life is – you never know when it will “rain on your parade”.

Similarly one of my sales team members had all his sales numbers structured with one customer primarily. Now unfortunately, last year, this customer did not have a very good year for closing of deals for themselves and hence they were not able to outsource business to us. But this year, after all the losses this person had last year, he seems to be on “boom time”

Life is a long game and you have to play it in such a manner. In most cases, in this long game, you will lose more often that you will win. That’s what makes winning pleasurable. The key is to play enough games. Lose them, learn from them – gain experience and move on to the Next game. If you keep brooding on your failures, you will never be able to succeed. Once you learn from the failure, you will keep eliminating all those points which could cause something to fail. That is what experience is all about. Being prepared to ensure that the same points don’t cause a failure again.

Success in my view is a proportion of the total games played and the number of failures (experiences) had. I do feel bad on losing a deal , but I also immediately get ready to look at the next deal to close. If you are leading a sales team, the biggest worry you need to have is the number of deals that you are fighting for – not the deals you have lost.

If the number is large, then there is absolutely no way that you can’t win in the long term. However if you don’t have enough (enough is a subjective term but you should at least have 4 proposals to crack one deal on average) proposals going out on a regular basis (especially if you are in B2B) then you can rest assured there is no magic that will take place to get you to achieve your numbers.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to learn and get better, the more you learn from your experiences and the more you take coaching the better you can get so that you can raise the amount (revenue realisation by being able to sale either more quantity or higher value items) of business you get for the same number of proposals given.

So go out, meet prospects, give enough proposals, if things don’t work out, learn from them and. then move on to the Next.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Practical and Theory

education, experiences, ideas, Learning

You can’t experience heaven without dying yourself….this is something which my father used to say, when emphasising the importance of actually “doing & practicing” versus “learning by reading/ listening to podcasts/ viewing videos”. Its like what Mike Tyson used to say – everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face…..when that happens, its what you have practiced practically that keeps you in the ring.

I am a big propagator of the idea of lifelong learning. I have been an avid reader of books, I listen to a lot of podcasts and watch a lot of videos. Most of the people I read or follow have very interesting content. I used to find it very intellectually very stimulating. But it would all get lost in the daily humdrum.

But the items which I would practice would stay with me for a long time. As Joe Polish says there are three ways to learn – the first is to learn yourself, the second and better way is to Practice what you learn and the third and best way is to Teach from the experiences of what you practiced.

All the authors can write or talk about the ideas and challenges that they encountered. Consultants can give you ideas based on the interactions they have with multiple clients after synthesising them. Each has its value, because you can at least avoid the known “snakes in the grass”. But its only the practitioner who can give his/her experience with the “doing”.

As an example, some consultant or podcast may tell you, Facebook advertising is cheap and you can target on an amazing amount of niches because Facebook collects a lot of data of its users and preferences. But you want to say target, “start-up” entrepreneurs. When you actually go through all the filters, that Facebook provides for advertisers, you don’t find a way to target start-up entrepreneurs. This situation has actually happened with me a lot of times, when I have tried to implement some thing that I have read or heard.

Its not that the consultant is wrong, its just that they have not actually worked in your specific situation. Your learning comes out of applying the things you read and hear and then adapt it to your situation. Then the thing stays with you.

That’s why I keep prodding all of you who read my blog to give me feedback on how you applied what I shared in the posts and if it did help or where it didn’t help.

Look forward to hearing your feedback.

Carpe Diem!!!

Life experiences and how they impact your abilities to build conversations in sales

B2B, experiences, problem solving, Sales

One attribute that I have found very useful for B2B sales people, is the ability to ask questions to identify the core problem without getting the customer to feel that you are doing an interrogation. If a customer feels that she will just jump away.

But if you don’t understand what is driving the need for your product or service, you will end up being compared just on price.

If you can understand the Real Problem then you can become an advisor and help the customer in their journey. There’s one more reason why understanding the core reason is important….is it that the customer is actually facing a problem or is it that because she has seen others do it, so she doesn’t want to miss out – FOMO.

Visiting different places, interacting with different types of people from different cultures makes one sensitive to different nuances in the way people interact. You can gauge better about what’s being said and what’s left unsaid in a conversation. You can also therefore place yourself in the customer’s shoes and understand the dilemma she is facing.

All this helps in the ability to have a better conversation where you weave in stories and figure out the points where you can put in the questions that also help you build trust.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Learning from these posts

education, experiences, learning, mindset

Joe Polish had this wonderful statement which he’s made multiple times in his podcast There’s 3 ways to imbibe a learning or training –

First is by taking a course, attending a seminar etc.

Second is by practicing what you read, heard etc. By actually putting your training into practice, you are able to see both the positives and negatives and also based on that you formulate your own enhancements to what you learnt

Last and most effective is when you are able to teach the same thing to someone else. That’s because then you prepare to answer questions from the people who are attending the training. But the bigger benefit comes when you get to see where the questions are coming from….something that you had not even envisaged. That firmly establishes your learning forever.

I have written more than 400 posts now which cover 3 primary areas viz. Marketing, Human Potential, Financial Independence. These posts are an outcome of what I have personally experienced and what I have learnt by spending on books and trainings.

Some of you may read these posts for intellectual entertainment, but if you want to benefit, then you will need to practice on the ideas that I list. But if you want some of them to stick then not only practice but also teach the ideas you find worthwhile.

My endeavor is to see if I can help even one person improve their life because of what I write, then this daily writing would have achieved its purpose.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!