Riding the elephant – knowing when to jump off

arrogance, relationships

I am big on relationships. Therefore one of my key tenets of growing a business is “Riding the Elephant” . Where you provide a symbiotic relationship to the OEM so that you grow your business while you help them grow theirs.

But times do come when it doesn’t make sense to continue to ride the elephant. Most business relationships work on trust and mutual benefit. if one of these starts faltering then the relationship starts to fail. Then it takes a lot of mature leadership and massive energy to put things back in place.

Sometimes the elephant starts getting arrogant or gets the feeling that they are doing an obligation by carrying you on their back and don’t value your ability to help it get the food. That’s when the elephant starts shaking trying to make you fall off. At that stage you either show your worth where if you don’t help, the elephant is not able to get food- as an example, then may be the elephant will stop trying to throw you off. On the other hand if it is able to find food on its own then it will flex its muscles to throw you off.

In these kind of situations its always a good idea to get of the elephant and find another elephant to ride. Sitting on the elephant for old times sake will only hurt you.

While its good to have long term relationships, the relationships should not end up being annoying and lame.When that starts to happen, it’s time to move forward.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Building relationships versus doing transactions

Marketing, problem solving, relationships, Sales

When we are new into selling, we end up viewing everything from the lens of a transaction. We don’t have a large enough prospect base, at the time so we are desperate to get whatever we can so that we can meet our targets.

And then you have the boss, who is not bothered about how you get the sale, as long as you get it. That actually sends out a wrong signal to the sales guy.

I realized much later that in the B2B space, the world is actually very small and you end up meeting the same people, somewhere or the other. So if you have rubbed someone the wrong way, you can count yourself out of business from that person wherever she goes.

Since then I made it a point to ensure that I was always investing on building relationships….so irrespective of where people,e went, I could pick up the phone and just make a call. Since I was investing in the relationships up-front, it also meant that I was clear that I would keep commitments that I made and would inform in advance if it was not going to be possible to keep it.

The benefits of building relationships , as you climb the corporate ladder are extremely high. You get valued because of your relationships. As you climb higher, the problems you have to solve are also much bigger. It helps if you can leverage your relationships to get you moving.

So work to nurture relationships…..its important in all functions but especially so in the sales and marketing roles, because as McCormack used to say – All things being equal people give orders to friends, all things not being equal, people still give order to friends.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Time is money – well…may not always be true

coaching, Leverage, relationships

Since childhood we are taught this phrase. As a matter of fact I also use it frequently to tell my folks to keep them focussed on not wasting time. But within this phrase is a fundamental flaw of a linear relationship. If you will spend so much time …….you will get so much money.

But there is a very large leverage that is available to us which can multiply the value of time and make its value with money non-linear. The fractal nature of 80:20 can make, some “time” worth more in money than others.

This typically happens with mentors, coaches and customers who are willing to help you. To some ,like coaches, you can pay to learn something, to others you first give and then get.

I distinctly remember that when I was in my first year engineering in university, I was just not able to pick up a subject called Engineering Drawing. Maybe the professor’s wavelength and mine didn’t match and I flunked badly. Then my brother identified another professor and I took coaching from him and he taught me so well that not only did I excel in engineering drawing, for years after and till now I can explain the the structure of a mechanical system so clearly.

The amount of time that I spent in coaching was much less than the time I spent in taking the classes in college. But the impact was far more dramatic.

In our company, while we have a team which does scouting for accounts, our fastest and more profitable business happens because of referrals that we get because of our relationships. This is true for any company. If you manage relationships well, you can get massive dividends. The time spent on managing the relationships can give you returns far far higher than what you would spend in scouting for business linearly.

But to build relationships, you need to always be willing to give first, to help people first rather than go wit an entitlement attitude. Not all people you help will reciprocate, but those who do will more than compensate for the others. So go out and build relationships.

Till next time then.

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!!!