B2B, Fear, Marketing, Product Management, Sales, Trust

In every relationship TRUST is a very big factor.

In a B2B situation , its an even bigger issue ,because the person who’s going to be your sponsor for whatever your product or service that you sell, cannot afford to fail.

The fear of failure in B2B environments is even bigger than when you deal with consumers. Any B2B environment whether corporate, government or semi government, all have multiple hierarchies involved.

So the person you deal with can’t afford to fail in front of her peers, in front of her boss and her boss can’t fail in front of her (the boss’) peers. The larger the organization the bigger the problem.

That’s one key reason why there’s so much inertia in making decisions in organizations. This inertia causes large organizations to fail in the long run, which is another story.

For a product manager or marketing manager or sales person, its not about how good your product or service is, its more about how much does the prospect TRUST you. Fear falls only when Trust increases.

If you can’t build the Trust, the prospect will go with the incumbent vendor or technology or partner because then at least people will not directly blame her for failure. There used to be a saying in IT circles ” No CIO got fired for choosing IBM” . IBM was the default standard at one time for information technology. They were more expensive than most, but still picked up business because they were trusted.

As a product or marketing person, your primary responsibility therefore is to figure out, how you can build trust around what you “sell”, that will ease the process of getting traction in the market. If you see some of my earlier posts, I have spoken about how education is one of the best forms of building trust.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Fear of humiliation

Fear, Human Brain, Worry

Human beings have been designed to be social animals. Our ancestors used to live in groups so that they were protected from wild animals which were much bigger and more dangerous then them. This meant that the our ancestors had to conform to the group rules to stay together.

Being thrown out of the group would also mean being killed by an animal so dangerous.

So being thrown out was not only humiliating, but the humiliation could become life threatening.

So today our brain still carries the wiring of our ancestors It does not want to get humiliated because then we will be thrown out of the group and the wild animals can kill us. Our survival is at stake.

As I have mentioned many times before our brain is primarily wired for our survival only. The moment it senses a threat to the survival it starts giving resistance. So because of that resistance we try to avoid doing anything new because if it fails it can be Humiliating and that can be a problem of survival.

Have you had your brain give you all the dire consequences of an action you have taken. It is this same feature repeating.

What the brain is not recognising is the fact that today, there’s no survival issue in more than 99% situations. We live in a much more safer environment than before.

That’s one of the reasons that entrepreneurship has been found to succeed in clusters with first generation entrepreneurs. Because then a failure is only seen as an experiment and the social system around you does not ostracise you. The brain feels more comfortable taking risks.

On the other hand if you come from a business family, then entrepreneurship is considered a given and therefore the children don’t even think in terms of failing in taking/starting a business. While people whose parents have traditionally been in service dominated home tend to stick to being in services.

What all our brain can do!

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Your brain could be holding you from succeeding

Affirmative action, Fear, Human Brain, Thinking, Worry

I have this terrific ability to overthink. Over the years I have tried to get better by realising that my brain is going into rumination and bring it back into the present.

Actually because our brain is designed for survival as its basic function, it wants to conserve energy. Since it tries to conserve energy it gives you resistance to anything where it believes that it will need to do work.

So I used to and even now, many a times, create scenarios in my brain. I get an insight, a new idea….then my brain thinks “work” and it starts showing me all the different consequences. How it can fail, how I will not get any more such work etc. My brain also reminds me of all the previous experiments where things didn’t go as per plan so that I don’t go ahead with my idea and it does not have to perform work. It tries to install fear.

Have you also faced this kind of a situation with your brain throwing up various scenarios and getting you tense or worked-up.

So what I have started doing everyday, is identifying one activity which is giving me resistance. Once I identify it, I then go out and take one action step. Once I have taken this affirmative action, I get real world feedback. Somethings work out and some don’t. When things don’t, I try to figure out the possible course correction.

If things work out then my brain gets relaxed that there’s no danger and it starts supporting my next steps.Nobody knows the future. We only have the NOW. If there’s nothing else that you have clear about the problem you are facing, start with the first step in trying to solve the problem and then see how things work out.

I would love to hear your comments – if your brain also plays games with you and shows you all these dangerous scenarios.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Writer’s block – how I push the resistance

Deadlines, Energy, Fear, Focus, Human Brain

Yesterday I wrote about how I get the Writer’s block everyday and some of the tactics I use to trick my brain into supporting me to write my articles. As I have mentioned multiple times earlier, the brain tries to conserve energy because it assumes its main responsibility is to ensure survival and it feels more comfortable with the idea of having energy rather than spending it on writing a new blog post.

One more tactic that I have found useful to get my brain into supporting me in my writing is the use of time pressure or deadlines. Generally I write my blog towards the end of my working day. Which means that quite often I have pressure to go for dinner or there’s a favorite program that I need to watch.

When the brain realizes that there’s a deadline to be met, it generally gets into action. You would have noticed this in all walks of life. Till there’s no pressure of a deadline, any project, any activity will be nowhere near closure. Suddenly when the deadline is due, people will put everything aside and only focus on this one activity. The combined focus and action miraculously gets the “project” shipped / delivered in record time.

Similarly when I have a deadline , but I know that I have to write the blog as part of the commitment I have made to myself, suddenly things fall in place.

All the resistance that the brain showed earlier, falls by the wayside and it supports me in getting the blog written and “shipped” or published.

Truthfully I don’t know the science behind this, it’s just a tactic that I have found useful so I am sharing with you. In addition to writing a blog, I have used the same tactic to also improve to a certain extent on hitting my daily tasks. By giving my myself a deadline and putting an alarm for the deadline, I have realized that my brain wanders less. If there’s no deadline, it tends to get into day dreaming and ruminating over things which happened or got messed up.

I would even suggest you also try and let me know if you got any benefits. In addition let me also know if you know of other ways to ensure that our brain does not create resistance or fear when you have to do a new task.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!