Friday 30 December 2016

Sales Kit: What You Sell Is Secondary, What Is Primary Is Why You Sell?

I wrote a blog a couple days back to explain why 90% people hate selling
When I hinted at my extensive experience in sales, I am sure a dozen pair of eyes checked my LinkedIn profile to find out what I sold because all that is visible there are fancy labels doing training, transitioning new business or managing operations. Where is the sales profile?

Including my pet projects which I did apart from regular jobs, I have sold high value products, service and mere ideas. 

1.   Selling a Service

I was leading the customer service team then in a leading courier company and this product was launched – where you can send flowers/ chocolates/ cakes to near and dear ones on their birthdays and anniversaries across India. As I was made to attend the launch of this product/ service I had to own it up to show my team a live demonstration with a real client how to sell it over phone. It was actually easy, because the concept then was new and the price was reasonable. The impact on both giver and receiver was immense. I cant recall having sold anything before that.

2.   Dress Materials

That was my first pet project with two more friends. I have soft corner for two things – Textile and Spa. We invested roughly Rs 1500 each, bought dress material, strategically tied up with a tailor close to our sourcing market and sold the finished product to friends, relatives and couple of shops.

Reason to exit: The group had to split due to marriage, job, relocation and family concerns. 

3.   Multi-level marketing

If you know one of them end to end, you know them all. How can you not be involved with at least one of them when you had so many of your contacts trying to rope you in? I loved the seminars and still give complete credit to my mental shift (from income to asset) to those leaders.

Today, after I have achieved almost everything that I had aspired then, I can reflect and confirm - that was probably the turning point as far as thinking horizon was concerned.

Reason to exit: Any reason I give here would look like excuse. I did not understand exponential marketing then perhaps, which I do now. 

4.   Photocopiers:

As Defined Account Manager, I had to manage sixty accounts end to end – service to sales or make it the other way round. It means the same. The company had then launched a photocopier that acts as a digital printer and who do you think made that much needed breakthrough sale in eastern India, yours sincerely of course. By now I began to enjoy sales as I never found two sales experience same. 

Reason to exit: I moved to Bangalore

5.   Apparels/ Furnishings: 

Apart from my regular job, I had a boutique for over 5 years where I sold through retailers to two markets (Bangalore and Kolkata). The collection included different types of sarees sourced from Chennai, Surat, Bangalore, Kolkata, Lucknow; dress materials, tops, furnishings and a small team who did embroidery. 

Reason to exit: Relocation to Suburbs

6.   Bid Management: 

My KRA was 20% conversion and 5% win. What I maintained was 45 % conversion and 20% win. For those of you who think Bid Management is not sales, try roping in 22 stakeholders including pricing, operations, risk office, hiring, training, technology, real estate, transition teams for one proposal, front end with client and then preparing the proposal – If you do not have sales bent of mind, you will end up just putting boiler plate information in those documents. Each win/ sale means multi-year service contract in BPO environment or across both BPO and applications.

Reason to exit: Bid Management was Pre sales. I wanted to experience post sales activities - Business Transition

7.   My Books

Though the book stores did the selling for me but then what is critical to know here is - as the book I authored and published all by myself without a literary agent, who do you think took it/ sold to the stores? – Again, yours sincerely! 

8.   Selling an idea

The toughest sale was to sell an idea that I was not sure of and find seven members to register an NGO with just that idea (nothing concrete to show, not even a rough plan) with no financial backing and with half-baked knowledge about even the next step. It took me one full year to source like-minded people to register Ramosara Foundation.

9.   Selling Services again

Today, I sell my skills as services to international clients. Those who want to learn how I do what I do, buy the beginner’s guide. As a startup enthusiast and content strategies, I sell business plans and social media plans

If you enjoy sales, the product is never a problem. What drives me to do this repeatedly is the fact that I know I always fill a gap through a sale

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