Sales mantra-magical formula

Monday, June 9, 2008

Changing Banking Strategies

Banking Industry is most attractive and challenging industry in our country, with the change in business dynamics our work culture, lifestyle is also changes accordingly. Presently banks are offering highly customized, comprehensive & cost effective portfolios to the customers as per their requirements. Five years back no can believed that banking will change so quickly where customers or clients like businessmen & bigshot professionals are not required to come to branch for their personal banking, business banking & investments.

Do we ever thought of this ease where banks will come forward with customized managed portfolio programmes where they (BANKS) will manage customer’s personal banking (Saving accounts), investments solutions and business banking (current accounts etc) under single portfolio. Today it’s possible If you won’t believe just check out this link Premier Banking

What you think as a businessmen or professionals Its worth go for that???

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Personal Interaction with Sales Executives

Mostly we are talking about the training of sales executives to help our customers. There are so many cases in which customers didn’t get proper assistance from them, even though we as shoppers or company claimed that we are customer oriented. Few days back I have seen two incidents, one with my friend and other with myself.

I accepted that we are in progressing stage but we do not expect such mistakes from tycoons like biyani group or Sony stores. In metros, customers are more conscious about the services because they prefer branded things and best services.

In one big mall at Hyderabad, I and my friend visited for buying a camera but didn’t found any quality brands and models. In the meantime he saw an electronic microwave oven; we called sales executive for assistance about the product. Let me tell you that buddy (sales executive) was not well trained technically. Especially in case of electronic goods, gadgets we required technically sound executives but here the scene was completely opposite. He was simply trying to convince us for the product but unable to differentiate the product on the basis of features.

But there the scene was bit different, my friend was very much interested in the product so finally bought that oven but I am talking about a customer who is not in mood of buying that product but simply visited the mall and watching the product for time pass or he is dilemma. In that situation I can firmly tell you that company surely looses the customer.

On the same day when I visited Sony franchisee showroom, I was shocked when I was talking to sales executive about the digital camera (Sony cyber shot) features. Literally he was shocked and stucked while explaining the features and went to his incharge (seniors) to know about the particular feature and difference between two models.

Here the situation was same that I was predecided about the product so I bought it but if I was not very much sure then I will stuck into dilemma because of sales executive’s product knowledge .

Normally in techie goods, shoppers are required a very skilled and product knowledgeable sales executives. Here customers are much more knowledgeable than sales executives. Sometimes they are predecided about the product but simply want to check the SE’s knowledge. Here company will suffer and lose its customer.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Today when we talk about sales, a very first idea come into the mind of individuals is “ITS BAD”, “NOT MY CUP OF TEA & “MONOTONOUS”. Let me ask you all a question- when you go buying something, what comes into your mind first?

Ans: Why should I buy this stuff, while in impulsive buying period too.

Let’s think this issue other way around.

A salesman or executive who is there in malls, shops, door-to-door sales for selling his/her product to you, feels difficult, tricky for him to identify a prospective customer, his/her requirement and tactics to convince him for his product?

I accept that in most of cases we find that sales people didn’t went for deep analysis of customer’s demand discrepancy (gap between his present state of mind and willingness to buy) and they simply believe in traditional sales fundamentals- pushing pushing & pushing their product.

If we look at traditional sales model, firstly sales executives give full presentation about the features and functions of product, service & solution then hoping the buying influence sees a fit.

In graphical form traditional sales model process looks like this.

Most common mistake committed by sales executives according to traditional sales models:

  • Sales executives treat their customers as target.
  • Follow unilateral selling concept means they do not try to understand customer’s need.
  • Poor listening skills
  • Sales executives believe that all potential buyers can use their product
  • Showing and telling about product is always appreciated by customers and they rush to buy from us (sales executives).

Now the pattern of selling is slowing changing from our traditional mindset of sales fundamental to No-sell selling concept. It’s an innovative way or methodology to push your product and make your customers happy.

People love to buy, but they hate to feel that they’ve been ‘sold’.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Every year there is something astounding happened with everyone but there are few who face such things often and I am among them.

Normally in placement season we prepare for some very basic questions like- tell me something about yourself, why this company why not that, strengths, weakness etc. But my interview was nothing like that, here I am sharing my interview with INDIAN BEST PRIVATE BANK with you all. May be some of you may find it funny, some of you may find it sarcastic etc. Now my interview begins…

Panel: Vice president (Direct Sales), HR Head and Zonal Sales manager

My entry

HR: welcome Mr. Singh, Today I will help you get through the interview.

Me: My pleasure sir

VP: How are you feeling now?

Me: Excellent

In the mean time, VP sales gone through my resume and prepared some bouncer questions in his mind.

VP: What you did in your SIP (summer Internship program)?

Me: I had started my SIP with 2 month direct selling, then DST (direct sales team) channel gap analysis* and finally new market development at my college for Airtel product.

(*) look at the * carefully because I keep fishing around these words throughout the interview).

VP: What is DST channel gap analysis?

Me: To check out the reasons for low productivity* and attrition for FSEs (on foot sales executives) of DST.

HR: what is productivity?

Me: Productivity means blah blah. The HR said hey I am asking you to define productivity and you beating around the bush, its like I am asking you to pick Bisleri bottle and you are picking up glass.

HR to VP: (in Hindi) yaar yeh paka raha hai isko bahar nikalo isko kuch bhi samajh mein nahi atta hai.

HR: Do you have girl friend?

Me: Yes Sir.

HR: here?

Me: No Sir

HR to VP: (in hindi) tab to yeh sales mein fit hi nahi ho sakta hai, bekaar hai isko nikaalo yaar.

VP: conditional Question- suppose you have target of 100 numbers, so how many people you recruit for this target?

Me: 10-15

VP: 10 or 15? (Harshly)

Me: 10

VP: then 100/10= 10* what this 10 means?

HR: slightly said- Productivity

Me to HR: Sir, I strongly disagree with you, its the individual target and if I would achieve 8 out 10 numbers then 80% will be my productivity.

HR: (in Hindi) bahut jiddi hai yeh kuch manta hi nahi hai

VP: Which one is best package in Airtel ? (Question from my SIP)

Me: plan 699, plan 299 for STD calls, plan 399 for local calls and Plan 999 for incoming only.

VP: what is teledensity and India population now?

Me: teledensity is around 21-24% and India’s population is nearly 100 crores*.

HR: How many zeros are there in 100 crores? (Quickly)

Me: 7 zeros (wrong answer), its 9 zeros

VP: If I call your SIP mentor or Sr Manager Airtel and ask him about your performance, what will be his response?

Me: Possibly, he will give you very good feedback about me.

HR: if you have such a nice relationship with your Sr. Manager, have good knowledge; only 24% percent penetration and huge opportunity in telecom industry better you would join Airtel or telecom industry.

Me: If we are talking about the opportunity, almost same opportunities are there in banking sector according to recent BANCON summit 2007*, retail banking tapped only 24% market and nearly 76% market is untapped, loans are increasing in India esp. for home loans, personal loans, car loans etc. In 2009 Indian banking sector is going to open and international banks will start their operation.

HR and VP: (laughingly) No problem, you come back in 2009 and join banking sector.

HR: I am impressed from you, you did your homework and so can you tell me something about banking?

Me: Sure sir, its most promising sector, according to report Indian banks’ profit growth is similar to international banks and aggression toward market penetration is far ahead of international banks. Indian banks are more technology savvy and update itself with new technologies very often to provide better customer service. According to BASEL NORM-II*, there will be standardization of risk evaluation of customers. (I was not 100% sure)

HR: What is saving account, current account?

Me: some explanation..

HR: (in Hindi) Its astonishing, tu ek kaam kyo nahi karta ki tu apna hi bank open karle. Tune to sare fundamentals hi badal diye (laughingly)

HR: Do you booze?

Me: Yes sir, often, almost every weekend.

VP: how you arrange money for Booze?

Me: SIP and SAP, from both I got nearly Rs.13,500+ Rs. 18,000

VP: Do you have any location preference?

Me: Any where across India except my home town*.

HR: (with interruption) I haven’t seen your resume even though I guess its Bangalore isn’t so?

Me: yes sir because worked there for 1 year.

HR: No, I don’t believe that it’s a reason for Bangalore!

Me: yes sir, all my engineering friends are there.

HR: exactly that’s the true reason (even I thought same), I am very intelligent.

VP: Why you don’t want your home town as location preference, any problem?

Me: Sir, actually from the beginning (nursery) I was in hostel. In class 7th I got an opportunity to leave the hostel but at that point I started loving hostel because of my friends and group dynamics*.

HR: (in hindi) you are bluffing, how could one learn about group dynamics in such a small age?

Me: (in Hindi) Sir, In hostel students gey involved in many good and bad activities and in good activities everybody was ready to participate while in bad activities fewer. In bad activity we required lot of patience, keenness and group bonding?

HR/VP (both): (in Hindi) what type of bad activities you did in schooling?

HR/VP: (in Hindi) speak up; we know that you had not killed someone!

Me: (in Hindi) Yes Sir, actually in our monthly examination we six friends stolen the keys of our geography madam’s Almira where our answer books were kept and wrote the paper and put all answer books back in Almira and ran away.

HR to VP: Sir, throw him out, he will surely spoil the bank and steal something from there too.

HR: how many books you read on sales beyond your syllabus?

Me: Conceptual Selling, Best Salesman traits & Nordstrom way.

HR: What is Nordstrom?

Me: A US retail chain which set the benchmark in customer satisfaction for any business.

Example- In one of Nordstrom’s new showroom a car stopped and asked one of its executives for tyre replacement. Showroom was not dealing in tyres but executive arranged tyre for that individual and then that individual become the loyal customer of company. Its a one there are 1000 of such examples are there.

HR: (in hindi) means when you meet your customers for sales and he/she demanded for hair oil and comb, will you provide him/her?

Me: surely sir, because sales is completely depend upon networking, today might be he will not become my customer but very next day he will give me 4-5 new customers. I am not bluffing this time, it’s my personal experience in SIP.

That was my interview I don’t know it was stress interview or just informal conversation but it went for 50 minutes. It was my lifetime best interview because I got through this interview and first time got an opportunity to express myself without any interview pressure.

In briefing, all selected candidates were gathered in seminar hall.

HR: How was your interview did I screwed you and what you thought after interview that you will be selected?

Me: It was lifetime experience, yes I was screwed up and I never expected that I will be selected.

Me to HR: Sir, can I have your visiting card?

HR: (in hindi) don’t make me fool now, in 50 mins of your interview you gave so many bullets. Don’t give me now.

He quoted an idiom- “If everything in resume is lie then he is real sales guy”

From this interview I believed that you can never expect about your interview.