Sunday, October 30, 2011

Win HEART to reach MIND of the CUSTOMERs !!!!

Watching one of the finest movies of the 70s, Parichay, (Jitendra & Jaya Bhaduri Starr-er)  this weekend, was very thought provoking. Simple concept , present day marketers must learn & implement. 

Social Media champion ( and well known blogger Michael Stelzner says " offer free knowledge to attract customers."  Seth Godin in his famous book Linchpin talks about art of gifting.  Gift without expectations in return is the true gift. 

Rule is : First offer and give without expectations and you are likely to get expected behaviors of returning favour. But without thinking about giving , just expecting will be difficult to yield result. Respect buyers choice and preference before you try to sell your idea.

Buyers are here to solve their problems or experience some pleasure.  Your product and services may be an answer to their need. However route to their mind (which makes decision to avail or ignore) is through their heart. Heart goes to selfless & going out of the way solution providers (ofcourse not to hardcore marketeers and sellers). 

Rule your space with entire gamut of solution. Something is free, something is out of the way, { just to show your commitment towards solution and not JUST sale } and something is paid. 

In d movie mission of Jitendra (lead character) was to educate & discipline 4 notorious students. He could have remained focused on his job by remaining and behaving like a typical teacher (like his predecessors) . But he choose to become friend , won their hearts, gone out of the way of his KRA, spent extra time with them to understand their behavior and response influence-rs. This extra time and effort resulted into achieving his end result of disciplined students having interest in their studies.

How much extra sellers/marketeers can invest in customers /buyers/ clients {without expectations} that will decide sales, customer engagement and customer loyalty.  Route to mind through heart may be longer but its a sure , authentic as well as long lasting. 

What is your investment to win hearts before you aim to reach customers' mind???

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This Diwali - 3 New Year Resolutions for Every Business

Diwali Greetings for d day 
& 3 New Year Resolutions for Every Business

1) CUSTOMER Happiness will be the focus of all our strategies and actions.

2) We will aim for Gross Happiness within and outside our 
enterprise { Profit will be bye product of happiness generated in and around our enterprise }.

3) Our CSR activism includes :  making our employees happy, creating wow !!!! customer experience , paying vendors on time and support them to grow, concern for environment around us , supporting intra-preneurs within our enterprise , better governance and paying all applicable taxes. After we achieve these we will go for extra social initiatives known as CSR.   

Cheers & njoy d day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

3 Idiots - 2 for Our Enterprises Too

Wishing all my readers & their family a very joyous , HAPPY and grand Diwali. 

Time to celebrate , enjoy  & introspect too. 

While watching movie 3 Idiots (i have lost count now , how many times i have watched this movie) last night , I could find new meaning and relate it to our professional and corporate life. We now have 3 Idiots for students to fall back upon while getting excessive pressures from professors and parents, but we also have pressure cooker kind of situation in our professional and corporate life also & post studies we spend our rest of the life working for corporations. What about that??

Like students life , Marks and Numbers rule corporate life too. Sales Targets and Bottom-line numbers. This unlike students life we have to under go along with our family responsibilities. Companies declare better out look and better targets quarter after quarter. Top and Bottom-line counts , that's all. 

What it takes to achieve the numbers is hardly of any significance. Environment awareness is spreading somewhat but what about human side of it ? Who care about employee happiness?? Superior and out of the way Customer Experience ?  Better vendor relationship ? better social responsibilities ? better environmental concerns? 

We measure sales , profit, eva , ebitda, eps, roi and hence we focus on improving the same and our success is measured based on these numbers. No measurement of qualitative parameters to achieve quantitative numbers , hence not measured and hardly given any  importance. We need stress free corporations and enterprises. We need to change our enterprise success parameters. Something grossly wrong is going on unnoticed.

Chetan Bhagat, Raju Hirani or Aamir Khan, or someone else , who will wake up to these realities and make another 3 Idiots -2 ????

Saturday, October 22, 2011

In this attention deficit world , whats Your IDEA worth Attention ??

Yes, IDEA clicks. (when executed with innovation). Can U beg for others? Yes BEG in the Mumbai Local train for others? Yes, more than collecting money for his mission , this man has attracted attention of most  of the media, publications and a few of the bloggers like me. 

Innovative ideas of fund raising clicked and is getting free public attention through mass media attention.

When we do things differently , people will notice us , we need not make attempts to get noticed. Most marketeers don't do things differently (campaign and products) and spent lot of energy in getting customer attention. It fails. It MUST fail.

We unfortunately have learned to copy and follow the trend/others. Unconventional thinking and ideas r not encouraged. Our central banks keep raising interest rates  as a sole solution to control inflation. I think it works other-way although. But no one can question the wisdom of  central bank where highly intellectual people are managing the affairs with the data access none of us can have. Same applies to our corporate houses and business of all stage and size. Follow the rule, boss , owner and look for precedent. Big no to untested, uncharted and unprecedented. One must understand that entrepreneurs take risk not employees.

Everyone is setting up call centers, so let us d also. I don't know how much lead/sales ( this refers to outbound call centers ) it generates, but its surely causes anger and irritation to 99.99% of the callers. Its a social problem now.

Do something unprecedented , let it fail but  it gives chance for newness around us, it can be source of great inspiration and risk taking, and if successful it can be a source of abundant wealth creation. 

Prof Sandeep Desai (Ex SP Jain Inys Prof) refereed above , begs in Mumbai local trains for his mission of education. He collects daily money from commuters for his 3 schools for deprived students. He collects appx Rs. 3/4000  daily from commuters of the local train during non rush hours. CNN, ZEE and many other print media wrote about his innovative way to collect funds & his message spread to many so quickly. He has won CNN IBN Unsung Hero 2011 award also. Collected some Rs. 21.5 Lacs till Aug 11. I met him yesterday when he was on his begging mission. 

Bollywood super star Salman Khan tweeted abt him " Prof Sandeep Desai ka jawab nahi, kamal karte ho yaar prof saheb"  and has requested his fans to donate to prof.

Point is not Prof Desai, Point is his innovative and unprecedented style of collecting donations. Sellers/Marketeers and CEOs , pls awake & ask : have we innovated lately in what we do and how we do? Customers MUST say " Yeh company to Kamal karti hai."      { with their products, people and customer services }. Do you think , you will then need massive sales and ad campaigns??? Your brand ambassadors should be your customers and free media. Now its our turn to do Kamal!!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Are U selling your Products or Passion !!! ???

Mumbai's top most and all other Home Builders had an exhibition during 6th to 9th of Oct in Mumbai. I visited the exhibition to know about products of companies engaged in Mumbai's most powerful industry. 

Barring one developer one can not make out the differentiation in what they do and how they do. Similar style exhibition outlet, similar style suited , booted and tied representatives (kind of uniform) , SOP driven receptionists, more or less same display patters, same monotonous scripted sales speech. Absolutely no innovation.  Well their sales collateral had some quality variance.

The one company referred above was THE ONLY ONE outstanding. Beautifully designed exhibition outlet shows the passion with which the company is working. Every company there , were out to sale their properties but this company added passion with creativity in their just 4 day efforts. 

Known as Nahar Group , they had lovely nest with chirping bird sound , classy color combination and lovely sales collateral. They brought their project location's natural ambiance live there. { rest all had some or other pics to demonstrate their locational advantage }.  

This company was not selling HOMEs but selling their deep PASSION.

What are u Selling ?????? [ go back to drawing board, design board, HR policies, customer experience policy and shake it up, now , Today ] .

{ Happy to note that exhibition organizing body (MCHI) recently awarded them best designed exhibition outlet. This also shows HOW easy it is to get noticed if you add some creativity to what u do, as there are very very few who do what they do passionately. }

Monday, October 17, 2011

By D'fault are you HAPPY or SAD???

By D'fault are you HAPPY or SAD???  { Pause and Check for a minute }. We read motivational books , watch movies, go on a tour , picnic , movie and drama. Go out for dinner , parties play with kids. Celebrate birthdays , other important days, marriages, people who drinks go for it. We develop hobby to remain engaged in activities we like. In an otherwise painful realities of our life, we feel happy to watch movies, which take us away from the realities.

We try to escape from { painful } realities to all these places and resort to these activities.  We like to remain HAPPY.{ always }

Corporate world has to take clue from our need to become and remain HAPPY. Happiness is not only in demand but is @ Premium. Yes make your customers HAPPY and you will neither have to find customer again nor worry about the profit. Equation goes like this - Delivering HAPPINESS = Customers plus Profit.

Happiness Drivers:

- Extra ordinary customer service.

- Extra ordinary product knowledge/Insight { today experienced at a restaurant from chef } .

- Unexpected pleasant surprise { read somewhere that a restaurant on a particular day offers select diners free dinner on random basis. Not announced marketing scheme but genuine un-announced pleasant feeling of surprise. Word of mouth can brings more customers than marketing gimmicks }.

- With-out expectation authentic kind gesture. Authentic word is critical as most marketeers have failed to invoke this feeling in customers. Sale not Solution is the ONLY motive. (Met a politician today and cud sense this - getting a voter base may be at back d of his mind but during the meet genuine urge to help and not seeking vote was his gesture) .

- Designing extra ordinary products / service is a work of an ART. Art will always attract its fol{lowers}. ( Steve Jobs is d recent inspiration, there are a few others too  ).

In our entire chain of business processes and touch points - what will make my customers HAPPPPY or what will remove sadness and pain from his life??? Ask & Act.

{ Happy to state this blog has completed 10000 hits in a year of its existence. Thanx to all visitors/readers. }

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

If u can simplify, u are indispensable & most sought after

Noted Film Director Mahesh Bhatt described MAGICAL voice of renowned Ghazal Singer Jagjit Singh as " Simplicity, simplicity & simplicity"  Magic is Simplicity or Simplicity is MAGIC. How true but difficult to achieve.

We are here in this world contributing daily our bit of complexity to the world in whatever we do. We love complexity. Simple is no brainer is what we believe.

When Reliance wants to raise funds they come out with TOCD. Triple Optionally Convertible Debentures.  No investors would know how safe it was, when and at what price how many shares he will get. That's big brainer. Opposite of simplicity.

Retailers now a days offer discounts like buy 1 get 5 free. Why do they keep price of one so high to cover cost and margin of 6 ?? To sell quantity & fool customers.

We have our tax laws most complex which requires highly qualified professionals to unravel the clauses and implications { we even can have multiple views and opinions }.  Big brainer by our bureaucrats and source of income for professionals. Additional gift of so much complexity is litigation.  

How we calculate our poverty and GDP is again a big mystery. Complicated enough so no one can understand and hence questions.

I recently got customer charter from one or the private banks. Good that they have this but its spread over many many pages, small fonts which make it unreadable.  Look at our legal agreements, exim procedures, forex procedures, internally our company policies, customer policies, promotion policies, all are voluminous work of senior professionals and lawyers. Unless it’s complicated and complex its not worth it. Smartness is in complications. 

Many companies come out with various attractive schemes for the customers but while availing such schemes we came across small asterisk and that leads us to complex terms and conditions. Everything around us is complex.

On many of the websites they put up whole lot of information but contact or mailing details we could be find with great difficulty. Reaching them which is the most important thing misses the attention of the designer.    
I come across many business plans , IMs /project reports, 70% of the pages are useless collection of data.  We can't KISS it ( keep in simple and short ). We just cant. Simple job is not worth and should not be paid much. { our notion which promotes complexity }

However as rightly recoginsed by Mahesh Bhatt, its the simplicity that clicks ,works and noticed. Life is otherwise very complicated so those who can make it simple by their action and work will be cherished and valued. Simplicity is @ premium. If u can simplify, u are indispensable & most sought after.

Monday, October 10, 2011

6 Mistakes SalesPerson MUST avoid !!!!!

Sales Person invariably don't know HOW to respond to REFUSAL or NO from prospective customer. { based on my experience today with Amway trained senior professional /entrepreneur }.  

Six things one should never do: { business can happen later if u avoid these glaring mistakes

1) Do not challenge person's values and principles just to sale your idea or products ( not yr territory so respect & salute )

2) Do not try to convince by proving others and everyone else wrong ( Whole world is wrong and I am right attitudes mis-fires

3) Do not doubt or argue by defying him on what the prospective customer is saying based on her past experience.  ( loses yr trust which is critical to win d deal )

4) Learn to read the mood and undertone of the communication & do not keep only focus on sales and deal closure. ( Failing on this makes you disconnected.)

5) TRUST must remain during entire communication. If u cant make her customer, make her yr friend. ( Friends can become customers but if the trust is broken , prospective customer gone for ever)

6) Don't ever lose yr kindness, politeness, interest during conversation. ( future sales opportunities will be lost with these change of gestures

These situations may arise during the conversation, you may feel that deal is gone and may not happen, but MUST not commit these unpardonable mistakes { not sale @ any cost but TRUST @ any cost }.  

Tom Peters' views on wow of sales : Know Your Customers (Max research here) & master your soft-skills before u make a first customer call. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Steve Jobs in U too !!!!!

" Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."  - Steve Jobs

Of the so many quotes of Steve Jobs, according to me, the above quote is most powerful and highly inspiring. 

Yes, we live only once and we mostly forget the same till we are close to the death. & how many of us will get the chance like Steve to know that d death is near!!!! While I am writing this I am also watching Discovery Channel's programme Super Structures of America. What an imagination , mammoth effort and dedication is required to create these super structures !!!! Amazing. Yes but once achieved these structures remain in the world for years to come. 

Combining the two - Steve's Message & lesson from channle's programme - Bottomline is: We only live once & leaving a mark on the earth requires all d three i.e. imagination , efforts and dedication. (that to in limited time and ignoring other's opinion in what we are doing with our inner voice).

How unfortunate that we always need social proof to do something and even to know whether what we are doing right or no. Whether to listen, whom to listen and what to listen is very rarest of the skills.

Therefore two things to remember - Just do it and Making an Impact of our Action on this World. 

  • If u are a writer - write like a Booker prize winner writer
  • If u are a builder- built every structures as a monument and wanting to make it to city sightseeing itinerary.  
  • If u are an employee - first & foremost be happy & smile while dealing with customers and co workers. { mostly that is lacking }   , act like a CEO of your own life as you LIVE for the self not for your employer. Live yr passion too.   
  • If u are mother - not only love yr children but make them the finest citizen too.
  • If u are a father - not only earn for your family but give time and attention to your children too. Expose them to best and the worst of the realities of d world.
  • If u are en entrepreneur - your product and service may bot be d best in the world but be known for integrity and customer passion.  Become problem solver not only seller and marketeers.  
  • If u are an activist -  obviously making an impact is yr job. { Keep self interest aside. }
  • If u are passionate abt something - start today to fulfill yr dreams. It may be start small and grow later but START TODAY is a MUST.  
  • If u are a blogger - well,write immortal posts and again making a impact is innate desire. { more suggestions welcome }

" Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

I started to underline the important words in the quote above. But immediately realised, every words are important , relevant and powerful. So I highlighted the entire phrase with BOLD.

Steve Jobs gone and we all we will also go. But till the time we go, we are living. Make most of your living. You time is limited and started long back. 

Share yr views, dreams and passions & what will change fro  TODAY?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs - Life & Death - Quotes & Salute

Today this Blog is completing its FIRST year. Last Dussera (English Calender 18th Oct 2010) it all begin and today happy to share that over the year there were total 113 posts, above 9200 visitors and visitors from some more than 30 countries. Thank you all of you who have visited, read my blog and even shared this blog with their friends base. Feeling of WOW !!!!

Well today I wanted to write something fascinating but wondering what to write on first anniversary !!!! However with Steve Jobs' death , I cannot think of anything else but to write about his thoughts and what people thought of him.

Tone and theme of this blog all along has remained Customer Experience and who better than Steve Jobs can define and create better customer experience. Two of his quotes are highly indicative:

“you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards for the technology."

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."

No one man can write Obituary of a man like him so I have decided to present all the tweets about him by some of the well known people:


President Obama described Steve: …Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it…

Mark Zuckerberg's tribute to Steve Jobs: Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. & Today, we lost one of the most influential thinkers, creators and entrepreneurs of all time.

Ratan Tata : Jobs has changed the way of life of many.

Richard Branson: RIP Steve Jobs. A truly great businessman. Inspiration to so many. A real Family man. He will be sorely missed.

Sergey Brin - (Google):  (Steve's) passion for excellence is felt by anyone who has ever touched an Apple product.

Anupam Kher: Steve Job made a person like me too, feel a complete tech savvy. That was the ease of his brilliant mind. Will miss his persona. RIP.

Steven Spielberg:  Steve Jobs was the greatest inventor since Thomas Edison. He put the world at our fingertips. 

Sushma Swaraj : Rest in peace Mr Steve Jobs - entrepreneur and inventor par excellence!

Pritish Nandy: I think I will stick to Steve Jobs. Dassera will come again.

Sucheta Dalal: Yes, as a late convert to Apple, I think the greatest tribute to his genius would be to walk out of Windows & to a Mac World!! & we all remember Steve Jobs for his Apple inventions but he also built Pixar, one of the most original animation studios

Tom Peters: The way to honor Steve Jobs is to take your current project [today] and turn it upside down and shake it up with all your might!

Anand Mahindra: Steve, the only way I can commemorate you is by committing to cut the crap from my life&to dance to the tune of an inner voice..

Shashi Tharoor: 3 Apples changed d World, 1st one seduced Eve, 2nd fell on Newton nd d 3rd was offered to d World half bitten by Steve Jobs.

Javed Akhtar: Great are those who. Could think of what has never been done before and do what has never been thought before. Jobs was one such person.
Bill Gates: I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.


Finally his own powerful views on life ,business & death: 

Death is the destination we all share. ... It clears out the old to make way for the new.

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.

A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.

The products suck! There’s no sex in them anymore!

The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting. The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predictament.

We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.

In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.

Finally actionable for all of us as rightly said by Tom Peters:  
The way to honor Steve Jobs is to take your current project [today] and turn it upside down and shake it up with all your might!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

5 Ways to Immunise Your Business from Global Meltdown

Yes, bad news r more of contagious and glorified most of the time. People have habit of glorifying things. However all of us , in governments and institutions are always working to improve the situation & therefore situation may appear to be grave but not as it made out to be:

What MY business should do to remain on tract during these crisis: Some thoughts:

1) Focus on Sales Recovery & Working Capital Management - Cash is Oxygen.

2) Focus on CUSTOMER, Customer Service, Customer Expectations, Customer's own Problems, Meet Customers Often. Customer is Revenue.

3) Do not over trade with low margins , instead roam around , develop new products and new markets, meet vendors and other business associates. They are Blue Ocean enablers.  

4) Invest in technology to quicken the business processes, invest in people to make them more skillful and capable. This will help immensely when situation improves.

5) Believe it or not, use social media to become known, address customer concerns, become known as leaders by creating useful industry related content. This is social currency.

Nothing to worry in our own world. Newspapers and opinions of the so called experts are making us nervous.  Fact is,  no one knows anything. There are always contrarian views for everything. Lead off line of this blog says " there can be multiple views that are true on the same matter at the same time". 

Therefore focus on the above 5 agenda and leave opinion makers, economists  and stock markets aside. Majja-ni Life  { Life is Happy & Beautiful, don't worry be happy & make others happy by our actions & words }.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

6 things to KNOW about YOUR CUSTOMER (KYC)

 KYC = Know Your Customer - What a powerful business success phrase lost in its abbreviation. Yes, KYC has remained just identity and residential proof collection activities in Banks and in all other industries if at all they are implementing it.

Knowing customer is the MOST important success key for any business.  

Do we know our customers?? If yes then we will know what are his needs,what is he doing to fulfill it,  whether our offerings are matching his need and behavior,  whether he can afford it, whether he likes it , whether he recommends the same?? Yes knowing CUSTOMER is one of d most critical activities of any business.

Today when we are celebrating birthday of one of the greatest leaders of world's MK Gandhi, his view of the customer is worth knowing.

 "A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider of our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do so.”

What one need to know about our CUSTOMERS:

1) Why he selects us to do business with?

2) Whether we fulfills his need as per his expectations?

3) Whether are there any sacrifices he has to do to avail our services? (i.e. expectations minus actual experience with our offerings)

4) Whether can we do something which can exceed his expectations when he visits next?
What & How it could be?
5) Whether & HOW can we pleasantly surprise him in the next encounter with our brand?

6) How can we make his life easier , more pleasant and less painful? 

KYC is not equal to address proof and photo ID. Its MUSH MUCH more & deeper than that.  However we only stop at stage 1. What a powerful business management phrase, missed its target completely!!!!