Monday, January 10, 2011

Lighting Challenges

We have been working to promote the Endo and Artemide brands lately. Both are distinctly different brands. Endo is a pure technical lighting. A Japanese brand, and brings to the table the Japanese marvel of superioroty in design and application use, backed by fantastic pricing. 

But that is not what will make our brand sell. We are in the energy conservation space, and our appeal is quite different to various roles from our customers. 

For Project Managers, we are a way to make their project an energy efficient solution. But often, tight budgets come in the way and we are unable to move forward. We are approaching this in two ways:

1. Work on solutions and partnerships at the project design stage. If users integrate LED Lighting at the project design stage, then the savings, paybacks and benefits are much larger. Paybacks can often come down from 3 years to just over one and half years just by being a part of the design process. 

2. Instead of only approaching the project people, we are also talking to the Finance people. For us, more often than not, they are the real specifiers / influencers as a very good payback / IRR can turn the tides very quickly in our favour.

Learning : Look beyond the obvious. Dont just look for enquiries, but interact deeply with them. Also, your real friend or coach in the project may be currently not in your line of sight. But you have to get yourself into his.
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Monday, April 5, 2010

New Horizons

Hi there,

Am returning after a very long time. Last 8 - 9 months have been very hectic and have brought about a huge change in my life. I am doing something very exciting in my life now, something which I am loving every moment of, and something will shape my desitny.

Have taken on a new assigment, and i am now in the process of creating a new business. I am back into the field of Lighting, a field I enjoy immensely and care about. I now have a chance to make a major impact on my environment - both aesthetically as well as from the Energy concerns.

With this change also comes the need to get back to blogging and exploring my inner self even further.

All I can say is - I will not give this up. Had a blip and a depay, but I am back again.

Love and Care, Vishwajeet Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Buyer's angle: Create Engagement

Here is the first insight I gained as a buyer:

The best seller I have come across in this assignment is the person who Engaged with me patiently and Energetically. From our very first interaction, this gentleman has been continuously probing our NEEDs while also trying to learn the WANTs. He has spent a lot of time trying to provide me adequate and not excessive knowledge and information about his products, services and the marketplace.
He did this regularly which led to a certain relationship being formed between us.
He fertilised the relationship with a lot of genuine and honest help in various matters. He shared open insights about his own company, sharing with me things which would work in his company and things which would not. He continuously tried to read the same about my company. This clearly helped in defining expectations about each other.

So what has this engagement done for the Deal to go through?

1. It has built a certain familiarity about each other's company. Expectation management.
2. It has helped him understand my customer, which will hopefully give him an opportunity of customising his offering to our specific needs.
3. It has withstood some of the other competitors, who risk a chance of loosing out as they did not engage often enough.
4. It has built respect. If he is keen to sell, I also am keen to buy. The engagement creates value for both of us.

Now this is important. Every salesman has a certain desperation to clinch the order. This purportedly gives the buyer the 'upper' hand. Both forget that the customer gains value and utility from the product he buys. Hence there are no favours that a customer really does in giving the salesman an order. I think an Engagement with the right contents ensures that both sides understand VALUE.

How many times and how long do you engage with your customer? Very often, we believe that the follow-up for the order is Engagement. Well I don't think so.

Dwell on this. Share your views on this. I too intend to create this discussion with many other contacts. In my next post, I will try to crystallize this distinction.
Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone Essar Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The buyer's angle

I have been playing a new role these past few months. That of being a buyer.

I am in the process of sourcing some new accessories for our company. These deals will be pretty large ones, so there is much at stake for both sides.

Through the next few days, I hope to share some insights I gain and experiences I undergo. Will this new point of view make me a better salesperson?
Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone Essar Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

At your service ...... If I wish

Some days don't work out very well. I mark them as learning days in my calendar. Yesterday was one such day. It showed me different shades of attitude problems among service providers and how it impacts their customers. Though this is a service related issue, I am writing this post in a Sales blog since attitude towards customer service is critical.

Pic Courtesy - Imageshack

Morning 6:30 am: I travel to Pune Railway station to catch the Deccan Queen Train to Mumbai. At the station, I discover that my wait-listed ticket has not been confirmed, so I cannot take the train. Reason – The person in our office who booked my tickets showed a callous attitude. Inspite of my calling him on Friday @ 5 pm, with more than 3 hours available to book the tickets on Friday, he finally booked my tickets on Saturday evening. The reason for delay, he never checked the requisition about which date tickets were required. Outcome – tickets with wait-list of 40. Further, no attempt was made to try alternatives.

My perception of his Attitude: Callous, Insensitive and Indifferent.

Morning 7:30 am: I then returned home to catch a cup of tea and rush to office. I decided to use the opportunity to drop my daughter at the bus-stop, something which I rarely get to do with my hectic travel schedule. At the bus-stop, I encountered one of the strangest behaviors seen from service providers. As the bus approached us while we stood at the bus stop, the driver saw us standing at the stop, but decided to pass us by, for some strange reason go to the next stop, pick up those kids, then come back and pick up my daughter. This took around 10 minutes during which time we kept wondering whether the driver is going to come back to pick us up or we are expected to reach school ourselves. His reason in his own words – So what if we had to wait another 5 minutes and keep wondering about this?

Attitude seen: Contempt for the customer, not acting in the interests of the customer.

In both cases above, the outcome was the same. I have taken steps to begin the process of replacing the service providers. They have lost my trust. Neither of them intended this outcome. Neither of them started the day saying they are going to attempt to loose their jobs today by treating their customers badly. It was their attitude which was their un-doing.

Do your customers ever get this feeling? I often look back at interactions with customers and think if any aspects of my behavior contained shades of poor attitude. Poor attitude is never by desire. It is by habit. In most cases, it is unknown to the person who exhibits that poor attitude. The difficult part is that one only gets to know about poor attitude when it is too late. Sphere: Related Content
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