Friday, August 15, 2008

Abhinav Bindra Bharat Ki Shaan

Al last India won a individual gold medal in Olympics. Its been a long wait. But i guess Rajwardhan Rathore raised the bar set by Leander paes and Karmam Malleshwari by getting a silver medal 4 years back . Now Abhinav has done India proud by getting the gold.

Gone are the days where the the trip to Olympics was only to participate.Winning was not important. I remember watching Flop Show (comedy show)by Jaspal Bhatti in Doordarshan where Jaspal Bhatti is interviewing a sportsman training for the games.He asks him "so sir do you hope to win a medal". He replies-- I don't know about winning , but I will definitely buy a T.V and VCR when I come back".I guess the participants are more serious in recent years. After the flying sikh Milka Singh , P.T. Usha came closest to win a Track and field medal .She missed a bronze model by one hunderedth of a second. 8 years later Leander paes won a bronze medal in tennis, karmam malleshwari won a bronze in weight lifting. After that India has won at least one medal in Olympics.

The media played their part too. As usual they went about interviewing every body from the school teacher,friends, parents , aunts ,sister, brother in law etc etc.But no one thought of interviewing his coaches who were with him during the competition. In this age of "breaking news" reporting the media tried adding spice to the occasion by coming out with a report that Abhinavs gun was tampered.This was later rubbished by Abhinav. I thank him for that. Then the news of cash awards started pouring in. (Bihar /UP/MP/ Maharashtra/ Lakshmi Mittla). All the amounts sounded paltry as compared to the 200 crore hotel gifted by his father . Amidst this reporting, it was funny to read few comments being posted in news portals .Comments like "if i had money like abhinavs father then I would have won the gold medal". I feel like replying to him "You idiot, its not the money which matters, its 14 years of dedication that won him that medal".No amount of money can buy that.

So hats off to you Abhinav for winning that medal and making us forget the defeat in the test series at the hands of sri lanka.( I am an indian and a cricket fan too)

Chak De India

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I am sure everyone working in an organization would have faced this. A colleague leaving the organization. Many a times I wonder why a person who was a saint while working for the company becomes a devil while leaving the company. They try to be as un-cooperative as possible and think that they don't have to do any work as they are already leaving the company. I think that is why many companies have got no notice period for junior staff as they are more destructive for the company during their notice period.

If there is a policy that the employee has to give notice before leaving then the manager should be speaking to the employee and letting them know that it is important that they do a proper hand over. Many a times the management do not speak to the employee and treats him like a person who is suffering from a contagious disease.This can be avoided and it can be smooth divorce rather than a bickering one.

Thats where the HR department has a very important role to play.They should be speaking to the employee as soon as possible and letting him know when his last day is going to be and what the final settlement figure will be. This has to be done within the first week of the employee submitting his resignation. This will go a long way in the employee being cooperative during his notice period for the mutual benefit of both parties

If you have any other suggestions then please do let me know

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Any good sales person would tell you that prospecting is one of the most important activities in order to get continuous business at the same time it is the most disliked activity too for most.

I would like to share a story here which shows the importance of prospecting. A guy (lets call him John) gets a job as a insurance sales person. He attends the product training course and the sales training course. There the trainer teaches his students the various techniques used in selling. Pospecting was one of the techniques that was taught in that class. After the training when John joins his office, he is introduced to the senior members of his team. They try passing their own wisdom to him. When John mentions about prospecting, they start laughing at him and tell him that prospecing is a waste of time. They tell him to concentrate only on the phone enquiries and the cusomers who come to their office wanting to buy their products. They tell him that if he waits in the office like them he too can sell like them. John takes this advice and starts enthusiastically by speaking to the people who call up the offfice equiring about the products. By following this routine he soon found that he could only sell to few of them and realized that this was not enough to reach his target. Still he continues this methods for few months and he is soon given a warning letter by his company. John is devastated and does't know what to do. He writes to his father about his problem. His father asks him to go and meet a friend of his Mr. Nair who is a rich industrialist with a lot of friends and influential contacts.

So the very next day John puts on his best suit and goes to met his fathers friend. Mr. Nair speaks to John and asks him how is his job as an insurance sales person is. John tells him how the people are not buying the products and how he doesn't have a client base as he is new in the job. He then asks Mr. Nair to help him. He tell him to introduce him to all his freinds, so that he can sell his companys products to them. Mr.Nair tells hm to wait and goes inside his office. He comes back in few minutes with ten names and telephone numbers and gives to John. John is happy and goes back enthusisatically. He calls all ten of them and is even able to sell to two of them. He is happy that he made two sales during the week from this method in addition to attending to phone enquiries and customers coming to their office asking about the company's products. This was the most productive week that John has had since joining the office. He goes back to Mr. Nair and shares his story very enthusisatically. Then he asks for few more names. Mr. Nair once again goes to his office again and comes back with ten more names. John goes back happy, calls all the ten of them and this time sells to four of them. He is very happy that he is suddenly one of the top selling sales executive in his branch. He then goes to met Mr. Nair and thanks him for giving him all the wonderful leads. He requests for few more names. Mr.Nair goes to his office and comes back with the telephone directory this time round. He then says to John 'Son, the names I gave you were from this directory. I have already highlighted the ones I have given you so far. Now it is your turn to call the rest of them.

The following points are the essence of this story:

1. Never trust your father's friends (just joking). What it teaches is that the first place to look for leads when selling is your own inner circle of friends/relatives/fathers and mothers friends/sister and brothers friends. They are the easiest to start with.

2. Prospecting is a never ending process. The more you do it, the better you become at it.

3. This method is not easy and it needs a lot of discipline. You have to do it consistently.

Finally, if you keep this as a part of Job-Responsibility then the sales staff know what they are supposed to do. This can be measured from time to time and targets can be given to the sales staff and managers. Please remember if your staff is not doing anything to find new business then they will be complaining all the time.

Well thats all from me now.

Friday, July 18, 2008

But Sir there are no Customers

How many times you have heard this as an excuse for low sales from the front end selling staff and the managers managing the TEAM. I am sure you would have heard this a lot of time. A typical Sales Executive usually waits for customers to come to them. A typical manager gives targets to the teams and prays that the TEAM achieves them.

I am sure you know what happens to such TEAMS. They like to ride the good tide and cry when things are not going their way. They will give lots of excuses for non-achievement.

I feel that there is a serious lack of training by companies which results in companies having mediocore front end sales people and managers. Companies can start by spelling out what the Job-Responsibilities of the people they are reruiting. This should include Prospecting, Customer and Personal responsibilities. I will discuss these responsibilties in detail in my next post. Till then please give a thought to what excuses your TEAMS gives, when they fail to achieve their TARGETS. If you have any funny anecdotes, please do share.

I will end with this quote I read some time back "Leadership begins by taking responsibility for self". What a wonderful quote.

Thats all from me for now.