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Soft and easy does it!

January 1, 2014 4 comments

What better way to start a New Year than by extolling a friend who creates value for his clients and prospects.Sell

PG and I often make joint-visits to clients. While I promote my talent development initiatives he would sell Internet Security and High Speed Bandwidth solutions.

But Sell may seem too strong a word to use for his approach to business – we often associate selling with pushiness and high-decibel pitches.

During a recent visit to a reputed Engineering College our First Point of Contact informed us that there is an immediate need for Internet Security Solutions and that the Systems Administrator was already in conversation with several suppliers. While a regular Sales Executive would have rushed to the man and started a major pitch to win the deal my friend did the opposite. When we reached the System Administrator’s office PG started asking about the IT infrastructure the college had in place and what thy had in place for managing security and for intrusion control. He permitted the man to speak at length about the IT policy, the equipment being used and the people who were currently supplying products; eventually it was revealed that they were indeed looking for Security Solutions.

But, like PG had already surmised the solution being considered by the college was of a lower specification and it wouldn’t make sense for him to push anything from his portfolio. Instead he spoke about ways in which he can help them build on what they have so that the IT infrastructure is more robust and safe. He offered his expertise for free and, I am sure, that made a huge impact on the Systems Administrator. He would definitely call PG for advice and support when they plan the next upgrade of the IT infrastructure.

While at the outset it may have seemed unprofessional to let an opportunity go by it became evident later on that he was laying the foundation for bigger opportunities in the future.

And this was later confirmed by two other friends who done business with PG – they were buying broadband connectivity from him and the approach I mentioned above was seen in action by both. It would have made sense for him to give more bandwidth that was required when these gentlemen asked. They also asked for equipment that would be of a higher specification than their current requirement. PG persuaded both gentlemen to go for a lower spec item because it would do the job just fine and that if they required more bandwidth it could be acquired cheaper on a future date because given current trends the cost of bandwidth would drop further.

Both gentlemen were impressed with my friend’s soft selling style which gave them long-term value. He could have gone for the kill but staunchly refused to do so and thereby built stronger relationships with his clients. They wouldn’t think twice about recommending him to all their friends and business associates.

By selling less, he was selling right; PG was actually opening doors to bigger business opportunities – its smart selling.

Let it not be thought that PG doesn’t Sell, he sure does that but with a softer, more long-term approach. His customers may take time to buy, but when they eventually do so they would keep buying from him for longer periods of time.

Now that is real selling!

Isn’t that a great way to begin the New Year? May you succeed in all your endeavors this year … Wishing all of you the very best in 2014!

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Please visit my new look website – http://akshworld.com/

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Johnny is a good man!

April 30, 2013 12 comments

It’s Saturday night and we were meeting with friends at Kovalam’s famous Hawa Beach (3rd Beach). The plan was to enjoy a seafood meal at one of the beachfront shacks that line the length of this popular tourist destination.

We walked along the tiled walkway that separates the restaurants from the beach, to check the sights and the available seafood. The walk had made us thirsty and a chilled beverage was the need of the hour. We had made a short-list of the restaurants to choose from after checking the stuff on display. A restaurant that wasn’t crowded got our vote – Well, most shacks had a handful of diners because this is the fag end of the tourist season, with the weather getting hotter each day in Kerala.

The Service Staff who ushered us to our seats had a warm smile and made us feel welcome. All of us noticed it, but it was my wife who captured the essence of the experience while we walked back to the car after 2-3 happy hours of chatting, drinking and gourmandising:

“One doesn’t need a degree in Hotel Management to do a great service job. Till what Class you think that guy has studied – not even High School, I guess. But, just look at the way he remembered to do and say the right things at the right time. Fantastic! He made our visit to the place worth remembering.”

How does one teach Service Staff such things?

I’ve been to so many fine-dining restaurants and received such indifferent service. The staff usually treat visitors with such disdain. They somehow fail to think long – term or  from the customer’s point-of-view. They are busy doing a job.

So, what did Johnny do that made us feel different? No, this isn’t Johnny as in “Johnny-come-lately” or “Some Johnny”; that is his name! Mr.Johnny is special.

He wasn’t wearing a starched uniform or speaking in a clipped accent, but most wait staff at Kovalam know a smattering of English thanks to the interactions with 1000s of foreign tourists. He didn’t have slicked-back hair and his grooming was ordinary. But, all that just didn’t matter. He overwhelmed us with Care!

He suggested the best fish and the preparations that would suit our palate. When the food arrived he placed the food ordered at the right places, having remembered who had ordered what. Even when he was far from our table I noticed him glancing our way to check whether the glasses had beverages in them. He was not only keeping us happy but ensuring that the restaurant got more business. It was smart thinking!

While we ate the food Johnny stopped by to refill the plates and then asked the ladies whether the preparations had come out right – “How does it taste, Madam? Is everything okay?”

Post the meal his question was “Did you enjoy the meal?”

And after we settled the check and rose to leave he asked “Next time you aren’t going anywhere else? Come straight to our place and we will ensure that you have a good time.” Bingo!

It was a clever thing to say, but it also meant that he had heard us discuss the other restaurants on the beach. My wife and I had been telling our friends, who are from out-of-town, that we come here often and the other shacks serve good food too. He wasn’t lurking to gather juicy titbits from our conversation, just that when he visited our table the relevant bits of our exchanges stayed in his head to be used at the opportune moment. It is a useful skill.

Isn’t it plain common sense? I mean …  Customer Service:

–          Receive the customer with a smile

–          Help them make the choices

–          Suggest without sounding opportunistic

–          Be around to help

–          Sense the mood and the need

–          Keep the interaction going without intruding

–          Check whether the customer is happy

–          Be there to help throughout

–          Confirm that everything went well

–          Sign off in style

–          Tell the customer that you look forward to seeing them again

Johnny did all that with such style and he had not been taught any of it. He just picked it up along the way. He might just blink if one were to ask him about CRM, CLM and CSAT.

But he had what is took …. Service Attitude. The books tell you everything you wish to know on the subject but ultimately service is about sensing, feeling and doing.

The bill was not a small one but we were beaming as we walked away!

Johnny proved once again that ….. Good Customer Service makes great Business Sense!

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What’s the rush?

April 18, 2013 12 comments

(Part -2 of the 3-part study on Customer Experience.)

As a customer I have always felt something’s amiss when the Salesperson rushes me to make a decision. Statements of the sort, “You have to tell me in the next one hour!” or “The offer lasts only till the end of the day”, made me smell a fish. How about you?

Prakash and Priya were buying a car – the need was a city runabout, a small car that would be easy on the pocket, on upfront cost and recurring cost. Priya would be the user, but Prakash, being the more car-savvy one of the two, did the buying. In Part-1 we saw them reach a decision and buy the car from a popular maker.

But in the run-up to that purchase Prakash had visited numerous outlets to test-drive cars and to gather information on the models that were priced in their budget range. The reception he got from the Salespersons at the dealership and the steps they took to acquaint him with the car and the process were worth further study.

There was one particular 3-day spell in the month-long exercise during which Prakash felt choked and haunted. He was analyzing a car that was at the higher end of the price range and the terrible episode was sparked by his first call to the dealership. The designated salesperson immediately brought a car for a test-drive and delivered the message in the sweetest manner possible. He increased the self-esteem of the potential buyer by remarking how smart Prakash looked in the car and how it would feel each day to use such a classy car.

After the drive the Salesperson requested Prakash to visit the showroom in order to check their facilities and also to get information on the finance and registration formalities. Prakash obliged by making the visit the very next day.

Prakash was not sure that he and Priya would buy this model – mainly on account of the acquisition / maintenance cost. But, the Salesperson wouldn’t take “No!” for an answer. He asked how soon they would make a decision and Prakash gave a vague reply because he had more or less made up his mind, after a quick chat with his wife, not to buy this brand / model.

But the Salesperson, quite obviously under pressure to make the sale, kept calling. He would call 3 – 4 times in the day and each time give some sort of inducement or speak about the benefit of an immediate decision. He would call when Prakash was busy at work and later when he is relaxing at home. There was no way of getting away from this person – and when he wasn’t calling there would be text messages to remind the customer about the pending decision.

Prakash had mentioned after the first day that although they had not decided yet they would going for another brand, but the Salesperson was not willing to give up. However his constant follow-up was actually driving his potential customer nuts.

On the third day Prakash had to use harsh words and threaten the Salesperson with dire consequences if he called again. He had been driven up the wall and couldn’t handle it any longer.

While enthusiasm and perseverance are good qualities it can’t be taken to the extent that customers feel annoyed or harassed. A professional sales person would know where to draw the line in this regard. He would stop following-up on the sale when he realizes that the customer has made up his mind to buy another product.

He also knows that the thoroughness of the work done by him will ensure that the customer would call him if there is any change of plan.

In fact it’s something he would do as a closing routine “I would have loved to get your sale, but I respect your decision to go elsewhere for the purchase. However, if you do change your mind feel free to call me. Happy driving!”

That’s the focus of your pitch – to make sure that the customer goes away having positive thoughts about you and your product.

Haste only makes a great waste!

Your face is your fortune!

April 1, 2013 14 comments

Harish, the Business Head of Netwhizz Technologies, is presenting a portal solution to a client (MD & Sales Manager present). This is a follow-up meeting and the Tech Specialist is with him to provide inputs on the “how” bits of the solution. They are describing to the client, who is in the Education Services business, the component of the solution – how their portal concept would help to improve his online presence and the ways this investment would provide useful business returns.

The meeting has not been going well because the MD is not happy with the solution offered and he was not making any attempt to hide his displeasure. The solution seemed too plain and uninteresting. He didn’t see it giving him any of the expected results. He said that Netwhizz had not read his requirements well and were trying to palm off a second-hand solution.

The Bossman walked up to the white-board to explain couple of ideas he had thought up since the first meeting. He wanted to portal to be different from those of his competitors – it had to stand-out! He had thought up the flow (how a person visiting the website would interact with the elements seen there) and even conceived a catchy interface that would be in the form of a game. But it was not cast in stone, he said; if they could rework the idea with any other interesting concept which could make his portal interesting he was willing to play along.

ImageWhile his back was turned to the rest of the group Harish looked at his tech-man and made a funny face, as if to say that the client was talking utter rubbish. He had an expression of disinterest throughout and was not paying attention.

While the client was describing the process Harish butted in to say – “That is what I have been saying all this while.”

The MD had not seen the play of emotions on Harish face, but his deputy had. But when this intrusion came the MD stopped the discussions and said abruptly – “Harish, thank you for your time. I am not happy with what you have shown me. If you can think up something better do come back another day with it. But don’t waste my time. In the meantime I am talking to a few other service providers too”. With that he walked out of the Conference Room.

Harish’s face now looked like it had received a slap with a wet fish!

We often forget that even when we remain silent our face is telling a big story – what’s going on inside our head is presented through our eyes and expressions.

And our words reveal those thoughts and feelings. Harish could have remained silent and listened to what the MD way conveying, even if it was what he had presented earlier. Then at an opportune moment he could have presented it as confirmation of the client thoughts. After all, letting the client win is the big idea in Sales.

Harish should never have conveyed his disinterest and scorn through his expressions – even if he felt those were poor ideas it could have been said outside the room. But then any smart Sales Pro knows that there are no stupid ideas in this world and you get nowhere by calling your client a fool.

Beware! One wrong expression, or word, can cost you a fortune!

“Amazon”ian “Ass”umptions!

February 15, 2013 16 comments

No level in an organization is beyond screw-ups and there is no bar on the size of organizations that can mess things up real bad.

I am sure you have heard the story about a CEO who stood hesitantly in front of a shredder with some important documents in his hand wondering what to do next. A thoughtful subordinate who was passing by offered to help the big man – “Sir, let me do it for you!” Just as he fed the edge of the papers into the machine and hit the button the CEO said – “Can you make 2 copies, please!”

Well!

Yesterday, I attended a presentation on the fancied Cloud Computing services at an upmarket hotel in town – the organization making the pitch was none other than Amazon Web Services. I usually avoid naming organizations but am making an exception this time to prove that even the biggest can blunder.

The high voltage 3-hour pitch targeted CIOs, Developers and Solution Providers. The large hall was obviously set up with the help of local Event Managers; young girls and boys received the guests and ushered them in, there was a discotheque like atmosphere created instead with electronic music belted out from large speakers. The head of the room had a huge display announcing the name of the organizer and the event title. There were screens set up along the side of the hall to facilitate viewing. So far so good!

The program was to start at 2 p.m., but my friend and I arrived 10 minutes ahead of schedule and took seats after registering – the hall was nearly full by the time the clock went past 2 and then this smartly dressed gentleman walks to the microphone and starts testing the audio system – he goes “Check! Check!” and asks people at the back to confirm audibility. After that in a polite tone he says “We will start the program at 2:30 p.m. because we are waiting for more participants to walk in. After a while I shall start with some program trivia and then get into the program actual.”

Hello! I thought Jeff Bezos believed in speed and smartness at work? Obviously, this young man hadn’t heard these quotes by his Boss.

A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.

If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful. 

This article is word of mouth in action, isn’t it?

At 2:35 the same man, the smartly-dressed-in-a-suit guy, walks up to the mike and says he is a Manager with the organisation and would be leading the presentation; he started with a very bright “Good Afternoon!” and got a lame response from the audience. He gamely tried a second time, at a higher volume, and got a louder lame response.

He then gave us his name, an South Indian one, and added an Americanized abbreviation that we could use – Wow! He had us there! Mr. America is here to save the day. (Mr. Cheesy, we could do without that.)

What followed was a unmitigable disaster – death by PowerPoint!

He launched into a long rant about the company, its achievement, clients and success stories; add to that a boring diatribe on the product portfolio. The slides had a black background, to match the mood in the room. There were some graphic outlines in the form of clouds at the bottom of each page, but they definitely didn’t have a silver lining.

The presenter did ask the audience to raise hands to check how many were Developers, Solution Providers and so on, but did nothing afterwards to whet their interest. He was treating the audience as kids who didn’t know the subject – the pitch was low-key and basic. Even I, with no exposure to Cloud Computing other than articles read on internet, found the presentation childish. He promised to give demos but even after 90 minutes we got nothing beyond the dull drone of his voice – I had a tough time trying to keep myself awake.

At 4:15 my friend and I gave up, we settled down in a coffee shop across the road to assess the damage. As we made a hasty exit I checked the faces of our fellow-sufferers and felt the desperate looks saying “wish we could do that” – it was sheer politeness or maybe pressure from some higher authority that kept them there.

This young manager from a leading IT organization didn’t know the basics of Presentation Skills or the principles of adult learning.

–          Adults like to be respected: This guy was treating them like kids; he took them for granted. Basic stuff was being offered to a set of experienced people (that didn’t include me)

–          Adults are relevancy oriented: He was not able to show the audience how they could use the stuff to speed up or improve the way they did work – the example he gave were of some international organizations with home the audience had no connect

–          Adults like practical stuff: This was a boring tirade about the product – there was nothing in the form of demo or hands-on experience. He had lost the audience quiet early in the presentation

There is more, but for the moment I shall stay with just three. This dead horse has been flogged enough!

The slides had small-font text, hardly any graphics or pictures and there were no videos to improve levels of interest. I had mentioned earlier that the slides had a black background and the text was of a dull color too.

Let me add that he did try to involve the audience by asking questions, but they were the wrong kind – he just asked them to raise hands to confirm having heard about or used some of features mentioned. He would have got buy-in by getting the learned audience to respond with their own experiences.  He had either forgotten or wasn’t aware that it’s dangerous to make a dry presentation of this nature in the post-lunch session – in the training domain we call it the Trainer’s Graveyard!

This man from a big corporation had committed hara-kiri and he probably wasn’t aware of it!

We walked out without offering any feedback – the form provided feedback only asked questions that related to use and purchase of Amazon Services. How sensible!

It’s important for presenters to prepare the pitch based on the type of audience, the impact of the presentation needs to be tested constantly and he needs to think on his feet and change the pitch if things aren’t going right. Haven’t we seen professional speakers and stage actors using an adverse comment from the audience or even a wardrobe malfunction as opportunities to make a smart response?

The presentation needs to be benefit-focused and lively. It needs to prompt audience participation.

I have presented a negative sounding anecdote only to tell my readers that things can spiral out of control if one were to take too much for granted …. Your blunder can reach “amazonian” proportions!

When we assume too much we end up making an “ass” of “u” & “me” … No jokes!!

Guest Relations- a changing concept?

December 8, 2012 3 comments

Dear Friends,

Day-1 of Year-2 for the Sales Coach Blog …. I had promised you that goals for the blog would be different this year and there would be interesting new features.

What better way to begin the year than getting the change implemented on the very first day …. the first new feature: Guest Writers!

Here is an article written by Jamshed Lateef (popularly known as Jamy), Guest Relations Manager at The Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Barbados. He studied Mechanical Engineering at College of Engineering, Trivandrum but then changed track and picked up a Diploma in Hotel & Tourism Management from Hotel Institute Montreux, Switzerland in 1997. He lives in Saint James, Barbados with his wife, Lily.

Jamy has been a regular visitor at the Sales Coach blog and his comments after reading each article were so detailed and insightful. Those inputs added hugely to the value of the articles I presented.

What better way to recognise his contributions to the development of the Sales Coach Blog than to ask him to present an article here; it is a matter of great joy and pride for me to present the first Guest article at this blog.

He talks about his own profession, which also is his pet subject – Guest Relations helps hugely in bringing repeat business and referral Sales for your organisation. Over to Jamy …

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Guest Relations- a changing concept?

First of all, it is an absolute honour to be invited to present an article on Sales Coach Blog.

Guest Relations Officers

Guest Relations Officers

The role of a Guest Relations Executive, Officer or Manager in the hospitality industry, and in general, has evolved over the years from being glamour-oriented to a key function instrumental in being the perfect ambassador.The person should also be knowledgeable and skilled to provide guests/ customers with a captivating  first impression and facilitate a thorough introduction to products and services.

Let us take a look at Disney’s concept of Guest Relations- anyone who has visited Disney’s theme parks would be pleasantly surprised to know that the ladies and gentlemen in charge of keeping guest and public areas neat and tidy are given the title Guest Relations because on a daily basis they interact with guests from all over the world and are trained to respond to basic guest queries and/or guide them in the right direction; they are not there only to maintain hygiene and sanitation.

Now, in established hotel chains, the Guest Relations function is usually the department in charge of producing the WOW! effect for return as well as first-time customers. The job description covers management and supervisory tasks related to the Front Office, Sales, PR, Food & Beverage and even duties and responsibilities of the Executive team in their absence. It is definitely not glamorous as I mentioned earlier, but a very important and responsible job function where the individual is always on stage and should be street-smart enough to think on his/her feet while carrying out daily duties and resolving issues.

As far as the modern guest is concerned, the Guest Relations Manager should be an encyclopedia of knowledge able to cater to all their needs, respond adequately to all their queries and be able to find solutions to all their issues without showing any signs of weakness. The moment you are unable to conform to the above some guests would pounce on you like vultures  and use you as an excuse to question the hotel’s reputation; some others would just ignore you for the rest of their vacation and escalate their issues to the higher-ups. Let us not forget the dangerous and deadly group who would resort to using websites like Trip Advisor, Expedia etc to tear into you relentlessly  and let the world know that they were not happy campers thanks to the substandard service they received or the fact that they did not get enough satisfaction with management’s resolution.

Everyone is looking for Quality and Value for their money spent which means that their expectations are greater than ever before. The Guest Relations Manager should always be prepared to step up and assist any front-of-the-house department in operations to ensure that guests receive a high standard of service and there are no glaring deficiencies staring at them to make the service below – expectations. It is always good to have working knowledge and experience in supporting departments before taking on the position of Guest Relations Manager.

What about the expectations of management and other departments? Ah! Never thought about that right?

The Food & beverage team expect the Guest Relations function ( Guest Relations / Concierge) to provide accurate and prompt information to guests and hustle if necessary to fill up the restaurants and thereby generate revenue. The Sales & Marketing team expect Guest Relations to jump in at short notice to conduct Site Inspections and be the point person for Groups in-house. The Front Office department requires the Guest Relations function to support them through the whole Guest Cycle: Pre – Arrival, Arrival, In – house and Departure and also to stand in for the Front Office Manager. The Executive team expects the Guest Relations Manager to be the Regular Duty Manager taking the initial blows from discerning guests and resolving the issues by being patient , empathetic, following up and most importantly following through.

The Guest Relations Manager should always be on the lookout for ways to enhance a guest’s vacation by asking the right questions not only on arrival, but also during interactions throughout their stay – at cocktail parties, afternoon teatime etc and also when they are fully relaxed by the beach and pool. Picking up valuable information like anniversaries and birthdays, special dietary requirements, hobbies and interests and using the same to surprise and WOW! guests by adding value to their stay is one of the major expectations of the Executive Team as far as Guest Relations is concerned.

Now, what is the best reward that you can get for performing all of the above consistently over a period of time? Most people might say monetary benefits like FAT TIPS from the guests, a bonus, salary raise, a mention on Trip Advisor or a complimentary letter to the Executive!! But is that what a true professional is looking for in terms of Job Satisfaction?

Recognition from Higher Management like a pat on the back, a simple Thank You from a guest for making their stay memorable promising to return and recommend to friends and family, a bear hug from a child who became attached to you during their stay – the pure satisfaction that you get out of such gestures is the biggest reward that a passionate and loyal Guest Relations Manager can ask for; whose integrity and commitment to excellence is always challenged by different  situations which are part and parcel of the hospitality industry.

Guest Relations is a specialist function and you are either blessed with the necessary skills and mindset for it or it is just not meant for you ….. its as simple as that!

Words rush out from the fingertips!

December 7, 2012 19 comments

I used to read a lot – it was fiction most of the time and the love affair with tales had started early in life. My siblings and I were encouraged by our parents to read as much as possible. We read every book we could lay our hands on. I guess we were fortunate that the TV was a relatively unknown and expensive gadget those days – the ubiquitous radio belted out the latest songs and brought us news. Computers and the World Wide Web were things that we read about in Scientific Journals and Sci-fi books and the mobile phone as we know it today had not been invented yet. So other than fun and games with our friends and stories from our parents books were our permanent companions.

That liking for words has remained strong throughout and somewhere along the way came the desire to express myself in words. Though I usually wrote essays a few poems have escaped from my pen – I would be terribly embarrassed to show them to anyone today. And I was not very systematic or determined those days – so that desire to write remained on simmer most of the time. When I started working people discovered this ability and asked me to compose business letters and some of my dad’s friends asked me to help their kids write essays.

And then the skill went into cold storage for an extended period till four years ago when someone suggested that I start a blog to express my thoughts. Thus commenced my first attempt at blogging – the articles presented at the blog on Blogspot were interpretations of current news and things I observed. After a while the fire died and the blog went into a long slumber – it remains dormant even today.

The current productive spell got sparked when I was in Oman. A bit more than a year ago, over a coffee at Qurum City Centre, Muscat, I was discussing ways to get myself established as a Trainer / Consultant – across the table sat my new friend Shantanu Sengupta. We got connected on LinkedIn and decided to meet each other to discuss strategies to get entrenched in the Oman market – like me he was new there too. It was Shantanu who stuck a lit matchstick between my toes and jump-started this blog. No, he didn’t actually torture me to get this blog going but he fired my imagination by creating a wonderful picture of what the blog can do for my practice. Shantanu didn’t let it go at that – he made me set targets and list down topics that I would write on. He even helped to choose the blog design and fine-tuned the layout. No amount of thanks would be enough for the help he provided.

It was Shantanu who hit the Like button first when articles were presented and posted encouraging comments to keep me interested and motivated – he shared feedback and useful tips too.

A few months after the Sales Coach blog got going I left Oman to resettle in India and he moved to Delhi. But Shantanu kept checking on my progress and gave many more useful tips. The last few months he has got stuck into a new job and the responsibilities of parenting and I have not been hearing from him so often.

The push he provided a year back and the vision he created remain alive and exciting – I enjoy writing and remain committed to doing it regularly. I may not have written an article a day as initially planned nor did I write short articles as suggested, but write regularly I did. In the last 365 days I have presented 243 articles including this one.

Shantanu had made me me activate one more useful and important feature to promote the blog – A Page on Facebook. Thus started the Sales Coach Blog page on Facebook in Feb 2012, a little over 2 months after the blog was launched.

That Page became the main platform to promote the blog on Social Media and it has 173 subscriber now. I post links to the articles on Indiblogger, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ too, but its Facebook that helps to drive readership.

I must recognise a set of friends who are regular readers – Jamy Latheef, Raji Sumanth, Shoba Sriaiyer, Sajan Nair, Sourav Das,  Uma Shankar Pandey, Jayashree Vats, Kailash Acharya, Sunil Menon, Catherine, Anatha, Raaj, Vasant, Prem, Jithin …. I can go on. Thank you, Friends!

I am aware of their unstinting support thanks to the comments posted after reading the articles. But then there are as many or more who regularly read but don’t leave a message in any form afterwards – but read they do. I am extremely thankful to them too, every one of them!

There are those who send a discreet note when a typo or a grammatical error is noticed – without their support this blog would be a mess!

Although the name suggests prevalence of articles pertaining to Sales Management and Selling Skills I have blended in articles on Managerial Excellence, Entrepreneurship, Career Guidance, Nature and Hobbies.

My articles try to tell a story – I use this method because people love hearing or reading a good story; stories have hooks that ensure that the messages remain fastened on the person receiving them. I have also tried to keep it simple – there is enough serious stuff available in books and on the Net; so I thought it made sense to deliver the message differently. Feedback coming in from readers tell me that its the right approach.

The most heady feedback received – “My friend reads your blog before attending an interview; he gets motivated by reading your articles!”

Its been an amazing journey so far and I have barely started. There is so much left to do.

I have been able to stay engaged, committed and focused – my blog completes one year today. It would have been great to present 365 articles by this day, but 243 is not bad …. don’t you think so?

The Sales Coach blog has been noticed by prospective clients too and hopefully business will follow – but in the first year the main purpose was not business development. Now that the targets have been achieved I have to recalibrate and push ahead.

The new year begins in a few moments and the journey starts all over again – I have to create persuasive messages and experiment with interesting new formats.

There are many new ideas to be explored … watch this space! I do hope that in the new year the readers will stay engaged and connected with the Sales Coach Blog …. it’s my job to keep them interested with my Sales Tales!

The next story is on its way … Read on!

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