Leadership

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Of the last decade and the next

So I turned 30 just 2 days  ago; and I’m writing this post talking about what my 20’s turned out to be like and what I’m committing to in my 30’s. More than being a post, this is a dedication to a lot of people who made the decade what it was suppose to be. I know that the last decade has been great because when I sat and looked back at it I realized that not once did I get the thought of “I wish” it was different or I had done it differently. I was happy looking back at the last decade because I realized that everything that I have done in the last decade, I did because I wanted to do it. I was not forced or rather I did not let anyone force me into doing anything that I did not want to do and honestly, that is what being in your 20’s is all about. It’s about putting ourselves in a position of owning everything we do – the decisions, the mistakes, the failures, the successes, the journey.

I consider myself lucky because I had the right people around me by the time I turned 20. I had friends who did not just hang out with me to have fun but spent time with each other knowing our dreams and do what ever little was possible on pushing each other towards achieving them. I had the freedom from my family to make my own mistakes, learn, do better and achieve success. More importantly, I had a mentor just before I turned 20, the person who introduced me to NLP, a tool and set of skills that would give me the ability to change and design my own life. My mentor actually helped me realize what I truly wanted for myself and then coached me to have the courage and ability to do something about it. I remember when I had just started Sankalp Academy with my wife and then girlfriend Kiarha, Ashlesh (my mentor) took a walk with me and told me “there will be times where things may not seem to work and achieving your goals or dreams may seem really hard, You just stay at it and I know you will find a way to make it work, Just stay at it!” If it were not for those words, then Kiahra, myself and the academy would have never been able to come this far. My mentor gave my past decade a brilliant kick-start and along the way I met many more people who kept pushing me forward. Whenever I needed something, I had someone around to help me with it. When I doubted my capability, my sister Priyu made me realize and believe that I could actually do anything very effectively and powerfully. When I felt down and lacked strength, Kiahra showed immense amount of patience in giving me the support and strength to bounce back, when I behaved like a victim, my friends Varun & Swati kicked my butt.
When I started Sankalp, I did not even know how to send a good professional e mail and my friend Niki always came to my rescue. Niki even designed our first logo, our first letterhead and our first certificate template. Now you know why I consider myself lucky.
There are a lot more people to acknowledge but that would require a lot more posts. However, a loud shout out to my mentor Charles for making this journey even more effective and a lot of fun and of course to mum and dad for having the faith.

Coming to a very important point, I had stepped into my 20’s with a clear outcome. It was not about all the clichés like just make money, buy a house, a car etc etc. it was about making a name, an identity by making a difference and I am so happy and content that I was able to do that. I got listed as an expert on entrepreneurship & leadership in many publications, got good media visibility and acknowledgement and also authored a book that became a best seller. I had heard many times before I turned 20 that the 20’s would be about making a name; you can make all the money in the world as you keep growing but your 20’s will be about building character. I’m glad I focused purely on that and everyone around me helped me keep that focus. Of course they were a lot of challenges in the journey, but that is what made it better and made me better. If it were not for the people who let me down and made my life hard, I would have never known how strong I could be. So even to them, thank you for being there and playing the role that you did, for it has helped me be more, do more & achieve more.

So for any of you who are in your 20’s now, make this decade of your life about building character. It will turn out to be better than what you can imagine. Purely speaking out of experience ☺.

Now coming to the next decade. I surely have a lot more roles to play now than I did when I turned 20. I’m a husband, a father, a mentor, a consultant and a lot more keeps getting added to the list. Instead of listing down my dreams and goals for my 30’s, I’m just going to share the out come. Since my last decade was about making a difference it only makes sense for the next one to be about making a mark and facilitating growth. I don’t hope but I know that I will bring immense growth and I will create impact and leave a lasting mark on a lot of lives this decade. This decade, I will be a role model for I have a lot of people counting on me to grow and add value. This decade I will make you even more proud not just as an entrepreneur, a leader or a mentor but as a person. Many people have played great roles during my last decade and a lot of them will play even bigger roles in my next one.

The last decade was great and I’m all geared up for the next one!

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Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs make in Sales

Over my two decades of experience in sales, I’ve worked in various industry verticals

interacting with different circles of people. It all summarises to a simple fact that you are either selling a

product, service or a concept. We ought to realise that selling is not just a commercial

activity, there is much more than price, payment terms and delivery!

Sales is an important activity that every business owner has to recognise and acknowledge.

It is not the last stage in the business. You are in business because you have sales!

We all have heard the famous maxim: “A greatest sales person can sell a refrigerator even to

an Eskimo”. Well this is the old theory! The current world demands; “You have to sell what

the customer wants, and not what you have!”

Business owners and organizations have to change the way they handle customers in

today’s highly volatile market. The old techniques of selling are changing and the

organizations have to be innovative and think differently from competition to sustain the

onslaught of the business.

I have collated certain essential selling ideologies that most sales people and sales

organization either get incorrect or don’t implement:

1. Not selling the solution

Individuals and companies buy products/services only with the sole intention to solve their

problem or improve productivity. Sales people spend too much time on the offer rather

than assuring the customer what the product can do for them and how it will benefit them.

When you sell the solution, the product or service gets sold automatically.

 

2. Excessive dependency on the “sales presentation”

I have seen sales people spend hours creating colourful presentations with data, graphs,

charts and then become so dependent upon the slideshow and other details, that they are

no longer aware of vital buying signals the prospect is demonstrating. Remember personal

meetings are an opportunity to build the rapport and not to demonstrate one’s

presentation skills. Personal meetings can take your business to the next level based on how

you build your rapport.

 

3. Price is not the deciding factor.

I have not come across one customer who selects a product/service just because it is cheap!

No one buys a price, ever! I have been in sales my entire career and have seen customers

use the term “your price is high” just to buy time or to gain advantage on negotiations.

There is no such concept as “higher price” or the “least price”. It is just the “right price”. So

don’t be jittery when someone says your price is higher. Take that objection as a step closer

to closing the sale.

 

4. Overlooking the influencers

Are you barking up the wrong tree? One mistake many times we do is to put too much

attention on the decision-maker and missing the influencers. You will agree that most of the

decisions are based on certain influences from others. Ask the customer, "Who else other

than him will influence decision making or that you would like involved?” Find out why they

are important to the decision and what is most important to them. Always remember, two

heads are better than one!

 

5. Not knowing the customer well

Although business happens between two companies, in the deeper context, the business

actually happens between two individuals. You are selling to the person first and then to his

company. Hence, one of the primary determinants of success in sales is to be

knowledgeable on customer likes, dislikes, and preferences. Building a rapport with the

customer and continually using exploratory queries to find out more about them can help

you find a common chord. This is foundation of great relationship building, which can

ultimately help you close the sale.

 

6. Not updating skill sets

What sells today is obsolete tomorrow. During my mentoring sessions, I find that

entrepreneurs invest very less time to update their skills sets. Self-development can be

possible only through books, articles, videos, podcasts, or attending professional sales

training. Successful sales professionals attend sales seminars and workshops and make it a

habit of reading about sales practices on a regular basis. Reading newsletters and visiting

websites that help in improving the selling skills is also a healthy practice to follow. In the

present age of information and technology, the customer is well informed and aware about

your competition more than you know. Hence be well informed.

Selling is not an Art! It is Science!!

 

M.S. RAVINDRA

LEADING SALES TRAINER

FOUNDER– LEAP CONSULTING

You can contact Ravindra on ravindra@leapconsultingindia.com

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Leadership – The Badass Way

Leadership is often associated with the protagonist in any story. These traits are developed by getting inspired by various ‘Heroes’ if I may call them. However, after thinking about this for a long time, something crossed my mind, “Is being a Leader only about being on ‘the good side?’ Is it always inspired by positive stuff? Can only ‘Heroes’ have the spark of leadership within one?”….Maybe not!

So it’s time we re-look at a few badass villains – who though were defeated, did have something that kept them going! Yes, that’s what I want to pick up from them; ‘Being Badass!’ Here’s a list of the villains that I learnt from:

cruella

  1. Cruella de Vil – Dalmatians: She was indeed a mean witch and did a lot of bad stuff to the dogs there but on the flip side what I admire about her is her urge, her obsession and the rush she had to be the best one and get the best things in life. Her craving for Dalmatian fur coat, though weird, is interesting. I think this is one quality all leaders must have – the rush and the urge to get the best.

 

 

 

 

 

megamind

  1. Megamind – Megamind: Apparently an intelligent alien super-villain, Megamind continuously kept being defeated by Metro Man, time and again, but not once did he give up! He comes up with idea after idea and determinant, he fought against Metro Man. Now that isn’t the actual point here. What I picked up from Megamind was actually over a conversation with my mentor about how important it is to have Flair! And hands down, one of the best villains to model for flair has to be Megamind. According to him, what separated a Super Villain from any other lay villain was…..Presentation! Have you developed your own flair? If not, give this a thought!

 

mother

  1. Mother Gothel – Tangled: An exceptional influencer is what I see in her. How easily she is able to influence her adopted daughter, Rapunzel, just by singing her the song “Mother knows best”. In my opinion, leaders must have this ability to understand and influence peoples’ thoughts and the situations around to get the best possible results.

 

 

 

 

maleficent

  1. Maleficent – Maleficent: Even after delivering a curse on Princess Aurora, she herself freed her from the curse, and at the end of the day, someone who Aurora thought was the ‘good guy’ turned out to be the actual ‘bad guy’ (King Stefan). In Leadership, there are always two sides to the coin; there’s always another point-of-view. Your perception of the truth cannot be the absolute. As a Leader, it is important to be aware of both or rather all the possibilities.

 

gru

  1. Felonius Gru – Despicable Me: Gru, the most loved Villain heads the entire troop of the Minions, to whom, he is God! Everything Gru did, right from adopting the girls, to stealing the moon and even battling out Vector; the Minions were by his side whenever he required so. As Leaders, one thing that stands out is the ability to ask for support whenever necessary. Gru never shied away from doing so and thus was able to gain tremendous support from his Team; and in doing so not only did he achieve a lot, but also had great fun!

 

 

sher

  1. Sher Khan – The Jungle Book: Despite being born with a crippled leg, Sher Khan has pride and regards himself as the rightful Lord of the Jungle. In my opinion, this pride and ego is required to a large extent to be successful! He would’ve never got so close to Mowgli if he wasn’t that proud. Having pride is often misunderstood as a negative quality. Pride isn’t negative, misuse of it is. Pride helps a great deal in shaping what you think about yourself.

 

 

 

  1. Hopper – A Bug’s Life: This guy is truly interesting. He plans ahead. He knew very well that the ants would easily out number all grasshoppers in the colony. He had already taken into consideration everything that could possibly go wrong. He planned ahead. This is what I admire about him. A leader must plan ahead. Have various ideas in mind and explore all possibilities. Every one of them might not work but that’s where your flexibility comes into force! Plan ahead but be flexible in the plans!

h

These were just a few of the defining qualities of these villains that inspire me and the list just goes on to include Scar from the Lion King, Kaa from The Jungle Book and so on!

Leadership is about experimenting and that is best seen in these villains. Yes, those who try to be Badass! Pick on the one quality that they obsess about that makes them who they are. Makes them a leader that has others falling in line. That’s what got them at the top of the pack !

 

Learn it …the badass way!

Sagar R Gangwani

Ideation Coach

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