Posts

Does Reverse Selling appeal to Customers/Investors?

Image
These are some reasons why you should not buy my solution? What would be your prospective customer’s reaction if your introductory slide were to have the above message? Most of the managers feel that the above is nothing short of a Harakiri! In Originals – How Non-Conformists Rule the World, Adam Grant, an American Psychologist at Wharton has turned the conventional logic on its head.
Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman  were appalled by false advertising and bad advice about parenting and started an online magazine and blog network called Babble. They wanted to challenge the clich├ęs about parenting. In 2009 when they approached investors they made presentation before their investors with a typical sales pitch. In two rounds they realized that their unbridled enthusiasm was perceived with scepticism as salesmanship with a hidden agenda.
Remembering the adage, ‘insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’ they decided to change the typ…

Winning a Jackpot: How do you decide?

Image
Winning a Jackpot: How do you decide?
Situation: Imagine you are participating in a game show and after going through qualifying and elimination rounds, you have reached the finals.  The game-show host presents you three options A, B & C and you have to select one of the options which are the respective doors. One of the doors leads to a jackpot (say a Mercedes) and the other doors to an insignificant prize, say a tennis ball through each door. Now let us say you have selected option A. You are curious and excited to see if you have hit the jackpot. The host asks you to be patient, opens the door C and what you see is a tennis ball. Now he asks you whether you would still stick with option A or switch to option B? What would you choose and why? When this question was put on different platforms like linkedin, what’sapp it was observed that 95% of the respondents voted for A. Now read on: Analysis: Generally people tend to stick to option A, the reason being they would not like to reg…

Difference between Convincing & Con-Vincing

Image
Soumyajeet Mohanty ran Edu Solutions,  an educational consultancy service in Bhubaneswar Odisha. Initially he started Sunrise Coaching Solutionsproviding tuition to engineering students. As the venture did not yield much returns, he ‘moved up the value chain’ by providing  ( fake) admissions to students wishing to get into medical colleges. Most of these students  either had poor scores in NEET ( National Eligibility cum Entrance Test is an entrance examination in India for admission to medical and dental graduate courses) or  who were repeaters. Mohanty and his team of six were able to notch up a revenue of Rs. 8-10 crores  within 2 years.

The admissions were fake, the seals bogus.  Mohanty’s team was able to extract Rs. 10 – 50 lakhs from parents  for each seat  Now what is common between Mohanty’s modus operandi and the management principles?


Focus on Results: The moment he realized he was not getting results through tuition, he quickly changed his business model. Sometimes such peop…

Pitfalls in Strategic Planning: What did Honda learn in the US market?

Image
What does it to take succeed in a competitive market? A good product is necessary but not a sufficient condition. You also need to find the right segment where the product needs to be positioned. To achieve this goal, organizations spend considerable time in strategic planning ,  coupled with vision,  mission and  goal statements. Quite often such statements look great ONLY ON WALLS is beside the point!



In 1959 Honda Motorcycle Company from Japan decided to enter the US market with its new brand of motorcycles. The strategic planning and the marketing team did a careful market research and came to the conclusion that premium-end motorbikes are appropriate for the US market. Being a highly developed automobile market, the motorcycles were used as fun vehicles where speed , power and long-distance drive on highways were the critical customer preferences. A new design team was put in place for this project, prototypes tested, developed and the bikes were launched.

Back home, in the post-wa…

How Culture affects your Context and Behaviour

Image
A number of readers ask me the significance of the word Context in my book Contextual Selling. Generally speaking American, European cultures are considered to be low context cultures whereas the Asian cultures like Japanese, Chinese, Indian are considered as high-context cultures. Social Psychologist Richard Nisbett says that the orientation towards independence (low-context) or interdependence ( high-context ) actually decides the cognitive processes of thinking, decision making etc. In one of his experiments, a group of American and Japanese people were shown images which consisted of a big fish and a number of small fish with sea weeds around. The Americans were able to recollect the big fish; the Japanese more of the small fish and the seaweeds. That background of any situation can be termed as the context. In the low-context cultures your communication has to be clear and to the point. People are individualistic and perceive themselves as being unique, self-made and autonomous.…

Why market pulse is more critical than a superior product design?

Image
In the early 90s Airbus and Boeing, the two major players in commercial aircrafts decided to come together to manufacture Very Large Commercial Transport (VLCT). Later on both the competitors parted ways as their business strategy could not synergize. Ultimately in 1994 Airbus decided to go solo on this venture and the project was codenamed A3XX. And thus the first flight of A380, the largest commercial aircraft happened in 2007 which is a double-deck, wide body 4-engine aircraft with 6000 square feet of usable space, 40% more space than its nearest rival product Boeing B747-8. A380 could accommodate 500 seats in 3-class capacity (Economy, Business and First Class) or 850 in an all-economy class.With several delays the project cost escalated from the initial 9 billion to 13 billion Euro



Product Pricing and Positioning: The A380 had a seating capacity which was 5 times the Airbus A320 Neo but the price point was 4X . The List price of A 380 was $430 Million whereas A320 was $107 Million…

Can you Improve Your Negotiating Leverage thro' Sales Funnel?

Image
I was conducting a program on EFFECTIVE VALUE SELLING FOR CAPITAL EQUIPMENTS last week. One of the main problem the sales executives were facing was that the customers were  insisting on  a target price for the machine rather than through a quotation. The sales executives were falling into the trap and asking their managers to give a revised ( read discounted) price.

This problem apart from the market dynamics is also decided by the BATNA of both the parties. Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement was first coined  by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their book Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement Without Giving In. The authors from HBS work on the Harvard Negotiating Project.
BATNA is a concept which discusses the options both the parties have in case the negotiation fails. In such  a situation the party ( buyer or the seller) who has more options has a better negotiation leverage. For example if the buyer has 3 other vendors to talk to; and  the salesman has this buyer as the o…