Showing posts from 2018

Difference between Convincing & Con-Vincing

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?

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

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?

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?

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…

Contextual Selling: A New Sales Paradigm for the 21st Century

A brief chat with Mr. Rajan Parulekar, Managing Director of Paradigm Trainers Ltd., a firm specializing in Sales & Behavioural /Soft skills training since 1995.    Author of Contextual Selling: A New Sales Paradigm for the 21st CenturyWhen did you decide to start writing this book? I wonder if there is any salesperson who can say that he hasn’t lost an order. One learns the hard way in life and I have lost a lot of orders too. Back in 1983, when I started out, selling was easier. It was more of a sellers’ market, with fewer brands and less competition. You could revert to the customer’s query the following day. These days, especially post-liberalization, the market has become hyper-competitive and cut throat. The customer expects all queries to be resolved instantly. If not, there is a competitor ready to grab the opportunity! I started writing the book in 2005 and the book was released 6 years later. The reason I decided to write the book is, even though I learned by trial and er…