Monday, October 1, 2012

Tricks of the trade

Nathan would go with Jack for lunch and come back within 1 hour. However, over the next few weeks, he noticed, other than them and a few others, most of other colleagues would go down, bring breakfast and lunch to desk and eat there itself. This included the senior managers as well. This was very weird to him. He couldn’t understand what forced these people do go out for lunch, even then when they have a designated 1 hour for lunch. So much so he disliked this, he was slowly becoming used to this office culture.

A few weeks have gone by; Nathan was being trained on banking domain and the banking solutions from his company. He liked the work and the way his colleagues and office seniors would discuss sales process and dealings. However, as he had nothing much except to read about the solution and APAC markets, he would read newspapers online, blogs of interest and other emails as well.
One day, after coming to office, as usual, Nathan was reading online news papers. Shanty, sitting behind him, got up and commented with a satire – These days, you have started reading too much of news papers. It seems you are quite free. Nathan took it easy, thinking its just a one off comment. Let it be and went off for lunch.

Nathan was then summoned by ABC into this office. ABC started, “So your jet lag is over or not? Have you been able to come to terms with Exactechpur?” Nathan just nodded saying, Yes, everything is fine. ABC continued, “So what is your biggest fear with sales? Now that you have spent some time here, you should know”. Nathan replied “Nothing really big, just that I don’t booze and don’t want to too. It seems, you kind of have to booze to succeed in sales”. There was a broad smile on ABC’s face, as soon as he hears this. It seemed, he expected this and knew how to address this.

ABC said – it’s easy. First of all, alcohol is not a required always. Yes, it makes things easy, as people spend some good time over booze and eases them. This helps in making a good rapport and a sale. However, having said this, it’s not mandatory. Instead, you can try learning about alcohol, varieties of booze, places of their production and things like that. This way you can still engage your customers and possibly recommend a few. If you still think you need to drink then drink wine. Its a classy drink, most people enjoy it and it’s not that hard as others. Look at me, I also drink just wine. Nathan thought for a moment, as if, from your face, I can make out you drink just wine J And then he thought, you are saying this now, however, if it comes to a situation, where I don’t drink alcohol, even though, it may be required, you will blame me for everything.

One another day, ABC asked Nathan to prepare a presentation and present it to him and Patrick, after lunch. Nathan prepared a good presentation and went inside the discussion room to present. Both ABC and Patrick looked at him like eagles looking for the right moment to catch their prey. And as luck would have it, Nathan’s moment with the eagles had come J Patrick started off questioning the veracity of the data used by Nathan and their source. Meanwhile, Nathan was answering Patrick, ABC started off with questioning Nathan’s choice of the market to sell. And this continued for the next half an hour. Finally, ABC signed off saying, “Nathan, you should come prepared next time and always believe and say Yes when a customer asks if you can do this. We may not have it, but we can surely get it done. You have only 1 chance to prove yourself and your solution, so grab it with both hands and create a wow factor. Only then, he will engage with you further.”

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