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What the Gujarati culture cherishes ...
Posted by: Admin on Friday, April 04, 2003 - 10:30 AM
The Walrus's Blog The Gujarati people are numerous in number and the occupation of the Gujaratis range from farmers to businessmen to freedom fighters. Since I grew up within the confines of Gujarati businessmen, I can attest to the fact that one of the most important qualities that the Gujarati community places importance on is a mixture of killer instinct and cunningness. I can see why they do so - in business, a combination of both is an absolute must.

My grandfather, day in and day out, reminds me that I don't posses those two qualities and I should be doing something about it. My father has also mentioned several times that I lack the killer instinct. I ask both of them who they think have this killer instinct and cunningness. They give me a list of people that are pretty smart and cunning. I go through the list and I see people who are pretty successful but also quite a few who are not?

Strange - why do people who are cunning and have the killer instinct not doing well financially?

Because having these two qualities is not enough to be successful. Many other qualities are needed - examples would include hard work, ability to focus, thinking strategically etc etc. The best definition of success is Bill Gates story. He possessed all the qualities I have mentioned and many more that I have not mentioned. My father and my grandfather are doing well by advising me to gain an edge by being extremely sharp about stuff (having killer instinct) and being cunning but they fail to tell me that many other qualities are also needed to be successful. Their inability to positively gauge other qualities I posses such as working extremely hard and thinking strategically about any decision I take is irritating, to say the least.

I'm focused on being successful because I want to prove all these people wrong. OK, that's not the only reason but it's one of the primary reasons. Dum dum.

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The meaning of salesmanship
Posted by: Admin on Thursday, April 03, 2003 - 03:43 AM
The Walrus's Blog Yesterday I met an old friend of my fathers - he's an insurance sales person. He's extremely successful and I guess in part I wanted to see his salesmanship and perhaps learn from his sales pitch.

The meeting went a little like this: First we chatted a bit about my grandmother, the work I'm doing now, the medical maintenance company that he set up some time back etc. Then he started explaining the insurance policy that he felt was appropriate for me. That took more than an hour but it didn't seem to be that way for me. His sales pitch was extremely interesting because he went into some detail about the nature of the insurance policy and also the investment linked policy details. I went from knowing absolutely zero to knowing quite a bit.

Now, the killer part of his salesmanship is that the hefty premium, at RM 3000, did not seem so hefty when he was talking because the focus of the sales pitch was not the premium but rather the immense value that I would gain from paying the premium. Hell, he did not even bother too much about the premium - instead he bundled six different insurance policies into a cohesive whole and talked about how I could gain substantial returns from my investment. It was o­nly o­n reflection later o­n in the day that I though that the premium was rather high, but even then I could easily see the value that it would bring.

This is a good time to tell another sales story I saw recently. I was at a client's place and attempting to resusitate the receptionist's computer. A salesperson came in and tried to sell a watch to the receptionist. The salesman's performance was abysmal - first of all, he told the receptionist that he was o­nly doing advertisement for Japanense company and wasn't selling anything, secondly he did not potray a confident persona (he was shifting, not keeping eye contact etc), and finally it was clear that he was blatantly lying about his sales pitch being o­nly an advertisement . After several refusals from the receptionist, the salesman left.

Now is the killer part. Another salesman comes in and straightaway jumps to the sales pitch. There was no roundabout bullshit about advertising etc. He started off by telling the receptionist how good the watch will look o­n her. The receptionist smiled a bit, clearly flattered. Encouraged by her response, he asked her to try it out. She refused but he kept o­n trying, trying to sweet talk her into buying it. Never o­nce did he mention the price - always his focus was o­n value that the watch would bring to her. Halfway through all this, the receptionist was joined by another female employee (who, in my experience of knowing her, was rather sulky). She told the salesman to leave. The salesman, instead of being rebuffed, shifted his attention to her. Flattery was his weapon and he wielded it well. Within minutes, the sulky dudette actually tried the watch out. After some time, he managed to sell the watch to both of the women.

Seeing the difference in the performance of two salesman selling the exact same product, I can safely say that the ability to sell something does not lie significantly in the quality of the product being sold.

Salesmanship lies in the ability to persuade someone else that the product has value to him/her. The insurance agent was also doing exactly that and so was the watch salesman. My cousin has repeated told me that I should always sell benefits, not features. How true. How true.

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Time to kick off this blog ...
Posted by: Admin on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 12:49 PM
The Walrus's Blog My blog has been hibernating for some time because I've not have had time up write. Here is an update of what's happening:

a) My company's got a major client onboard for our outsourcing business. The money's not great but it'll be good to use the name of the major client to push for more deals.

b) My grandmother's fallen really ill. Nobody, not the doctors or the family members, are thinking she is gonna make it. Her body is slowly dying. She's in a coma-like state and is not conscious.

c) My sister has come down from London - yay! I've gotta go back to Penang and see her.

d) I've not got any reply from USM or UM regarding my masters. I've got this strange feeling that I'm not gonna get in anyhow :(

e) I've set up an OpenBSD box as a Samba filesharing server :) Of course, the first thing my colleague did was to share pr0n. Heh :) OpenBSD is truly elite.

f) We've got several deals in the process and if good luck persists for us, we're gonna double our monthly income - however, we're still not breaking optimally even.

g) I've got this website up ... finally!!!

h) RedHat 9 is out! Yay!

I'll have to blog more often.

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Blog About GNU/Linux
Posted by: Admin on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 12:36 PM
Linux This icon is for blog for GNU/Linux related stuff.

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Blog About Work
Posted by: Admin on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 12:34 PM
Work This icon is for blog for work.

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Blog About Personal Stuff
Posted by: Admin on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 12:10 PM
The Walrus's Blog This icon is for blog for personal stuff.

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Other Stories
· What the Gujarati culture cherishes ... (Apr 04, 2003)
· The meaning of salesmanship (Apr 03, 2003)
· Time to kick off this blog ... (Apr 02, 2003)
· Blog About GNU/Linux (Apr 02, 2003)
· Blog About Work (Apr 02, 2003)
· Blog About Personal Stuff (Apr 02, 2003)

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