Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015 !

Happy New Year.

My blog was begun with posts commencing from 1.1.2012 and three years have passed by.

1000 mg of gold free if you buy an air-conditioner.

Despite all my knowledge about weights and measurements I had to google to
confirm that 1000 mg is equal to ONE GRAM.

Well that is worth Rs.2500, a tidy sum.

May the new year bring good tidings!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Year Sale

Chennai was probably the first city in India to give hype to New Year Sale.

In the mid-seventies, Vivek started the one day New Year Sale. The sale which happened on
the first of January every year was something which every Chennaite looked forward to.

People expected good discounts (and they got it too!!). People used to stand in the queue
even from 7 a.m. in the morning when the store actually opened at about 9.30 a.m.

But what happened? Everybody started aping this scheme and the one day became three days
and then one week.

Today it is a different story. A lot of things are bought on-line. Particularly mobiles, books, clothes and what not.

In my own experience, I find that the November sale this year has been the poorest in the last
forty eight months!!

Not much or almost nil sale is what could be expected till Christmas time.

What is going to happen after that for you and me?

Let us hope for the best!!

Good Luck.

Phone calls: Ours vs customer's.

Everyday we make a number of phone calls as well as receive many calls.

Is there a difference? Yes, there is!

To get business we advertise, send our representatives on cold calls and so on and so forth.

But once in a while a customer wants an air-conditioner or your service and calls you.

THAT CALL is the most important one, because if proper attention is given to that without being casual it will transform into business for you..

Are we doing that?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


We frequently come across advertisements for second-hand goods
mentioned as sparingly used or light use...

One may think that goods (particularly electrical and electronic goods) that are sparingly used will be in very good condition.

Actually it is not so!

When I was a school boy I had a transistor radio which I never used to switch on for weeks together thinking that it will be good as new.

My brother-in-law told me that the radio has to be used regularly and the transistors should get warmed up, so that the radio will remain in good condition.

Another friend told me a few years back that my car should be regularly run almost every other day, so that it remains in top condition.

During winter months it is good to run your air-conditioner for an hour or so once in two weeks, so that it remains in good condition!

Monday, November 10, 2014

New vs Old Air-conditioner

I bought a brand new car in the year 2007. March month. I still have it and it is in very good condition.

I always used to think: I have a new car. I have a new car.

But suddenly I realised that in fact my car is an old car. (old model). In fact it is a very old car!!
They don't manufacture the model any longer. So what??

As long as my car is in good condition (WITH REGULAR MAINTENANCE) there is no need for
me to buy another brand new car.

It is the same with air-conditioners. If a person buys an air-conditioner and the compressor fails within ten days, what is the use. It is a new air-conditioner.

My own air-conditioner is six years old. But it is in fine working condition.

Service dealers will do well to help maintain the air-conditioners sold by them to give the customer years of good service. These air-conditioners are like the goose that lays the golden eggs!!

Let us not be crazy to suggest our customers to throw away a good old machine for a brand new machine.....

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Double boost stabilzer - Ha, ha.

A few days back a customer rang me up and told me that he was looking to purchase around 50 nos. of 4 KVA double boost stabilizers.

He said that there should be digital display and the secondary winding of the transfomer should have been wound with copper wires.

I gave a very reasonable price for a very good stabilizer.

He immediately said: No, that is too much. I already have offers for Rs.2300 a piece.

"Well, you see, Sir" I started.

He immediately said: No. no more discussions. I know everything....

There was no point. I said: OKay, no more discussions.

Sadly, customers don't realise that salesmen are a fund of information and allowing them to talk will give them a lot of inputs to make an informed decision!! Alas !!

Friday, October 3, 2014

ABC analysis and sales.

Check your sales data for two years. You will find that a few customers (corporates mostly) buy now and then from you.

Those few customers are your "A" customers.

Though they are few in number, they would have given more than 70%
of your business.

FOCUS on them. Meet them frequently. Ask them about their requirements.
Give them some extra service. Feed them information about new products. Give them those pamphlets lying in your sales desk! Don't let your grip on them go away.

Your business is sure to prosper.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

How to sell air-conditioners?

You may ask - who is this man who is coming here and trying to
tell us how to sell air-conditioners? We have been doing this all the time.
It is not like that. Life is a learning process from birth to death, is it not?
You sold an air-conditioner. Now, how did it happen?
Did the customer come to you and took one unit (or) did you go in search of a customer and got one?
We used to go in search of customers (cold calls) and sold many units in the past. Now-a-days I find that this going in search of customers is coming down.
If you want to sell more units, GO IN SEARCH OF CUSTOMERS....
More to follow. Suggestions are welcome!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Workmen without tools, etc.

Workmen without tools, etc. !!
If a handyman comes to your house in US, he will have every necessary tool to carry out the job. He will always use the right tool for the job.
Work is worship. Any work has to be done with devotion, with care, and with self-satisfaction and pride.
But it seems we will never learn.
(1) Last week, we had called a cook to do some simple traditional cooking for three to four hours work. We paid him Rs.2000. He came wearing a pant and shirt and did not even care to bring along a dhoti and towels with him!!
(2) Yesterday, we called nearby franchisee to clean our split air-conditioners. We paid Rs.2,810 to service (clean the filters!!) five splits.
They did the job in one and a half hours. They took from us: (1) Cloth (2) brush (3) cleaning powder. They left leaving the whole house dusty and dirty.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Never say "No"

A customer walks in and asks for a particular product.
You are not having it in stock.
Never, never start saying "No, but we can give you...."
Then and there your sale is lost.
Say "Yes" and then try to find out why he is asking for
that particular product. Chances are after some discussion
you may find that the product the customer is after does not
meet his requirements at all and the product that you have in
large quantity with you is the one he should have.
Don't spoil a possible conversion and help to customer by saying "No".

Monday, August 11, 2014

Buyer's market

A buyer's market is a market where the supply and availability of goods
is much, much more than the buyers for those goods.
So, what can happen in such a situation?
Sellers will reduce prices to dispose of the stocks. That is okay.
But don't reduce price to absurd levels. Customers will play on your emotions.
Reduce, yes, to survive. Not for suicide!!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Business is dull - How to react?

Right now business everywhere is dull. Whether it is real estate, white goods and so on. But there is a common lesson we have to learn.
Yesterday, my daughter and son-in-law wanted to see some of the upcoming
villa projects in Chennai for possible purchase.
Day-before yesterday, I planned for the outing.
The first company I rang up, they said I could go and see and that they would
send a representative. They did not follow up the next morning giving the person's name and phone number which I wanted. I again rang them up. They said I could go there. No representative was found at site and the security guard said: "I will show you the villas". No issues. Excellent construction. But the surroundings of the project was found very shabby. From the OMR main road, we had to travel for about a kilometer in a small lane of about 23 feet to reach the gated community. While returning a lorry came ahead of us and we had to reverse our car for 300 metres to give way for the lorry. Will you think of purchasing that villa?? I leave it to you.
The second company had two projects, one in Thazambur and the other in Perumbakkam. They said they would give a contact person name and phone number in both places. They did not. The next day, I had to ring up several times between 9.30 am and 10.30 am. No body picked up the landline. Every time I received a nice SMS saying.. Thank you for calling, etc. It looked stupid. Finally they came on line and gave a cell number. He too did not pick up the phone and I got similar message.
When we reached the place, the representative was not pro-active. He could not answer most of the questions and also gave wrong information. He said Villas have piped gas connection. When we reached home and checked the pamphlet it was mentioned piping done to connect cylinders!! Pathetic considering that the buyers are coming back from US after staying there for ten years!!
What is the lesson we learn from above experience?
(1) When business is roaring ten customers will come and two will just pay the money and go. You will not know the quality of your delivery.
(2) When business is dull, you should completely focus on the customer and give all your efforts to get business.
It could be villas, it could be air-conditioners, it could even be potatoes!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Noise in window air-conditioners.

I am talking of a period some two decades back.

Window air-conditioners with reciprocating compressors used to be mounted
on springs and rubber bushes.

During transit the legs of the compressor would be screwed down to avoid
shaking and damage in transit.

Before the air-conditioner is switched-on these screws were to be removed.

At times the technician would forget to do this.

Result: Whenever the thermostat cuts in and out there will be a huge noise.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

AC not an on-line product...

An air-conditioner is not an on-line product!!

Well you will all agree that an air-conditioner is not a product to be bought on-line.

Companies have started to warn prospective customers through their websites the perils of on-line purchase of air-conditioners even going to the extent of naming the companies......

This augurs well for the air-conditioning industry....

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Humane approach vs avariciousness

Yesterday when I bought my newspaper and gave a tenner, I was given back a five rupee cu-ni regular coin of 2002.
I took that coin today to get my newspaper today, keeping in mind the vendor's difficulty in giving back coins.
But then, I noticed a girl asking for the Times of India newspaper with a five rupee commemorative coin in her hand!
I changed my mind (or did my mind change me?) and gave a ten rupee note and got a 5 Rs. MVD Shrine Board coin.
I wonder: Did I do the right thing?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Assorted air-conditioner??

A lady rang up and wanted to buy an air-conditioner which would be energy efficient.
She asked me if we can give buy-back offer.
I said: Yes.
I have an assorted air-conditioner which is working well but consumes lot of current.
Assorted? Oh, she meant assembled air-conditioner!!
I asked her how much current it consumes.
She says she is not sure. But she says it is cleaned once in every six months and gas charged...
I tried to explain her that she is being taken for a ride. How much you are charged for gas charging - it is not all necessary to periodically gas charge.
No she says. He brought a meter and checked and charged gas. He usually charges Rs.300 but when gas is charged it is Rs.400.
I wanted to help her and gave her a good price explaining the break-up.
AC so much, stabilizer so much and installation so much.
Why do you charge for installation. Can't you make it free?
I spoke to her for 15 minutes and explained A to Z.
She said she will come back............
Like · 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Three common things - but better be sure!!

While selling an air-conditioner, better you make sure in the beginning of the discussions, that:

(1) Your customer is looking for a split or a window air-conditioner.

(2) Your customer knows that an inverter type air-conditioner will not work when there is no AC supply (will not work during power cut).

(3) A Slimline (tower) type air-conditioner is not a stand-alone type unit but is just like any other split and you have to run tubes connecting the indoor and outdoor units!!

Happy selling for hot summer just ahead of us!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Change? Even rupee notes not available!!!

I went to my office by bus yesterday.
On the way to my office, I had coins to the tune of about Rs.15. When the bus was nearing my office there was not much crowd in the bus. I gave Rs.10 worth of coins to the conductor and asked him to give me two five rupee coins. I got a 1992 Cu-NI and a 2013 Ni-Br coin.
I thought I will first go to Landmark first thing in the morning. I reached Spencer Plaza by 9.35 am only to find that the shop opens at 10 am.
I was not prepared to waste 25 mins. (almost all the shops were yet to open). Rang up my office for someone to come in a two-wheeler and pick me up.
I was waiting in the kerb when an auto stopped near me. Two girls in blue T-Shirt with the words LANDMARK written on their shirts got down. One girl gave a hundred rupee note. The driver said: No change.They tried frantically. The driver said: Is this the place for you to change your hundred rupee note? By then another auto pulled up. Do you have two 50 rupee notes asked the driver to his counterpart. No. I took out a 50 rupee note and gave it to the auto-driver and took back Rs.20 from him. I asked the girl her name and told her that later in the day I would be coming to Landmark when she can return the Rs.30. She was all smiles and thanking me disappeared informing me that I can find her in the books section.
While coming back in the evening, the bus conductor was in utmost difficulty not having enough change. He said: If the ticket value is Rs.7 or Rs.8, I can give change. But for a Rs.11 or Rs.12 how can I give back the balance? I gave him coins worth Rs.10 and took a ten-rupee note from him!
Coin collector? No, not at all. I am a Coin-giver !!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Air-conditioner freebie

A lady rang up and seemed to be in a great hurry to buy an air-conditioner.

I asked here whether it is for her house. No, for my office she said.
What's the price of a 1.5 ton 3 star split?

I said around 35K for the air-conditioner, stabilizer, installation and delivery.

What about the free water dispenser?

I said: Offers are on MRP. The MRP for the unit is Rs.39,990. Give that and we will give you a dispenser too.

Oh!  She immediately hung up.

I was staring at my ceiling fan!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Chennai market for air-conditioners

The annual (12 month) sale of air-conditioners (all brands put-together) is around 300K units.

Around 85 to 90% of these 3 lakh units of air-conditioners (splits and windows) are being sold by retailers and the remaining by Sales and Service Dealers (the people who have taken up air-conditioning as their business and have toiled over long years in brand building ).

So the over-all outgo of machines from Sales and Service dealers has
gone down and with more retailers coming in (two days back I went to Mylapore and saw Reliance Digital near the Mylapore railway station)
there is hardly scope for improvement.

Sales and Service dealers would do well and hope to survive only if
they strengthen their man-management skills and administrative skills,
develop a good service team, monitor them and improve service oriented business for which there will be not dearth nor competition.

Stop sitting and start scouting should be the mantra.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Some persons are arrogant, some have arrogance thrust upon them and some are arrogance personified.

A government department wanted to buy a few water dispensers for their office.

I explained them about the features in detail and sent them the quote by post. Then they said: You should have addressed it to the Project Director but have addressed it to the Project Manager. Also you have written my name and phone number on the quote. Please send another quote. (Is not the Director a manager??). I patiently sent another quote.

Then they rang up and said that they are eligible for concessional tax.
I reduced the quote further to show the adjustment and sent a fresh quote.

They said they would place the order but reduce 2% TDS. (To the best of my knowledge there is no TDS for supply items (products alone).

We said it is okay as long as they gave the TDS certificate.

After two days they said their Director wanted to see the products (with fridge and without fridge) to decide which one they wanted!

I said they are welcome to come to our showroom to view the products kept in display.

Our Director will not come there and all that, bring them over here for demo.

I asked them to go to hell in a couched language: "We do not have such facility".

All through my business live, I have never dealt with government departments and you may have guessed the reason by now.

Have a great day!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

For a change....

I had been to my friend's hometown Kayalpattinam (near Trichendur).

In his shop they had kept Rs.1000 worth of coins neatly packed in packets of 100 coins. I inspected the packets. No commemorative coins.

Then, he took me around to nearby shops and asked them to show the coins that they had with them.

In one shop I got a 50 paise Grow more food coin.

In another shop, three Cu-Ni coins which the shopkeeper had kept aside: Kuka, Alphonsa and Reserve Bank (all 5 Rs. coins).

One of our boys said: I have something rare. He took out from his pocket and gave me a 1 Re. 150 years India Post (Calcutta mint). A somewhat rare coin.

Another aged person whom I asked if he had some old coins asked me how old? I said 40 to 50 years old. Then he said, how about more than 100 years old. He asked us to wait and brought four coins, all in very poor condition. One coin was the 1/12 anna East India Co. I quietly gave back the coins to him.

The trouble is many people are keeping with them some coins thinking they are worth a fortune. We should hold awareness camps. I was not even prepared to look at the above four coins!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A famous question and an even more famous reply....

My mentor was a very successful small business owner.

Once in a way, he would ask a new worker, "Who provides you lunch".

Pat would come the reply: "You, Sir."

The reply: "No. Our customers provide us our lunch every day".

The reality of this is not fully understood by many a businessman.

If our customers desert us and we are not able to add new customers, loyal customers then our business is lost.

I have observed in the recent past that owners give very scant respect to the prospects list and spend time in unnecessary phone calls and what not.

Owners will do well to carry a small note book with the title : PROSPECTS.

At-least one or two prospects should be added to the list and the entire list reviewed first thing in the morning every day.

If you do this and you find that you have not added any new prospects in four or five days........ Imagine for yourself the prospect of your business prospering.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

They cheated me! They cheated me!!

This happened some years back.

We were doing regular work for a nationalised bank and the officers used to buy
air-conditioners from us.

Once, a rather fussy customer bought an air-conditioner from us.

After a few days he comes to us and says: XYZ shop is selling the same ac what
you supplied me for Rs.500 less. You cheated me.

Immediately, we gave a five hundred rupee note to that customer saying: If that is so, and you think that way, here is the money. He took it.

After a few days, when we went to the bank, he shows us and tells a colleague: These are the people. They cheated me. They cheated me.

Beware if such people in your business!!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The power of the internet.

My wife and I moved to Guduvanchery to my daughter's house for a few weeks stay.

Yesterday, my wife wanted to do some grinding work and found that the bush of
the Sumeet mixi had worn out.

She was totally at a loss and was under the impression that I had to travel 30 to 50 Kms
in my car to get the mixi repaired!

I told her not to worry and searched in google for "mixi repair in Guduvanchery". I got a number, rang him up and asked him where his shop is situated. I told him my requirement and he said he
has the necessary spares.

His shop was just 2 kms. away. I took the jar, got it repaired and was back home within an hour!

Monday, February 10, 2014



Yesterday I went to a relative's house. A few coins were lying on the table. I could see a one rupee Reserved Bank of India coin. I quietly took it replacing it with another two rupee coin!!

Today, a numismatic friend of mine wanted some information to be photocopied and sent to him. I went to the nearby Xerox shop and my total bill came to Rs.138.
Against the 2 Rs. I got two one rupee coins out of which one was an RBI one rupee coin!

Any Reserve Bank of India coin reserved for me tomorrow??

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"Buying" coins in Facebook groups.

Many numismatists buy coins in FB groups.

As far as I am concerned, buying coins is only a secondary aspect for me. The more important thing is establishing relationships with other like-minded persons around the country.

If I buy some coin/s for Rs.250 or Rs.1039 or whatever these coins arrive right at my door step.

If the Rs.250 coin/s were to be available in a coin shop in my city for Rs.150, the time and money I spend to go there and get those coins would be much more than the apparent difference of Rs.100.

Again the same coin/s may be available for Rs.100 in a city 800 kms away. How do I get to know about it?

What is the big deal? If I think I am happy paying that much, I just pay. I never bargain!

And many a time the persons and friends from whom I have bought have and keep sending me extra coins out of love and affection!

It is better we remember this aspect.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Triple Zero Offer!

Triple Zero offer!

Can anyone who has purchased any product under the triple zero offer raise their hands please?

Well, there are a host of products offered in such a scheme, where you don't pay any processing charges, any down payment and any interest on the loan given to you.

I don't see any hands raised, but many mouths widened!

People don't get fooled by such schemes any longer. But old wine can always be put in new bottles it seems.

The front page of a leading newspaper had an ad from a builder about Zero maintenance homes. That is not speaking about the quality of the building but tells you that you need not pay any monthly maintenance charges it seems. But I could not get one doubt of mine clarified. Whose Lifetime? The buyer's or the builders?

In the same newspaper in the front page of a supplement, a company  offering apartments in a particular locality says: "Unlike other builders who do not make model flats or CONSTRUCT MODEL FLATS IN A SEPARATE TEMPORARY STRUCTURE, we have created the model flat in the actual building that will be kept open until possession to help you compare your home with the model flat thereby giving you absolute clarity and transparency about what you will be getting in your dream home." (caps mine)


Here is the dictionary meaning:
cre·ate  [kree-eyt]
verb (used with object), cre·at·ed, cre·at·ing.
1. to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.

I am told that some years back the builder created a whole floor extra in an apartment complex built in my friend's property.

There is a saying that when the stock market gets heated up, even the guy who polishes your shoe will give you tips on what stocks to buy.

The real estate market right now seems to be in such a situation.

Buyer's Beware!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Coins. What Coins? No Coins!!

I went to the Chennai Book Fair to collect coins in the Coin Mela going on there.

IDBI has put up a stall with a beautiful green banner: COIN MELA.

There were three guys in the stall. As I neared it, I could see two people exiting with heavy bags!!

No one was around. I went in and said that I wanted coins.

Coins? No coins. Exhausted.

"What do you mean exhausted. I saw in the papers that you guys can dispense coins for any amount..."

"Media can say anything"

"Oh, come on. Give me coins for at least hundred rupees...."

"Sorry sir, we don't have any coins. You can see the counting of notes going on. Did you see the board outside? We give coins only to stall holders. They had requested RBI for coins and this is the arrangement...."

I peeped outside.

On top of the banner a small print out is pasted. "COINS WILL BE GIVEN ONLY TO STALL HOLDERS"

"Hey, I came all the way to collect coins and....."

"OK. Try tomorrow. We come at around 10.30 A.M."


The fair opens to public at 11 AM and they will quickly give away the coins in about half to one hour and enjoy the holiday.

Well we are Indians.

But I love coins. I am not the one to give up. My aunt's grandson is a publisher and has a stall. I will contact him today and ask him to collect coins for Rs.1000 and take it from his stall later in the day.

Otherwise..... I will inform my progress. There are other ways!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Business: Then and now

December 1970: Addison and Company Limited was in Smith Road (near Spencer Plaza, for those of you who do not know Smith Road). The works manager of Addisons Mr. V.N. Venkateswara Rao (fondly known as VNVR) used to cycle down from G.N.Chetty Road and reach his office sharp at 6.30 AM. Between 6.30 AM and 7.30 AM he used to sit in his office room and do his office paper work. He would be free to meet people and I used to go there once in a while to interact with him. After 7.30 AM he will be a very busy person on the job. We used to repair a lot of motors for them. A very pleasant business association. ( I had the pleasure of meeting him in the Nanganallur Anjaneyar temple a few weeks back and he called me by name, spoke to me for about 15 minutes enquiring about me, my family, my colleagues, etc.) Today the Addison and company has shifted out and a children's hospital is to be construced in Smith Road by the Amalgamations group.

January 2014: I am still helping in business. I get an order from a leading company in the Murugappa group. I have not seen the guy in person. I have not even spoken to him over the phone for more than a minute on one or two occasions! Everything is professionally carried out, sending a quote by e-mail, negotiation, closing the sale. Payment advice is sent by e-mail and we will be delivering the item and collecting the payment at the time of delivery. This is also business.

But then, is there no difference between the two situations?

It is okay, but unfortunately such a level of communication has boiled down to the family! Take care....

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I want US scent!!

A good family friend of mine rang me up yesterday morning and frantically
entreated me as follows:
"Bhargav, I want US scents. It is very urgent, please."
I soothed him. Come on, these scents are available in India, anywhere.
Go and get it from nearby shop.
"No, no, no. Scents, Quarter..."
I was bemused.
Hey, come on, what are you going to do with scents and quarter cutting?
"No, no. Cents. Money. Money."
"Oh my God! You need cents? They are worthless. Why are you in urgent
need of these?"
My General Manager's wife is leaving for US tomorrow and she wants to
carry these coins with her to make phone calls and so on.
There is no point reasoning with elderly people going to US for the first
time. They are a worried lot. Particularly ladies travelling alone.
I said: I will see. I should have some coins. I will ring back in five minutes.
After a little while, I phoned him back saying that I have kept aside for
him ten coins each in cents, 5 cents, dimes (10 cents) and quarters (25 cents).
He felt as though he had won the Virginia State Lottery!
Somehow he had contacted the right person. As a numismatist I had brought
back a small bunch of coins from US. Only one in a hundred returning from the US would care to bring back pennies and dimes!!
You know the saying: 'They are dime a dozen!"

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Coins gifted to a student (not really!)

Coins gifted to a student (not really!)

I had resumed collecting RI coins and was looking for a 5 Rs. Shastri (Cu-ni) coin.

I just could not get one. Sometime later a FB friend of mine sent me one in very
poor condition, and of course with the same advice we give: You may keep this coin till you get a better one!

A year-and-a-half later another friend of mine had put up a few coins for sale.

I picked up eleven coins for Rs.620.

A school student picked up some conversation about coins with me on-line.

I have a soft-corner for children and would not hesitate to gift them a coin.

However, I was hesitant, because I was not sure whether the person was really a student or not! It took me some time to figure out that he indeed was a genuine school student.

He came out with a request for a Shastri coin and later said he wanted one for his friend too.

That put me in a dilemma.

Then I thought, as a school student he would get plenty of coins as gift from his parents, relatives, friends and so on.

I told him why not you give me any five commemorative coins and take one Shastri (Cu-ni) coin. Again, I became over-cautious!! I told him to send the coins and I would despatch the coins from my end.

These are the coins he sent me: (1) 2 nos of RBI (2) 2 nos of ANNA (3) one each in ILO, CS, SA and BRP and finally 1 ten rupee coin of MVD.

I at-once sent him the two Shastri coins and he seemed to be excited with it.
(During all this time elapse, a friend of his, maybe a classmate was frequently asking me on line about the progress!! The second coin was for him.)

Lesson for everybody: For pleasant on-line dealings, enterprise with caution!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Yesterday's right maybe wrong today!

When I was young I was told never to reveal the price of the product, but to dwell
upon its features and superior specifications. The price part should come towards the end of the discussion.

Well, things have changed. Thanks to internet, buyers are quite aware of what they want and also the price.

So, if somebody calls me and asks for the price of a particular product, I will instantly give the ballpark figure. Then, and then, I will extend the conversation and ask a few questions and in many cases the product asked for by the customer may not quite be suitable for him.

I suggest you to change your strategy. Instead of talking and giving the price, give the price and talk!!

The customer might have decided the product, but then you are the expert and the one who can really suggest what is good for him, AFTER getting to know his exact requirements.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Advertise or perish...

Advertise or perish?

Any business needs to advertise.

But the money spent should be properly monitored and one should try to get as
much mileage as possible from the money so spent.

A furniture company had made fliers to be distributed with newspapers
and also given from door to door.

The guy who was made to distribute maybe was lazy and wanted to quickly
dispose of his stock.

He had kept 33 of these behind my car wiper today morning!

What a waste of money!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Shock treatment in marketing....

Shock treatment in Marketing...

There is a tactic in marketing which I call shock treatment.

But it must be used like a brahma astra. Only when absolutely necessary. Chances are it will never fail.

But your approach should be sincere and you should be convinced that there is nothing wrong in giving it a try.

Let me explain how it might work and how it may never (unless you want to take someone for a ride).

Situation where it may not work:

A leading builder is advertising Venice in Chennai. A fantastic model apartments have been constructed which might transport you to a dream world. Hundreds of flats are to be constructed. But as on date I think not even one cft of earth has been dug out. And they say the project will be ready by early 2015 or so. Is it building castles in the air?
I don't know. I wish them well.

But they took me to that place and also gave me a beautiful big book with lots of pictures. None of the scores of questions I sought about the project were answered in that book.

Now the piece de resistance. The sales guy takes out a long list of about hundred apartments and says only three are left to be sold!!

This shock treatment cannot be conducted into me at least!

Situation where it may work:

A leading corporate in Chennai wanted a particular item from me about six months back. I sent in my qoute and they asked me to hold the price for two months and they would place their order. I obliged.

Nothing happened. Again two months back they revived the requirement and still wanted the item at the same price. Again, no deal was finalised.

Two days back my Principals communicated to us that the prices are being upwardly revised. Existing stocks would be liquidated at old prices.

Ah, shock treatment. I wrote to them yesterday saying that we could not hold the price ANY LONGER. However if they REALLY needed the item, they could place their order within a day and we would try and supply them the item at the quoted price.

Presto! Within an hour of my sending the mail, we got the Purchase Order to supply the item.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What is sarcasm?

What is sarcasm?

We met an engineer in his forties and greeted him for the new year.

Pleasantaries were exchanged. A few topics were briefly discussed and the
subject of schools came up.

The engineer says: Schools these days are mere commercial entities. They charge close to a lakh of rupees for admission into even lower classes.

I asked my child to recite the alphabets and as he recited four alphabets were missing and jumped by him. When I went and asked his school teacher she says: Your child was absent on that day. You should have taught him at home....

I know sarcasm. But I am not sure if that guy was sarcastic in his remark!!

What is rapport?

Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous new year 2014.
This blog was started on 1.1.2012 and completes two years!

What is rapport?

We all know the dictionary meaning of rapport. Here it is:
rap·port :
Relationship, especially one of mutual trust or emotional affinity.

But when we experience it in real life then we do appreciate the word!

My friend took me to a central government office to greet them for the new year.

We exchanged greetings with quite a few and many were asking us for new year
compliments and what not.

Then my friend told me that he will exhibit his rapport with the officers there.

We went to the next officer and he asked my friend for a diary. In turn, my friend
asked him to give me a diary! 

The officer retorted: What is this? You are supposed to bring these and give it to us.

Then he quietly pulled out his table drawers and handed me over a brand new 2014 diary
with a pleasant smile.