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Entries from May 2012

Improving Effectiveness of Sales Meetings – Part 4: Pitch

May 31st, 2012 · 1 Comment

A follow-up of understanding the customer’s problems is the preparation of the sales pitch. In this, the focus needs to be on point solutions to the specific problems they are facing. Ideally, one should look for solutions created for other similar companies which could be presented as case studies. For each problem, a couple possible […]

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Improving Effectiveness of Sales Meetings – Part 3: Problems

May 30th, 2012 · 1 Comment

A conversation with lower level managers prior to a meeting with the senior managers can help nail down key challenges that the company is facing, and therefore the opportunities. The focus should be on identifying three key problems that could be focused on in the meeting. Understanding the most important problems means listening to the […]

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Improving Effectiveness of Sales Meetings – Part 2: Preparation

May 29th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Proper homework needs to be done about the company being met prior to the meeting. Today, most companies will have a website. Public meetings will have their quarterly and annual reports, along with analyst presentations. These can give a lot of background details about a company. Checking out recent news items can also provide additional […]

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Improving Effectiveness of Sales Meetings – Part 1: Introduction

May 28th, 2012 · 1 Comment

The sales meeting is at the heart of a business – it is where the revenue-generating opportunities are created. For those organisations for whom sales is still done face-to-face, person-to-person (as opposed to online), the sales meetings with potential customers are the critical conversations that can make the difference between success and failure. As I […]

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Blog Past: The BJP’s Path to 2014

May 27th, 2012 · 3 Comments

I wrote this a year ago: Let us start with two facts. First, if one actually analyses the BJP’s Lok Sabha performance through the years (and a similar analysis can be done for the Congress), it will be seen that the party has won at least once in about 300 of the 543 Lok Sabha […]

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Weekend Reading

May 26th, 2012 · 1 Comment

This week’s links: What China can teach Facebook: from WSJ. “Though Mark Zuckerberg is well aware of the mobile challenge, he might think about following in Tencent’s footsteps, and instead of working on a more streamlined Facebook app or some grander mobile operating system, make a new mobile product from scratch.” The Darwinian Evolution of […]

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Farm Frenzy

May 25th, 2012 · 1 Comment

A friend recently gave me a CD of the computer game, Farm Frenzy 2, for Abhishek to play. After a month of play, I have to say its an incredibly addictive game. Lots of products to be made, with each game having goals to be met. Abhishek and his cousins have been having a ‘field’ […]

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Final Call Announcements at Airports

May 24th, 2012 · 4 Comments

We have all heard the almost continuous “Final Call” boarding announcements for flights at airports. There is never a moment of silence. The cacophony goes on and on. What is even more irritating are the highly specific calls for certain individuals to board the aircraft. The last time I was in Delhi, I heard the […]

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On Writing

May 23rd, 2012 · 3 Comments

On the Indigo flights I took to and from Pattaya, the crew was the same on both legs. One of the air hostesses came up to me and said – You were the person who spent most of the time writing. What do you write? I explained to her that I write what I think. […]

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24 hours in Thailand

May 22nd, 2012 · 1 Comment

My company had organised a sales conference and meet in Pattaya. I went there for a day to meet the group. The travel was so easy, and the interaction something which probably would not have been office in regular meetings. I took an Indigo 6:30 am flight on Fri morning, reached Bangkok at 12:30 pm, […]

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Summer Vacation Plans

May 21st, 2012 · 3 Comments

We are planning to go to Sydney and Gold Coast for the summer vacation in late June / early July. Any suggestions for things to do? I will of course to the web scanning, checking TripAdvisor, reading LonelyPlanet, and so on. But it always helps to ask for unique individual experiences that people would have […]

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Blog Past: Indian Elections Data

May 20th, 2012 · 7 Comments

We have finally begun this project that I had written about a year ago: I was looking for data on past Indian elections – Lok Sabha and Assembly elections over the past 10 years. One obvious source is of course the Election Commission site but what they have is mostly PDFs and some XLS files […]

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Weekend Reading

May 19th, 2012 · 1 Comment

This week’s links: What motivates successful entrepreneurs? From Forbes. “Solving a problem you are so passionate about that even if the solution doesn’t result in wealth, you are still thrilled you “solved” it.” What is a school far? by Seth Godin. “School was invented to create a constant stream of compliant factory workers to the […]

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Talk on Higher Education

May 18th, 2012 · 4 Comments

I recently gave a talk at a meeting on higher education. I began by giving some advice on how conferences can be made much more interesting, and then spoke on three themes: the type of education that is needed for tomorrow’s world, the role of technology in education, and the role of government in education. […]

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Advice to Staff

May 17th, 2012 · 4 Comments

I was meeting a friend, and he invited me to given an impromptu talk to his staff. I said what I have often said in my company. First, get rid of the fear of failure in all that you do. More often than not, it is not failure that holds us back, but the fear […]

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Talk and Action Difference

May 16th, 2012 · 1 Comment

When I read interviews or hear with some of the government officials, it sounds really good. All of them seem to know exactly what the problem is, and are very good at putting forth solutions. Just like editorial writers. The problem, of course, is that these same officials are the ones in charge and running […]

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Industries Hurt by Regulation

May 15th, 2012 · 2 Comments

I was talking with a friend the other day of how the government is starting to hurt industries through arbitrary regulation and policies. I was myself witness to what happened to the SMS business with the TRAI regulations that came in last year. Other than that, the telecom industry is hurting. So is the microfinance […]

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A Good Book and a Book Club

May 14th, 2012 · 2 Comments

A good book can open up the mind in a way nothing else can. A book transports us into the mind of the author, and makes us see the world through the author’s eyes. I thought of this in a recent Book Club meeting. I had missed the past few meetings, so it was good […]

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Blog Past: Urban Infra in Mumbai

May 13th, 2012 · 1 Comment

From a post a year ago: Indian cities need some serious urban planning. What we have right now is a mix of sub-standard ideas, ad hoc decisions and delayed implementation. That is no way to treat cities like Mumbai. Let us look at Mumbai. Yes, we got one Sea Link. Plenty of flyovers. An above […]

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Weekend Reading

May 12th, 2012 · 2 Comments

This week’s links: 3 Reasons to Master the Art of Storytelling: by Riley Gibson. “Most entrepreneurs don’t realize the art of storytelling can help you succeed in the start-up world.” (via Atanu) Apple’s 2 brilliant moves that created the iOS powerhouse: by Dalton Caldwell. One of them: “Apple is doing market segmentation off of a […]

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