Kanpur - A city of many resources but politically neglected

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Following up Sales lead - "Man" a word which screwed up my whole conversation with a end costumer.

Following up sales lead and not ending up screwing it.

So this is a personal experience of mine which I would like to share with all my fellow mates who are working in start-ups who are taking care of sales part in-spite of being from technology background. Reason behind that is simple, being in a start-up domain you need to change your roles and responsibilities as per situation. You can't be a pure technical guy being in a start-up(this is what I feel).

So as everyone say, that Costumer is "God" and that is very true for everyone, you say about big corporate or start-up or any one. Things are a bit different with respect to the big corporate houses, but when we talk about start-ups, costumers are the one who make a start-up turn to corporate house and to do so, you need to have a high level costumer satisfaction. This post can even be a self confession for me. 

This is what happened

I was in process of generating some sales leads - both inbound calls through some of the B2B websites promotion and outbound calls. Along with that had to take care of certain other important things. I was out on field and was engaged in some other work and suddenly a thing strike in my mind. "how to become more productive" and at the same time god might have though "i will teach you a lesson today". 

I put out my phone while the my colleague was getting taking care of work. I checked my mail and listed whom to call and called some one who had send some query to us. The other guy picked up phone and i said

Me : "Hello Sir, this is shailendra from X, i got a query from your side. Can you please let me know your specs."
Costumer : "I  am looking for blah - blah - blah" 
and he told me every specs on phone. When he was just going down through the specs, i think he was outside and in a hurry. I didn't get full specs and thus i said

Me : "sir, i will drop you a mail with respect to our products and in the same mail will drop some questions just for clarification" 
Costumer : "No no, i am telling you specs, listen here"
Me : "ok sir" 
and then he asked me question which i think no one will try to reply back on phone 
Costumer : "what is the approx cost ?"
Me :  "Sir, let me discuss with my senior over your requirement and then i will reply back" 
Costumer : "No no tell me now"
Me : "Sir what budget you are looking at" (probably i asked wrong question, but this is what i learned after talking to many of my target costumers)
Costumer : "No no, you cannot ask such question to me" 
Me : "Sir approx cost is between Rs A to Rs B"
Costumer : "then no need to send quotation, you will waste your time and my time" 
and then he started arguing on the same. And then blunder happen which must not had happened and i must not be writing this confession cum post. As we all talk among us in office , we use work dude, man and i know when you are taking part in business related activity, you had to come out of your tech role. I said "Listen 'man' " instead of "Listen 'Sir'" and very soon i realize that i had done the blunder which i hadn't done till now in my past. I know very well that what costumer mean and how should i talk to one, but i really don't know how that happen. And then the other guy started 
Costumer : "How can you use that word ,i am not your friend and you don't know to who the hell you are talking". 
I was aware that i had done a mistake and i listened and then disconnect the phone. Actually i was about to say, "Listen sir, cost depend upon MOQ and we can always talk on that", instead i used work "man". Inspite of being a man who know and duel y follow the fact of "costumer = god", used nonsense word and language. And people like us, who always have some ego, don't apologies easily but then i thought that no, you had used wrong word and you must apologies to him. I called him again and said 
Me : "Sir , i am extremely sorry, i was not supposed to use that word, but unknowingly i used that word, i am really sorry and i apologies for that".  
Costumer : "No, no you send the quote, i will think". 

And from that time, inspite of saying sorry, i am feeling too much guilt, that how the hell i can do this kind of mistake. I am kind of guy who always respect others and want to maintain a level of costumer relation and satisfaction.  But then i analyze my routine from the morning and came to some conclusion which lead to this kind of mistake 
(1) Don't try to be over-productive, some time trying to being over-productive leads to conditions like these. 
(2) Never call a sales lead while you are in field. 
(3) Try to manage your activities in a day depending upon priorities. 
(4) Never call a sales lead with out proper planning just for sake of engaging with him. 
(5) Try to figure out the priorities and work accordingly. When doing some work, don't think about other tasks.

So people said right, first think, analyze , plan and then execute and i think i missed everything. So lesson from the above incident - "Don't follow your sales lead while without preparation and while being on field" and that is the best thing out there in start-up domain, you do mistakes and learn from them rather then some one telling you how to do things, you learn things to do by your own. 

Below are some of the articles which i read after above incident, so as not to repeat such kind of mistake in future and specially for guys like me who are not actually sales guys but trying to put their part being in a start-up. 

I hope that my above post might help some of the guys are in same domain and in some point of time will do this part of sales also. 

Happy working..........