to make it as easy and pleasant for the folks.
to make it as easy and pleasant for the folks.
as long as algorithms work like this one did.
Clicking on a link given to me took to me as intended to a book on the renowned temple town of Srirangam:
(some parts edited out and some reformatting for clarity)
Srirangam Bhooloka Vaikuntam (First Edition) Hardcover – 2016
4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
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Delivery to pincode 600001 – Chennai between Mar 11 – 13. Details
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Description for Srirangam Bhooloka Vaikuntam (First Edition)
Pictorial tribute to Srirangam, the first of the 108 Divyadesams, this volume “Srirangam Bhooloka Vaikuntam” contains a compilation of interesting mythological legends, historical facts and figures, art and architecture & fascinating festivals. The highlight of this coffee-table book are the mesmerizing photographs of the temple precincts; of Nam Perumal, decorated and seated on various vahanas; the exile of Azhagiya Manavalan in the forests of Seshachalam at the foot hills of Tirumala and the frenzy festival fervor of the shrine, all captured by J. Ramanan, with an appealing narration by Vrinda Ramanan.
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If you didn’t notice, people who bought the coffee-table book on the temple town also bought 1 Kg of detergent and a book on colonial history of India, so Amazon tells us!!!
So we’re safe at least for now!
Our grandma’s always knew. The power of stories to engage, influence and persuade is now being rediscovered by the business community and its relevance in all functions of an organization. .
In his talk with former Procter & Gamble executive Paul Smith, now a speaker and trainer on storytelling techniques and author of Sell with a Story: How to Capture Attention, Build Trust, and Close the Sale, Skip Prichard got him to share his personal experience of the power of a sales story.
An extract from a transcript available here (Skip’s blog on Leadership Insights):
Last summer my wife, Lisa, and I were at an art show in Cincinnati. She was on a mission to find a piece for our boys’ bathroom wall at home.
At one point we found ourselves at the booth of an underwater photographer named Chris Gug. Looking through his work, Lisa got attached to a picture that, to me, looked about as out of place as a pig in the ocean. It was a picture of a pig in the ocean! Literally. A cute little baby piglet, up to its nostrils in salt water, snout covered with sand, dog-paddling its way straight into the camera lens.
When I got my chance, I asked the seller (named Gug) what on Earth that pig was doing in the ocean. And that’s when the magic started.
He said, “Yeah, it was the craziest thing. That picture was taken in the Caribbean, just off the beach of an uninhabited Bahamian island named Big Major Cay.” He told us that years ago, a local entrepreneur brought a drove of pigs to the island to raise for bacon.
Then he said, “But, as you can see in the picture, there’s not much more than cactus on the island for them to eat. And pigs don’t much like cactus. So the pigs weren’t doing very well. But at some point, a restaurant owner on a nearby island started bringing his kitchen refuse by boat over to Big Major Cay and dumping it a few dozen yards off shore. The hungry pigs eventually learned to swim to get to the food. Each generation of pigs followed suit, and now all the pigs on the island can swim. As a result, today the island is more commonly known as Pig Island.”
Gug went on to describe how the pigs learned that approaching boats meant food, so they eagerly swim up to anyone arriving by boat. And that’s what allowed him to more easily get the close-up shot of the dog-paddling piglet. He probably didn’t even have to get out of his boat.
I handed him my credit card and said, “We’ll take it!”
Why my change of heart? The moment before he shared his story (to me at least), the photo was just a picture of a pig in the ocean, worth little more than the paper it was printed on. But two minutes later, it was no longer just a picture. It was a story—a story I would be reminded of every time I looked at it. The story turned the picture into a conversation piece—a unique combination of geography lesson, history lesson, and animal psychology lesson all in one.
In the two minutes it took Gug to tell us that story, the value of that picture increased immensely. It’s the kind of story that I now refer to as a “value-adding” story because it literally makes what you’re selling more valuable to the buyer.
Last week I received a call from someone I knew from when I was in active service some years ago. He has been in his org for 20+ years and grown from very modest beginnings into a ERP consultant now. For years he was deputed to work on implementation and support for a group company along with many others. Now all of a sudden it was the end of road for him, his employer giving him a month’s notice to move out. The timing made it worse – he had recently run up huge medical bills looking after his father who did not survive.
I commiserated on his plight promising to connect him up with other ERP professionals I knew for possible openings. And then popped up the inevitable question: ‘Why did it happen?’ Was it due to user complaints, lighter load, loss of contract or general business downturn…? I was certain there must have been prescient rumblings that he did not hear or did not take seriously.
None of the above reasons. It was simply this: He did not bring in more business from where he worked, the boss had explained. Yes, the boss did repeat himself on a few occasions earlier.Strange, isn’t it? After all he was a software professional and not a trained salesman and the org expected him to grow the billing!
Sad, this man obviously had not seen the ground under his feet moving over the years until it had slipped away completely. I’m sure he isn’t alone. Many, especially techies, in the business of providing services, hold similar views. ‘Selling’ is not compatible with their self-image and self-worth.
In a broader perspective, more than ever, in today’s difficult business environment, it is incumbent on everyone in an org to sell or promote its products, services or in the least its image. All the time (at least while on duty) actively or passively. Be techie or non-techie, whether he’s on the firing line facing customers or embedded deep in the back office.
I’m reminded of the time when a class-room trainer impressed up on us at great length to seize and regard every interaction, incidental or routine, pleasant or otherwise, with a customer/prospect as a golden opportunity to ‘sell’. To understand its full import, just check with your colleagues in e-commerce. They’ll tell you how difficult it is to gain the attention of a fickle online prospect, far from making a sale.
Then there was this senior colleague once telling us he had this habit of reaching out to at least one stranger every time he traveled on busines instead of dozing off in his seat or exchanging office gossip with cohorts. .
Well. I hear my erstwhile bosses guffawing: ‘Look who is talking’. Yes, I woke up to it only after many years, the apathy probably due to the largely monopolistic pressure-free ecosystem prevailing in those times.
And here we’re speaking of this guy who was in continual engagement with his customer.
Let’s pick it up where we left him:
So his boss wanted him to somehow ‘sell’ whatever to increase the billing.
Selling involves the full cycle of: identifying a prospect, proposing a solution, elbowing out the competition, negotiating prices and the terms of purchase, order processing at both ends…all the way to the point of delivery and commissioning and keeping an eye thereafter. Not to mention the running around for collecting the receivables. That’s what a poor salesman does all the time, scratching his customer’s back on the outside and getting the moody back-office morons to work with him on the inside and waiting for months to collect his sales commission! And we think these guys are given to making merry aboard the gravy train.
Something truly beyond a software professional who usually has neither the time nor the traits/competence.
What the boss had meant was for him to sniff out in his area and around genuine opportunities additionally to reduce customer’s pain or boost his business capabilities (of course assuming he was contributing enough to retain his basic contract at renewal). And prepare the ground for experts to come in and convert. Where such opportunities did not readily present themselves, figure out ways he could be busy with his assignment and still be helping his organization’s business.
The reasons for it not happening so are many: a) The thought simply did not occur to him b) Too introverted to explore c) Lazy to extend himself and d) Not imaginative/competent to see possibilities.
Whatever the reasons be, guys playing it strictly from their side of the turf are very likely to lose out. Applies in general to those engaged in the business of providing services.
And in these times neither the managers nor the HR with their preoccupation would be quick to lend a hand. Bootstrapping oneself is the only option in most cases. Branded on is more likely than groomed.for performance.
Tom Fisfburne, a career marketer, a coach and a consultant has a lot of interesting things to say on his subject. Excerpted from his blog post here.
Rafat Ali of Skift described how travel brands market to customers as “hate-selling”:
“Delta’s lowest fare seats comes with tons of restrictions, and its ecommerce team thought it would be a great idea to hate-sell it, implying: “Here’s is what you don’t get, you cheap shit!” Passive-aggressive selling at its best. Or worst.”
The post attracted an interesting comment from a reader seeing nothing wrong though…:
Steve Willson says
I’m actually pleased to see that Delta is explicitly laying out what you DON’T get if you book their lowest price fares. We so often see news reports and travel site posts after the fact with folks complaining that they didn’t know that they might not get seated with their companion, or that they didn’t get a meal. Those of us who travel a lot understand the lunacy of “modern” air travel, but those who are infrequent travellers may still be stuck in the romantic era. So maybe we just need to frame the conversation a bit differently…
“At Delta we look forward to having you onboard, but here are a few reminders before you complete your ticket purchase…”
Maybe I’m jaded, but I go for transparency whenever possible:)
Via: Skip Prichard’s (a coach, a trainer, a consultant…) blog here. Text in italics is added.