The Good Old Days
Since ancient times story telling has always allured most of us. The Panchatantra when read as a child had a moral at the end of every story. Mahabharata, Ramayana had a glue to attract anyone by virtue of the story told in parts throughout the entire script. Stories from Chacha Chowdhary, Chandoba, Tinkle, etc., still echo in my ears. We have been listening to stories from our grandmother, mother and others as a child. I have fond memories, I am sure you would too have a few of them on your mind.
My 4-year old nephew inspired me
Recently in my two months stay is US had some time out to be spent with my four year old nephew, Samar in CA. I soon discovered that the way to get him to sit ad talk with me is by reading stories. He is now into super-hero adaption stage. Spiderman, Batman and Gotham city, Green Lantern and all became my room mates.
I decided to write a story on teachings of social selling which each one of you can use. Something unconventional but I hope you will give me your feedback in this journey. It might sound funny to explore how business can grow with Social selling but in a very child-like way. This 12 series LinkedIn blog articles is a first attempt to put the lessons on social selling for use to each one of you but in a story format. You will learn a lot of new tools to help you succeed. All tools are extensively researched. They are FREE or FREEMIUM (some features are lifetime free). Most of which are used by my team at TASK.
Over the years, I have been invited to deliver Keynotes on Marketing, invited by various Chamber of commerce, media companies and corporate to conduct Social Media Marketing and Social Selling Masterclass to empower Entrepreneurs, business owners, sales and marketing folks. 700 plus folks have been benefited by these programs for which I am booked only on weekends as my three businesses occupy me throughout the week.
Social Selling : Ek Prem Katha – Part I
Rohan, Yash and Chaturbhuj
It was 6:30PM and raining cats and dogs. Rohan walked outside Solitaire Towers, a commercial office building in heart of IT Park. He just finished another unsuccessful meeting. He looked at the sky above looking weary, exhausted and clueless. Rohan got his phone out and booked a Uber, it showed 3 minutes to arrival. The name of driver flashed but Rohan didn’t bother to look at it as usual he knew that the driver will take efforts to find him.
As he stood there outside the posh office building he saw people exiting from cars, all eared up and glassed up. He wondered what a shit life he is living even in his early 40s. His old Alto car service agent had been following up with him for next schedule service which was delayed by over two months but Rohan had no inclination for even getting his car in proper condition. Life seems to hold him back and things did not turn out, as he wanted them to be. Since two years he had been selling insurance to people.
A car drove towards him, slowing down, the driver took the passenger window down and made a gently asked looking at him, “Mr.Rohan?” Rohan jumped into the car. As he ran towards the car from big-glassed doors of Solitaire towers he held the leather bag to cover his head from rain. His wife Radhika had gifted him this bag two years ago when he decided to start his own business after getting pink slip from a top company. Living seemed hopeless and stress became his closest friend. He was not living a life he desired.
Rohan rushed inside the already open door of the car.
“University?” asked the driver accepting a confirmation. Rohan replied “Hhhmmm”. A couple of minutes into driving at the first signal the driver asked, “How was your day Sir?” Rohan who was engrossed looking outside replied, “fine”. “Doesn’t look like” replied the driver. Rohan surprisingly looked in front towards the driver for first time. Probably thinking in his mind, who the hell are you to tell me that. It’s a bad day already and why is this guy bothering me.
Rohan looked at the driver. He had a calm, gentle face with glittering eyes and charisma like royals. He was in his mid 30s and dressed well for a driver. Clean-shaven and quite friendly in that first comment he made. But somehow after a pause he asked the driver, “how do you know?”. The driver looked in the rear mirror and exclaimed, “Your face reflects that”.
Within a minute the driver had all attention from Rohan. “What’s your name?” asked Rohan. He smiled and replied, “Yash, it’s printed on your bag Sir” he replied with a witty smile. Rohan looked at his bag which was kept besides him in the seat. Yes it was from the famous Leather bag manufacturer Yash Leathers. Rohan was amazed to how Yash observed ‘Yash’ in the short time he was in car.
Rohan got a bit interested and they both landed into a conversation.
Rohan – how can you be so observant?
(Yash just smiled on and didn’t say a thing. There was some warmth in the way he smiled.)
Rohan – How much do you get in a month by driving?
Yash – Around 3k to 3.5k Indian rupees
Rohan – hard work man.
Yash – No, not at all.
Rohan – What do you mean? Is it worth to get only 3k after driving in this heavy traffic and working all day?
Yash – I just drive for couple of hours when I am free, my business keeps me busy.
Rohan who was few minutes ago not even interested to see the face of his companion now had all his attention and interest towards him. “You do business, and you drive a Uber?” asked Rohan. “Yes it’s a long story” Yash replied.
A tired and lifeless Rohan became excited upon the mystery of a person named Yash who ran some business and still becomes a Uber driver as and when he wants. He wanted to know more. His head was full of questions. Over past many months he was restless as his venture was growing. He never found leads easily and conversion took hell lot of time, in fact hardly happened. Costs were increasing and losses were mounting. Radhika was doing a job and that was the only respite. Their discussion continued further.
Rohan – Tell me, what business you run?
Yash – I run a online grocery store called apnadukaan.com
Rohan – how many people work for you.
Yash – 28 in all.
Rohan – What? And still you drive for a living?
Yash – Who said I drive for a living?
Rohan – Then what is the need for driving a car?
Yash – I like connecting with people. A two hour Uber connects me with awesome people. I look at it as you might look at your cold calling in a day. It’s fun to know people and build relationships.
Rohan – Build relationships? How can a 15minute drive help you to build relationship?
Yash – (smiles) A 15 minute drive can trigger a reason between us to engage and then we take it ahead in on-on-one meeting to see how we can benefit from each other.
Rohan was finding this very interesting. His anxiety grew and he wanted to know all by now about this unique person he met.
Rohan – So how do you market your business?
Yash – have you heard of social selling?
Rohan – What’s that? I know what is social media but not social selling. I had posted about my Insurance agency of my personal Facebook profile, got a few likes from friends but no one turned up to sign up an insurance policy.
Yash – I have imbibed teachings from ancient marketing guru Chaturbhuj and blended it with digital to help my company grow.
Rohan – Chaturbhuj? What are you even talking? What is an ancient so called guru who is never heard of do with today’s digital age to help you market?
Yash – Sir, your destination is nearing. Why don’t we meet over coffee to discuss?
Rohan’s sudden body language change was an invitation to Yash to drive Rohan to whatever he wanted. For two years he had struggled to get new customers and here he meets a Uber driver, who owns a business, has employees and still considered this two hour drive time a cold calling just to meet new people. This was so confusion to Rohan. He wanted to know the secret. And who is Chaturbhuj? Rohan’s mind was spinning but in anxiety to know more. Not sure when was the last time he got so excited to gain knowledge.
The two decided to meet at a coffee joint on coming Saturday. Rohan was more than excited to know about this mystery man called Yash and what kept him so happy managing a business and driving a Uber.
To be continued…..