I Was Doing Sales All Wrong

After 10 years of doing direct selling, I have woken up to the fact that I was doing sales all wrong. Being a Founder cum Marketing Head cum Peon it is very difficult to get focus on a singular business process. Maybe I sucked at all these business processes as my attention got divided. But there are many small business owners like me who are smart sellers.

The Biggest Mistake I do when selling

I know what I am selling, this makes me extremely cocky. Also, due to scarcity of time, my talk is to cut out of the bull shit. But what if the prospect was not a bull shit person? The prospect is again a human like me with expectation and is looking for a near perfect solution for his requirement.

It would have been a relationship building exercise If I had the patience to ask the prospect what he is looking for? Instead I usually end up trying to hard sell what I have.

In addition to my lack to time, there are other factors which make me hardshell. The prospect wants the sky and is unreasonable. I think my lesson is too not judge the prospect too soon. Give him a leeway and maybe the prospect could end up giving me an idea for a product for which there is a decent market.

Sorry for blabbering.


Sales Rule – Ask what are the expectations of the prospective customer before giving him your rate card. See how much of the expectations can you manage by up-selling to him.


To avoid this kind of bias, let me call it the “Founder/Peon Bias”. I am working on a sales process checklist, here is the link – https://listables.com/public/checklist/GmO45DCbsmSaODuT4twpM2caObIhK5HjzPGZatANpHMDRemcgGRe0nB9h3l+OQB7

Sleep deprivation and Restoration in Mumbai

I once took a poll on my Facebook and most of the people said that it is rather mandatory to get about 8 hours of sleep.

I used to sleep for 8 hours, but now since last two weeks, I have decided to hack my sleep. Getting 8 hours sleep, means one has to compromise on two things.

1) if you sleep early, you miss this quality time with yourself from 12 am to 2 am. So I am not ready to let go of this.

After 12 am, one is free from all chores and distractions. The time between 12 am to 2 pm is the time for some quiet reading or journaling. So now I tend to sleep around 2 am or even later. My circadian clock is set to make me wake up at 7.30 (if not earlier) every day no matter what time I sleep.

2) Walking up early means getting a head start on your work, so I wake up around 7.30 and almost right in the bed, I start organising my tasks for different projects, I’m currently working on at the moment.

As the day progresses, I mange my breakfast and then the entire day is until 6 pm is basically, meeting people, calling, emailing which involves travelling and a hell lot of multi-tasking.

Multi-tasking is unavoidable, and one feels sleep catching up. I doze off in uber or ola ride with my Meditation music from brain.fm for about 15 mins. A nap of 15 mins, charges you up for another 2/3 hours of meetings and stuff.

If I am at home, I try to get a 15min to 30 min nap in the afternoon; that is if one lucky. Sometimes, you are so tired, but your mind over-worked up, that you cannot sleep even when you are sleepy.


Tiredness happens because of the traffic, the stress, the various inconveniences in our life and city. My recovery time is appalling; earlier I used just stop working for a few days when I had completed a gruelling task. But that breaks set your back to square one. So tiring is inevitable, some get tired easily, some might not. It depends on your gene’s, your health, your diet and other external and internal factors.

What I do nowadays, is that I have started anticipating when and what tasks will make me tire soon. I try to think how I can get less tired by doing that task efficiently. I also am giving extraordinary attention to my diet, but unfortunately, sometimes skipping meals are unavoidable.

But if I get tired, I see that I recover very soon, bananas is a great recovery food for me, chocolates, peanuts or whatever I can carry in my bag. Also, a lot of water helps.

One of the most important thing I do for restoration is trying to eat my dinner before 7 pm and try to eat a nutritious breakfast.

So these are my hacks for sleep deprivation and restoration. What are your hacks, how do you cheat sleep or restore and nourish yourself back after a gruelling project? Let me know.

How much do you invest in your business?

I have been running a startup, besides my time, my operating cost is about X amount/year. I realised that with the market size available to me, anything more than this would be disastrous to the financial health of my business.

But things have changed, I got a opportunity and  have moved to a bigger market place, I am still working on a similar yearly investment. But Iam getting more ambitious  the market potential is tremendous, i can earn about 4 – 10 times the money Iam earning currently in a year provided I invest much more. May be 10X amount/year

So the the uneasy question is should i invest more and get more resources or work on my lean investment model and grow only 2 times/year.

So, I have came to following conclusion

1) I wont invest my money, but will form a franchise model.


2) Get some experienced VC who know how to scale the business.

In the 1st model, I will be more in control, but the cost of acquiring franchisees needs to be taken care off. In the 2nd options, I will loose the creative control and the whole story might end up looking better or worse, but I wont be creator.

Till then I will grow 2x every year! Or someone can help me do the Math.

The subtle act of pitching to an Angel investor

This morning as I entered my neighbourhood coffee shop for breakfast. I saw a rich looking guy with a Ipad 2 and leather bag sitting with this pretty girl and taking notes. I seated myself behind them, which is my favourite place as it has a great view of some trees outside.

I didn’t pay much attention to them, though the lady was quite pretty with a great figure and slender legs, I also noticed she had missed her weekly or monthly waxing.

After about 30 mins, A tall guy in a IIT Bombay Tshirt walked in, shaking hands with the man with the Ipad 2, the guy nonchalantly apologised for being late. ( I loved the attitude, the late arrival was done on purpose so that pretty girl could get pally with the fund manager)

Now the IIT Bombay T-shirt had caught my interest and this guy had a audible voice! He was a cool tech Entrepreneur who had successfully lured this angel fund manager (as he was carrying a BB) into his mouse trap. The tech Entreprunuer was coolness personified, at no point of time while discussing E-comm, media planning. funding and PR did he show any emotion or fear. Everthing was under his absoulte control. The fund manager by this time was salivating, thinking about all the $$$ he would add to the portfolio.

The pretty lady in the meanwhile groomed to be just that, at no point of time did she take her eyes off the fund manager, except a couple of times she looked back at me, and appreciated my glances. Also the pretty lady who was an employee and at no point of time locked eyes with the geek Entrepreneur Boss. (which is important as it indicates there is no conspiracy and she adores the fund manager).

After talking for an hour, the tab was picked up by the tech Entreprunuer, they bid bye, and this was the only time the tech entreprunuer showed his human side. He complimented the fund manager by jokingly enquiring about what he was doing as exercise as he looked very fit. (which he was not). It also indicated that they knew each other and it was not the first time they were meeting.

So my take on this act of pitching? What worked and what didnt?

Ofcourse I will never know if these guys actually sign on the dotted lines and get a cheque.

What i liked about the act was

1) The techie Entreprunuer looked confident (though he was shitting in his pants)
2) The pretty girl had played her part well, only thing she should wax her arms and legs.

What i didn’t like

1) The whole talk there was no food ordered, and they were almost sitting there for about 1.5 hours.
2) And of-course they need to careful about story tellers like me, who have nothing better than to observe people.
3) I don’t like emotionless cool acts!

The Startup Bible ” the dip” by Seth Godin

Seth Godin with "the dip"

Now almost 99% new businesses fail, is often quoted by some guru’s which I feel is utter rubbish, but still i do believe  that the failure rates among new busineses could be as high as 75%.

Everyone has a favorite book, this book by Seth Godin is my bible, I just wouldn’t have the courage to do what I am doing if I had not read this book, it is just supendously insightful and tells you very upfront on your chances of succeeding in your current business, though you may not agree, but this 76 page book gave me more courage than any other business book, maybe the book was written for the likes of me.

What this book will tell you is when to quit (give up) and when to stick around, and I am sticking around thanks to this book.

P.S I am not going to lend you my copy even if you pay me 100 $.