About the author
Subroto Bagchi is one of the co-founders of Mindtree, India’s first venture capital backed IT services company. As the CEO of Mindtree, he was instrumental in spearheading the sales function from the front and growing the company into a multi million dollar enterprise.
Currently, he is the Chairman of Odisha Skill Development Authority where his key role is to sell ideas and vision to the youth of the state.
About the book
“Sell” is a tale of Bagchi’s years of sales experience at Mindtree [check the book here on Amazon].
Throughout the book, he shares multiple stories and personal accounts of his journey as a salesman and the characteristics that differentiate a great sales person from the average.
He also brings in the life experiences of his sales colleagues to reinforce the characteristics.
If you have no prior experience in sales, this book is a good starting point for you to build the right understanding of the sales process.
In our lives, we all do selling in one form or the other (e.g. selling yourself during a job interview, selling an idea to your boss) and this book will help you understand how to do that well.
If you are already into the sales profession, this book will be a quick refresher course on the basics of sales.
All in all, this book is more about the traits a sales person should develop and the attitude/character he should carry.
It’s less to do with hard skills and more to do with behavior transformation.
Note: Since this book is based on anecdotes from Bagchi’s life, most of the examples and situations are from the technology B2B sales.
This book is not about literal selling but more about the larger art of persuasion which professionals need to inculcate to succeed in their career.
The chapters are short and well laid out, with each chapter aiming towards a tangible learning for the reader.
I am writing few thoughts which I could capture from the book.
- As a salesman, never stop prospecting. Diligent prospecting is the tool to uncover great deals.
- The key to good prospecting is that you segment the prospects and qualify them first.
- Always ensure you have enough prospects in your sales funnel, else your wins will be proportionately less.
- Maintain a good online reputation. Remember, it’s always people buying from people and today, the buyer also does his research before he comes to buy.
- Always see yourself as a consultant than a salesperson, Your job is to sell solutions that help answer client problems.
- Maintain a good chemistry with the client. If that’s not in place, you can’t sell even the best solution.
- Deal making is a complex affair, ensure you have studied the client organization and mapped all the stakeholders. Then make your way through them towards success.
- Believe in the value of your product, and then persuade the client to believe in your perception.
- Be a story teller and find stories that connect with your product/service. Most clients will connect to these instantly.
- If you are not proud of your product, don’t sell it. You wont do a good job.
- When getting into negotiations, never assume anything. Be bold enough to ask. Clarity always brings relief.
- Never fear rejection and never give up on a chance by submitting to that fear.
- Customization is always better than generalization. Have a laser focused communication and targeting when you deal with a client problem.
- Try to align with the client’s thought process rather than forcing them to follow yours.
- While making commitments, give due attention to the legal consequences of your promises. Never over commit.
- If a customer raises concern, it’s not always wise to match logic for logic. Sometimes passion and pride in the product does the job of selling.
- The sales person job is not done till the paperwork is over. Be there till the end, even when everything is obvious.
- Failure is part of life, handle it with tact, brilliance and poise.
- Never hesitate to show your gratitude and say thank you. It always pays back.
All in all, this book is a good read to build a high level understanding of the sales process.
Check the book here on Amazon.