Sachin (am sure you now know him that he is my colleague) a recent grad from top notch B-school was on the way to buy his first keys. Showroom after Showroom, multiple of test drives, with umpteen no. of expert advises and with google Baba’s blessings he was confused like anything.
Since he was a young grad it was but obvious that he will make all his knowledge to be practical in every aspect and this time he used Multiple Attribute Utility Theory to scale down for fewer options.
He started re-interviewing the sales guys on the three selected options and the key USPs post his talks with sales guys were like-
Option A – It doesn’t run it flies, it’s a jet.
Option B – Any breakdown, road side assistance will be even before you blink your eyes.
Option C – It’s a fixed deposit, no maintenance cost at all.
And the Smart Sachin, who always wanted to fly bought option “A”. But wait, after few days he started realizing that it doesn’t take off, this jet only runs on runway that too many a times raced down by few average cars around.
Sachin came to me with all anguish… “bloody I paid 100k extra for this car because that sales walah told me this shall run like jet but it doesn’t run like even a SUV, and that sales walah now joined some other company, what to do with this”
And there was that typical smirk on my face, I said, Sachin listen- “At first place you always wanted to buy a car
- That runs
- That too with minimum costs
- That leaves minimum maintenance costs/headaches
- That can run on your local city roads
- That makes you and your family drive safe and comfortable
- That fit into your budget
then how come the question of jet came into picture?? Dude this is a car and doing all the job which you originally thought for, yet you are completely dissatisfied. “
Ironically I could only make one customer satisfied but think day in day out there are ‘000000 of sales walahs raising the expectation bars of consumers which at the end of the day results into the dis-satisfied customer with no repeat and referrals.
If I were given a chance to define what business is, I would simply quote –
“Business is nothing more than mutual exchange of MINIMUM PREDICTIVE VALUES”
In today’s competitive era when functional benefits are kept aside to overshadow the next competitor.
Be it anywhere-
- A manager raising board expectation for fresh round of funding, going certainly away from ground
- A finance guy showing budgets like company has spent just like that last year
- A sales guy selling products on his imaginative grounds
The common most issue resides as “Exaggeration”. In order to make ourselves better-off, we knowingly and unknowingly exaggerate the things and many a times it falls flat. The being grounded and genuine approach seems to history now, as we now only focus to encash that moment without even worrying about what it may result.
But think for a second, can it just by any sense become sustainable-
- What if the person you sold car realizes that it’s just a car not a jet
- What if the person you sold a seed realizes it’s a seed not a miracle
- What if the board whom you sold a three year break even realizes that’s it’s anything but three years
Let’s learn from our few examples of politico environment nearby-
- We made this party to enact the Jan-Lokpal bill .. (where is it now, did you ever think how difficult and cumbersome it would be)
- The moment we are into power India would be a developed country (well I exaggerated a bit J, but did they ever thought how practically difficult for them to handle the opposition)
- Dadri shows the India is intolerant like never before. (well hasn’t it been exaggerated?)
Everybody loves surprises and when this exaggeration comes into picture the surprise quotient become inversely proportional.
So next time when you are trying to sell perceived benefits be sure that your customer perceives it, else be firm on your functional benefits only.
Simplify the things rather than exaggeration.
A child is more likely to buy a certain chocolate in anticipation of a surprise gift inside.
So surprise your every customer rather the just bearing them for a moment.
Build stairs rather simply jumping which will only induce gravitational force and can keep you high only for moments.