Making Customers for Lifetime

Let us DIVIDE our topic into 3 parts

  1. Part 1: MAKING
  2. Part 2: CUSTOMERS
  3. Part 3: LIFETIME

Part One of the topic: MAKING

THINK: If you want to prepare a delicious cuisine, you will make a preparation before cooking. You will arrange for material, help, utensils, etc. There is a planning stage before you execute. And if you are a beginner, you will research, spend time in finding facts, talking to the people who are already a seasoned chef in similar lines. And most important you will have a dream of serving a delicious food. The entire exercise is done because you have AN INTENT to prepare a delicious food. WITHOUT INTENT, you will not be interested in taking so much of pain or efforts before you start to prepare.

Likewise, MAKING A CUSTOMER FOR LIFETIME – calls for such an INTENT. DO YOU HAVE an intent to make a customer for Life time? You have to think.

An INTENT is more important than an action and the outcome. With a correct intent, you are always closer to your action and the outcome will be closer to your intent. So friends, foremost important thing is to have that zeal, have the intention & a dream to make a client for lifetime. If the intent is not there you cannot MAKE a customer for lifetime.

When I was a teen, I caught hold of a phrase – YOU SHOULD DESERVE TO DESIRE IT. And more or less I try to align my life around this phrase.

Now that you have an INTENT to make a customer for a lifetime, you should think if you deserve to desire it. Whether what you are dreaming of, is what you deserve. Make yourself worthy of your dreams, worthy of your desires.

Whether you are a vendor, supplier, business owner or a service provider, you have to ensure that you deserve to desire a customer to be with you for lifetime. I conclude the FIRST PART i.e., MAKING by saying that you should have an intent to make a customer for lifetime & you should deserve to desire for such a thing.

PART TWO of the topic: CUSTOMERS

Who is your customer?   THINK yourself as the first customer of your business. Now that you are a customer to your own business, you will be able to evaluate both aspects in an un-biased manner. WHAT A CUSTOMER DESIRES & WHAT A BUSINESS can deliver.

Now that you have a clarity about the expectations & the deliverables, you will tend to make less of an error. You won’t make a bad product or provide a bad service because you are the first customer to your business. Remember this for a lifetime that the first customer to your business is yourself.

Friends, the cheapest & the most effective way to grow your business is through ‘word of mouth’. And when the mouth is that of your customer, you will tend to grow & nothing can stop you.

Customers are the lifeline of one’s life. Without customers nothing will exist. Why I say that? Customers creates demand. Demand creates supply. Supply creates Businesses. Business creates business owners like you. Hence, the most important element of the topic is CUSTOMER. And that is why it rests in between MAKING & LIFETIME.

PART THREE of the topic: LIFETIME.  

Lifetime is a VERY VERY VERY big ask by someone & a very very very big commitment by someone. Just think, someone asks you ‘Your Lifetime’. It is such a big ask. Will you be able to commit your lifetime to anyone without an emotional connect.

Let us take a classic example of a couple. Husband & Wife. It is a lifetime connect, a lifetime commitment, a life-long of togetherness. A couple goes through all sorts of problems, challenges, happiness, etc but they don’t disconnect. They don’t dis-integrate. It is possible because of that emotional connect they share with each other. So, a lifetime desire calls for a huge commitment from both sides – husband & wife JUST LIKE between Business House & Clients.

A few pointers you must keep in mind & keep refreshing yourself with – Time & again

  1. Don’t get complacent ever. There is always a room for improvement in your product, service or after sales-service. Listen to your clients. Be aware of your surroundings. About your competitors.
  2. Be Honest to your clients. Admit if you have made a service goof-up or supplied a wrong product by mistake. Now-a-days customers are well read. And expects an ‘informed’ platform. They expect knowledge. You can demand a better pricing with honesty.
  3. Travel an extra mile with your customers. Sometimes, an off-beat talk helps in building a confidence in your customer. Customer likes to interact with decision makers. Ensure that they know you & know how to reach you.
  4. Make the business environment a happy place. Your employees are your face. And I am sure you want your face to be admired. Loved. A smiling face is always welcoming.
  5. Get your business process & guidelines audited by a third party or a consultant every 3 – 5 years. This will help you to understand your business better & also improve the process.
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Branding is your social responsibilty

W.T.F.

The first sentence that comes to my mind is NOT “WHAT THE F*** anymore. My definition of WTF is more matured now ..

WHATSAPP

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

What are these? These are tools to create a brand for your services or products and also to create an image of you as an individual. And hence your posts make you a brand ambassador for your products or services unknowingly.

As many of you know, that an average Indian touches 47 brands in a day. A Vietnamese touches 11 brands and an American 106 brands. So, as a country develops, brands takes over, and brands define what we are. The brand is a thought, a thought that remains in the mind of an individual. People don’t buy products, they buy brands.

How do we create a brand?

These are the 4 most important process.

  1. We create a brand only when we have a vision. It is your social and moral responsibility to create a brand, if you think you have a quality product or a quality service to offer.
  2. When creating a brand, please ensure what you are NOT and what you cannot and should not. I personally and strongly believe that the most important ingredients while creating a brand is being honest about your product or services. Clean INPUT is a CLEAN output.
  3. Never underestimate your staff – they are the ones who deliver your brand to the world. So, ensure a brand is built in the approach towards your employee, your team.
  4. To be a winner, you have to align yourself with the winning advertising agencies who have created successful brands.

BUT above all of these, the most important and basic requirement of becoming the owner of the successful product or services… is you should make yourself worthy of your dream. Worthy of your brand.

How will you become worthy of your dream, your brand, your life you live… By living a discipline life. Love yourself, respect yourself, your body, spend time and money on yourself. Above all Live life.

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Leveraging our Today

Do we leverage our today for a better tomorrow?

I was driving from my home to my workplace a few days back when suddenly it started to pour. I was listening to a romantic number from the movie ‘2 States’. As rain hit the sun roof of my car, I realized that life was calling. What am I doing sitting in my car today! Working for a better tomorrow? When the weather outside is so beautiful, my 2-year little one is at home watching the rain, I’m just not able to touch a single raindrop even.
Do we not leverage our ‘today’ for a better ‘tomorrow’. And when we reach that better ‘tomorrow’ it becomes our ‘today’ and we are leveraging our ‘today’ on that day, for another better ‘tomorrow’. And the trail continues.
Can we make a conscious effort to live our ‘today’?
When we do that, we will not only leverage our today, we will also live the life of ‘others’ and ‘for others’. We miss out on what is happening in our own life and we start to live enveloped by illusion of a better tomorrow. When we can make our today possible, beautiful and content, we look beyond our own self. Thus we create a mirage of a better tomorrow. And to achieve that, we work hard, irrationally and start to compromise the ‘I, me and myself’.

My health, my desire, my hobbies, my basic requirements. We compromise everything that is achievable under the ‘my’ banner for a better tomorrow for ‘us, we, her’. It is not wrong to live an inspirational life for your loved ones, but it should not be at the cost of yourself. Where are you positioning ‘yourself’ in your dream or in the quest of your dream?
When you sit in a plane, the air hostess gives a demonstration about safety precautions to be followed in case of an emergency. Have we ever thought, why do they tell us to put on our own oxygen mask before putting it on the child beside us?
What is most important for me, may be least important for others. How I look at life is totally different from how others look at my life. Similarly, all of us have different aspirations, purposes, dreams, priorities and problems. But there is something that is common between each one of us, and that is ‘the time between our birth and death’. What you do, how you do, for whom you do, all questions for which you have a ‘justification’ holds untrue, if you, on your deathbed feel awkward to die.
It is important for us to be happy within our self, for our self and with our self first, before we pursue to make an impact on the life of our dear and near ones.
This is your life. Only your life. Live it up…!

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To Double your Income, Triple your Rate of Learning

Learning is an incredible behavior that we the humans are born with. If not for it, we wouldn’t be humans. I’ve realized, that as we grow older, learning becomes an inseparable part of our life. As much as it may seem trivial to say, I do want to say that I’ve re-discovered learning after a recent brush with it, at a Robin Sharma workshop in the city.

All said, for me learning is a continuous habit, and even before I realized that I noticed it has always been an integral part of my life. I am learning today, unlearning tomorrow and re-learning soon.

In this context let me share a quote: “What we found was that it takes 66 days on average for people in our study to acquire a habit.” says Professor Jane Wardle of University College London, who carried out the study with Dr. Phillippa Lally.

I have found my first analog with time, I will read books for 66 days in a stretch to make it a habit. I want to get into the habit of reading immediately. 

On 28th February 2014, I had an opportunity to watch Robin Sharma speak live in Hyderabad. I am going to share my experiences, excerpts and the ‘take-aways’ from the session.

One of the learnings I came back with is the realization that Leadership is about how superbly you perform when no one’s watching. Only two things matter in the end – who you became and how many you’ve helped. 

In the words of Oseola McCarty “Everyone can show leadership.” People will follow you only when they have trust on you, when they admire you, when they respect you. And this is possible only when you are disciplined. If you remember Pablo Picasso, it was 10% of his talent and 90% of his disciplined life that made him Picasso from a Painter. You can make excuses or deliver results, but you cannot do both. As Robin believes ‘victims make excuses, leaders deliver results’.

‘A job is only a job if you look at it as a job’. There is something wrong when you are very comfortable in your present job. Stretch your Limits. Do an extra bit. Always challenge your capabilities. And trust me, complacency is a poison that seeps into the system of will power and makes it numb, very numb. Remember my words.

What makes a company grow is its leaders. That way, each and every employee is a leader if a company wants to out-perform its competitors. As rightly said ‘Leave people better than you found them’. During this moment, I reflected on my business group’s core belief, “Growing with Oneness”, and at this point I was happy to do my bit. But again, there’s a huge potential in human assets and one must learn to nurture the strengths of the human asset.
Also, as you become more successful, you become more humble, more productive and your appetite for risk increases. Simplicity is the mother of success. People can forget what you taught, what you spoke, what you gave them. The one thing that they will never forget is ‘the way you made them feel’. Add value into the lives of people who are around you. 

Robin in his book, ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ said “never overlook the power of simplicity”. I have grasped so many such pointers and tenets which I would like to practice. I’ve heard them because I found them to be the mantras to be successful, to be content. Now I look forward to ingrain them.

Meanwhile, a couple of more pearls of wisdom:

“The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.” – Ben Casnocha

I found a book titled ‘How to be amazing at anything’. It had only a single page inside. And it was just one word long: ‘Practice – Jason Shelley’.

The take-out I would want to leave you with:
“To double your income, triple your rate of learning.”

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The return of the Raj of Youngistan

Times are changing. Distances are reducing. And the age of achievers and rulers has been
decreasing. Look at India closely, and you’ll notice that for the past couple of years, the heirs and the heirs-apparent have been coming to the fore. The most obvious being the ones from the Nehru-Gandhi clan. While the tentativeness of anointing Rahul Gandhi has been there, one thing is certain – the next generation of rulers is going to be the young blood.

And why not! It’s time the ‘elders’ of the country handed over the baton of power, politics and progress to the young generation. Because I feel, every generation should be ruled by people who belong to it, as they are the ones who can comprehend the needs and necessities of that generation, better.

Though a lot of next-gen has have followed the footsteps of their parents in politics, success is something that’s still evading them. From one perspective, I feel that some part of the onus is also on us, the citizens. From another perspective, it is also upon them to march on with the torch of progress, with the powers that have been bestowed upon them. Agatha Sangma (daughter of PA Sangma); Sachin Pilot (Son of Rajesh Pilot), Jyotiraditya Scindia (Son of Madhavrao Scindia; Omar Abdullah (Son of Farooq Abdullah); Akhilesh Yadav (Son of Mulayam Singh Yadav) and now the solitary-repear with no political backing, Arvind Kejriwal, are some of the young blood who are making an impressive mark on the political landscape of the country,and even leading from the front.

Let’s give them a chance. Let’s believe in them. The ‘elders’ have held the baton for over 60 years, isn’t it time we let the baton be in younger hands?

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Happy New Year!

Is it a phenomenon that comes once in 365 (or 366 days)? Is it one big reason to party all day and all night? Or is it just another planetary cycle the universe goes through? There are many lenses one may look at it through. But for me personally, the New Year is about putting the old behind, and walking on the road that leads towards the new.

So firstly, here’s wishing you a very Happy New Year! And ‘Happy’ not just from the three words of the greeting, but a ‘Happy’ that comes from the heart, one that’s meant to be what it should.

Folks, I see the New Year as a time when one should forge new ties, strengthen existing relationships, and also look forward to creating many new ones – whether its in personal life or in business circles. Because eventually, one should aspire to grow.

For me, the New Year is a time to explore different facets of the world. By visiting  new countries. Meeting new people. Touching new lives. And the easiest way for me to do that is through my products. Which I wish to go about with, in 2014.

Let me admit, that this New Year I’m greedy with many wishes, from the bottom of my heart. This New Year, I wish, boundaries diminish, and not get created. I wish people merge, and not split. I wish, that this year resolutions are made about working towards being one. Because when we remain united, we start ‘Growing with Oneness’!

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2013, the year that was..

As the year draws to an end, its that time of the year, when we are urged to look back, ponder, cherish, lament, pride or feel whatever, at the year that’s going by. But what each of us looks forward to with a glint in our eyes, I’m sure, is a hope for the year ahead, that will be greater than the one we’re bidding goodbye to. On that note, let me tell you that personally and professionally, the year 2013 was a mixed bag, with  lot of good happening, but also peppered with things that could have been better. 

On the business front, we have had a very busy and fulfilling year. We’ve explored new avenues, built new relations while nurturing and catering to the existing cadre. Not only externally, but internally too we have encouraged, appreciated and rewarded the GMS family so that they not only continue do the great work they have been doing so far, but also set higher standards for themselves and outdo the same this coming year. End of the day, we believe strongly in our philosophy of GROWING WITH ONENESS which basically means, that to achieve true growth, all the stakeholders associated with us need to grow too.

On the Sports front, while Sachin Tendulkar has departed from active Cricket, he seems to have left behind a behemoth of inspiration with talent showing up in the form of Shikar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja. Though one should always ignore instances like the West Indies One Day Series. So let’s look ahead at what is there to be achieved, than rue at what hasn’t been. Isn’t it? 

With issues like Telangana formation still on the tenterhooks with nothing coming out of it as this piece is written, things on the business front have been lukewarm, one must say. Hopefully with the Assembly elections round the corner, there seems to be a wee bit of hope one can look forward to. Whatever said, but we as citizens should take it upon ourselves to keep the wheels of life chugging, as we’ve been doing all along.

On a parting note, the world has been left in a void with the passing of the Great Nelson Mandela. Truly, his principles, his fight for a better South Africa, and a better world, is more than inspiring. His thinking will live on and am sure will be a great lesson for our children and the generations to come. One has to immortalise him with books, videos and whatever material we could lay our hands on, to share it with our future.

So that’s all for now. While one cannot stop what’s destined, I believe one can at least make the future better. Here’s looking forward to a Happier New Year.

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