We didn’t quite understand back then what we had been hit with. It has been 6 years to golive and we are still learning from our mistakes every day.
Within the first few months of opening our doors, our first client, a multinational data house & ICT firm, awarded us with a nationwide learning intervention and lit our world. We dressed up at best and delivered at a 4.5 ranking. Guess what came in next? Nothing. We won zero assignments for the next 9 months.
We had stepped in with the enthusiasm of becoming the country’s leading L&D firm and had invested on both the looks and the books. A double-story office, furniture, wall installations, coffee machine and what not. Our costs clearly exceeded our returns but we held strong, expecting things to hike within no time. It didn’t happen.
We were at a loss thinking about replicating processes given in sales books and manuals. Make a cold call, go and pitch, follow-up, close and deliver; that’s how it has always been! We were clearly mistaken. An year later, we winded up the work space, asked our team members to find better jobs and restarted things from scratch.
Taking a step back to reflect, we realized that the first client we had scored wasn’t out of a sales pitch; it was out of relationship.
The culture we live in is more heart-oriented than mind-oriented. In our service industry, relationship selling works best. We had clearly missed it out.
With our hands loaded with flip charts, markers and stress-balls, we began jotting down names and numbers. Cold calls that had been made to all our previous leads were redialed, this time not with the intention of meeting for work, rather for “ik cup chaa” at a local tea stall. That’s where the magic happened. The bitter caffeine we gulped down sweetened the first step towards winning the deal. However, that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Market Saturation isn’t a term in our world anymore. It’s how you do it and what’s next on the list that counts. Initially, we rode on the promise of delivering the best. With time though, we realized that wasn’t going to be enough. We hit the dhaaba once again. A quick team discussion helped us jot down a handful of words right from our hearts that later turned into Team Zeta’s core values in action and have governed our sales performance to date.