Posts Tagged ‘naveen lakkur’

PrintThis is the first part of a 5 part series about What I Wish I Knew More About…Sales.  I will cover 5 different areas that we all confront in sales.  I hope you enjoy the journey.

Sales is not an attempt to convince someone of something. It has nothing to do with trying to talk someone into something. You are not even trying to get someone to agree to something.  Sales is about causing a new possibility to be present for another, such that they are touched, moved and inspired by that possibility. If the new possibility occurs this way, then the sale is made.”

Naveen Lakkur

President & CEO, Compassites

Too often in today’s marketplace salespeople are too focused on making the sale solely on price.  Too often sales managers stress the importance of selling the value of their product or service and how they differentiate from the competition when they don’t really understand their marketplace.  Too often though, no one is listening to what the customers concerns are and creating an offer that inspires them to not only accept your product or service, but to continue to accept your offers in the future.

In today’s tough marketplace, many companies are taking the approach of gaining revenue and customer share by lowering their prices.  This might get customers in the door as you manipulate them with marketing blitzes and discount offers, but it won’t get them to stay.  The only way to build customer loyalty is through inspiration and the way to create inspiration is by involving your customers in how you do business.  The key in building and growing this relationship is by listening to your customers.  We salespeople tend to push our products or services to customers without first listening to what our customers concerns are.  By opening yourself up and allowing your customer visibility in to your business and simply listening to them will set you apart from your competition in the marketplace.  You have to learn to step back every now and then and take off our blinders so that you can create offers that are unique and specific to your client’s needs.  This in turn will create marginal value in your offer as it will be uncommon and more powerful than what is being provided by your competitors.

These types of interactions with your customers can spawn creative ideas within your organization in turn keeping you ahead of your competition and in turn growing your company.  Having open dialogues with your customers not only inspires them but it can also inspire those within your own organization as you work to create these new offers.  Over time, as you continue to have these dialogues with your customers and they begin noticing that you continually are able to take care of their concerns, you will start to build loyalty with your customers as they begin to see you as their trusted advisor.  This is when you know you’ve inspired your customers.  Inspiration coupled with customer loyalty is what makes small companies in to big ones.


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Are you diving deep into the matters?

by Naveen Lakkur on September 24, 2009

dreamstime_2853621“Not necessarily what you saw is True; Not necessarily what you heard is True. Only when you think and dive deeper you will know the truth”, is the essence of one of the songs I had enjoyed during my childhood days and it lingers in my memory even today.

This is applicable and useful in several aspects of our day-to-day life. Sit back, think and answer the following questions:

  • Have you judged and evaluated people based on their first appearances and later found that it was an opportunity lost because of your misjudgment?
  • Have you formed opinions about people based on what you had heard about them from someone and later when you came in contact with them, you realized that the opinion you had earlier formed was totally off the mark?
  • Have you experienced that, in the spur of the moment, you said something and later ended up kicking yourself for having done so?

It’s normal if you have experienced any of these. Having recognized it, it might be useful to dive a little deeper to find out how your results are in different areas of your work/life:

  1. If you are achieving great results – then it means, your ability to dive deeper into matters that’s important to you is strong.
  2. If you are suffering/struggling/helpless/feeling lonely – then, it might be a good idea to watch on your ego meter
  3. If you have no clue what this is all about – then it might mean that you are a strong believer of ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ or perhaps you’re just ignorant that you are ignorant!

It doesn’t matter where you are now. What matters is that you dive deeper with every matter that matters to you.

I could relate to the essence and the importance of diving deeper into matters that matter to me when I heard this story:

A lady in a faded grey dress and her husband, dressed in a home-spun suit walked in timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President’s outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn’t even deserve to be in Harvard.

“We want to see the President Eliot” the man said softly.

“He’ll be busy all day” the secretary snapped.

“We’ll wait” the lady replied.

For hours the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn’t and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president..

“Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they’ll leave” she said to him. The President Eliot, stern faced and with dignity, strutted toward the couple.

The lady told him “We had a son who attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus.”

The president wasn’t touched….He was shocked. “Madam “he said, gruffly, “we can’t put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery.”

“Oh, no,” the lady explained quickly” We don’t want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard.”

The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, and then exclaimed, “A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical buildings here at Harvard.”

For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. Maybe he could get rid of them now. The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, “Is that all it costs to start a university? Why don’t we just start our own?”

Her husband nodded. The president’s face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away, travelling to Palo Alto, California where they established the University that bears their name: -Stanford University, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

Most of the time we judge people by their outer appearances, which can be misleading. And in this impression, we tend to mistreat people by thinking they can do nothing for us and lose out on potential good friends, employees or customers.

If only we can remember to dive in a little deeper; we stand to cross the elusive chasm of our own shallow opinions and make it to the other side where we can experience a whole beautiful world of life filled with success and happiness.

Start Early, Drive Slowly And Reach Safely

by Naveen Lakkur on September 7, 2009

If you are thinking that I am referring to a journey, then you are right! I am referring to the journey of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurial journey has 3 parts to it:

  • The Start;
  • The Drive and
  • The Finish.

All the stated 3 parts are important to be a winner.

Early/good start provides great possibility to win a car race event (any event, for that matter).

ent-startWhile there’s no age bar for entrepreneurship, early start in one’s life has its own advantages. The risk taking appetite is higher, flexibility curve is better and they are in the listening & doing mode. While experience brings some advantages, it also equally brings in constraints/mind sets. If you study a wide spectrum of very successful entrepreneurs, majority of them had started their journey of entrepreneurship early in their life.

While speed determines the fate of a race event, the preparation phase is time consuming or slow as the process could be elaborate…. as activities such as the car selection, tuning of the car performance, fitness training of the driver, etc., is all time consuming/slow and elaborate.

ent-journeyWhile the business needs to happen at the speed of thought, it’s important or it’s a prerequisite to provide a lot of care in building an organization. Things take time to build and manage the right team, to fulfill the Vision/Mission of the organization; inculcate and live right values set forth for the organization and to build great brand value for an organization. There should be no hurry or compromise on these aspects.

The finish determines the result. The enjoyable moments on the podium receiving the winning medal is determined by the finish you have.

ent-finishWhile you have built a good organization, it can be great only if it translates into an enterprise (it’s true if an organization is either built to last or it’s built to sell). Great entrepreneurs give equal care to handing the business over to safe hands as much as they do to starting and operating an organization.

“Start Early, Drive Slowly and Reach Safely” – that’s the winning formula for entrepreneurship.

Are you capitalizing on your most powerful emotion?

by Naveen Lakkur on August 8, 2009


  • Do you want great results?
  • Do you want fame?
  • Do you want a good return on investments?
  • Do you want job satisfaction?
  • Do you want to build a shining organization?

The #1 emotion you need to achieve all this is LOVE.

LOVE is the most powerful of our emotions and if you think about the extraordinary things people do for LOVE, imagine the possibilities if you operated with this powerful emotion every day of your life.

Our emotions are things that we share with others in our social interactions. In the same way that we breathe through inhaling and exhaling, we share emotions through expression and reception, be it positive or negative; empowering or dis-empowering; motivating or de-motivating.

Our expressions give those around us a clue as to our moods and quickly influence their emotion and often we are not even aware of how much we have influenced the situation, as this all happens in the background for us. Have you noticed the difference when you do something with a friend as opposed to someone you don’t like? If you think about it, you will assess that you achieve more when working with a friend and the work is easy, yet for the same task with someone who you despise the emotions get in the way and everything feels long and tedious. The outputs usually also show as poor in comparison.

I will share a lovely story that I heard when I was a kid, I hope you will love it too…

carpenter_3_smThis is a story of an elderly carpenter who had been working for a contractor for 53 years. He had built many beautiful houses but now as he was getting old, he wanted to retire and lead a leisurely life with his family. So, he goes to the contractor and tells him about his plan of retiring. The contractor feels sad at the prospect of losing a good worker but agrees to the plan because the carpenter had indeed become too fragile for the tough work of building houses. But as a last request, he asks the old carpenter to construct just one last house.

The old man agrees and starts working but his heart was not in his work anymore. He had lost his motivation towards work. So, he resorted to shoddy workmanship and constructed the house half-heartedly. After the house was built, the contractor came to visit his employee’s last piece of work. After inspecting the house, he handed over the front door keys to the carpenter and said, “This is your new house. It’s my gift to you.”

It’s important to either LOVE whatever you Do or only Do what you Love. Understanding and applying this simple concept will have your emotions take care of you and not you gripped by your emotions. A book, which I am in love with, by Tim Sanders titled “Love is the Killer App” profoundly conveys this message.

As the carpenter lived to find out, when you act without love for what you do, the consequences show up in unexpected places and without noticing it you are closing down many opportunities for yourself.

For me, LOVE is Life Of Valuable Emotions…let it flow freely in every aspect and moment of your life.

Photo Courtesy: Kimberley Faye at Flickr

Are you well Grounded?

by Naveen Lakkur on July 13, 2009

Do the following statements sound familiar to you?

“I have not been lucky enough”

“My efforts being put and the results that I have got are no match”

“I am really trying very hard, not sure why I am not achieving what I am set for”

“Not been able to have a breakthrough”

“I am not sure where to start from”

One of the reasons for this conversation/situation is that, the person is not grounded well, from the context where he/she is operating from at that point in time. Their expectations and actions taken are not aligned at that point in time and hence the results are not great.

Success is a function of Context, Time, Plan and Action.

Let me introduce you to a personal assessment technique to get well grounded. Thus providing a platform to have access to great results.

The Personal Grounding Chart shown below has 4 quadrants: (i) Student, (ii) Specialist, (iii) Employee and (iv) Entrepreneur;

… spread over 2 dimensions: (a) Involvement and (b) Responsibility


Guidelines to plot yourself on to the chart:

1. Set your context and the time and see how involved you are/want to be AND what responsibility are you taking/ready to take in that area of work/initiative that is important to you and your life.

a. Plot with the context and time being set.

b. DO NOT pre-determine your interest of quadrant before plotting.

c. It’s important to know that whichever quadrant you are in, you are fine, whole and complete.

2. Once you have plotted, three aspects gets accomplished:

a. Realization: it gets you grounded and fetches you to the platform of Reality

b. Equips you for right skilling

c. Provides the right space to set new goals, have an action plan, take action, set right expectations and enjoy the results

3. It’s important to know that you can migrate from any quadrant to any other quadrant at any point in time by altering your involvement and responsibilities in that context of work/initiative.

4. The Intrepreneurship area in the center deserves a special mention. It is a virtual space which is available in all the four quadrants. It’s the space where the individuals have a very special responsibility and involvement, operating within a structure.

Let me illustrate the usage of this chart with an example:

In my life, I have been a serial entrepreneur in the Information Technology space. However, if I am interested in the space of healthcare or want to perform surgeries I assess myself as incompetent in performing surgeries at this point in time. In this context, I cannot get deeply involved in it nor take lots of responsibility. I move to the ‘STUDENT’ quadrant. Now, being well grounded, I can have a plan and take action accordingly and set a goal to migrate to the ‘SPECIALIST’ quadrant at a set timeframe.

Get Grounded; Set Right Expectation; Go Take Action…