Let it come naturally!!

I still remember my first few sales calls – they were terrifying. Every customer had so many questions and objections to my pitch that I was not sure how to handle them. Though I practised the rebuttals in training session but it did not helped, somehow. It was only after making more and more calls that I got better with handling customer’s queries and objections.  I realised one thing after a while – I was giving the same rebuttals (more or less the same) but with time customers were not disconnecting the call but would stay and talk more and it was then I discovered my mantra of selling. Drill, drill and drill – till it comes naturally to you.

To excel in selling is like to excel in any sports. If you have to excel in the game you have to practice day in and day out, year after year. There are no shorts cut to success. We all have seen how flawless the cover drives of Virat Kohli are, it comes so naturally to him. Naturally does not come easy!! You have to drill for hours and months to let the shot comes naturally to you. Ask Virat, how much he practised that shot in nets!

Same goes with selling. You have to practice your pitch again and again till it comes naturally to you. You have to keep practising fundamentals, and keep it up and keep it up, until these various fundamentals become as natural and subconscious as breathing. In the game of cricket, when the situation is tense and critical, great players don’t stop and wonder what to do next when the time for quick action comes. They just react to natural instinct.


The same principal applies in selling as in any other sport. If you want to be a star in selling game, you got to have your fundamentals – the A B C of your job, so firmly in your mind, that they are part of you. You have to be so well versed with them that no matter at what point the customer breaks away from the path of closing the sale you can get back on the track again without either of you consciously realising what has taken place.

If you really want to excel – you have to make efforts, in fact lot of efforts. Things don’t come naturally by looking into the mirror and just enjoying the fact you are one of the sales representative of your company. You have to drill, drill and drill.

Practice your pitch with your friends and your family. They are the one who will give you honest feedback. Great sales people or players never give up on practice – no matter what heights they have reached. Have you ever seen a senior theatre artist perform/rehearse? It does not matter whether they are doing the act for the first time or thousandth time – they will practice it like the very first time.

So if you are in sales field and want to make a name for yourself, make more and more calls, practice your pitch daily and just don’t give up.

I would like to end with a quote – ‘Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.’

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Renting Sector needs: Fella Homes

Prashant, a friend of mine is moving from Pune to Noida next month. He has no friends or relative in Noida so the biggest challenge in front of him is to find a place to live – Online. He went to Noida last week to finalise a single room. Before leaving he had checked most of portals renting rooms. Once he reached Noida, it turned out to be a disaster visit as out of 5 places he wanted to see, he could only visit one for some or the other reasons. You can’t make your decision after seeing just one apartment!!

This is the biggest problem in the real estate industry, there is too much available but when you really decide to make a decision it does not work out. The things are not streamlined, there are portals/websites where you can put post about your property and then interested people will call you but in reality it is not as simple as it looks like.

The problem – Owners don’t have time to show the property to everyone who comes to them. So most of the owners are going to the broker. So once we decide to take a rented place we have to go through the broker. And believe me, that is expensive. You have to give one month rent to them as their fees. No wonder, real estate is money making industry. The experiences for both the parties with brokers have never been good because you simply don’t like paying huge sum for connecting people.

Fella Homes is a solution for all the problems in renting industry where they aim to remove all the hassle in renting a place for owner as well as tenant.  They believe that each one of us is super-hero and the world needs us to solve bigger problems, and certainly housing should not be one of them. They have taken that responsibility.

Fella Homes, founded by team of IIT Roorkee and Stanford alumni Virender Pratap Singh, Yadwinder Paul Singh, Digendra Singh Rathore, Kunal Singh and Amit Gupta in November 2015. The company has raised seed funding amounting to $2 million in early 2016 from undisclosed investors.

Currently they are operational in Noida and Gurgaon and planning to expand. As part of their expansion they have acquired Lifepad (founded in Sep’15 by IIM alumni) in all cash deal. The whole team of Lifepad has joined Fella Homes except for the co-founders(Piyush Bhartiya and Rachit Agrawal)

The Idea – They realised from their own experiences that the problem for individuals looking for flat is that they get limited options for furnished homes, even if they get it is a big task to get someone who would share space with them. The success of all these means you need to pay a high brokerage as you can’t succeed doing this without broker. So the person in the end goes through a rough process and ends up paying extra money.

Team at Fella Homes aims to integrate the rooms with furniture, make them ready to move in loaded with all amenities like AC, washing machine, refrigerator, oven, kitchen utilities etc.  The homes are then listed on their websites with options for single or shared occupancy without any brokerage. They have been able to make the process hassle-free and tenants can literally move with their bags full of dreams, the way they love to say it.

Owner who want to rent their place or are renting the place get very little on the property and have to go through tenant verification and in the end are always taking risk in exposing their property to strangers.


The Solution – With Fella homes, individual looking for home for rent get a complete solution from choosing a house, selecting time as per their comfort and then finalising the deal. For owner they get maximum revenue for their property since they are renting place on per room basis. They just have to share details with Fella team and they will take care of everything else. The team is working to create an unique experience for both owner and tenant.

When asked how they differentiate themselves from the competitor, this is what the team had to say,

‘The existing players are solving the problem of discovery ie. they are providing information about the property but are not part of transaction. From a tenant point of view he can only get the information about the property and while from the owner point of view they can list their property and can get the lead.’

What is on offer –

The task of making the property more rent-able (by furnishing it), coordinating site visits, providing a comfort to tenant regarding maintenance issues of houses and collecting rent etc. are benefits which both party receives with their association with Fella Homes. As this is a subscription based pure-revenue sharing model, unlike brokers, Fella Homes doesn’t disappear once the house is rented but stays for the complete rented period and hence provide a hassle free experience for both owners and tenants’

The future – In future, Fella Homes plans to expand its service throughout India and occupy all the verticals of renting sector.  They want to standardise the unorganised rental sector and fill the gap of quality and trust.

Our take – They have come with a great concept hitting the bull’s eyes. This is a major problem for sure and they have a solution for it. If they are able to execute the plans well they have long way to go.

To end, quoting Dave Thomas, “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.

Most important word in Selling!!

There are many important words in sales which you will come across while reading any book but the one I am talking about wins the race with big margin. This is the word every sales person should be having in his armor and also know how to use it effectively. It brings in the success which every sales person dreams off. Let me go to the word with a story.

Recently, we had our college re union and the whole group came in and after the day’s fun we decided to stay in one single room and discuss the stuffs going on each other life. We were talking back and forth until it was late and one by one everyone fell asleep until I was the only one talking. Every time I stopped talking a friend next to me would say, ‘Why Bro, Why?’ and I like a fool would go on and on, and go into more detail, until he snored. Then I realised he has been trying to see how long I could talk.


We all know sales could only happen if we are able to make our customers speak more. The magic to do so lies in the 3 letter word – Why. I realised this that night when I kept on talking just to answer the question why.

Customers are never ready to buy from you. They have their own set of reasons for not doing so. If you are going to go into argument on their reason you are definitely not going to win. You got to ask – Why? By asking questions with a ‘why’ you are forcing customers to answer for themselves. More often than not their answer will convince them to buy the product.

To use this word to its full potential you have to be good enough with another lesson – Listening. Unless you are listening to your customer you will not be able to come up with relevant questions which will open gates for you to enter the territory in which customer themselves will be willing to buy from you. Listening is important in all the fields though in sales it is a bit difficult to do that; after all it is you who has all the information about the product. So isn’t you should be speaking most of the time. No. The customer should be the one who would be doing bulk of the talking. You should be listening attentively to ask next Why.

I read a story about Milton S. Hershey, The Chocolate King recently. He was born in 1857 so the story is dated long back but this man knew the magic word even then and reason for this success could be because of his knowledge of the word. Milton S. Hershey has three failures before he was forty. ‘ Why?’ he asked himself. ‘Why is it that other man succeed and I fail. Putting himself through a series of question he narrowed the answer down to one reason: ‘I was getting ahead without having all the facts.’ From that day until his day of death in 1945, his life was dedicated to the philosophy of asking ‘Why?’ If someone told him something cannot be done, he would keep on asking until he gets all the reasons. Once he has all the reason he would say, ‘Now one of us has to find an answer.’

So it does not matter if you are selling to a customer or yourself – you got to be asking Why? Like Milton let us also make this word our life’s philosophy.

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VoLT – An app that will help you master English

We come from the land of diversity. We have 22 official languages and around 150 which are spoken by sizeable population. English though not our native language has somehow emerged as a common language. It is kind of mandatory to learn it and use it at most of the places. The students who reach big institute and are from small town usually face big problem adjusting to this new world where ‘English is cool’.

There is no harm in not knowing English, but then there are certain places where you have to learn it to survive and compete. In this world of competition where you need to excel in every field if you have to be at top, a boy from Sunam, a small town in the district Sangur, Punjab was doing great in his engineering subjects but was behind his peers when it came to English speaking and vocabulary. He later turned out to be one of the founders of VoLT.

Before we know more about the founders, let us know about VoLT.

Vocabulary Learning Techniques or VoLT provides users with various techniques to better understand, remember, and recall difficult English words. The app does this through visual aids in the form of pictures, memory keys, sentence usage, antonyms, and synonyms.

The goal of the app is to make learning fun and easy and is targeted at students preparing for the various competitive exams, who find it difficult to understand English and end up cramming a large volume of words. I personally being part of such a group where we used to try each and everything to learn and understand words on daily basis, feel this is a great initiative and everyone trying to learn vocabulary should be using this app.


VoLT was founded by Abhishek Jain and Nishek Jain. Both of them have very strong academic profile to go with them.  They completing their schooling from their hometown, Abhishek cleared IIT-JEE in 2005 and joined IIT-BHU. He then went on to work at various institutions like Aakash, Resonanc, Pace. He currently is coaching IIT aspirants in Mumbai.

His younger brother Nishek decided to join BITS Pilani in 2007 and worked at a power sector firm in India and Saudi Arabia for three years. He recently cleared the Indian Engineering Services (IES) with an All India rank of 18.

As stated earlier, it was their struggle in their academic years from which this idea was originated. They tried all the methods to better their English but most of them did not helped. Quoting Abhishek, “While reading a sentence in the editorial section of the newspaper, I would sometimes come across four to five words in the same sentence that I didn’t understand. Constantly referring to the dictionary didn’t help. In fact, it was demotivating.” They wanted to create something which would be easy to use and more user friendly.

Before this app, they have already launched a book by same name in January 2013 and sold over 50000 copies. It was the success of this book that motivated them and their team, Smita Mishra Jain(CFO) to go ahead with this idea of app.

There are many books available in market for learning the language but the simplicity with which this idea helps you in learning the language differentiates it from the rest. Users can either learn new words through the memory key or revise words they have already learnt. All the different features in the app add value and make the process of learning easier. The ‘memory key’ includes some interesting tips and tricks that simplifies difficult words and makes it easier to understand and recall them.

We wish the team at VoLT all the best and ask all readers to help spread the word so people who are willing to make effort to learn are benefited. This is highly recommended for student preparing for exams like CAT, GRE, GMAT etc.

If you have any such Startup which is helping people or society, do let us know we would like to cover their story too.

Two things that keeps business going – Marketing and Innovation in Marketing

All big organisations have different departments and they all are important for the success of any business. For me, the most important department is marketing. The success of this department largely depends on the innovation that the team can come up with. The traditional marketing is long gone. Marketing produce results, rest all are cost to the organisation and now only innovative marketing produce result. The main aim of marketing is to get new customers and that is the reason for its importance. No customers, no revenue, No revenue, no positive numbers to run any department.

The statement that marketing aims at getting new customers can lead to confusion between marketing and sales. Before going any further, I would like to differentiate the both. In the words of famous Amercian economist, Ted Levitts, the difference between selling and marketing is that selling is getting rid of what you have while marketing is having what people want. I simply love this statement as it brings in so much of clarity in how we should look at these different terms.

Now once we have said that marketing has to bring in customers, next on the cards is – How do we bring in more customers? Customers are new currency and hence everyone is fighting for them. Knowing their self importance, customers are making it even difficult for companies to get them and like any other currency their demand is more and supply is limited. We have to realise that lot has changed over time and so should our approach in getting them. Customers of present world are selfish brutes and they only care about themselves not about your sales forecast or the strength of your IT department or your success.


To get their attention now you have to come up with innovative marketing plans. Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell. The success of your marketing campaign depends on how much the customers were involved in it. So how about a campaign which was made to involve people? Here is a perfect example of it.

For any travel provider biggest challenge is how do you stand out in a crowded market? How do you engage with consumers and encourage them to travel with you? French rail network SNCF has taken to experiential marketing over the last couple of years and has created some brilliant campaigns that tap into the zeitgeist of travel and put the company on the map as a way to travel to top European hotspots. Check out this amazing campaign here.

Try to think of marketing itself as a big umbrella, with fields like direct sales, advertising, and public relations all tactics that make up different parts your marketing strategy. Some of the world’s most well-known and celebrated companies – from Coca-Cola to Apple – have succeeded using two surprisingly simple tactics: making great products and marketing them well.

So now let’s move to Innovative marketing where we force customers to pay attention to our products.

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