Rakesh Wadhwa:

What would be your advice to, the sales for industry? Because a lot of our viewers are in business development and since a lot of business happens face to face in most industries, what would be your advice to them? How should they own their skills and, pick up relevant skills in these times to stay ahead of the times?

Ajai Chowdhry:

It's a challenging time for sales people. And I talked about it in my talk also that our front end warriors are the sales people, which are the most important people in any organization who actually bring business to the organization. They need to be protected and therefore they will need to, use completely new set of skills. People who are very relationship oriented, who would go and have a drink with a customer or meet up with the customer and start chatting about whole bunch of things that you actually do before actually starting your sales call, you will need to learn to do that on the phone or on a video. So it's a completely new environment. It's not absolutely new to India in a manner. If you've seen there's a whole very large, BPO industry in this country, who's actually selling products in the U S. So there's a large amount of sales people who actually came online, who learned how to sell on the phone and have become exceedingly successful. So lots of telecom companies have been using a lot of BPO, outfits at India to sell a large amount of their products online.

But one of the things that you will not learn to do on the phone is something, what I call empathy. Empathy is something that doesn't come so naturally to people. So for example, when I was looking at one of my, people in a call center and my customer said, look, when your guys call up my people in the UK, the first thing they say, these are the schemes we have. This is what we want to do. Would you like to be interested in doing something like this, instead of saying –“Ma'am, How's the weather today in London. How are you feeling? I hope you're doing well. So this kind of empathy we'll need it to be added into your whole conversation, right? You need to learn these new skills to be able to communicate. So one is going to be about tele calling and learning how to sell on the phone.

The other thing that you will have to do is how to use social media. How do you communicate a lot of things that you want to communicate to your customer over social media? How do I create videos? How do I take advantage of all types of social media to send important information to my customers before I make the call? So this whole area of, what I call new ways of selling will need to be, looked at. I read a fantastic book on this a while ago which was called “New ways of selling”. And in that book, they were all talking about these kinds of things, which are likely to happen in the future. So it is going to be a very major change that the salespeople will have to do. But since people are always very, very smart, they learn things quite fast. So what they need to do is bring these skills to the fore and relearn all of this. The way we learned selling when I started was by us having a customer sit in front of me. One of my sales people used to sit in front of me. I would sit across the table and you would practice. You’ll have to do the same thing on the phone.