My heartfelt thoughts for all fellow professionals

A Salesman’s Prayer for Freedom

 

The morning is beautiful, a fantastic sales opportunity in mind,

Yet, I long for the freedom that I’m struggling to find,

My passion ignites at the thought of the deal,

But admin tasks bind me, a frustrating ordeal.

 

Forms and processes, they clutter my day,

When all I desire is to chase leads and get a Yay,

Endless paperwork, procedures to learn,

While my spirit for selling begins to yearn.

 

I’m buried in details, compliance and charts,

When my heart’s with the clients, and their stores and marts,

I’m shackled by meetings, reports to compile,

When I live for the thrill of closing with style.

 

My talent lies in the art of the sell,

In the stories I weave, the dreams that I tell,

But here I am tangled in red tape and rules,

Feeling more like a tool in an adminstrative spool.

 

Oh, to break free from this admin-based cell,

To get back to the business of where I excel,

To connect, to persuade, to hear the word “yes,”

And escape from this mire of clerical stress.

 

Let me return to the front lines, I plea,

Where the joy of the sale can set my soul free,

I know processes are important else profits could flee,

Just please make following them simple for me.

 

For I am a sales person, that’s my true call,

My prayer is to be set free from this paper-filled hall.

 

– Ankur Shiv Bhandari

My daily Morning Tea ritual now most days I am in the UK, is to enjoy my cup of tea in a supermarket store cafe while in the beautiful and amazing company of Shoppers who are getting the hum drum of the store started. As I watch them, their beauty comes across in many forms:

The rushed ones, the chilled ones;

 

Maximising the carrying capacity in their embrace ones, trolley filled to the brim ones;

 

Chitty- chatty on the till ones, fiddling with the self-service ones;

 

Just the bread ones, getting the whole wardrobe first thing in the morning ones;

 

Quick scan-pay and move ones, reviewing the receipt 10 times ones;

 

Sleepy in their pyjamas ones, Dressed to impress for work and school-run ones;

 

Above all, getting ready to tackle whatever the day brings ones ❤️

 

⁃ Ankur Shiv Bhandari

Hello everyone, I am Ankur Shiv Bhandari and welcome to this first blog of Route to Shopper®. Let me start by saying that this is NOT for everyone. If you are a sales professional or part of an organisation supporting sales efforts or an entrepreneur with a sales agenda, we will get along well. As part of your sales focus, if you are frustrated with most of your customer discussions only focused on price, this is for you. If you have started feeling in a bit of a rut in progressing business with your customers, this is for you. If you want to feel more confident and more importantly happier in your sales efforts, The Route to Shopper® way of thinking is for you.  If however, you feel you have your sales efforts all figured out, sales is not your focus or you just can’t be bothered to spend time on hearing yet another mantra, this is the time for you to leave. No hard feelings.

Still here?

Ok. Let me first start by sharing a bit about myself and then how and where Route to Shopper® fits in.

I am a salesman, a very proud salesman at heart, salesman by profession and also have been a guide and a coach to sales professionals in every commercially active continent in the world over past more than 20 years, that’s a lot of countries!

My sales journey started in the 90s in the suburbs of South Delhi, India as a door-to-door salesman selling soft toys and games. That’s where I got the bug for this beautiful profession of selling. What followed was a dream. After Van sales/DSD roles with Bottlers of Pepsi and an Area Manager role with ICI Paints (Akzo Nobel now), I left the shores of India for England where after my MBA, I joined Procter & Gamble and held various UK/European sales/strategy roles for the next few years. This was followed by Global consulting roles first with Accenture’s Consumer Goods consulting division and then Glendinning or Kantar Retail as it was later called after it was bought by WPP. Now, for the past more than a decade, I have been supporting sales efforts of clients globally through The Asbiverse Group, the business I founded. A big part of my journey especially over the last 10 years has been capability building of sales teams and that has been the motivation for creating The Route to Shopper® way of thinking or framework if you like that word better.

Do I hear you asking, “What has Shopper or Shopper understanding got to do with a Salesperson’s role?” Answer to that is: Please get me some antique rocks from the cave you have been living in as keepsakes. Shopper understanding has got to do everything with a salesperson’s role Your Customer has zero/zilch/shunya/sifr interest in you or your company. They are only interested in how you can help them win with their customers i.e. The “Shopper”. Only and Only if you have a strong understanding of the “Shopper”, do you have a shot at creating a sustainable/scalable business with your customer. Route to Shopper® is The ONLY path to bring Joy to Sales efforts and sustainable results with Customers.

“But the Marketing department is responsible for “Shopper” understanding?” Did that thought come to your mind? Marketing or Brand marketing department to be specific is mainly focused on the “Consumer”. “What’s the difference, “Consumer” and “Shopper” are the same aren’t they?” No, “Consumer” and “Shopper” are always different even if it is the same person and should be treated as such. At a high level, four entities you should be clear about are the “Brand”, the “Customer” or retailer, the “Shopper” who shops at the Point of Purchase whether offline or online and the “Consumer” who consumes. We will get into more detail on each of those in future blogs.

The “Route to Shopper®” thinking enables individuals and organisations to go on this journey to focus on the Shopper hence it is called “Route to Shopper®”. It facilitates “Shopper Based Value Creation”.

Route to Shopper® is dedicated to boosting Sales Professionals’ confidence & happiness by enhancing their capability for “Shopper Based Value Creation”.

As part of my purpose and mission to boost the confidence and happiness of Sales professionals, I am happy to announce the launch of this Route to Shopper® community space, RoutetoShopper.com. In addition to being a source where thoughts related to the Route to Shopper® will be regularly shared, I am also pleased to announce the “Shopador Discussions” forum where every member of The Route to Shopper® community will be able to generate and participate in relevant discussions. As I said at the start, the Route to Shopper way of thinking and the community is not for everyone. Therefore, membership of the community and related participation rights will be on an approval basis. This will allow the members of the community to get maximum benefit out of it.

Route to Shopper® is a way of thinking and a community that will focus on the capability development of sales professionals and will help enhance their focus, understanding and support of the “Shopper”. The Route to Shopper® community has an absolutely hated enemy as well and that is the drudge tasks that sales professionals have to endure which take their focus away from the “Shopper”. Route to Shopper® community will continue to raise its voice against drudge.

If you join the community, remember a key part of the purpose is to boost the confidence and happiness of sales professionals.

Until next time bye bye and God bless.

Your fellow Shopador 🙂

#routetoshopper #lovethyshopper #iamshopador #hatedrudge #ankurshivbhandari