Friday, August 31, 2018

Why do Sales People Lie?

There are those who say that no one in the world goes without taking recourse to lies – white lies, minor lies, major lies and outright con jobs. Yet not all professions carry the burden of being generally untruthful. There may be other professions that might give a run for the money on the sweepstakes of being the most deceitful. A more recent study of the lies even stated that on an average people tell 1.65 lies per day.

The concern is not with them but just the salespeople. Why do they lie?

The nature of the sales chain of command has always been very military. There is an attitude that each day is a battle day for them. The market is the war zone and every day is one of combat. Most sales managers assume the role of the drill sergeant. Orders are bark out and the battalion assumes compliance. There is only one difference that sales team are unlike army troupes that march into every campaign together and fight as one unit.

Across the various surveys done with sales professionals, it appeared that the base of all lying is the reluctance to face up the possibility of failure. It seems to be the most common motivation to lie is FEAR. Sales professional must keep in mind if the business objective is to instill ethics and integrity in your business driven organization, do not fret over fear and lies. Moreover, substantially try to increase business and stakeholder risks, and they must be carefully managed. The book tries to answer both aspects of ethical and unethical practices pursued by the sales professionals in the market.

Below quote may be a predicament for salespeople but rightly stated by P. T. Barnum, one of the greatest salespeople who ever lived, was adamantly against fraudulent selling, but he recognized the subtle nuances about honesty and lying: “An honest man who arrests public attention will be called a “humbug,” but he is not a swindler or an impostor. If, however, after attracting crowds of customers by his unique displays, a man foolishly fails to give them a full equivalent for their money, they never patronize him a second time, but they very properly denounce him as a swindler, a cheat, an impostor; they do not, however, call him a ‘humbug.’ He fails, not because he advertises his wares in an [outrageous] manner, but because, after attracting crowds of patrons, he stupidly and wickedly cheats them.”

From a chapter in the book, Sales People Don’t Lie by Roshan L. Joseph. Get your copy today @

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Challenges of marketing a taboo product in an emerging market that is also culturally conservative

On an early December morning in 2014, Mr Shabih Haider, Director of Biogenics, sipped his coffee as he stared absentmindedly out of his office window and looked at the traffic on the main Shahrah-e-Faisal road in Karachi. His forehead creased with concern as he thought about Hamdam, Biogenics’ contraceptive (condom) brand. He looked at the reports which reflected a falling sales trend over the past ten quarters as well as falling profitability figures. The reports made him uneasy. Ever since they had launched Hamdam, the sales were far from satisfactory. The entire Hamdam team had been concentrating their efforts on the branded contraceptive to drive up the sales, but the response had been less than desired.
The problems that Hamdam was facing were not easy to overcome. The general consumer perception towards the contraceptive market was not very accepting and the social rejections had made marketing for such brands a challenging task. Nonetheless, Pakistan still offered vast potential that was too significant to be ignored. 
Now is the time to develop the market, create awareness and find some effective solutions to communicate with the consumers,’ the diligent director thought to himself. Shabih Haider was not a man to give up easily. He believed in taking everything head-on as the key to dealing with challenging and formidable tasks. What lay ahead of him was a society which perceived the issue of family planning and use of contraceptives as a taboo topic and considered discussions regarding them as indecent and scandalous. In fact, anything related to sex was seen as unvirtuous in the society. Mr Shabih Haider, thus, was faced with the formidable task of establishing his condom brand Hamdam in the conservative Pakistani society.

Register now to read full case study on Marketing a Taboo Product and to know how Mr. Shabih Haider tackled the consumer mindset in Pakistan.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Celebrity Endorsements and Donations: How does it impact Philanthropic Giving?

There is something remarkable to be said about the overall impact celebrities have on the increase in donations for nonprofits. In fact, there has been significant growth in philanthropic giving in recent years. Indiana University’s The Philanthropy Outlook 2017 & 2018 reports a steady rise in philanthropic giving by individuals that is anticipated to follow an upward trajectory in foreseeable future. The reason for this incredible growth is because of a younger, more socially aware audience. 
To get a deeper look into the root cause, it is empirical to study the advertising message that is put out by marketers. A notable feature of nonprofit marketing is celebrity endorsement of their appeals for donations and celebrities acting as a “brand ambassador,” for the charitable cause. Organizations that have successfully used celebrity endorsers include well-recognized charities, such as Make-A-Wish and Silver Lining Foundation in service of children that need medical care. 

This article from Business Perspectives and Research investigates the effects of celebrity endorsers on donations and views of non-profits. The research in this articles focuses on two nonprofits that had two different and distinct agendas. Findings of the research indicate that ads that evoke positive emotions are more likely to convert to donations. Demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, and income also very important factors that affect donations. In some cases, it can also be seen that the nonprofit’s cause and advertising message were powerful enough to override the impact of the celebrity. 
These findings of this research can help marketers style their ads to evoke certain emotions, by using celebrity endorsers that will help them increase donations. Furthermore, understanding what drives donors will help nonprofits tailor marketing strategies. It is expected that by targeting their donor base effectively, non-profits will then witness an increase in donations.

Register now to read this article from the journal 'Business Perspectives and Research'