Recall the classic Sholay and the Thakur putting Amitabh
and Dharmendra to an acid test to see how "fighting fit" they still
were. Well, here is an examination paper of the YWCA which you can give
to your managers with the following suggestions :
Take 30 days. Consult. Ready Copy.
Buy books. Give a Rs. 1,000 budget, per participant
And then, tell them to present the answer paper in
30 pages. It should be professional.
Make the required copies and give to each
participant, to study and think about.
Give marks. You will be able to upgrade your
Hold a one-day seminar. At a good place-not in your
Give "Mini MBA' certificates to those who pass, and
to the balance give another 30 days to shape up or ship out.
It will cost you money. It will cost you time. Yes.
But you will be able to sharpen the mental axes of your people.
This may not be the best way, agreed, but get going
to improvise to meet your special requirements.
Question Set No. 1
The marketing scene in India is undergoing
transformation. List the major changes that you think have taken
place during the last five years. What will the marketing scenario
look like in 2000 A.D.?
What is marketing and what is selling? High - light
their differences taking any product as an example. Illustrate your
answer with the help of the various principles.
You are manager of a TV shop in Lajpat Nagar. What
steps will you take to sell more TVs in your area?
lllustrate your answer by developing a cost-benefit analysis of your
You want to buy a refrigerator for your home in May
and you have only Rs. 6000, while the market price is around Rs.
12,000. How will you go about buying it?
What are the factors influencing customer behaviour
when buying a motorcycle or a scooter? How do they differ from the
purchase of toothpaste? Give the reasons for making your purchase
What are the principles of Advertising and Sales
Promotion? How different are they for industrial goods and consumer
durables? Write your views using the goods of your choice as
What is meant by service after sale? What are the
prerequisites for attaining customer satisfaction from service after
"The Customer is the Bos. He is the profit;
everything else is overhead." Comment on this statement. Elaborate
how competition can enhance consumer welfare.
Is competition good or bad for us as consumers? Give
your views based on your experiences and exposure.
You have to sell yourself for a job opening at a car
franchise. Do your "SWOT" analysis : your strengths, your
weaknesses, your opportunities and your threats. Why should you be
Question Set No.2
Our economy is opening up. More foreign brands are
coming in. Is it good or bad for us as consumers? Give your views,
preferably with specific examples.
What is meant by channels of distribution? Give
details of these channels around two products of your choice.
What is niche marketing? Give details through
examples in India or abroad.
Give factors influencing consumer behaviour in the
purchase of an automobile. What are its implications for the
management of the company?
What is the difference between consumer products and
industrial products? What are the factors according to which
products are classified in these two categories, and how does this
influence channels of distribution? Give examples of the products.
What is a product life-cycle? Give examples. How can
you prolong the life-cycle of Coca-Cola?
What is the role of packaging and branding in the
selling of products? Give your experiences and exposure.
What is the role of direct, indirect and personal
selling? How can this be integrated, le us say, in the selling of
Advertisement and Sales Promotion: describe its role
in our economy in 1996 and 2006. Give examples of good and bad
advertising and sales promotion.
How will you handle a difficult customer in a
motorcycle shop? First put yourself in the shoes of the shopowner
and secondly in the shoes of the customer.
Inspiring Group Management
Gaining the buy-in of a committee or group could be one of the
toughest sales any management faces. Gaining the agreement or commitment
of one person is difficult enough, but accomlishing this with a whole
group is usually even more complex. When selling to a committee, we may
not know what kind of support we have from all the individuals, even if
we have met with them individually (and hopefully we have!). And who
knows how they've been influenced since we saw them last, even if it was
We'll review the process of a group presentation
step-by-step, from 'initiation' to 'close'. The steps are Initiation,
Objective Identification, Presentation, Benefits Clarification, and
Close. We'll suggest approaches that we and a number of our clients have
found far more effective than more traditional approaches.
In this phase, we plan to present an idea, program,
or product to a group. Involving the people and getting them to
communicate is our primary objective in this initiation phase. We also
want them to participate in a positive way. When we do this early in the
meeting, people tend to drop their defences, and open up to more
possibilities. They also become involved and focused on the meeting and
objective. As soon as possible, we want each of the people to be fully
present and attentive to our subjective.
One key is to use an effective question to start the
meeting. We want the question to encourage positive comments. We want
people to open up, not shut down, so the question should be on the right
side. While it is okay to have them start thinking early in the meeting,
we don't want them to have to think too hard! Some questions you could
ask are : You have come a long way in this project. What do you most
appreciate about how you have handled the process? Now that the team is
formed, what are you particularly looking forward to about this project?
In this phase, objectives need to be identified from
each individual's personal and current perspective. They need to be
probed until the individuals agree that there are no more fundamental
underlying objectives or issues. We cannot deal with them if we do not
know what they are! List the issues or objectives as specifically as
possible on a flip chart.
Use this list directly in the actual presentation
that follows. Explicitly ask for agreement every step of the way. The
question might be something like : What are the three most strategic or
critical elements that you feel need to be addressed in this situation?
Or, what aspects of this situation do you feel are most important to the
success of the project? How would those issues, if resolved, support the
organization in moving towards where we want it to be?
Write the objectives or issues as specifically as
possible on a flip chart (which you'll also use for your presentation
later). It is important to identify the elements that are important from
each individual's perspective. Then we need to probe until the
individuals agree there are no more underlying issues or objectives.
Obtain explicit agreement to the list. Ask each if they agree that these
are the critical areas of interest. When the list seems complete, verify
that nothing has been left out. Now and only now are we ready for the
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