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Sales begin when the customer says NO!

Sales begin when the customer says NO!

Story Feature #2 Shirish Uncle

“Sales begin when the customer says NO!😊” Says Shirish Uncle ( 92 years, Papaya Care resident)

Every time we pass through his room, we get the warmest smile that exuberates positivity. Shirish Uncle, 92 years, a resident at Papaya Care remains an ambassador for our facility. His charming personality and encouraging words puts any new resident, or family at ease. He took me through some of the most poignant moments of his life as a Sales and Marketing professional with candor, wit, straightforwardness, and clarity.

Born in 1930, he grew up in Ahmedabad and passed out from Gujarat College. As a cricket team captain at college, he enjoyed the playground more than the classroom. His dynamism, communication skills, and ambitious drive made him grab his first job as a marketing professional with a British-owned company that manufactured cyclostyle machines (antique copying machines as known today). He targeted schools and gave presentations to decision-makers even in public buses as getting their time inside schools was challenging. He firmly believes sales begin when the customer says- No! When the client agrees to everything, and says, will get back, the client never will. Instead, he prefers to hear a NO, because that gives him something worth fighting for.

His success as a young marketer landed him his next job as GSA for Air France in the 1950s. The travel market had massive potential as Gujaratis had the money and heart to travel. As a Gujarati he puts it “Love for food is bred into our souls and marks every essence of our being”. The major hitch for Gujaratis traveling Air France was the lack of local dishes on the menu. Pride is evident in his voice when he says he was instrumental in convincing the airline management to introduce Gujarati cuisine, thereby increasing the market share of Air France.

Soon he got absorbed directly into Air France. He remembered the times he would travel with groups across Europe, would enter kitchens, befriend chefs, and cook Gujarati dishes for his group. Years later, he returned as GSA, and Gujarat Chamber would send him with groups to South Africa, Nairobi, Masai Mara, etc. For every “Khava nu su aapse”, he scored big in life by serving Gujarati vegetarian meals. Often the ladies of the group would pitch in to help cook home meals in hotels, a million miles away from home- Ah that charm!😊

He says the human touch can make all the difference in marketing. Those days, he relied on the simple yet reliable approach of “You, We, and I” with his clients. The beginning was always with “You”- how it will be beneficial for the client, then migrate to “We” – how it will be mutually beneficial. By the third stage of “I” with credibility, the bond, and emotions in place, he could tell them-please do it for me 🙂

A life lived well, flamboyantly yet honestly. His practice in Reiki helps him cope with physical or emotional setbacks that life throws. The demise of his life partner has left a deep vacuum, but Reiki helps him keep faith in life (Uncle is one level short of being a Reiki Grandmaster). He signs off with a smile and one piece of advice for us – “Beta kabhi kisi ka dil na dukhana, create and attract good vibes only!”

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