As part of our Inspiring Lessons from Sales & Marketing Experts series, we interviewed Nishant Sinha – a self-motivated, go-getter who has spearheaded the marketing team at one of the largest real estate enterprises in India. His journey is nothing short of astounding. Read on to know how Nishant transformed the sales & marketing process in his organisation and what life in marketing is really like.
SELLING A DREAM
Q: Tell us a little bit about your advent into Real Estate sales and what that experience was like?
A: I came to Bangalore to pursue an MBA. After engineering, I thought I would be doing the same IT job but somehow it didn’t work out and I started my MBA. Post that, I thought let me have some exposure to real estate sales. At that point, I had a feeling that an apartment is a dream for everyone and let me sell that dream. So, that’s what I wanted to do. Initially, I started working as a sales rep for 2 & ½ years. I have been known for aggressive selling and do hold a record for the highest number of sales.
I enjoyed working in sales. I used to get up to see what is going to happen. There is no hard and fast rule and every customer is a new customer. Rather than selling a product, I would understand their requirements. Apart from the project, I would talk about everything. I used to understand their area of interests and to talk about these, I would make it a point to read a lot about different technologies and industries. This really helped me in building a warm connection with the customers. I was more of a consultant. I wouldn’t just pitch but rather understand their requirements. Eg; a nuclear family wouldn’t need a 4 BHK even if they did have a budget for it.
Talking is always a great thing when it comes to building a long-term connection with clients.
Q: How did you keep the interest and the initial passion of ‘selling a dream’ intact?
A: Initially, when I joined I was not too sure if I would be able to do it or not but as I began working on different projects and worked with different people in various roles, I started getting more confident.
One project, in particular, was a tough nut to crack because of its topography. I said let’s take it as a challenge. It took me about 2-3 days to understand how to pitch and understand the customer’s requirement. I did panic at first, but then I invested time in understanding the project. I wanted to make sure that whatever information the customer might ask for, I should have the answers for it. I would sit with project teams, engineers, security persons and connect with locals to understand more about the area. Gradually I gained this information, and this gave me a lot of confidence.
By mid-month we had 52 sales but we realised that we were nowhere close to the target numbers. I took this as a challenge and by the end, we had managed to sell 115 units which was considered an impossible feat. Out of these 80-84 retail sales were closed by me.
THE MARKETING MOTIVATION
Q: Tell us more about how the transition to marketing took place? What was the trigger point for this change?
A: Post sales I started analysing the process and felt that the process was unstructured, especially in the marketing and lead generation areas. Marketing in real estate was disorganised as compared to other industries. I thought let me move to the marketing team and work on establishing a structure. So, in 2016 I moved to the digital marketing department. Along with that I also handled IT configurations and other solutions like Paramantra’s CRM, that would help minimise human intervention.
Q: What were the initial struggles of venturing into marketing?
A: Initially the move from sales and marketing was more challenging. The field demands more structure and you need to plan your time well. It was difficult but then gradually things come under control. Post this, we optimised the processes. I recognised that marketing was the backbone and lead generation had to be optimised.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I had no guidance when I ventured into Marketing. I learnt everything on the job through trial and error.
Q: What were your key takeaways from this new role?
A: Basically, what I figured out was no matter which sector you go to, and all sectors are interrelated to each other, you just need to apply common sense and presence of mind to understand which knowledge can be used where. Knowledge is present everywhere, it’s all about how you use it. That’s the primary lesson one should understand.
I have experimented extensively and at times I have succeeded and at other times, I have failed. I learnt to focus more on the setbacks and the failures. If something didn’t work then I always tried to look for alternate ways. I have never followed the same path that has been conventionally followed before. If, say, a task can be done in 10 hours then I try to find a way of doing it in 5 hours. Basically, I want to optimise the resource, and that has always been my key motive.
THE MAN BEHIND THE ROLE
Q: You are extremely self-motivated but was there anyone, at any point in time, who really inspired you?
A: My father has been the most influential person in my life. One instance has stayed with me when in 4th standard all my friends had video games and I didn’t. I told my father I want one as well and he said, “If you really want to enjoy the game, build it and then play”. This still motivates me. This helped me realise that If I am to enjoy something then I should build it myself. Till date, this advice has stayed with me and I try to figure things out by myself.
Q: How do you maintain this attitude of learning? Even when you are in a place where you have established your position.
A: It’s believed that one person can work for 10 to 12 hours, max 24 hours. I optimise this and say we can work for 50 hours in a day if we network well. Together with my team, we manage to put in 50 hours of productivity per day. Once the process is stable, you can’t have a laidback attitude. There are still endless things you can do. That was one of the key reasons for shifting to digital marketing because the industry is an ocean and even Google has managed to explore only 10% of it. There is still that 90% which is unexplored. So, you can’t rest. Life is too short to rest.
LEARN FROM THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS
Q: Across your sales & marketing experience, are there any insights/words of advice that you would like to share with aspiring sales reps & marketing professionals?
A: I think the people coming in now shouldn’t have that much knowledge. Let me tell you why – if you are an empty board you can write on it, but you can’t write on a full board. Rather than bookish smart you should be street smart. There is logic but no way of implementing that knowledge. There is sense but no common sense. It’s important to know where knowledge can be implemented and It’s always important to find an alternate approach to doing something.
Another aspect is that the corporate world is not an easy place to work in. So, the only way to keep yourself motivated is to have emotion with your work but to not get emotional. Take all criticism as learning and minimise the errors you make. If that’s being implemented everything will fall into place. Bottom line is you need to love the work you do.
Today people work like machines without realising that machines don’t invent, people do!
We are sure these words have inspired and motivated you towards embarking on an exciting adventure in the world of marketing.
We would like to thank Nishant Sinha for his valuable time and hope he reaches the pinnacle of success and growth in the world of Marketing. If you want to know more about Nishant Sinha & his approach to marketing, you can connect with him on:
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/nishantksinha/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/nishantsinha412