Communicating Online - How To Approach New Customer First Time

Contacting new customer first time is a challenge. Doing so online is even bigger challenge. Any business where buyer and seller can not see each other, have never known each other and interacting for first time - communication assumes an extremely important role. Add to that anonymity of Internet inducing higher insecurity and uncertainty. The seller must be careful not to say or do anything that might hurt buyer's sentiment. If online business is so tough, how come so many are doing fabulous business through online ? What could be the secret sauce for successful online business communication ? We discuss here few Do's and Don't s and in next issue practical examples of how to style a business communication. is one of the first B2B portals in India, launched way back in 1997. Over the years, I have come across many success stories in online business - and few sob stories. While there may or may not be any universal law for achieving success in online busin…

How To Build Successful Distribution Channel – A Beginner's Guide

Indian distribution trade is in the brink of a massive upsurge. Major barriers against inter-state distribution like Octroi, state tax, sundry state specific restrictions, road permits, CST, VAT etc. are mostly gone with introduction of GST - opening up a vast Pan India market. Now is the time for every business engaged in manufacturing or importing to expand sales channels through network of dealers and distributors across India.

This is absolutely essential for any business, for - without growing sales your business has no future.
More sales means more customers. How do you get more and more customers ?  Obviously, your existing market - your town, locality, district or city - has a saturation level. You need to look out for greener pastures - new markets for healthy sales growth.

If your product is selling good in local market - there's no reason why it shouldn't sell in other cities / states or even in overseas markets. Intermediaries like wholesalers and distributors…

How Email Tracking Can Lead To Business Success

Emails carry important information - but we lose control over them as soon as sent. What if emails had WhatsApp like ticker symbols ?  Ideally, we should be able to find if an email has reached destination, whether it has been opened. If opened, at what time and which location. How many times it has been opened, which link(s) in the email has been clicked etc. Collectively this body of intelligence can immensely help a business.

I am going to explain how you can track emails sent from existing email clients (such as Gmail) and capture all these tracking intelligence easily, at zero cost. However, its important to underline how such tracking information can help a business before that.

Send a perfectly timed follow-up mail as soon as customer opens your mail. You stand far better chance of receiving replyIf you see customer clicking on a link to view a cover letter, proposal or your website - you know currently you are at the top of his/her mind. Reaching out at that exact moment is go…

How To Ensure Customers Read and Respond Emails

Why our emails go unanswered ? We send emails to prospective customers everyday but how many of them get any response ? Why is it so ? Why people do not respond to emails ? The answer may be loss of data, spam filter, firewall and many other physical barriers on which we do not have much control. But it may as well be our own follies - may be our emails do not look professional enough or interesting enough to open. How to make sure our emails receive proper response - every time ?

Essential preconditions for email response are - the email reaches its destination and the recipient reads it. Next challenge is to make the email interesting enough to deserve response. So, let's identify specific barriers in each of these 3 stages and how to overcome these to make sure customers read our emails and respond. 

1. How To Make Sure Email Reaches Destination Though it looks simple, trust me, its not that simple. Assuming email address is correct, your mail may still get entangled in spam f…

How To Plan Distrbutor Search - A Short Guide

Manufacturers do not sell directly to consumers - they need distribution channels to reach markets. Wider the reach of distribution - larger is the customer base and resultant sales. No wonder, distribution is considered backbone of any market. However, building distribution network in India has remained an uphill task for small businesses for far too long. Hassles of inter-state trade, compliance with multiple taxation - VAT, CST,  state-specific entry taxes, Octroi, road permit  etc has hobbled Indian SMEs for long. As a result - only large companies like HUL, Colgate Palmolive, Maruti etc could afford to build pan-India distribution channels so far. However, introduction of GST has opened new opportunities  as hassles of inter-state trade is now mostly gone -  creating a level playing field for SMEs. India is now truly a Pan-India market.  To leverage the opportunity, SMEs need to have a plan of action to locate and appoint dynamic and resourceful distribution partners across Ind…

How to Build Distribution Channel in 7 Easy Steps

Selling, arguably, is the most important function in any business. However good its product - survival and growth of business depends greatly on sales performance. Distribution channel plays a critical function in success of sales strategy. Its extremely important for any entrepreneur to understand how distribution channels work in India and more importantly, how to build distribution channel at low cost and within short time frame.

First the Good News - with introduction of GST from July 2017 India has become truly a single market and consequently building distribution channel has become easier, far less expensive and within reach of even small-scale manufacturers. Prior to GST India was, in effect, a collection of local, state-wise markets each having its own VAT rates, entry tax, octroi and sundry other taxation and compliance barriers. Selling across India was tedious, cumbersome and expensive because complying with CST, VAT, warehousing requirements and maze of state…

Building Distribution Channel Online - How Vanik Helps