This post is originally from Pradeep Chakraborty's Blog!
Fate has been most kind to me. Fate has also been most kind to me in terms of bringing me in touch with several good folks who appreciate whatever little talent I possess.One of my good friends, Alfred, once suggested that I speak to the team regarding building up industry knowledge. May I also add that two of my very, very dear friends, Kevin and Jo, felt great pride after reading my presentation, and thanked me profusely. Well, it’s all worth it when you have friends such as these who take time to appreciate your efforts. They make my day, my life! Thanks guys!!
Here’s what I had to say regarding building up industry knowledge.
‘Speaking’ the supplier’s language
* From experience, suppliers open up to those who can share information on their industries/verticals.
* From experience, suppliers open up to those who can share information on other markets.
* From experience, suppliers open up to those who provide good suggestions.
* Suppliers DO NOT open up easily, if you cannot provide insights about verticals.
* Suppliers would respect you more if you could provide meaningful suggestions.
* Suppliers look for leads; develop a habit of providing those.
* Suppliers look for trust; provide that by exchanging relevant information.
* If covering components, try and get an insight on the industry, it helps!
* If covering electronics, computer or telecom, know industry background a bit; see how a supplier laps up all the information you may have.
* Supplier looks for trust too, provide it!
* Convert the supplier into a trusted ally.
* Try and understand what buyers need; it helps understanding supplier needs.
* From experience, suppliers keen to know what’s happening in India and China? Can you provide that info?
* China and India are strong cases, know more about them.
* Most of all, keep learning all the time!
* Educate yourself.
* No one can say, “I’ve a good knowledge about the industry.”
* There is no end to learning.
* Everyday, new things are happening.
How do we keep pace with so many new things happening in the verticals? The best way is to educate yourself at work!
* Bookmark relevant Web sites – visit them often.
* Sign up for newsletters and news – at least read the headlines.
* Flip through technology and other magazines you may get your hands on – there’s always something to learn.
* Build your network and get help.
* Visit Web sites of leading research firms, there’s lot of information out there.
* Visit Web sites of industry associations.
* Visit Web sites of industry events, look at the live coverage.
* Browse presentations of industry events, excellent way to track trends.
* Read relevant articles in print/Web.
* If you don’t understand a technical term do search on the Web/dictionary.
* Listen to what suppliers say – you can pick up lots of points.
* Talk to your seniors, especially in sales and editorial – they have lot of information to share.
* Look up competitor Web sites and magazines – always have relevant stuff.
* Read flyers and memos from sales and marketing departments.
DEVELOPING SOUND INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE TAKES LOT OF EFFORT AND TIME! BUT IT’S ALL WORTH IT!