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ارتفاع الحرارة بين الواقع و النظريات

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ارتفاع الحرارة بين الواقع و النظريات

النهاردة كلامنا عن حاجة من الحاجات اللى بتدوّخ آباء و أمهات كتير مع أطفالهم , و هى السخونية , أو الحمى  .. , و حنحاول إن كلامنا يكون مبسط و مركّز على هيئة نقط سريعة , تفى بالغرض (عشان الموضوع كبير جدا طبعا و ممكن يتعمل فيه أبحاث ضخمة للسنة الجاية) , و تصحح بعض المفاهيم إن شاء الله .. . أول حاجة لازم نعرفها , هى سبب الموضوع , و إزاى بيحصل ! .. كل الفكرة إن الجسم بيتعرض لهجمات من كائنات دقيقة كتير .. منها اللى ممكن يصيب الجهاز التنفسى مثلا , و منها اللى بيصيب الجهاز الهضمى , أو حتى الجلد أحيانا .. و فى كل مرة , ممكن الحالة تسوء , و يبدأ الجسم يتخذ إجراءات دفاعية , لمحاربة الكائنات اللى بتدخل دى !! .. . الكائنات دى مصممة على إنها تتكاثر داخل الجسم , فى البيئة الطبيعية , و الحرارة العادية للجسم .. فالجسم يبدأ يواجه ده , عن طريق رفع درجة حرارته , و منع الميكروبات من التكاثر .. عن طريق تحكم فيما يسمى تحت المهاد (اللى موجودة جنب الغدة النخامية) , فى المهمة دى , و كإنه الثرموستات بتاع الجسم , أو ظابط الحرارة .. زى ظابط الإيقاع كده فى الحفلات? . يقال…

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معلومات مبسطة عن التغذية للأطفال خلال السنة الاولى من عمرهم

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معلومات مبسطة عن التغذية للأطفال خلال السنة الاولى من عمرهم

النهاردة ان شاء الله , حنناقش شوية معلومات مهمة برغم بساطتها , بخصوص تغذية الأطفال فى السنة الأولى .. #قبل_الشهر_السادس , يفضل إن لبن الأم بس هو اللى يكون الغذا الوحيد للطفل .. و مفيش مشكلة من بعض طاردات الغازات أو المشروبات الدافية المشهورة , بشكل شبه يومى , عشان نتجنب المغص و مشاكل الهضم المعروفة فى السن ده .. زى الكراوية و الينسون (بدون تحلية بالسكر طبعا) .. التشجيع على #التجشؤ (أو التكريع) , مهم جدا بعد كل رضاعة , عشان نتجنب تراكم فقاقيع الهوا فى المعدة , و بعد كده فى الأمعاء , و ده ممكن يسبب انتفاخات برضه و آلام مستمرة عند الطفل , و بيتم الكلام ده بالطبطبة (بالراحة) , على ظهر الطفل لحد ما نسمع صوت خروج الهوا من بقه .. بيكون صوت لذيذ قوى على قلب الأم  ^_^ .. #السيريلاك , بيكون مسموح بيه , بعد انتهاء الشهر السادس .. و يفضل إننا نبدأ بالسريلاك بالقمح (السادة) , لمدة أسبوع أو 10 أيام , لحد ما البيبى يعتاد طعمه .. و بعد كده نبقى نغيّر له النوع كل فترة , عشان نديه الاحتياجات اللازمة له فى الأكل .. يعنى ممكن سريلاك بالفواكه أو الخضروات , و نبدّل بينهم , على حسب رغبته و تقبله .. ممكن نحضّر السيريلاك بـ #لبن_الأم ,…

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10 حيل تساعدك على التغلب على أزمة النواقص

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10 حيل تساعدك على التغلب على أزمة النواقص

النواقص أزمة فى أغلب الصيدليات .. و تقريبا مفيش صيدلية إلا و بيتكرر فيها يوميا مشهد المريض اللى بيخرج بروشتته من الصيدلية بدون صرفها , نتيجة إن فيها صنف دوائى أو أكتر مش موجودين !! .. يعنى الحالة عامة , و الوباء متفشى !! .. و لكن فيه عدد من الصيادلة , بيطبقوا فى صيدلياتهم , عدد من الحيل المجربة , للتغلب على التحدى ده , و نجحوا فى كده بالفعل , حتى و لو جزئيا .. و النهاردة , حنعرض مع حضراتكم الحيل دى , و نكشف أسرار التعايش مع أزمة النواقص .. قبل عرض الحيل , خلينا نتفق إنه من المستحيل إن صيدلية تقدر توفّر كل أنواع الأدوية , و إلا – حتفلّس – قبل مرور سنة مالية واحدة عليها , نتيجة زيادة كمية الرواكد اللى حتتراكم على الرفوف .. و عشان كده , لازم كلنا نتقبل إننا حنـعمل اقصى جهدنا , و بعد ده كله , حيفضل فيه شوية خلل , مش حيؤثروا بشدة ع الصيدلية أو يخلوها تخسر يعنى إن شاء الله .. أولا : ادرس أرض المعركة بالرغم من إنها خطوة بديهية , إلا إن صيادلة كتير بيتجاهلوها , و صيادلة أكتر بيجهلوا كيفية تنفيذها ! .. العقل بيقول إنى قبل ما أفتح صيدلية ,…

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إقناع مريضك بالمثيل .. ما بقاش صعب | فى 7 خطوات

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إقناع مريضك بالمثيل .. ما بقاش صعب | فى 7 خطوات

بلاش البديل يا دكتور .. من أشهر الكلمات اللى بنسمعها كصيادلة , داخل الصيدليات , بمجرد ما نستلم الروشتة من المريض , و أحيانا و هو بيدّينا العلبة الفاضية اللى المفروض نجيب له زيّها !! .. و احنا فى غنى عن إننا نقول إن ده بسبب ضعف الثقة من المريض فى الصيدلى .. أو إن ده بيكون من أغتت المواقف اللى بتقابلنا , لإنها بتنطوى على تشكيك من المريض فينا , و عدم اعتراف بعلمه أو بقدرته على صرف الأنسب للحالة , حتى لو كان أقل فى السعر أو أعلى فى الكفاءة !! .. طبعا الموضوع بيكون صعب جدا , لما بيكون السبب فى محاولة صرف المثيل , هو غياب الاسم التجارى اللى المريض طلبه , إما بشكل خاص داخل صيدليتك (مع وجوده فى صيدليات تانية) , أو بشكل عام , فى عدد كبير من الصيدليات , بشكل يؤدى لأزمة أحيانا , بسبب غياب أنواع علاجية كتير , يمكن تسميتها بـ أزمة النواقص !! .. و عشان كده , فكرت فى تجميع أهم وسائل الإقناع اللى – فى وجهة نظرى – ممكن تركّز على استخدامها مع أكبر عدد من المرضى , و توصل من خلالها , لصرف المثيل الدوائى , فى أقصر وقت ممكن و برضا تام للعميل أو المريض…

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عيش حلمك !!

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عيش حلمك !!

مش عشان انت صغير فى السن , يبقى لازم تكون صغير فى أحلامك و طموحاتك .. و عشان تفتح مشروع كبير , أو تبدأ شركتك , مش لازم يكون عندك خبرة خماشر تمناشر سنة .. ومش عشان ناس من الجيل اللى قبلك , ممكن يكونوا نجحوا و هما عندهم أربعين أو خمسة و أربعين سنة , يبقى لازم انت كمان تنجح فى نفس السن تقريبا .. لأ .. بالعكس .. أبسليوتلى .. انت مش لازم تعيد اختراع العجلة .. و مش لازم تبدأ م الأول .. انت ممكن تكتسب  خبرات اللى سبقوك فى وقت أقل منهم .. و اللى هما عملوه فى سنين , انتممكن تسألهم عنه فى دقايق .. اعرف همّا نجحوا إزاى و قلدهم .. مش عيب خالص على فكرة !! .. و طالما انت مركّز على حلمك , يبقى حتوصل له إن شاء الله .. و إوعى تخلى كلام الناس عقبة فى طريقك .. و إوعى تتخيل إن قلة إمكانياتك .. أو حتى انعدامها , ممكن يمنعك من إنك توصل لهدفك .. دايما تخيّل هدفك قدامك .. و كل ما تتخيله أكتر , حتوصل له أسرع بإذن الله .. احلم بيه قبل ما تنام .. طب و الإمكانيات ؟؟ .. صدقنى , حتلاقى الإمكانيات بـ”تتسخر” لك بفضل الله…

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الدليل الشامل للتدريب داخل الصيدلية

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الدليل الشامل للتدريب داخل الصيدلية

على مر الأيام , تأتينى الرسايل من أصدقاء أعزاء من طلبة كليات الصيدلة على مستوى الجمهورية , و خريجين جدد كمان , عشان يسألونى عن الطريقة المثلى للتدريب داخل الصيدلية .. و فى كل مرة , كنت باجاوب بشكل يناسب الحالة اللى باتسأل عنها .. لحد ما قررت إنى أكتب النهاردة , دليل شامل يصلح لأغلب الحالات بإذن الله , و يقدّم أسس واضحة للجميع عشان تدريبهم يكون سهل و مفيد و ممتع داخل الصيدليات فى أى وقت بعون الله .. زى ما بنقول دايما فى الحالات المشابهة لكده .. ده مش بوست عادى ممكن تقراه بسرعة , أو تمر على عناوينه بطرف عينك و تقفله , و لكنه حاجة محتاجة مزمزة على رواقة , مع كوباية الشاى بعد الفطار بإذن الله .. و عشان كده , لو مش فاضى دلوقتى , احفظه عندك بأى طريقة , و بعدين ابقى بص عليه فى وقتك المناسب .. اتفقنا ؟؟ ✿ ❀ ✿ إزاى أختار الصيدلية ؟ اختيار الصيدلية مهم جدا , خاصة لو كانت دى أول صيدلية تتدرب فيها فى حياتك الدراسية , لإنها هى اللى حتسيب عندك الانطباع الأول عن المهنة , و المثل بيقول : الانطباعات الأولى تدوم , و عشان كده , حط عينيك فى وسط راسك لما تختار…

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أهم 5 قواعد عامة للتعامل الصيدلانى مع الأطفال

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أهم 5 قواعد عامة للتعامل الصيدلانى مع الأطفال

#الأولى : التحويل ع الطبيب المناسب أسلم بكتير من التعامل الصيدلانى بقلب جامد , مع الأطفال .. لإن – ببساطة كده – #الغلطة_بجون .. يعنى العواقب بتكون وخيمة … #المناعة_قليلة .. الجسم لسه #ما_يستحملش .. الجرعة لازم تتحسب بدقة متناهية .. تاريخ الحساسية لسه غير معروف .. التأخر فى تقديم العلاج الصحيح , ممكن يؤدى إلى مضاعفات منيلة بنيلة .. و عشان كده , لو مش متأكد من الحالة و علاجها , حوّلها ع الطبيب المناسب فورا .. و ده صح الصح .. و لا يعيب أى صيدلى فى شىء .. #الثانية : الطفل فى الغالب , مش بيعرف يقول #عنده_إيه .. يا إما بيعيّط , أو لو كان أكبر شوية , آخره يقول إنه فيه “أوفّة” بتوجعه , أو فيه “واوا” و خلاص !! .. و عشان كده , حيرة المعالج بتكون أكتر .. فتقييم الحالة من خلال الصيدلى , لازم يكون عن خبرة و احترافية و ممارسة شديدة جدا .. و إلا الطفل ممكن ياخد علاج لحاجة غير اللى بيشتكى منها , و نبقى أخرنا علاجه الحقيقى لا قدر الله .. #الثالثة : #الحرارة_العالية عند الأطفال أخطر جدا من لو تواجدت عند الكبار .. و ممكن تسبب خلل فى أحد مراكز المخ .. يقول لك مثلا : الواد…

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إزاى تخلّى الفيسبوك سبب فى مضاعفة إنتاجيتك كصيدلى ؟؟

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إزاى تخلّى الفيسبوك سبب فى مضاعفة إنتاجيتك كصيدلى ؟؟

الفيسبوك هو موقع التواصل الاجتماعى الأشهر خلال وقت كتابة السطور دى .. و فى الوقت اللى كتير من آبائنا و أمهاتنا ممكن يكونوا بيعترضوا على تواجدنا عليه بكثرة , إلا إنه يعتبر منجم لخيرات متعددة , اكتشفها الغرب قبلنا , و لكن أغلبنا استخدمه فى اهيف ما يكون , بداية من لعب المزرعة السعيدة , لحد اختبارات “انظر من شاهد البروفايل الخاص بك” , مرورا بتصفح الصفحة الرئيسية لتضييع الوقت مش أكتر !! .. شىء يخلّى آباءنا و أمهاتنا معاهم حق فى نقدهم لينا بصراحة !! .. و عشان كده , و بدافع حبى للـ social media بصفة عامة , و الـ facebook بصفة خاصة , قررت إنى أقدم لكم النهاردة مجموعة من الأفكار البسيطة التطبيقية , اللى ممكن تخليك تستفيد من الفيسبوك فى شغلك كصيدلى حر بإذن الله .. و بتعديلات بسيطة , تقدر تستفيد منه لو كان مجالك خارج الـ community pharmacy .. و ابقى طمّننا لما تجرب الأفكار دى .. ✿ ❀ ✿ أولا : اعمل صفحة خاصة بصيدليتك  ده  هو الاستخدام الأشهر و الأقرب للذهن .. لو كانت صيدليتك فى حى راقى , و أغلب روادها بيدخلوا ع الفيسبوك يوميا , انتهز الفرصة دى , و اعمل صفحة خاصة بالصيدلية , تديرها من الحساب الخاص بيك , و…

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The highly recommended: International Guidance for MBA distance learning

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The highly recommended: International Guidance for MBA distance learning

Click here to download the guide: International Guidance for MBA distance learning – – –

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How to write a successful pharmacy CV

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How to write a successful pharmacy CV

Pharmacy recruitment specialist from Your World Healthcare Sean Brown shares the secrets to compiling a CV that will give you the best chance of getting an interview and securing a job. Pharmacy bosses hire new staff based on a range of factors, including experience, skills and personality. However, the quality of your CV alone can be the difference between outright rejection and securing an interview. First impressions A poorly formatted CV can make a candidate look unprofessional. A successful CV is easy to read, easy to understand and enables a potential employer to visualise a candidate. A clean black font, such as Calibri size 10, is clearly legible and makes a CV look professional. Every CV should open with the candidate’s name and contact details — although this section may seem straightforward, many jobseekers get it wrong. Potential employers and recruiters look at this section to start building a mental image of each candidate, what he or she is offering and how he or she meets the criteria for the job. It is therefore important that these details are clear, concise and simple. Your name and contact information, including full address and postcode, should be centred at the top of the…

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185 Powerful Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome

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185 Powerful Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome

This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse. Led… Handled… Managed… Responsible for… Most resume bullet points start with the same words. Frankly, the same tired old words hiring managers have heard over and over—to the point where they’ve lost a lot of their meaning and don’t do much to show off your awesome accomplishments. So, let’s get a little more creative, shall we? Next time you update your resume, switch up a few of those common words and phrases with strong, compelling action verbs that will catch hiring managers’ eyes. No matter what duty or accomplishment you’re trying to show off, we’ve got just the verb for you. Check out the list below, and get ready to make your resume way more exciting. You Led a Project If you were in charge of a project or initiative from start to finish, skip “led” and instead try: 1. Chaired 2. Controlled 3. Coordinated 4. Executed 5. Headed 6. Operated 7. Orchestrated 8. Organized 9. Oversaw 10. Planned 11. Produced 12. Programmed You Envisioned and Brought to Life a Project And if you actually developed, created, or introduced that project into your…

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10 Words You Should Never Use to Describe Yourself Unless, of course, you’re a little too full of yourself.

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Consider the word “charismatic.” If someone called me charismatic, I will be incredibly flattered (and hugely surprised.) But if I call myself charismatic, you will think I’m a jerk–and rightly so. Here are 10 more words that are awesome when used by others to describe you, but you should never use to describe yourself: 1. Generous. Take it from Adam Grant, an expert on the subject of giving and taking. Generosity is in the eye of the beholder. “Generosity is earned, not claimed,” he writes. “Leave it to other people to describe you as a giver–that’s the highest form of praise.” The most generous people I know give without fanfare and without seeking accolades. Their giving is so far under the radar it’s subterranean. And they don’t consider themselves to be generous since they’re always thinking they could do more. All of us can be more generous than we are. While relative to what others give you might be more generous than most, if that’s the case let other people describe you that way. After all, true generosity is often found in people who are also… 2. Humble. I like to think I’m humble. (Maybe I am, at least compared to this guy…)…

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Sales professionalism 19

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By:  Dr. M. Shehab All rights reserved to the writer Role of sales people in society Through the last decade sales jobs increase rapidly in many sectors with different roles and functions. Numbers of sales people reach to thousands in many companies. For example, Microsoft has 16,000 salespeople, American Express has 23,000, and Pepsi co has 36,000 in USA. We see this clearly in pharmaceutical companies during this period where Pfizer have the largest field force all over the world. Sales person (medical rep) has a great roles not only for his organization as a seller to company’ products (revenue producer) or good source of information but he contributes to his nation’s economic growth in two basic ways; He acts as stimuli for economic transactions, and he further the diffusion of innovation. Salesperson (medical rep) as Economic Stimuli: he is expected to stimulate action in the business world. In a fluctuating economy, he makes invaluable contributions by assisting in recovery cycles and by helping to sustain periods of relative prosperity. As the world economic system deals with issues such as increased globalization of business, more emphasis on customer satisfaction, and building competitiveness through quality improvement programs, it is expected that…

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Sales professionalism 18

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Sales professionalism 18

By:  Dr. M. Shehab All rights reserved to the writer Sales person career stages Sales people (medical reps) pass though career stages like products or organisms life cycle. Their performance in these stages changes from improving to plateau, then declining at the end of their career. Challenges and desires relevant for sales people would change through progressed career stages. Salespeople’s (medical reps) career can be broken down into four stages; Exploration, establishment, Maintenance and disengagement. In each stage there will be different career concerns, development tasks, personal challenges and psychological needs.   1-      Exploration: sales person (medical rep) is most concerned with finding the right occupational field. He is thinking if he chooses the right career or not. He aspires to be accepted as a productive member in his company, he is concerned with learning the skills required to do the job well. He wants to establish a good initial self-concept. He need support from his manager, acceptance from his peers and seeks for challenging position. Some sales people drop-out or terminate in this stage. 2-      Establishment: Sales person (medical rep) commits to the sales field as an occupation of choice. His skills are increasing. He begins to concentrate on…

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Sales professionalism 17

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Sales professionalism 17

By:  Dr. M. Shehab All rights reserved to the writer Time and territory management (TTM) Sales people sometimes function in management roles like time and territory management which involve the planning, organizing and implementing of sales activities to optimize sales performance. The essential task of TTM is to determine which activities are most conductive to sales success and to perform these activities on priority basis.   The performance of sales people is affected by: objectives, territory and time use. The more information you have about these key variables, the better job you can do of adapting to changing market and organizational needs. For sales person as effective TT manager he must complete three activities: 1-      Prioritize and plan their work. (Setting priorities) 2-      Execute their work in an efficient manner. (Efficient work execution ) 3-      Analyze their efforts and results to seek continual improvement. Setting priorities: Sales people (Medical Reps) priorities are set by annual objectives which divided into quarterly, monthly, weekly then daily and even individual sales call objectives. As we said before these objectives must be SMART. If the sales person doesn’t put a smart objective for his work he will not get the sales performance. Sales person…

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Sales professionalism 16

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Sales professionalism 16

By:  Dr. M. Shehab All rights reserved to the writer Modern selling Today, salespeople must have a wide range of skills to compete successfully in the market more than selling skills, communication and negotiations. The days when salespeople or medical reps required simple presentation & closing skills are gone. These new skills are: 1-    Customer retention and deletion: many companies find that 80 percent of their sales come from 20 percent of their customers. This means that it is vital to capitalize resources to retain existing high volume, high potential and highly profitable customers. Key account management has become an important form of sales organization because it means that a salesperson can focus their efforts on one or a few major customers. Also companies are finding that some small customers actually cost the organization money. This because servicing those customers may increase costs (the sales call cost). Larger companies may have to change to telemarketing or the internet as a means to communicate with those small customers or drop them altogether.   2-    Database and knowledge management: the modern sales force needs to be trained in the use and creation of customer databases, and how to use the internet to…

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Sales professionalism 15

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Sales professionalism 15

By:  Dr. M. Shehab All rights reserved to the writer Personal selling approaches Everyone can ask himself how sales person or medical rep influences customer’s decision, what are the ways to do this? In this article we will explain how and what by go through personal selling approaches. We also hear many statements like; Medical rep is a need satisfier, Medical rep is a problem solver, Medical rep must aware his customer about company’s products. What these statements mean. This will be described in personal selling approaches. These approaches describe how personal selling process takes place between the sales person and customer. Sales person or medical rep can use one of these approaches. Some salespeople use no conscious approach. Successful sales people or medical reps use their knowledge and professionalism to use more than one approach. There approaches are: A.    Stimulus-Response Selling B.    Mental – Response selling (AIDA) C.     Need Satisfaction Selling D.    Problem Solving Selling A- Stimulus – response selling The salesperson attempts to gain favorable response from customer by providing stimuli or cues to influence customer action. After customer has been properly conditioned, the salesperson tries to secure a positive purchase decision. This method implied effectively in telemarketing….

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Sales professionalism 14

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By:  Dr. M. Shehab All rights reserved to the writer Adaptive Selling Now we will discuss how sales person or medical rep can sell to each style; Analytical, Driver, Amiable, Expressive. Analytical has some strength he is Industrious, persistent, serious, exacting, and orderly. He has also some Weaknesses he is critical, indecisive, stuffy, picky, and moralistic. Analytical know their business well, to sell to him you must: Go in with facts and evidence to back them up. Scientific or survey approach can be used. Use a logic-based, low-key style of presenting. Emphasize tested, proven, well-documented features of your product. Use charts, graphs, written documents. Always use visual aid. 5.     Point out the pros and cons of your product. (Detailed presentation, Long Call). 6.     Be sure to provide a detailed summary of major points at the close.(Summary close) Avoid giving your opinion; they care about facts. Driver has some Strength he is strong-willed, independent, practical, decisive, efficient. He has some Weaknesses he is pushy, severe, tough, dominating and harsh. With driver don’t worry about trying to develop personal relationships he doesn’t care. To sell to him you must: 1.     Be brief and to the bottom line. Short call use unique product…

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Sales professionalism 13

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Sales professionalism 13

By:  Dr. M. Shehab All rights reserved to the writer Social style matrix Adaptive selling   As we said before personal selling is the best tool of marketing communication that allow message to be adapted according the need of the customers. Social style matrix is an approach developed by David Merrill and his colleagues. Through research, they revealed patterns of behavior or social styles that people use when they interact with others. Those patterns help to achieve better relationship. Two critical dimensions are used to understand social behavior. 1 – Assertiveness:  It is the amount of effort people use to influence the thoughts and actions of others. Assertive people are very direct; they speak out what they think, make strong statements, and have a take – charge attitude. Non-assertive people are usually easy going and supportive. As a rule, assertive people assume the telling role while non-assertive people assume the asking role. 2- Responsiveness:     It is the amount of effort people use to control their emotions when dealing with others. Responsive people show their emotions readily, they are friendly and informal. Non – responsive people have learned to control their emotions. Profiles of the Social Style Matrix: When combining…

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Sales professionalism 12

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Sales professionalism 12

By:  Dr. M. Shehab All rights reserved to the writer  Communication skills   After completing the sales call steps we are talking today about communication. Just go back to the second article and review the definition of personal selling; it’s communication activity between sales person and customer. Personal selling is also way of marketing communication between company and its customers. Communication skills are important determinants of your success, both in the workplace and in your personal life. Communicating effectively with individuals and groups is an important life skill. What is communication? Communication is the transmission and exchange of facts, ideas, feelings or courses of action. It is a bridge of meanings among people so that they can share what they feel and know. Therefore, communication is not just the obvious way of verbalizing, but it covers spoken and written words, pictures, attitudes, gestures, facial expressions and even silence. Communication always involves two parts listening and speaking. Seek first to understand then to be understood this statement is the basic of communication. We can say that understand by listening and to be understood by speaking. Communication process: The process starts with the sender, the source of the message to be communicated….

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Sales professionalism 11

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Sales professionalism 11

By:  Dr. M. Shehab All rights reserved to the writer Now we are about the last step of the call which is closing. Every step that has gone before should focus on one objective to close. Good sales person (medical rep) is a good closer and poor medical rep is a poor closer. Sales person must use ABC role in closing means; Always Be Closing. He must pick the suitable opportunity to close the sales. Sales person must know how and when to close. Some salespeople do not get around to closing or do not handle it well. They may lack confidence, feel guilty about asking for the order or fail to recognize the right moment to close the sale.   Sales person should listen to his customer well; learn how to identify the buying signals. Buying signals is a strong, positive customer response indicating that he is ready to buy. Buying signals may be verbal or non-verbal. Verbal buying signals like some words or comments customer said during the call like; I like your product, it sound good to me , the packing is very nice…etc. Non-verbal buying signals like leaning forward, eye contact, nodding…etc. This will be discussed…

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Sales professionalism 10

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Sales professionalism 10

By:  Dr. M. Shehab All rights reserved to the writer Now we are in one of the most important step in sales call which is handling customer response. Customers always have objections during the presentation. The problem can be either logical or psychological and objections are often unspoken. Due to the importance of this step we advise salesperson to be trained in skills of handling objections. During role plays in all training sessions this step is very critical and all sales people or medical reps can stop the role play when customer arises an abnormal objection. Actually customer response may be positive, negative or negative – positive. Medical rep should use a positive approach, seek out hidden objections, asks the customer to clarify any objections, take objections as opportunities to provide more information, and turn the objections into reasons for buying.   Positive response arises from accepted customer that he accepts all product’s benefits. You must ask him directly for prescriptions seek for an opportunity to increase the prescribing rate by add new indication or compete with another competitor with more benefits in the same indication. Negative positive response arises from skeptic customers when he doubts about the benefits of…

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Sales professionalism 9

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Sales professionalism 9

By:  Dr. M. Shehab All rights reserved to the writer After approaching customer sales person goes through presentation. Presentation is the product story where the sales person tells the customer how product can solve his problem. There are three goals of this presentation: to uncover the customer’s need known or unknown, to convert all product features into benefits, Matching the product’ benefits with customer’s need to satisfy him. First to discover the customer’s need during presentation sales person uses probing techniques (questions). These questions are used to collect information from the customer. Sales person also uses probing to clarify his assumption about customer and control the call. Simply questions are two types: Open and closed. Where open questions start with Who, Where, Which, What, When, How, why. These questions are used mainly to encourage customer to talk and uncover his needs. Normally open questions are used in the start of presentation.   Closed questions are used next. These questions yield precise and clear cut responses, yes or No. Sales person can used this type of questions to street the direction of the call and to decide to continue in this way or not. If the customer respond by no he…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, hoard information. This is a competitive field, and you can’t let others know your secrets. Don’t share any lessons learned, as they can only be used by others to create products that will compete with yours. Refuse to talk shop with other product managers — it’s a waste of time, after all, since it takes your focus off your product. Telling others how you do your job or what your experience is with product management is just a bad idea. If you want to be a good product manager, share your knowledge. Realize that you have lessons to share but even more to learn. Know that you improve your own skills and expertise when you teach others. The vast majority of other product managers are not competing with you, so everyone benefits when knowledge is shared. Communicating your perspective helps you explicitly formulate your own beliefs, affirming good practices and making you question bad ones. It overall raises the level of discourse about product management and ultimately helps product managers and product development professionals do their jobs better and create better products, in turn helping any consumers of those products. So…

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Sales professionalism 8

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Sales professionalism 8

Sales professionalism 8 By:  Dr. M. Shehab All rights reserved to the writer Now we are about the second stage of sales cycle where the sales person or medical rep will be face to face with his customer this is called call stage. We remember you that call stage contains 4 steps which are approach, presentation, handling customer response and close. First step is approach means meet and greet the customer and start the relationship with him. This simply means opening the call. Medical rep appearance and his way of opening has a great impact on starting and building the relationship with customer in this early step of sales call . Salesperson must get the customer attention and curiosity. Not only that but also stimulate customer interest (awareness) and provide a smooth transition into the presentation This step takes few minutes or seconds so you must make a good favorable impression to your customer. In all training sessions all salespeople in all sectors ask me about the ways to do this. I answer them briefly by three words; it’s the way you Look, Act and Speak with your customer. Look:  Be careful of your appearance you must be shaved, clean…

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Sales professionalism 7

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Sales professionalism 7

Sales professionalism 7 By:  Dr. M. Shehab All rights reserved to the writer The second step of sales call is planning and preparation. Salesperson or medical rep must study, analyze the prospect and his need according to information he gathered. He may use another sources of information to avoid false assumption about prospect. The self-confidence of medical rep increased by acquisition of knowledge so you must increase your knowledge .You can prepare yourself to meet prospect in two sub-steps: Setting Call’s objective Planning the call In setting the call’s objective medical rep should set call’s objective to qualify the prospect, to gather information or to make immediate sales. Call objective is: What medical rep or sales person wants customer to do as a result of sales call.  Objective must be SMART means Specific, Measurable, Ambitious or Attainable, Realistic, Time bound Medical rep must put SMART objective for every sales call.  For example he needs the physician to write the promoted product in certain indication with a certain quantity during a certain period matching with customer’s potentiality and his sales relation with customer. After sales call we will discuss the sales relationship building in details and how to grow and maintain…

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Sales professionalism 6

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The third character of professional sales person or medical rep is skills. Where attitude is born character skills is learned one. These skills like; selling skills (Knowing how to make a sales presentation, handling objection and close the sales), interpersonal skills (such as how to cope, resolve the conflict and communicate and negotiate on the deal)   We will begin to discuss the selling skills as selling process. Most training programs view the selling process as consisting of several steps that the salesperson must master these steps focus on the goal of getting new customers and obtaining orders from them.   Steps and stages overlap or may occur simultaneously.  Some stages may occur quickly while others can be very drawn out.  Many writers develop their own set of steps to describe the personal selling process.  However, taken as a whole, they include essentially the same activities. We will follow Anderson 1995 who breaks the selling process into seven steps. These seven steps are: 1-    Prospecting and Qualifying. 2-    Planning and preparation 3-    Approach / Probing 4-    Presentation / Need identification 5-    Handling objection 6-    Closing 7-    Follow up   We can also divide these steps into three stages: Pre call…

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Sales professionalism 5

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Sales professionalism 5

The second character of professional sales person or medical rep is knowledge, as we know knowledge is power. Also we can say unknown is the main reason to fear so salesperson must sharp himself with knowledge. There are many types of knowledge like: A-    Product knowledge: You must know all things about your product like composition, active ingredient, etc… It is important to any salesperson but to medical rep it is absolutely vital. It must be comprehensive in both breadth and in depth. It gives medical rep self-confidence and helps him to answer any inquiry from customer. You must be sure that No doctors up to most seniors have greater product knowledge than your own. It does not need to be displayed to every doctor you meet to prove how much you know. Take a pride in your product knowledge and try to make sure that it is always up to date. B-    Competitor knowledge: Knowledge of competitors’ products is just as important as knowledge of your own product; it can give you a Considerable promotional advantage. The degree of competitor knowledge depends upon the importance of a particular product as a competitor. You need product knowledge for 2-3 most…

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Sales professionalism 4

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We will start our article today by a question any one work in sales can ask it to himself. The question is what makes professional sales person (medical rep)? Or we can ask; have you met a professional sales person or medical rep before? From your point of view what makes him so professional. We can collect many answers for these questions but we want to look to the whole picture. Any professional must have three important characters:   Attitude, Knowledge and Skills, what we call ASK or KSA. These three characters are also the axis for human development, combine and interrelated to makes your habits and behavior. Let’s discuss each one in details Attitude which is the way you look at things in your life, positive or negative. We don’t exaggerate when we say that attitude is everything. Medical rep must have a positive attitude. Attitude is a pattern of life and the most important character all company hire medical rep for it. There are also many characters for successful medical reps or sales people but no one fixed pattern to measure with it. One quality is vital, two or three are desirable, and several more can be helpful. The…

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Sales professionalism 3

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We mention in the previous articles that one of the roles of sales person is: determining the customer’s needs and try to satisfy those needs as a result of the sale. We can concluded that Selling is the process of determining customer’s needs and wants and persuading the customer to purchase a product or idea that will  satisfy those needs and wants , thereby both the buyer and the seller gain a benefit . What is human need? A state of felt deprivation of some basic satisfaction which needs to be eliminated or a problem which needs to be solved.[ Hungry, unprotected, Unsafely, lonely, ……etc] Need always refers to people. Maslow mentioned that we have 5 basic needs. He put them in hierarchy shape.   (1) Physiological,  such as food, shelter, clothing, and sex (2) Safety, the need for security and safety (3)  Social/love and belonging, feel a sense of love, affection, belonging, and acceptance (4)  Esteem, gain recognition, status, and respect from others (5)  Self- actualization, the need for self fulfillment and a desire to realize one’s own potential. Higher needs become important only if lower needs are satisfied. So the lower needs are basic and products that satisfy…

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Sales professionalism 2

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After our introduction in the first article about introduction of personal selling we want to know about sales, marketing and what is the relationship between personal selling, sales and marketing. Marketing has many definitions but the most popular one is: Human activity directed as satisfying needs and wants through exchange processes.  (Kotler, 1980) For exchange to occur there must be: Two parties (Sellers& buyers) Each with something of value to the other Capable of communication and delivery Free to accept/reject the offer Agreement to terms. What is selling? Selling is the personal or impersonal process of assisting and/or persuading a prospective customer to buy a commodity or a service or to act favorably upon an idea that has commercial significance to the seller “                                                                     (The American Marketing Association) What is personal selling? Personal selling is a person-to-person business activity in which a salesperson uncovers and satisfies the needs of a buyer. The objective is to build a relationship that provides long-term benefits to both parties. (Win – Win situation) Today there is a new view of communications as an interactive dialogue between the company and its customers. Marketers view communications as the management of the Customer Relationship over Time….

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Sales professionalism

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Dear our colleagues in sales & marketing career we will begin to publish these articles about personal selling to help you in career development.  You will learn all aspects of personal selling, selling skills, and communication and negotiation skills. We hope this material adds value to you. Introduction If the customer is king, the second most important person in the kingdom must be the person who has a direct interaction on a daily basis with the king. The original and oldest form of direct marketing is the field sales call. Today most industrial companies rely heavily on a professional sales force to locate prospects, develop them into customers, and grow the business. In addition, many companies use a direct sales force like insurance agents, stockbrokers, and pharmaceutical companies. Personal selling occurs where an individual salesperson sells a product, service or solution to a customer. Salespeople match the benefits of their offering to the specific needs of their customers developing long-term relationship. Personal selling involves selling through a person-to-person communications process. The emphasis placed on personal selling varies from firm to firm depending on a variety of factors, including the nature of the product or service being marketed, size of the…

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7 Neurotic Styles of Management

  This is a new point of view to discuss styles of management, I think you’ll like it! 1. The Explosive 2. The Implosive 3. The Abrasive 4. The Narcissist 5. The Apprehensive 6. The Compulsive 7. The Impulsive ====================== 7 Neurotic Styles of Management ====================== ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. Explosive ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ – Management Style: Moody, destabilizing – Orientation Toward Others: Don’t get in my way. – Expect Work Done: The manager’s way Managers with explosive styles are easily dominated by their immediate feelings of frustration. They may appear mild mannered, but they lapse into explosive seizures when they feel blocked. Co-workers tend to describe such managers as moody and emotional. Such leaders’ judgment is influenced by exaggerated perceptions and the loss of control of situations. They become unable to problem solve effectively and instead personalize problems and become aggressive in pushing others for solutions. Explosives are neither effective problem solvers nor strategists. They tend to personalize problems. In a rush to deal with their boiled up frustrations, they lose their sensibility and act out without clear, strategic thinking. When confronting a difficult situation, the explosive may burst into a tirade and suspend strategic assessment of the situation. It takes time to…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, provide as many ways as possible for customers to buy your product. Different customers have different needs, after all, and you need to meet the needs of your customers. The more choices you have, the more people will buy/use your product, right? For subscription products, offer hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, and bi-annually subscription options. Of course, you have to offer each level of access — at least ten based on usage, features, security, and any other options you can provide. Let people choose whether they want software download or web-based access. Naturally you need a different version for Mac, PC, Linux, Blackberry, PocketPC, Palm, Newton, and ColecoVision. With all these different options, how could anyone not purchase your product? If you want to be a good product manager, provide a reasonable but limited set of ways for customers to buy your product. While it’s admirable to try to meet every possible customer need with a seemingly unlimited set of purchasing options, the benefits will not outweigh the cost. As described nicely in The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, the more choices a person has, the…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, dictate solutions. You’re the product manager, after all, and you know what’s best for the product. How are other people going to know what to create if you don’t tell them what the solution should be? If you don’t tell them explicitly, then they’ll probably end up creating something that’s not even close to what you were asking for. And when you tell others that the search results page has to use AJAX or that the possible choices for registration should be listed in a dropdown box, don’t waste time explaining why you want those solutions. It’s your job to know why, it’s their job to build it. If you want to be a good product manager, clearly articulate market problems and needs and the associated requirements. As a product manager, your job is not to come up with solutions — there are plenty of others who are devoted to that. Your responsibility is to understand the market, identify customer needs, and describe the aspects of the product that will solve those needs. Any solution that fills those needs should suffice, and it’s the responsiblity of others on the product development…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, create a strategy based only on beating your competition. You want to have the best product possible, and the way to do that is to focus intently on what your competition is doing and to it better than them. The most successful product in a category wins and you want that to be your product. You’re in the category/industry you’re in for a reason — there’s obviously profits to be made there — and the best product in that category will grab the most market share and be most profitable. If you want to be a good product manager, create a strategy based on defining your own place in the market. By focusing everything on the competition, you’re resorting yourself to a slug-fest between your product and theirs. It means that you’re only concerned with splitting up the pie of the potential market with your competition. By creating a strategy based on unmet needs, you can identify new markets and opportunities that you wouldn’t see if you were just trying to just out-do your competition. Tom Chappell, Cofounder and President of Tom’s of Maine, said that “Success means never letting the…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, don’t let other people developing products talk with actual customers. It’s your product, after all, and it’s your job to collect requirements and then pass them on to development. Why would they need to talk to people using the product? That’s time they could be spending enhancing the product and adding new features. They don’t need to know where the requirements are coming from — why customers are requesting certain things — they just need to know what to do. If they have any questions you can provide answers, or if they really need to know more you can give them a summary of your interviews and discussions. If you want to be a good product manager, encourage others within your organization to learn about customers and users through first-hand interaction and help facilitate it. As a product manager, it’s your responsibility not just to document what the product needs to do but also to make sure others understand why the product needs to do that. In fact, it’s probably more important to communicate the market problems than anything else. If your product development team has a good solid understanding of the…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, never think of discontinuing a product. As long as it’s making money, why would you want to stop it? Sure, revenue may be a bit off its peak, but as long as its profitable there’s no reason to change. Plus, what does it say about you as a product manager if you are supposed to “manage” a product and you’re talking about getting rid of it — then what do you manage? Your job is to keep that product in the market for as long as possible and do whatever you need to do to make that happen. If you want to be a good product manager, phase out products when appropriate. Discontinuing products isn’t a sign of an inept product manager; in fact, it’s the sign of a responsible one who understands the economics involved. Yes, the product may be profitable on paper, but that often isn’t the only factor. A product could be taking revenue away from other products. There may be hidden costs or overhead that aren’t factored into the financial analysis. Even though the product is profitable, there may be other products or projects to which resources…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, define the scope of your product as how you see it. After all, you’re a product manager, right? You’re not a supplier manager, or a vendor manager, or a promotion manager. You can’t be held responsible if the free gift you offer with your product breaks within the first week. It’s not your fault if your program won’t install correctly on computers with certain virus software. How are you supposed to know when a partner website changes their design without notifying you so that all your links to them break. In cases like this the best only thing you can do is just let customers know it’s not your fault and tell them to whom they should be complaining. If you want to be a good product manager, define the scope of your product as how the market sees it. You know where the internal boundaries are; you know who is responsible for what within the company and probably who dropped the ball on something outside of the “official” scope of your product. You need to forget all of that. What really matters is the scope of your product from the…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, listen to customers only through surrogates. Why should you personally spend time listening to customers when you’ve got marketing research staff, sales reps, and customer service staff who do that all the time? You’ve got much more important things to do then to get out in the field and visit customers yourself. Make sure to read any feedback that’s coming in, skim the executive summaries of research reports, and you’ll be fine. And if your current resources aren’t telling you enough about your customers, there’s always consultants for that, right? If you want to be a good product manager, listen to customers in person. There is no substitute for meeting customers face-to-face. Listening to customers where they use your product is most ideal, but even meeting at a neutral location like a coffee house is worthwhile. (Heck, even phone calls can be useful.) When you only get information on your customers through “filtered” sources, you miss out on a lot of the nuances that are important to learning about customer needs. Meeting customers in person gives you a chance to see how they use your product, see the environment in which…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, don’t make any decisions until you’ve fully researched every possible angle and discussed its implications with all relevant stakeholders. Without that legwork up front, you risk making a bad decision, which would diminish how you as a product manager are viewed. For most decisions there isn’t a big rush, and you want to make sure you are positive that you’re making the right decision. You also need to make sure that everyone who could possibly be impacted by the change — internal and external — is consulted and has the opportunity to provide feedback. These sorts of things take time to research and discuss, but that’s okay, since everyone else can just sit back and wait for you — the product manager — to make the decision. If you want to be a good product manager, be informed and decisive. Rather than waiting until an issue arises to research all of its angles, constantly keep your eyes on the ground and ears to the pulse. (I think I just mixed metaphors there, but go with me.) It’s never going to be possible to consider every facet and talk with everyone who…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, insist that everything be done the best possible way as soon as possible. Quality is important, and if you start tolerating less than optimal solutions, that just sets the precedent that it’s appropriate to not always do things the best possible way. You shouldn’t have to choose between speed and quality for developing products — you need them both! When people give you estimates for how long things will take — always inflated, of course — it’s probably just cover for something they don’t know how to do or don’t want to. Keep a hard line on this and eventually they’ll come around. If you want to be a good product manager, be clear about whether you want something done “right” or “right now.” In almost every case these two options exist (as well as potentially others). There are certain aspects of your product where you will want things to be done the “right” way — billing, auditing, and security are some possible examples. In other cases, there may be a quick solution to a problem that will work in the short-term but not be optimal in the long-term. Good product…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, only focus on the short-term. Spend all of your time working on the next release and the sales goals for this quarter. After all, if you can’t get through this release/quarter, everything beyond that won’t matter. A 3-year plan? You might not even be around in 3 years! You need to hit your short-term targets, because that’s what your bonus is tied to, and everything else can wait until later. If you want to be a good product manager, think in context of the long-term. Yes, the next release and sales goals are important, but there are other people focusing on the next release (developers, project manager) and sales goals (sales, marketing). Most likely no one else is thinking about the future of the product. Only looking a few weeks or months ahead leads to habitual fire-fighting. You can never get ahead of the curve and become a market leader. By taking a step back and looking at your product with a longer timeframe in mind, it will be much easier to plan your near future. It’s always difficult to pull yourself out of the day-to-day and think about long-term strategy,…

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Taking time off

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If you want to be a bad product manager, you need to always be actively managing your product and available to answer any questions. You’re in charge of the product, and you really can’t afford to relax. Emails from customers need responses, salespeople need answers to questions, developers need clarifications on requirements, and management needs regular reports. If those things come up at night, on the weekend, on holidays, or while you’re on vacation, what choice do you have? Some may see it as a downside of being a product manager — never getting a break — but that’s just what comes with the territory and you need to do it to keep your product running successfully. If you want to be a good product manager, work to get your product and the supporting organization stabilized so you are able to take time off. Yes, product managers have a lot of responsibilities, and of course there are times when you’ll have to work outside of the standard work week. Your product should be able to survive for a few hours or a few days without your intervention; if it can’t, you need to ask yourself, “why not”? Are there not…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, surprise users with major changes to your product. Unveiling changes at launch is a great way to build buzz and create excitement around the changes. There’s really no reason to tell people ahead of time — what if something goes wrong and you don’t launch as planned, or your competition sees the changes and is able to make the same changes to their product first? Telling people ahead of time can only cause problems, so just focus on making a big splash at launch and sit back and enjoy the good PR. If you want to be a good product manager, make sure customers and regular users are well-informed about major changes to your product. You certainly don’t need to notify customers about every minor change — in fact, with online products, it may be a good strategy to make lots of small changes rather than a few big changes — and you don’t need to notify infrequent users, since they won’t notice the changes anyway. For large customers and frequent users, major changes are an opportunity to get customer input and build buzz if you approach them correctly. In a…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, make sure your product has lots of options. Some users might want to use keyboard shortcuts, others might want to use just the mouse, and some might want a command line interface. How can you possibly pick one that works best for everyone? You can’t! So, put all of those options in your product. Better to give customers choices than to possibly leave out someone an important customer might request. If you want to be a good product manager, make decisions for your users rather than giving them too many choices. As much as you want to be focused on the needs of your users, there’s a point where it’s just going too far. Is your target market really going to want a command line interface? How many options do users really need for personalizing their account? Do you really need 15 different ways to turn your computer off? Every additional choice you push to the user is one additional feature that needs to be developed — requirements written, specifications created, designs produced, code engineered, testing completed. Choices are often added not because they are deemed appropriate based on knowledge of…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, let the politics of working in an organization get you down. Get frustrated easily at any roadblock and complain like mad. Talk about how things would be so much easier at a smaller/bigger company, how they way things work within your organization are backwards, and especially how that’s causing problems for your product. Use “bureaucracy” as the excuse for not accomplishing objectives. Let organizational politics suck out of you any remaining passion for your product and your work. If you want to be a good product manager, be tenacious about leading your product through the organizational minefields. Rather than getting frustrated and making excuses, use your clear vision and strategy to push forward. In this interview with Business 2.0, Stewart Butterfield of Flickr comments that one of the keys to Flickr’s success now that they are within the bureaucracy of Yahoo! is to “have a wellspring of spiritual energy to call on to surmount any obstacle.” You need to truly have passion for your product and believe in what you’re doing. That energy and passion is contagious and can be your most effective weapon against forces working against you.

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If you want to be a bad product manager, provide lots of answers. Make sure you immediately and fully answer all questions from others within the organization and from customers. Don’t bother clarifying, since it should be clear from the question what you’re being asked. Product management is all about talking, right? — talking to the market, talking to your internal stakeholders, talking to customers. If a customer asks if your product has a certain capability, and it doesn’t, make sure to provide a through accounting of why your product doesn’t, why it doesn’t need it, but why you’re planning on adding it in the future. If you want to be a good product manager, ask lots of questions. Sometimes the question you hear being asked isn’t the question you’re actually asked. Rather than assuming and jumping right in to provide a response, take some time to clarify not only the question but the intent of the question. A customer asking about capability is often just asking for clarification, not because the capability is a make-or-break factor in their purchase decision. Assuming it is and providing too detailed an answer sends a signal that you really weren’t listening to the…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, say yes to everything. Say yes to every customer feature request. Say yes to every modification that sales asks for that they ensure you is “necessary” to close a sale. Say yes to every whim of every executive and stakeholder. Say yes to every suggestion that sounds like a good idea. After all, the more features, the more options, and the more stuff you can add in to the product, the better the product will be. There are potential customers and users out there — if you don’t have exactly the capabilities they need, they will turn to a competitor. The only way to ensure that they choose your product is by making the product as full-featured as possible. If you want to be a good product manager, learn how to say no. This is one of the most difficult aspects of product management, but one of the most important. Learning to say no will prevent unnecessary features from being added to the product, limit the amount of customization that is included for specific customers, and allow you to focus your product development efforts on specific objectives. Saying no may be…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, make customers and users learn your lingo. Use internal acronyms and come up with unique names for common features. Menu names like “File,” “Edit,” and “View” are so passe and are missed opportunities for branding your product. Marketing materials should have lots of references to important-sounding words, preferably followed by a trademark symbol — that’s how customers will know that your product is unique and better than the competition. If an internal code names for a project was good enough for use inside your organization, it’s good enough to use it to market to customers. If you want to be a good product manager, talk in the language of your users and customers. Users are accustomed to seeing links to Help on a web site, not Questions? Acronyms are only useful when customers know what they stand for. Terminology you use within your organization to communicate within and across departments may be only known to those of you within your organization. To ensure you are communicating properly, leverage common industry terminology when available and appropriate. Where standards exist, don’t attempt to reinvent the wheel; rather than uniquely branding your product, it…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, complain about your lack of authority and attempt to gain authority over necessary resources. How can you be expected to “manage” a product if you don’t “manage” anyone working on your product? You need control over developers, engineers, marketers, designers, and all of the other members of the product development team. If you don’t manage any of those folks, make sure to spend a good amount of effort complaining to anyone who will listen, describing how things would be so much better and easier if you managed those resources. Spend your time making a play for moving those resources into the product management group — after all, that will solve all of your resource problems, right? If you want to be a good product manager, learn to lead without authority. Most product management groups are small, and product managers have few if any direct reports. Rather than complaining and trying to change that, good product managers learn how to lead cross-functional teams made up of people over whom they have no line authority. This is not necessarily one of the most difficult things product managers must do, though it’s one of…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, compete on the same dimensions that have always been used in your industry. Another web host offers 1GB of disk space, so you should offer 1.5GB. Another search engine indexes 1 million documents, so you should index 2 million. Another photo editing software offers 25 filters, so you should offer 30. After all, these are the things that matter to customers, or else companies wouldn’t have been focusing on them for this long. Make sure your strategy is to take what the competition is doing and do more of it and do it better. If you want to be a good product manager, question your assumptions about what matters to customers. Access to round-the-clock customer service from a web host may be more important to your target market than another 500MG of disk space. Indexing speed or ease of installation may trump maximum index size. Extra photo editing filters may be worthless or detrimental if customers never use them. In A Pointed Lesson About Product Features, Marc Abrahams discusses how companies tend to focus research and development efforts using “industry wisdom” about what aspects of a product customers use to make…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, put your well-known brand name on any new related product. You should leverage the brand equity that you’ve built up. Even if the new product is not really that similar to your current product, the fact that it uses the same name will help attract attention. For example, Research in Motion should leverage the Blackberry name they ever start producing MP3 players, and Salesforce.com could launch a subdomain which handles online payroll services should they decide to add on to their current online CRM service. Why build a new brand from scratch when you can just piggyback on an existing name which has high awareness in the market? Take the money you save from establishing the brand and use it to add more features to the product, since that’s what will really matter to customers in the long run. If you want to be a good product manager, be smart about how you use your brand name for product line extensions. While building recognition of a new brand from scratch can be expensive and time-consuming, it often is the most logical option due to how the current brand name is perceived…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, use focus groups for all of your market research. The focus group is a time-tested tool, used by thousands of companies around the world. It’s relatively easy to set up and facilitate, and pretty much everyone knows how they work. They are very efficient as well; rather than taking a long period of time to speak with individual interviews, in an hour or so you can talk with a whole bunch of customers. Whether you’re making decisions on product naming, marketing strategy, features and functionality, color or design, focus groups are a great way to give you the answers you need. If you want to be a good product manager, investigate methods other than focus groups to meet your research needs. Too often, doing “some groups” is the default and only answer to questions of market research. While they have their place, focus groups are too often overused and misused. In How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market, Gerald Zaltman gives focus groups a thorough thrashing, much of it deserved. He essentially argues there is never an instance where focus groups should be used, which may be…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, keep comparing your product and company to Google. Chastise your data center for not having thousands of generic servers that can be pulled and swapped at a moment’s notice. Complain to HR about how your workplace doesn’t have free lunch and ice cream, open office space, rock climbing walls, lap pools, and massage chairs like Google. Redesign the home page of your web site to just be a search box. Change your logo every week. Pressure your developers to release new enhancements several times a month. Launch new products and enhancements throughout the year whenever they are ready to go. Google does it, and look how successful they are — if you just copy everything they do, your products will be as successful as theirs! If you want to be a good product manager, learn from Google and others but make appropriate comparisons. There are certainly things to be learned from Google, but endless comparisons do nothing to further your product and can in fact create a  combative atmosphere internally and a detrimental experience for your customers. If you don’t have a corporate culture devoted to “organize the world’s information and…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, make sure to describe all of the benefits of your product. Devote time to each equally, since different customers have different criteria for selecting products. Make sure not to leave anything out, since if it’s not included on the list, customers may think you don’t offer it and choose a competitor who does. Stress whatever the key features are, whether that be unlimited usage, next-day installation, free tech support, or complimentary upgrades. Those are the features you’ve invested time and resources in providing, so they must be the ones that will make a difference to customers. If you want to be a good product manager, focus on the benefits of your product that provide the most value to your customer. Most products have too many benefits — let alone too many features — to list them all. Not all benefits are equal, since some are more important to customers than others. Through proper market research you should have a good understanding of those key benefits and the key differentiators between your product and your competition. While you’re stressing unlimited usage, next-day installation, free tech support, or complimentary upgrades, customers may only…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, first implement the features that are quickest to develop. Yes, there may be some major important things that you want in your product, but if those are going to take a lot of time, first focus on the small, quick things to do, even if they’re not as important. A bunch of small less-important features is just as good as one big important one — maybe even better, since it’s more bullet points to list on your marketing materials and extra rows to add to your table comparing your product to the competition. Plus, if something happens and funding or resources are cut, you’ll still get to keep all those little features, rather than being stuck with something big that’s halfway done. If you want to be a good product manager, first implement the features that will provide most value to your customers and users. What good are a handful of “neat but unnecessary” features if your product doesn’t solve the main customer need it’s trying to address? Kano Analysis is a useful tool in product management for helping to identify what features provide the most value. In his article on…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, make sure your product is infinitely customizable. Why run the risk of losing customers because it doesn’t work exactly the way they want? What’s more “customer focused” than letting customers tailor their experience of using your product exactly to their needs? Not sure if it’s better to have lists of items sorted alphabetically or by date? Let users do both! Can’t decide if it’s easier to read text that is dark blue or dark grey? Provide both options! Don’t know if there are any standard shortcut key combinations? If you let anyone customize the product to suit their needs, how could anyone not be happy with it? If you want to be a good product manager, don’t substitute customizability for making difficult decisions. Allowing customers to configure the product seems like a great idea in that it will allow it to adapt to different user needs. Unfortunately, often customizability is not included for the customers’ benefit but because the product manager was not able to make a decision. There are many cases where product managers improperly will choose customization over decision-making. Maybe the product manager can’t get all the stakeholders to…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, be timid and cautious. You don’t want to make any bad decisions, so be very careful about everything you do. Make sure to clear everything with all of the impacted stakeholders, and if any of them question your initiatives, be sure to put everything on hold and rethink your plans. Since the market is likely to change as you’re carrying out projects, don’t be afraid to put them on hold to reconsider in light of new information. If you can’t decide between two courses of action, wait and do lots of research, thinking, and soul-searching before making a decision (and hopefully by the time you have to, the situation will have changed and your decision will be irrelevant). Hopefully these suggestions will prevent anything from going wrong, but if it does, be sure to have a good explanation of why it’s not your fault. If you want to be a good product manager, be courageous. You will make bad decisions. You will do things that upset some stakeholders. The market will change. You will have to choose between two options when you have no idea which one is better and don’t…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, give your product away for free without defined metrics or eventual business models. First you need to get people hooked. Get them interested in your product, get them addicted to your product, and then later on you can figure out how to make money off of it. In fact, once you get people hooked, it doesn’t matter what your business model is, since there’s probably a bunch of different ways to make money. With so many products out there, you need to get the attention of your potential customers with some sort of hook — and what better hook is there than “free”? Since you’re not charging anything just yet, there’s really nothing you can measure as far as revenue, so don’t worry about coming up with hard metrics until you start making money. Every user is a potential future paying customer, so as long as you know how many people are using your product overall, that’s good enough. If you want to be a good product manager, make the decision about to give away your product for free as part of your overall product strategy. While many products have been…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, answer customer comments or questions and be on your way. When customers email you with a question about a certain feature that doesn’t exist in your product, reply nicely that it doesn’t but you’ll consider it, or, better yet, explain why it doesn’t. If someone stops by your booth at a trade show and asks about a certain capability you’ve built in, ensure them that your product has full support. If an upset customer posts a distressing message to a mailing list or their blog, work quickly to post a detailed and clear response that negates their complaints. You need to make sure you provide good customer service, which means politely responding to any suggestions for changes or enhancements as promptly as possible, usually through a “thanks for your suggestion” form letter. (You don’t have time to respond to each of these personally — you’ve got a product to run after all!) If you want to be a good product manager, treat every point of contact with a customer as an opportunity to learn more. Responding to emails, answering questions at trade shows, and posting replies online is not necessarily bad…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, finish your requirements and hand them off. Your job is to define the requirements of the system, and other people are responsible for implementing them. You’ve spent days, weeks, even months poring over the requirements and making sure they capture everything that must be in the product. Now you can relax, because your job is done just as everyone else begins theirs. If there’s any confusion about what you’re asking, it’s probably just either that (a) people haven’t read the documents in enough detail, or (b) they are trying to find ways to get out of building the hard parts. Your job is to document what the product should do — how many times or ways do you have to explain it? If other people really don’t seem to get what it is you’re trying to do, you need to write more documents explaining in even more detail. If you want to be a good product manager, continue to review and provide additional detail around your requirements. Clear requirements are necessary for a successful product, but it’s just a start. Documents are always open to interpretation and often don’t convey the…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, be inconsistent in how you take advice. For issues that are very obvious and clear-cut, don’t bother conferring with anyone else. These are easy problems to solve and you’re well qualified to do so. For much more complex problems, make sure to get as much advice as possible. It may be worth even bringing in consultants, since they are likely very qualified to help with your dilemma. If you want to be a good product manager, value advice similarly regardless of the difficulty of the situations about which you are seeking advice. Even though a product manager is traditionally the “president of the product,” you need to recognize that a good president will rely on his or her “cabinet” (sales, marketing, technology, user experience, finance, etc.) for assistance. All product managers know that they need to get advice from others at certain times. The problem is knowing when to ask for and take advice and how to use it appropriately. Something that first appears to me to be a very simple and straightforward situation that doesn’t require consultation may in fact be a more complicated issue that deserves outside input. Conversely,…

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Let go of your past

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If you want to be a bad product manager, pay special attention to the area of the business from which you came. If you were a software developer before moving into product management, make sure to inspect the developers’ code closely. Don’t be afraid to delve into the details of the application — after all, that’s where you came from, and you were obviously good at it or else you wouldn’t have been promoted to product management! If your background is in sales, be sure to tell your sales staff exactly how to sell the product. When you accompany them on ride-alongs, help them sell and after the visit make sure to give them critiques on their performance. If you were a user experience designer previously, discuss every design decision with the user experience designers working on your product. When you see something that is designed differently than you would have designed it, don’t be afraid to tell them. And if you find that they’re really just not doing a good job, don’t hesitate to just change their designs — this is your product, right? If you want to be a good product manager, be very conscious about not micromanaging…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, make sure no other products from your company can possibly cannibalize your sales. You are responsible for your product, and you must protect it at all costs. Other product managers responsible for other products may try to capitalize on your success and steal your customers — don’t let them! If anyone else in the company even tries to create a product that comes remotely close to yours, make sure they know to back off. If you’re using shared components across multiple products, fight to get get as much functionality in your product and as little as possible in the other products. Your job is to make your products successful, not to make other product managers look good. If you want to be a good product manager, carefully analyze the potential impact before crying cannibalization. In a broad sense, it’s possible for any product to cannibalize any other one. Obviously, the more similar the products are, the more there is possibility of one product being purchased as a replacement for another. A scientific calculator could be a good substitute for a financial calculator in many situations; a calculator designed for an elementary…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, just focus on the customer of your product. If your customer isn’t the person who will actually be using the product, that doesn’t matter. Your goal is to drive revenue and profit, and you need to focus on creating a product that can close a sale. The decision maker should be your only focus. Add in features that they want, even if you know no one will ever actually use them. Don’t tailor the product to the people actually using it, since their needs are likely very different from the person who actually signs the check. Any effort you put in to making the product work better for end users is wasted, since that’s effort that could have been spent adding more features specific to the person making the buying decision. If you want to be a good product manager, create a product that will meet the needs of your customers and your users. While there are many products for which users and customers are the same, more and more products are being used by people who did not make the purchase decision. Focusing only on the decision maker ignores the…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, focus on solving problems for one customer. Being “customer focused” means giving a single customer your attention, solving their problems and addressing their needs. Customize your product and service to their situation. Spend time resolving their specific questions. Give them “personal attention.” If you want to be a good product manager, focus on solving issues and creating solutions for a large number of customers. Working directly with specific customers is productive and something all product managers should spend a bit of time on, but there are plenty of other roles dedicated to serving individual customers specifically. Sales representatives, sales engineers, and customer service are usually available to solve individual customers’ problems and concerns. Product managers who focus on single customers are essentially neglecting everyone else. Every minute spent solving an issue for a single customer is a minute that could have been spent solving an issue for all customers. In an ideal world, you would be able to work with each customer individually to give them a very high level of service, addressing their concerns, complaints, and questions. This is not an ideal world. You need to be conscious about when…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, spend as much time as possible on the middle of the development projects. It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out what you want to create, and after that you need to make sure it gets built. You are responsible for getting the product to market, and you need to oversee the development of the product closely to ensure that it is completed successfully. Once the product is ready to go to market, you can just let the marketing folks know it’s ready, or, if you have to launch it yourself, just write the press release and create the brochures. If you want to be a good product manager, spend as much time as creating the vision for the product and communicating that vision to the market. Your primary responsibility is to create a valuable product that will solve a market need. There are plenty of people within the company working on the tactical activities necessary to get the product built, but few if any people usually looking at the market and trying to identify needs and few if any people thinking strategically about how to take the product to market….

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If you want to be a bad product manager, stick with what has always worked for you and ignore advice. What has served you well in the past will likely serve you well in the future. You got to where you are for a reason, so why would you need to do something different? You don’t become a product manager without knowing what you’re doing, and anyone who says you need to improve obviously doesn’t understand your skills, experience, and expertise. When people give you feedback you can accept it if you really want, but you don’t need to go actively looking for ways to improve. If you want to be a good product manager, seek out opportunities to get feedback. Actively look for ways to improve even when it requires you to do extra work. Not only can you always improve your skills and methods, but there is a difference between accepting feedback when it comes and seeking out feedback where you normally would not receive it. K. Anders Ericsson, author of The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, recently told Fast Company about “‘deliberate practice‘–an effortful activity designed to improve individual target performance.” (Thanks to Victor for…

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If you want to be a bad product manager, react to fads. Your product needs to adapt to popular culture to keep it relevant. Pick the cool fad of the year/month/week and make your product relevant to it. It’s a great way to get attention and free publicity. You don’t want to be left behind as competitors take advantage of the hot fashion of the day. If you want to be a good product manager, be on the lookout for trends. Trends are usually longer-term movements indicating larger shifts in behavior, attitudes, or beliefs. The decrease in traditional land-line phones, more meals being eaten outside the home, population movement away from rural areas, and increased reliance on web-based services are examples of current trends. Fads are crazes where there is short-term and perhaps irrational attention paid to the current fashion. Hula-hoops, pet rocks, the Atkins diet, and Mahir (the “I kiss you” guy) are all examples of fads. How many of these are still relevant today? Fads change so quickly that by the time you react the fad you are chasing is probably old news and there is a new popular fad taking over. Good product managers can look into…

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