My grandparents were among the first Indians in Northern Ireland in 1951. I was lucky enough to live with them for many years. They passed away 20 years ago, however, their legacy continues and inspires me with my own family and business. Here’s what they taught me.
Bringing People Together
Sales is not just hitting targets, it’s also bringing people together to share a vision, culture and cause. Despite raising 6 boys, my grandmother’s house near Giant’s Causeway was a meeting point for the Indian community. A safe house where kids played, people shared stories, made amazing food and boasted about their kids’ achievements, all with a common purpose of mutual support and self-improvement.
There was always a book to read. My grandmother told me “reading makes you smarter”. In the business world, there’s a saying “the more you learn, the more you earn”. My career took off when I started implementing this philosophy with sales books and eventually, personal development and management books.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
I’ve talked about this many times because it’s so important and so few people do it. When my grandfather sold clothes, he went door to door in the freezing cold, pouring rain, snow, wind, and ice. He never said, “I don’t want to be rejected all day and walk 10 miles in the cold”. He got out of his comfort zone and after four years, had enough money to build his own business.
Excellent Customer Service
12 Clare Road. Ballycastle. The business didn’t even have a name! It was an address at the back of the house, so when granddad finished work at 7pm every night, he could sit down for dinner at 7.01 with the family. Only 1 customer at a time in his shop. They were treated like royalty. Even though the clothes they purchased were normal everyday wear, nobody was rushed. Customers would often wait for an hour to get a shirt and pair of trousers.
Work Your Socks Off.
My grandfather opened his business at 8am for customers who needed clothes before work. He opened until 7pm in case anyone needed clothes after work. He even opened Sundays to accommodate those who worked on Saturdays. Profits went to his family and charities in India and Northern Ireland.
I think about my grandparents a lot and miss them dearly, especially grandma who I was close to in her final years. I’m honoured that their legacy lives on in my heart and in my business.
Niraj Kapur is an expert sales coach and author of the Amazon bestseller, Everybody Works in Sales, which is available on Kindle and paperback. To read about the 27 sales strategies you need to improve your business, click here http://goo.gl/5PM9ej