I am what I am is because of The Living Room store today ,it’s not some other furniture store ,it’s an institution. I cannot thank the employees ,carpenters & peons, office boys of the store enough to teach me what is life all about.
How I got selected in The Living Room:
After I finish my graduation, i got a job in a call – centre as a customer service representative in
TATA with a very good salary of 11000 Rs during that time in 2002 , Call centre was booming those days ,everyone wanted to work in the call centre as they were paying handsomely to all who knows how speak English. But in my life I never cared about money so much, I don’t know why , On the 4 th day itself I decided to call the job quits as I was fed up of talking to customers on phone most of all , I
Did not enjoy what I was doing. I had some sales & marketing experience before my graduation & I was enjoying it & now I wanted to do something related to customer interaction.
One sunny day I was sitting at my house and was going through some job search in the newspapers, my neighbor Kishore Kothawale walked in & sat next to me.
Before we go further, I would like to describe something about him, he had a good personality, his dress sense was excellent, he use to wear expensive clothes & our parents always wanted us to be like him ,when mobile phone had just come in the market some 15 years back, he owned one. He was very soft-spoken, during those days there was a rumors that Kishore was earning around 25000 Rs in commission. per month. In short he had style.
Coming back to the point Kishore came & told me there was a vacancy in The Living Room, why don’t you go & try ,he recommended me, I went for an interview & passed & got selected.
Early Days in The Living Room :
My first day was nice & I just spent 1 month observing other people selling furnitures.I learned a lot from observing, I never directly worked under Kishore as he was in the other store & I was in other.
I use to spend lot of time in the manufacturing unit as I was always eager to know the technical details as I had seen that those salespeople who do maximum business were the ones who had good technical know-how, these salespeople use to convince very easily with their knowledge , & I observed very keenly that when this salespeople use to say more technical details in their presentation they use to get very less objections, Till the time I was in the Living Room I used to spend around 2 hrs/day in the manufacturing unit to learn details & you can go on learning everyday new it never ends.
That is the reason, I was the Best Salesperson for a long time till I use to directly handle clients, I also use to give trainings to new recruits on the Selling Skills & Product Knowledge.
Other sales people use to be in the store through the day, I use to spend most of my time in the manufacturing unit still my business was much higher than others, this was the power of knowledge & I use to manage my time very well, for e.g. Other sales people use to go to customer visits in the office time & I use to go during lunch breaks & after office hrs so I could spend more time on the floor & do more business.
I would like to mention about 3 people in The Living Room who mentored me to be a good manager a good salesman & a good human being.
1] Sudhir Shelar –
He was a very cool manager, with a very good temperment,i never saw him getting angry & panic in difficult situations, he management style was very different, he used to deal difficult situations in a very systematic way. Was very positive in approach & he use to trust his people & fight for his people no matter what. I have picked up lot of his style of management, in his soft style there are some negative points & positive points also.
Negative points – People tend to take advantage of you & try to bully you initially but Positive point is after some time you never lie to the manager & you work very honestly because the manager completely trust you & you feel guilty to break that trust. Plus you will take lot of initiative without the fear that you will fail & the manager will fire you.
I can’t thank him enough for being there for me in my difficult situations professionally & personally.
2] Moosa & Arshad –
This 2 people are genius in selling stuff.
I learned smart selling from this guys, how to talk to clients, how to handle angry clients, how to convince people in selling your product.
Arshad Sagar – was the person who had abundance technical knowledge, because of him I started going in the manufacturing units as I use to see that he had the maximum percentage of customer conversions.
Moosa – I learned from him the art of selling comb to a bald man. He proved that in furniture business you don’t need to know good designing to sell items, he was the only one was so bad in sketches & he use to get more business in contracts than any other salespersons, I also learned from him the art of bluffing with confidence, I mean all know if you are a salesman you need to bluff a little right!
This 2 people use to challenge that they can make any client buy their products & they did that always.
The Living Room – Pune.
Our boss had planned to open a store in outskirts of Pune. Pune is very expensive, so they had got a place on the 4th floor in Viman Nagar – Pune.
I never thought they will tell me to go & open the store from concept. As the store was located on the 4th floor my seniors did not agree to go & handle that store,
So my boss called me in the office with Sudhir & asked me if I can go in Pune & handle the store from concept, I immediately said yes. That moment I just knew that out of all the seniors they took my name as I was just 3 years in the company & the seniors were all more than 8 years. I thought I can go & see for a change , even after I accepted, lot of my colleagues told me not to go as no customer will come on the 4th floor & plus it is not in centre of Pune , it’s in the outskirts.
I was very thankful to them for giving me such a good opportunity & considering my name.
But still I went & opened the store singlehandedly, I did my research before the store opened & did extremely good business which no one expected, I started my own in store advertising but making attractive danglers & catalogues.
My boss was very happy as it had crossed the business as he had not expected & we went on to open 1 more store in the other side of Pune in 6 months time.
We also opened a manufacturing unit with some carpenters & polish people.
I was given complete in charge of 2 stores & 1 huge manufacturing unit .
You must be wondering I am saying My Boss but who is the Boss.
Well in my next post I will write the details about my Boss Mr. Jehangir Nagree & how he helped me in my life & he was like a family also.
Leaving The Living Room was my biggest decision in my life & I can’t apologize enough to my boss who treated me like a family.