How may times have you read those innumerable C.V’s telling you the cliched ”I am a people’s person” stuff?(Lets have a retake on that). Past three days have involved a lot of travelling within Bangalore, mostly public transport. The short trip reinforced one thought for sure. That One can learn, especially if you are in marketing, a lot by just spending some time with the people who might use your product than , say, doing something like a market research.Listen to everyone,no matter how arcane and dim-witted you might think their comment is.
Look around you.The good old humble postman who will guide you to any address you want.The Sikh in the road who will show you the directions to a bus stop and accompany you also when you say you are a first timer.The bunch of guys who have been staring at a girl from all possible angles.The conscious girl avoiding him completely but probably feeling good about all the attention.The guy who sells mangoes.The person who is running for a bus.The salesperson who is bargaining with a customer and has to meet a deadline.The fake watch sellers who are laughing at the way they duped a local for a rolex.The guy sitting at KFC and gulping a zingkong meal,oops,the cheese just slipped and he is embarassed.The pirated cd selling guy.The autowaalah.Thegolgappa waalah.People sitting in cafe coffee day and sipping on to a 55 buck tropical iceberg and a slightly older generation drinking filter coffee for 12 bucks.There is just tons of live pulsating data.And there is this guy who stares at a big United colors of benetton showroom wishing he had cash to go in there. There is just so much to people.There is just so much to us.
I guess it was Josy Paul who came to our college once and said that his favourite passtime would be to sit in a traffic crossing and watch people all day.It certainly would be. As mentioned in “The Art Of Innovation” , Watch people and note their problem areas, no matter how insifgnificat they seem and solve them and bang you have got such a huge customer potential in front of you.Some might not be liking the way coffee is brewed.some might find the seats uncomfortable.Others might be grumbling about a bus service.Some with the laptop they bought.
Keep a pencil and a paper handy to note down just about anything.Be alert and people will give you innumerable inputs involuntarily , that could change the way you think.
In the end, a personal example.While travelling in the bus the other day thinking of a clients requirement ofmore marketing channels, I overheard a salesperson wishing a warm “Good Evening” to his senior and eureka! I had an answer. “Evening Schools and Colleges”!!We had looked into colleges and schools but had rather forgot Evening classes that probably has the potential to be a very good idea.Something that I would have never imagined had I gone in a taxi thinking of comfortability. Be a People’s Person.