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31 Oct 2013

What They Don't Teach You in Sales Training

Every salesperson (including those not selling but are in management) wants to know the fastest and easiest way to make the sale.

One day I asked an audience of insurance salespeople, "How many of you would like it if I gave you a list of people who wanted to buy insurance now? Everyone raised their hand.
Hint: There is no such list. The one-word meaning of sales is "WORK". The 2-word meaning of sales is "WORK HARD". 

How Do I Make a Cold Call?
There answer is, "Don't". Don't make a cold call. Make a warm call.
Warm up the cold call and you'll get your results improved by 27%. Guaranteed.

Instead of calling people and look for "Mr Andy", tell the other side that "I've been asked to give Andy a call". If they asked you "What's it regarding?" You don't answer it. You just say, "I don't know. I have been asked to give Mr Andy a call. Is he in?" Using this script will get you over the gate-keeper and direct to the prospect directly.

The Objective of a warm call is to set up an appointment. If you ask me the biggest secret of cold calling, I would say in word, "PREPARATION".
You need to be prepared, prepared for what? Be Prepared for 3 things:
1. To win the call. That is to achieve your objective, which is usually to fix an appointment.
2. To be rejected. This is not rejection but a feedback. Understand that they can't reject you because you have not given them any proposal, they only can give you feedback. If they say that "I'm not interested", the feedback is "Tell me something more interesting".
3. To know who you are talking to and please, please, make something interesting for him. Don't sound like a bore or a salesperson desperate to make the appointment.

How to Do Get People to Call Me?
Don't call them. Get them to call you. They will call you if you make them excited.
The main method that is extremely low cost is to write them an exciting letter and when they read the letter they definitely have to call you.

For example, if I were to write to Barrack Obama, the USA President, with this headline "The Killer for Bhutto is here, and the Next Killer is Also Here...." Do you think he will throw away the letter? Not until he has read the letter and get an assistant to call up the person writing the letter!

What's the difference between a Stall and An Objection?
A stall is "I want to think about it", or "I have to talk to other people".
An objection is "Your price is too high", or "We have a good supply now".
Both are put-offs which basically say, "You haven't sold me yet".

What's the best way to approach the prospect? Try Guerrilla Selling.

What's the best way to make my proposal stand out? For this and other answers, come for our sales courses, details at here

30 Oct 2013

Why How What of High Performance

Over the weekend, I learnt a very powerful lesson from Simon Sinek at TED: the WHY HOW WHAT model of high performance
Most people are very good in explaining WHAT, like a manager telling his team member what are the things to do to get a job done right.
Many managers are even better in detailing the HOW, like all the SOPs and procedures to do the WHAT.
Almost no mangers bother to explain the WHY: the purpose and reason behind the reason for doing the task.  We all know that without a strong WHY, there is little push for a person to do a job well.  That’s why many people produce mediocre work: they just go through the motion and getting all the steps done right but you as a manager know that something is missing.
It’s the little thing that’s missing that is causing performance to be average and not great. That little thing is the WHY.
You sell, Apple's Steve Jobs did not go out to tell people what are its products, their features and how good they are.  Steve Jobs went straight to the WHY: because Apple wants to re-invent the phone and change the way we communicate. (that’s how he launched the legendary touch-phone iPhone in 2007).

So my readers, the following course is important to you because you can get much higher performance in your team if you’re able to lead and manage them effectively.

By Andy Ng of Asia Trainers, details at here

29 Oct 2013

What Newton's 3rd Law Got to Do with People Respecting You

I watched Hong Kong's TVB police drama series "Mysteries of Love" and was impressed that the police made use of Physics to solve many perplex serious crimes. 

Even if you were not an engineer, chemist or mathematician by training, you know that Physics is actually common sense and you too can apply Physics to everyday life.

Like Newton's 3rd law. Every Action of a Force Produces an Equal and Opposite Reaction.

Newton said that any force applied to a body produces an equal and opposite reaction force in that body. In other words, for every action there is an reaction. When applied to management, it includes:

  • If I treat people with respect, they will return their respect to me equally;
  • If I mistreat people with disrespect, they too will return their disrespect to me.
  • If I work hard, even though I may not see the results today, there will be a reaction in the marketplace. E.g. a salesperson sent out many empowering e-mails to his contact list is getting a big reaction sooner or later.
  • If there is no air resistance, when you throw both a cannon ball and a feather down, both of them will fall to the ground at the same pace. In management, you need to get rid of resistance so that you will get efficient results. According to John C Maxwell, the best way to get rid of resistance is through people skills.
You must be a People Person: make them like and respect you.  

28 Oct 2013

The 4 Confusions at Work and What You Can Do Today

If you were like most people working for a while, you'll realize that many people see work as one or a combination of the 4 confusions: Work as Drudgery, Work as War, Work as Addiction and Work as Problem.  The earlier you see through these confusions, the happier you will become. Soon work will become no more confusing but with lots of clarity!  The 4 confusions are:  

1.  Work as Drudgery
Here we see work as drudgery and only necessary to give us a pay check so that we can have a life.  Job become a tax that we must pay before we can go home. We become deaf and dumb and unable to contribute meaningfully to our employer. 

What You Can Do: Recognize that work is not the real drudgery but your unwillingness to be interested in your work.  It's time to get passionate about your job! 

2. Work as War

Here is a lose-win mentality.  Such aggressive approach to work imprisons us in a constant impulse to maintain our point of view.  Our entire world must constantly be dealt with and controlled. Work will soon become a drudgery and burn out will be common.

What You Can Do: Know that our war is not with our work but with our own insecurity.  

3. Work as Addiction

Here we work hard and stay long hours,  We drive ourselves to do more and more and more. As workaholics, we become perfectionists.  Praise from the boss or colleague will thrill us, but such happiness is always fleeting and never enough.  On the other hand, criticism and disappointments at work will make us feel worthless.

What You Can Do: Work Less as our work has become an anesthesia - a drug for numbing us to our pain.

4. Work as Problem

Here we assume that we need to solve work - to get work to behave and stop being unpredictable and unruly.  We become idealistic - and often believe that there is one best solution to solve problems.  The mentality is constantly ambitious, always searching for the newest technique or strategy. 

If we were to examine this mentality, we would realize that work is not the problem. Our ambition and constant searching for solutions is the problem. We should stop and really see what is the situation and act accordingly. Sometimes the biggest problem is You - you create problem out of no problem! 

By Andy Ng, Trainer at Asia Trainers, details at here. 

27 Oct 2013

If You Want to Lead Better, Don't Be the Leader

Sounds strange, isn't it? The first step to lead better is to recognize that you're Not a leader.  In fact you are not defined by any title you may have, e.g. Manager, Director, Specialist. 

As a Leader, You Are NOT a Leader.  You Lead.  Short and simple. 

If you keep thinking that you're a leader, you will miss out the important things in leadership, which is to be alert to what's happening. You need to listen well, know how are people feeling, and really get to the bottom of issues.  But you can't do this unless you get rid of the thinking that you are the leader.  You must not have the mistaken belief that you are your job. Because such thinking only clouds your thinking and distracts you from leading. 

When you lead, you let go of any self-ego that you may have and you can be authentic, knowing who you are and where you are. 

It's only when you are where you are that you will become more curious about others than about yourselfA true leader is one with no credentials, he leads even when he has no title. He is humble enough to drop his storyline and carefully consider others in his work. He develops a powerful flexibility of mind and heart that not only instructs but also inspires others and builds mutual respect. He is truly responsible, because he leads, not because he has the title of leadership.  All the great leaders in this world have no title (e.g. Gandhi, Diana, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela when he was in prison) and yet people follow wherever they go. 

A true leader leads because he knows his most important job as a leader is to bring out the best in his team, not bring himself up by having self-ego of 'being the leader'. He does nothing but lead people.  And that is Leadership Power. 

By Andy Ng, whose courses on Leadership Power and How to Be a Better Manager are now available for the market at an affordable rate. For details, call 6225-1784 Priya now. 

When a Mistake is Not a Mistake, it is THE Biggest Mistake

It's inevitable that we make mistakes at work and in life. Some are small, like calling the wrong number, while others are big, like allowing fraud to happen or even committing fraud.

Of course no one in this world intentionally want to make mistakes, and everyone dislike mistakes. This is because mistakes create confusion and doubts and leave us feeling inadequate and embarrassed.

Because of this, we tend to treat mistakes more as enemies than teachers.  We want to annihilate mistakes at all costs.  Since mistakes already made cannot be undone, we often end up covering mistakes, and worst still, justifying mistakes.

There was this guy that I know from my training assignments.  He was a Vice President of a large MNC, and he is very skilled at avoiding responsibility and placing blame. For example, if his department is spending over the budget, he would 'calmly' recall that he had make an adjustment to his budget 6 months ago and was 'surprised' that the accounts department did not adjust his budget!  When someone questioned his travel and entertainment expenses were high, he would 'patiently' remind people that each expense was targeted to close a deal. But when people saw that his sales were low, he would talk about the realities of 'sales cycles' and how the 'market' is affecting everyone, not just his performance.  In short, he is never wrong and it is always other peoples' mistakes or the 'harsh reality of life' that are the cause.

We all know that if organizations treat mistakes as the enemy, there can be no learning from it. Of course the mistake would be repeated in future, and its magnitude would be amplified.  Just look at the frequent 'restatement' of profits in listed companies accounts and you'll know what I'm talking about.

What's the solution?  To treat the enemy as a friend. When you treat someone as a friend, you'll listen to him, and let him tell you what's wrong so that you can improve in the future.  So my friend, next time when you make a mistake, treat the mistake as a new friend that you've just added on facebook, and really listen to him.  You'll realize that you will be able to learn from it.  In no time, you'll be enjoying the rewards of no repetition of mistakes.  And that to me, my friend, is the biggest reward for treating the mistake as a friend, not an enemy.

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer Coach of Asia Trainers, details are at here.

25 Oct 2013

How to Be Awake at Work

When we think of work, we often think of drudgery, frustration and stress.  For too many of us, work is the last place we think of if today is our last day on this earth.  Few people expect work to be happy, full of joy and satisfaction.  In fact many people said that it's because of family and life that they have to work.

We spend 2/3 of our lives at work, and all our studies in schools are for preparation of work.  If work is really such a pain, aren't we become 'miserable' beings instead of human beings?

Rather than consider work as difficult, can we instead acknowledge work, with all its difficulties, as an invitation to wake up and live our lives honestly and fully?

I believe that if we all can awake to the fact that work is actually a means to make us more human, we will consider work as something good to have.

There are 5 things that Work is Good for Us:
  1. It is the best training ground for life skills.  A person cannot be street-smart until he has working experience.  In fact even the universities are not as good as work experience, that's why people without degree do even better than those with degree. 
  2. Work extends our life.  You may find this funny, with all the stress, how can work extend our lives?  The truth is that stress can be positive or negative.  Scientists said that positive stress will propel us to be better not just mentally but also physically.  In fact many people report being less energetic and healthy once they retire. Isn't this obvious that work extends our life?
  3. It brings in good money. Without work, where on earth can we find the money to buy house, get married and have kids?
  4. We learn many things from work. In fact work spurs us to have continuous education, training and development.  Among all things I learnt this most important skill from work: how to deal with difficult people.
  5. Work gives us the opportunity to be awake. When we make mistakes, we get punished, scolded or even sacked.  Such consequences actually keep us on our toes, and we end up being a better person.
In short, work is good and we need to be awaken to this fact. Once we realize this, we will be awaken at work.

By Andy Ng of Asia Trainers, details here.

Leadership with Sun Tzu Art of War in 5 Ways

As we know, Sun Tze does not advocate a martinet-style of leadership.  Instead, he states that a leader must be strong enough to impose the strategy in the organization, but also confident and trusting enough to allow his team members to carry it out successfully.  There are thus 5-Ways of Leadership with Sun Tzu Art of War:
  1. Build Your Character, not just Your Image.  To Sun Tzu, a leader must be courageous, sincere and yet humane. But a leader must always appear to be in control of the situation, exuding confidence and assurance at all times. This confidence is not a facade, but based on true inside confidence. In short, if the leader has even one doubt, his followers will have several.
  2. Lead with Actions, Not Just Words.  The best way to show your character is not to talk about it, but set the example. Talk is cheap.  You should never say one thing and focus on another. 
  3. Share Your Team's Trials, Not Just Their Triumphs.  If you expect your team to sacrifice, you must sacrifice more. Prove to them that you do not think yourself special or above them.  In this way, you establish a bond with them that will take the team through the toughest times.
  4. Assign Clearly Defined Missions: Do Not Tolerate Confusion.  Your team must first understand how their efforts fit into the overall picture. Divisions within the organization must know how they support each other. There must be absolutely no in-fighting. 
  5. Make Your Strategy Drive Your Organization.  Do not fire-fight, instead fire up your people. Strategize properly and get your team drive the strategies.  Your organization should be driven by plans, not driven by despair
By Andy Ng, whose programs on Sun Tzu or Sun Zi Art of War, have been delivered on 5 platforms: Art of War for Sales, Customer Service, People Management, Leadership and Coaching. Details on courses are found here. The next Leadership with Sun Tzu Art of War is on 30 July 2014 Wednesday 2 to 6 pm.  Details are at here. Related articles:

24 Oct 2013

People Don't Need Handouts, What They Need is More Business Opportunities!

It always amazes me to see how our good government come up with so many handout schemes for businesses, like free consultancy, free ISO etc.

Handouts are good, but for how long?  As a entrepreneur, the motivating factor is not free money, but an environment where they can have a fair fight and prove their capabilities.

So when the government gives out money to the small businesses, they government need to follow-up with more business opportunities. Otherwise, the money is not put to good use.  We know that in business money grows money, and handouts are good if they can be put to good use to generate more business. Otherwise, the money will be gone in no time.

What I think the government should do to give more business opportunities for small businesses include:
  1. Law requiring the public sector and all big companies to, before asking for quotes from foreign companies, to put up their purchase requisition in a website whereby only local companies can quote, say for 2 weeks. This is the same as MOM requiring companies to put up their job advertisements on a government portal first before looking for  foreigners.
  2. Organize more trade shows, exhibitions and networking sessions at a highly subsidized rate or even FREE so that small businesses have more chances to meet people and get new contacts.
  3. Requiring all senior civil servants to work for small businesses for 2 weeks in a year in order to get a feel of how difficult the business environment is for small businesses.
  4. Promote Singapore businesses internationally using social media and mobile internet.
  5. Outsource their government activities even more to businesses 
The above are my humble suggestion, hope someone from the Government can take some action.

By Andy Ng, Business Coach & Trainer at Asia Trainers, details at here

22 Oct 2013

No Self as the Secret to Happiness at Work

Everyone spends two-thirds of their waking hours working, including commuting to work and talking and thinking about work issues even if they are off work.  It's thus paramount that people must be happy at work or life would be so miserable.  

The sad truth is that happiness, like all phenomena, is impermanent. It lasts for only one moment: if the next moment doesn't have peace of mind, concentration and mindfulness, happiness will disappear.  Just talk to the man who was happily drinking and driving until an accident happen and you'll know what I'm talking about.  

The happy truth is that since happiness is impermanent, it can be renewed. And it can be renewed by anyone, at any time, at any where and everywhere.  Most of the time, renewal is costless.  All you need is to have the right thought. 

The secret to happiness at work is to have renewals of happiness. Everyone has plenty of ideas how to renew happiness, like sing songs, tell a joke, praise people, give out small treats and rewards et cetra.

Today I'm going to talk about something that we ignore long ago: happiness can be renewed as long as people don't create unhappiness. 

Perhaps you feel that you're doing most of the work in your office.  You get angry at others and feel that they are not doing their fair share.  You also feel that you have done lots of work in looking for business and yet sales are slow.  You serve customers well and yet they still complain.  When you have feelings of anger, disappointment or frustration, such negative feelings create unhappiness.  

The good news is that such negative thoughts can be easily transformed once you understand the concept of no-self. No-self (or Anicca in olden Pali language in India, where this concept originated), is about the concept that we are all inter-linked, we are one, and everything happens for a reason.  There is a cause and effect to everything in this world, we are really helpless to have control over any outcome in life because we are no self.  

With a concept of no self, you will feel that there is no need to have self-ego, self-pity or self-esteem.  You are one with the universe.  Thus doing things need not have direct rewards, for you have a sacrificial concept when you work.  This concept of no self is so powerful, it transforms you.  For now you do things not for the benefit of yourself as you see no distinction between people.  You no longer seek the kind of happiness that will make other people suffer. This kind of insight is so liberating and you feel bliss just having this thought. 

So my friend, the secret to happiness at work is to have the concept of no self.  For we are all impermanent in this world.  Once you have no self, you will not have unhappy feelings.  And that, my friend, is the secret to happiness at work. 

How to Delegate Effectively

1.   Define the task, output clearly. Use this SMART criteria (specific, measurable, achievable, results wanted and timing)
2.  Delegate to a person with demonstrated competence (this is not training, you are delegating an important task, don't leave to chance)
3. Explain the task clearly, preferably in writing (this will reduce misunderstanding & mistakes)
4. Invite questions and feedback (Ask: "Can you show me how you're going to do it?")
5. Give a schedule, deadline (Always leave some buffer in case of mistakes by giving a tighter deadline)
6. Inspect what you expect (surprise audit is the best)

Remember, Delegation is not abdication, this means responsibility still lies with you and YOU are still answerable. 

· Intended outcome
· Required resources
· Completion deadline
· Benchmarks (how can you measure progress)
· Accountability
· Consequences (for not completing)

Delegation Exercise for You now: 
1. List 3 low value tasks you can delegate?
2. Describe the ideal person to delegate?
3. Describe the exact result from this person? How will you know when the job is done properly?
4. How much time will you save (In hours per week)?

5. When do you intend to delegate?

By Andy Ng, whose training program on How to Be an Effective Manager has reached to KL Malaysia, Bangkok Thailand and Tokyo Japan.  The next run is on 30 Dec 2014 Tue 9 am to 5 pm. Or if you prefer, there is a 2-day program How To Be a Better Manager starting on 5 Jan 2015 Monday 2 to 5.30 pm.  It is on 4 Mondays.  For details, call Idah at 6225-1784 or Ng at 8201-4347.  For course listing, click here

How to Be a High Value Middle Manager

In any organization, there are 2 kinds of middle managers:

The first type are those who get the work done but never think beyond what need to be completed in the medium term. Though they may work hard and have good intentions, they fail to see the big picture, and thus add little value to the functions they manage.

In short, they are 'good managers'. E.g the Finance Manager at JPMorgan Chase Bank who got the monthly accounts out on time but never warn the management about the risk in investing in so called 'secure' mortgage securities.

The second type are those High Value Middle Managers who see the big picture. 

They know how to manage operational practices and execute tactical goals to support strategic initiatives. They add value to their organization and thus elevate their position from that of a middle man to a key player. 

You know it when you come across one (or when you yourself are one). High Value Middle Managers operate at peak efficiency:

- Their questions are timely and on target (they ask "Why" and "Why Not?" a lot)
- Their ideas are provocative that help move the organization forward (eg they propose cost saving measures)
- They transit from one task to another seamlessly (they never say "I'm up to the neck!")
- Their demeanour is calm but with a sense of urgency (hurried but not rushed, you can see their hand still very neat and the make-up on their face still intact even at 11 pm)
- They are busy, yet focused and driven, and imbue the workplace with energy (everyone loves to work with them for they are always say "add oil");
- Although their days are full, they use tiny pockets of time to accomplish big things (eg they make use of lunch time to meet important people).

In short, these are the high value managers: they are not CEOs, but could be more important than their CEO. They do the planning, people management and leadership of the masses. These high value managers can relate better to the lower level in executing strategies, and understand the ground better. As s result, they can create real changes ....

Question is: Are You Such a Manager? If not, come for this course...How to Be a Better Manager.  To book your limited seats, or to get this course done in-house at your premise, call Priya at 6225-1784 or Andy at 8201-4347 now...

21 Oct 2013

Regardless of Big, Small or Medium Company, Don't Turn Back

Let me go straight: You need to Know What's Most Important so that you can focus your resources on this, otherwise you would be losing focus and getting less than what you want.  No matter what, don't turn back, just keep on moving forward...

1. If You're a Big Company (with more than 100 staff): ENTREPRENEURSHIP.

The bigger the company, the less risk adverse are the people as most of them would be concerned with their own career rather than the company's growth. Also, the company's structure makes it difficult to do things that are outside the company's policies and procedures.  Hence most employees would play it safe and inside their comfort zone. 

Thus the company's management would need to lead the staff in comfort zone to be more entrepreneurial, take risks and try different things. 

Otherwise, the company would end up like Nokia, Blackberry and Motorola - all former top 3 in mobile phones now occupying less than 15% combined market share. 

One good way is to instil competition in the workplace, like giving good accounts to those that perform well and get the bottom 10% performers to come up with a Catch-Up Plan. 

2. If You're a Small Company (with 10 staff or less):
There is no question of entrepreneurship as the small company's structure is very flexible and employees can try out different things.

The issue is with systems and procedures. The smaller company would need to rely on systems and not on human so that the company can run on auto-pilot. The 4 main systems to have are people & education, delivery & distribution, systems & technology and finance & measurement.

A good way to start systematizing is HR, where you set up KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for each function.  The KPIs must reflect not just quantitative measurements, but qualitative measurements like knowledge, discipline and tidiness. 

3. If You're a Medium Company (between 11 to 100 staff):

The issue is your company must continue to grow and prevent itself from being complacent. As a Business Coach & Trainer having trained 81,131 people in 13 countries since 1996, I have seen many medium companies becoming complacent because they occupy a certain niche in the market and are enjoying good business and profits.  In fact they proudly told me that business would just come even if they do nothing. Sounds like Nokia, Blackberry and Motorola?

The company by now would have certain systems in place, nevertheless the issue of entrepreneurship must be addressed because most of them are becoming complacent due to past success.

So training and re-training would be most critical. I strongly recommend you to enrol you and your team for this most popular course...How to Be an Effective Manager.  For course listing, click here

20 Oct 2013

Business as Usual is Dead and The 5 Things that You Must Know

Yes, business as usual is dead long ago, which I'm sure you're aware of this long ago.

'As usual' means companies, employers and the government are in full control. Today we know the person using his mobile phone, phablet, tablet and laptop can exert so much control that no one can ever imagine.

If you're still doing business the same old way as before, you're heading for trouble. Here are 5 things that you must know and do:

1.   What People Say About You = Your Reputation

A company's branding is no longer built on massive advertising that builds up its name. Instead, a company's branding is built on what people say about you on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Just look at the massive unhappiness about the non-issuance of TV license to Hong Kong TV and you'll know what I'm talking about. The Hong Kong Government is now facing a confidence shake-out that it lacks transparency, meritocracy and disclosure. If you were a MNC looking to locate your Asian headquarters in Hong Kong, wouldn't you think twice?

2.  It's Cash Flow that Makes You Profit, Stupid! 

Profit is the difference between how much you sell and how much you buy and incur in order to make the sale. Cash Flow is the the difference between how much cash you collect and how much cash you pay out.  In the past if a business makes good profit, we say it's a good business. Today we know that cash flow is king, and you can make more profits with cash flow.

A simple illustration is Apple Inc. Apple collects cash from its customers for iPhone 5s in advance when they order it online. Delivery is at least a week, and Apple only pays its contract manufacturer Foxcon Electronics 45 days later.  And Apple will use that 45-days free cash flow generated to make more profits and cash flow, eg through launching of new paid apps.

3. It's the Mind that Matters, Not How Hard People Work

The old thinking is that if people work harder, there will be more results and fewer accidents.  But we know that with everyone already multi-tasking and working long hours, working harder will actually result in less output but higher accidents. This is because the peoples' minds will be more cluttered and less focused, and multi-tasking without multi-focus means multi-mistakes. They are mindless ininstead of mindful. 

So the solution lies in making peoples' minds clearer.  How?  By having goals, reducing distractions and most importantly, but having a trained mind. 

4. If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them = Faster Death

Blackberry, Nokia, Panasonic, Philips and Ericsson cannot beat Apple, Samsung and Huawei in smartphones.  So they join them.  Look at them now. Most are dead, some like Nokia are half-dead.

In fact when you can't beat them, it's better to exit and use your strengths to do things that they cannot do, like Ericsson existing the smartphone business and re-focus on mobile equipment. Now Ericsson is doing well.

5.  Hitting Targets Means Doing Well = Slow Death

Many people think that if we can hit targets, we are doing well.  Unknown to many, hitting targets is easy.  It is how they hit the targets that makes the difference.

Look at JPMorgan Chase, the US bank that emerged as the largest US bank overtaking its rivals like Citigroup and Bank of America in the 2008 US Financial Crisis.  Today we know that JPMorgan Bank is more sick than anyone, they just paid US$1 billion to lawyers as legal fees and were slapped with US$13 billion just on fines to reregulators alone. Not to count the loss of key customers and staff due to their being caught for cheating in the markets in the past few years.

In short, when you see your staff hitting targets, see how they hit the targets. Did they break any law, most importantly, moral laws?  History has shown us that the bad cannot outdo the good, it's a matter of time.   But when the bad things were discovered later, the losses are bigger. This course on Successful Sales Management will show you how you too can manage your sales team, customers account and most importantly, your business.  The last run for this year is on 30th October 2013 Wed. 9 am to 5 pm.  Last 7 seats available, so call Priya at 6225-1784 now.  Can also click here for details.


19 Oct 2013

How Much Do You Charge? Answer: More than What You Think!

What do you do when your potential client asks, "How much do you charge for your service?"

This is a money question. Indeed such money question forces you to confront your sense of self-worth. In other words, what's your self-worth?

It takes courage - to place a fair but generous price on your expertise and the time taken to get that expertise. Definitely not the time it takes to do the work, but the time it takes to be able to do the work. Just like we don't pay our Dentist by time, we pay him by his ability to do his work well, regardless of the actual time taken. Sometimes like in the dentist case, the shorter the time, the better it is and the higher is his fee.
 In my seminars and trainings, I have always worked toward the goal of giving my participants more than their money's worth. Because I know that when I dedicate myself to raising the top (quality) rather than lowering the bottom (cost), everybody wins.

Money is worth and worth is measured in money. So don't charge less, because when you charge less, you're not giving more. Instead of lowering your fees, give more.

One final comment about money. Money, being a medium of exchange, is neutral. Like any tool, it can serve the highest and the lowest. Money doesn't make a person good or bad, it simply amplifies whoever and whatever you are.

How to attract more money? How to Attract Clients like a magnet? Post your comments here...

18 Oct 2013

How to Deceive without Cheating People

Sun Tzu in the Art of War stated that all war is based on deception.  Does he mean to cheat?  Of course not.

What Sun Tzu means is that we need to adjust the enemy's perception so that 'when able to attack we must seem weak, and when weak must appear to be strong'.

The reason is that people simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are, or the way they should be. Also, our attitudes and behaviours grow out of these assumptions.  In other words, we are not really seeing, but perceiving.

Pick up the phone now and call your own company pretending to be a customer.  How are you treated?  If you are going to adequately manage other people's perception of your company you need to know what that perception is. This is not an exercise to catch people out but to find areas of improvement.  Like my seminar clients, you'll be surprised that the way your people answer the phone is not every business friendly!

In business it is imperative that your customers believe in you.  Everything that you do and say, from the way you answer the phone, to the quality of your blog, facebook and webpage, builds a picture of your ability.

That picture needs to be manoeuvred wherever necessary so as to give people the impression that your company is good.  Of course your company needs to be good or you'll really be cheating people!

In short, you need to put on a good show. This is what Sun Tzu means to deceive people without cheating people.

By Andy Ng, whose courses on Sun Tzu Art of War have now travelled all the way to Philippines.  For details, click here or text to me at 8201-4347.

15 Oct 2013

Successful Pitching with Hot Button Selling

Yes, it has been getting more competitive today to sell. In the process of Pitching, i.e. multi-stage selling, every detail must be well executed if you want to clinch that coveted deal that everyone is eyeing for. 

The stages involved in the sales pitch starts with a meeting, followed by a formal, stand-up presentation. Even if the prospect decides in your favour, you need to follow-up till the end, as anything can change until you sign the deal. 

It should be noted that pitching is process that is cumulative, this means that each stage must be completed to the satisfaction of the other other or you will be wasting your time and effort.
To pitch successfully, you need to press the prospect's hot button. 
Hot button is not to be confused with Benefits or Emotions, nor is it about Fear and Force. In sales, a Hot button is a Trigger that once activated, the person will NOT go back to the original state of mind. This means that when you press the hot button, a sale will result. You do not need to close the sale as the sale is already yours.

Note that different people have different hot buttons, and they too differ at different time. Also note that You as a Salesperson is also a hot button, the same goes for your company marketing, branding and positioning.
There are 5 Steps to Trigger a Hot Button: 

The first step is to Uncover their Problems.  Often problems are not obvious, and you need to ask Situation Questions that will lead you to some problems that they may have. For example, when you ask them how's their business, you need to let them know that there are problems that they may not be aware of, like falling market share. 

Once you have discovered their problem, you need to trigger it into a pain. This is because people don't act to solve problems, but act to alleviate a pain. Not only that, you must intensify the pain, that is, make it so painful that they cannot tolerate it any longer. Like when I let my prospect know that their declining market share is reducing their cash flow as shown in their bank statements, you can imagine the pain in their eyes. 

The 4th step is to Create the Heaven, that is, let them know that if they alleviate their pain, they will be in a very ideal state, like in heaven.  Let them know what they will be facing, hearing and feeling everyday when their problem is solved and everything is right in their business.  Who can resist such heavenly scenario?  

Finally the 5th and last step is to Give them the Pay-off Now, i.e. show them in dollars and cents what they will gain when they reach the heaven. 

If you follow the above 5 steps in Hot Button Selling, you'll have a successful pitching in your business. There is no need to sell at all, for the prospect has already decided to buy.  Wouldn't your business be so heavenly if you do this?

By Andy Ng, Sales Trainer at Asia Trainers, details at here

Believe Nothing, Not Even the Top 10 Points that the Buddha Taught Us...

1. Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.

2. Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Just as the candle won't be shortened, one's happiness never decreases by being shared.

3. The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.

4. Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.

5. If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.

6. Let us all be thankful for this day, for we have learned a great deal; if we have not learned a great deal, then at least we learned slightly; if we did not learn slightly, then at least we did not become sick; if we did become sick, then at least we did not die. So, let us all be thankful.

7. On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him.

8. Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.

9. Desire is the cause for all your sickness and misery.

10. It is your mind that creates this world.

11. Believe nothing, Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings—that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.

14 Oct 2013

Turn Your Clients into Raving Fans and Let Them Sell for You: The Magic 5 Ways

Whenever I ask business owners the question, 'What is the purpose of a business?' I often get the following response: 'To make a profit!’

That answer pinpoints why so many businesses struggle to survive, let alone grow. That answer is centred on the desires of the business owner, not on the needs and desires of their customers.

Imagine walking up to a potential customer and saying, 'Hello. My purpose is to make a nice, big profit from you today!'   That would be what we call a 'repelling' action, not an 'attracting' action. 

Here's a much more powerful and profitable definition of the purpose of a business: To attract and serve the needs of as many customers as possible at an acceptable profit.

Did you notice where the profit came in? Not at the beginning where most people put it, but at the end.

Profit is the 'result' of how well you serve your customers needs. Focus on serving your customers better than your competition -- while maintaining good business sense -- and your sales and profit will automatically soar.

This 'Love Your Customer,' philosophy is not as common as you might think. There's a lot of talk about loving the customer, but not much action.

Okay, that's the philosophy, now for some tangible examples of what we mean: The Magic 5 Ways

1) Sell What Your Customers Want to Buy

When you sell what your customers want to buy, an incredible thing happens. Your products and services sell like crazy!

If two of your products are selling like hot cakes, and three of them aren't, your customers are telling you something. Eliminate the losers and focus more time and energy on the winners.

If you have an effective system in place to let your prospects and customers know about your products and services and you offer them excellent value and good deals, and they still don't buy -- then there's a good chance you're not listening to your customers.

How can you determine what your customers want to buy?

Look around and see what they are buying from your competitors. I love watching shoppers at the mall to see where the crowds are. What attracts them? Which stores are packed and which are empty? You can learn a great deal about what people want just by being observant.

You can ask your customers for some feedback on your products and services. But keep in mind that most people will tell you what they think you want to hear.

A better way to find out what your customers want is by testing and then counting the numbers.

2) Make Your Customers Feel Important

As human beings we all want to feel important and be appreciated. It's no different when we're playing the role of customer.

 How do you feel when you ask for help in a department store and the clerk shrugs his shoulders and says, 'It's not my department.'

How do you feel when you call a business to straighten out a problem and you get lost in Voice Mail mania?

Are you familiar with the primary reasons why customers stop doing business with companies?
-- 3% move away
-- 5% develop other friendships
-- 9% go to the competition
-- 14% are dissatisfied with the product
-- 68% leave because of an attitude of indifference toward the customer by the owner, manager or an employee

One of my coaching clients a few years ago, we instituted for them was simply calling their customers a day or so after they had purchased one of their products or services and asking them if they were happy with the service.  Two things happened.

a) Their customers were impressed that we thought they were important enough to call, 
b) Our client now had the opportunity to answer any questions and resolve any problems some of their  customers might have had. This made it possible for them to turn an unhappy customer into a happy one.

Guess what happens when you treat your customers like this? They come back and buy again and again, and they tell their friends.

Treating your prospects and your customers right is mandatory for success. But before you even have the opportunity to impress your customers you have to have an effective system for attracting them to your business in the first place.

3) Listen to Your Customers Concerns

It's easy to love a customer who never complains, who just tells you how wonderful you are, or who never says a word.

But, the opportunity for improvement comes from the customer who tells you what your weaknesses are.

Did you know that only 4% of unhappy customers actually take the time and effort to tell you about their unhappy experience?  They just quietly went to the competition.

Now, I'm not saying that every irate customer has a valid complaint, there are some people who are never pleased, but our experience has shown that most people who tell you of a concern with your business, are worth listening to.

Seek candid feedback from your customers with the goal of finding ways to improve your product or service. It's worth it to your bottom line.

4) Be Generous to Your Customers

After your customers do business with you, they should have the following question in the back of their minds:

How can they afford to give 'so much' for 'so little?' not,
How can they give 'so little' for 'so much?'

Give your customers something extra that they didn't expect and you will be amazed at the response.

People are so used to getting either exactly what they paid for, or less than what they expected.

When you provide them with excellent service and then surprise them with something extra, you'll stand out in their minds.

Like our weekly seminars, in September 2013 we give away a total value of $308 to each participant that paid $298 for our seminars.  This means that each participant get a MORE THAN FREE SEMINAR: they earned $9!  

5) Stand Behind Your Products and Services

If you don't stand behind your products and services today, you're going to have a tough time growing your business.

Conversely, it's a lot easier to attract customers, when they know that you guarantee their satisfaction.

Unfortunately, the world is filled with poor quality  products and less-than-honest people looking to make a quick and easy buck.

Is it any wonder that so many people are skeptical of the claims many businesses make?

People are seeking companies to do business with that  they can trust. They don't want to have to take a risk  when buying their products and services.

Stand behind your products--actually tell your customers up front that they can return the product if it doesn't suit their needs, and you'll find that your customers' resistance and fear of risk will melt away.

Why? Because it tells your prospective customers that  you are confident of the quality of your products and services. It also says that you are genuinely concerned about their satisfaction.

Which company would you want to buy from? The one that tells you that you can get a refund if the product isn't for you, or the one that says, 'All sales are final!'?

If you don't have a proven-effective way to grow your customer base and get them coming back to buy again and again, then you need the tools, concepts and strategies shared in our seminars. For details, click here.

By Andy Ng of Asia Trainers, whose programs on sales, management and executive skills are eligible for PIC 60% Cash Claims and PIC Bonus 160% Cash back.  For details, contact Andy on the right of this page.