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31 Jan 2014

Latest: Your Fortune for 2015 Told

As you may know, I seldom see fortune tellers, but this guy was highly recommended by my friend, and I just saw him today.  After some soul searching questions, this expert revealed to me the answers that I have been looking for in the past whole year.  I asked this soothsayer what he prognosticate for me in the 5 key areas of my life and these are his answers:

Money
This year I have the chance to make more money than last year. However, I must be alert to take advantage of opportunities quickly or they will be gone. Furthermore, I must work hard, but not too hard or I will missed opportunities. As this year (2015) inflation will be another high, I must invest my hard earned savings into instruments that beat inflation, like REITs that offer quarterly dividends exceeding 4.5% per annum. Lastly, I must know how to donate money, for the more I donate, the more I have.

Career and Business: 
Things appear to be challenging in the short term, as the world economies are not looking rosy at least until the second half of the year. However, as long as the things that I do are unique and adding value, the bad economy will not affect me and in fact would help because people will appreciate vendors that add more value.

Family: 
My forecast for the year is that I may have less time for family, but can make it up in terms of quality.  Remember, always set aside an hour a day or week for family time. and in the worse case, spend an extra minute with your family.

Social: 
Friends will be coming along this year, especially professional friends from social media like Facebook, Linked and Google +.  Be sure to add them and send caring messages to them, as this is the fastest way to build friendships.  Also, click the 'Like' button often, and refrain from nasty comments.  

Health: 
Food intake will be more important, especially with the advent of more food scares.  I was told to cut down on meat consumption, and to make it a point to have a day in a week as totally vegetarian, or a meal in a day to be vegetarian.  Regular exercise is important, but exercise of the mind is of greater importance.  Meditating once a day for 10 to 20 minutes is very useful. 

Overall, this fortune teller said that as this is the year of the Goat and not the Pig, I have to put in more effort.  Continue to do what you do best, cut down on things that don't work, and most importantly, have fun!

If you too want to get your fortune told, drop me a message at this blog or text to me at 8201-4347 and I'll be happy to share with you the contacts for this very accurate fortune teller.  As he is my friend, he only charges $10 if done via online.

29 Jan 2014

The Best New Year Wish You Can Ever Have

Once there were 5 children sitting in front of a deity; they took turns to say their new year wishes.  The first child wished to have an entire house of candies, and the deity readily granted him this wish.  The second child was cleverer, he wished to own the McDonald's company, so that he can have as many fast food as he wishes.  This wish too was granted.

The third child was even smarter. He wished to have all of the wishes of the children in the room.  Surprisingly, this wish too was granted. Now the fourth child said the ultimate wish: he wished to have any wishes he can have in this world.  Isn't this the wish-all wish?  To his astonishment, the deity granted this child his wish.

Now come to the fifth and last child, and he paused for a while and said, "I wish to have no more wishes, because if I had ever lasting happiness and contentment, there is no need to wish for anything because life is complete and perfect".

My friends, isn't this the best new year wish you can ever have?  Instead of wishing to have more material things, why not make the best of what you have and enjoy them to the fullest?  If you truly enjoy life to the fullest, there is no need to wish for anything.  This, I believe, is the best and ultimate wish.

Written by Andy Ng, Trainer Coach who wishes all readers a prosperous and happy lunar new year!

27 Jan 2014

3 Steps to Making Your Wishes Come True

Whether you are struggling in your life now or you simply want to fast track your success, follow our 3 ACT Steps (Ask Count Take action) and your new year wishes will come true.  Guaranteed.
  1. Ask for What You Desire in Specific Terms.  Not just more money, but how much. Like I want to have 3 clients getting our 10 courses bundle at $1,499 each month, plus 5 clients for in-house training each month; 
  2. Count Your Foes, that's right, enemies that can prevent you from achieving your desires.  Then remove the 5 most common fetters to wishes coming true:
  • Weak desires
  • Goals inconsistent with your beliefs
  • Goals inconsistent with your values
  • Lack of good backing
  • No clear use of the extra money. Until you have clear use of the extra money, that extra money is of no meaning to you and thus it's difficult for you to achieve it
     3.  Take Action NOW to achieve your goals. This could be going back to your past leads, send a new year greeting card to your contacts or simply pick up the phone and look for business.  Any action taken today, no matter how small it may be, is better than no action because procrastination is the norm.  Happy wishing!

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

26 Jan 2014

Can Your One Staff Can Serve 9,000,000 customers Everyday like Whatsapp?

Shocking statistics: the world's top 3 instant messaging services with people efficiency as follows:
  • Whatsapp: 450 million actives users, employs only 50 staff to handle 50 billion messages daily;
  • WeChat: 600 million registered users, employs 20,000 staff;
  • Line: 300 million registered users, employs 5,000 staff;
Here's how Whatsapp managed to be so productive employing only 50 staff to serve 450 million customers daily:
  1. Very Simple Product with little or no variation (no premium version).  In fact Whatsapp simple product makes it the most used product (as compared to WeChat).  Many people including myself use Whatsapp for its no-brainer style that gives reliable results
  2. Systematize operations with each person well trained (employs no intern or inexperienced staff)
  3. Full computerized operations with all 50 people working round the clock in shifts.  In this way no problems can be left undetected and solved immediately and there's no need for meetings at all
The best of all, Whatsapp is a standalone company that is profitable as unlike others, its services is not free (one-time US$0.99 for iPhone and yearly US$0.99 for Android users).  What's more significant is that there are very few breakdowns and complaints about its services.  To top it all, this tiny company rejected take-over by Facebook offering US$1 billion as it reckons that money is not everything.  There are definitely many things that we can learn from this tiny company.  To learn how to maximize sales like McDonalds, read my other blog at here

25 Jan 2014

How to Monopolise the Market Like Microsoft When You Are Micro

This small artist monopolised the entire Chinatown. 
Yes, micro players can always monopolize the market if they do things differently.  Yes, a micro like You can become the Microsoft of your industry today.  This is because the market is not absolutely homogeneous and is heterogeneous, that is, each segment of the market is actually different.  Many small players do not realize this and make the mistake of following the market leaders blindly.  They end up with no business because customers would rather play safe and go with the leader than an unknown brand. The following are the 7 ways that any small player can monopolize the market easily:
  1. Do Things That Nobody Does.  Like NEXT Computer (1986 to 1998), it focused on the education market and avoided the rest of the market dominated by IBM-clones PCs powered by Microsoft's operating system.  In fact NEXT was so successful that Apple had to use up all its available cash to buy it over in 1998 to give Apple a headstart in its operating system.
  2. Create New Market.  Like Apple created the new MP3 market with the launch of iPod in 2001. Today the MP3 market is replaced by smartphones, but Apple's iTunes still monopolises the music download industry.
  3. Be the First and Claim It.  It doesn't matter that your product may fail later because being the first gives you the pioneer title that no one can claim later. Like Creative Technology created the world's first MP3 called Nomad in 2001. Although it lost out to Apple's iPod, Creative still managed to successfully sued Apple for over US$100 million damages for patent infringement. Today Creative still dominates the PC audio business with its sound cards and PC speakers.
  4. Operate Hours that Nobody Does.  To the market that needs your services in those hours, you are the monopoly.  Like 24-hour retail giant Mustafa in Little India Singapore.
  5. Create New Products that Start a Trend. Like Samsung created the S-Pen for its Galaxy Note series of phablets and tablets.  Today Samsung is still the leader in this category even though Apple's iPhone is more popular in markets like USA and Japan. 
  6. Get Famous through Social Media like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.  Today such social media are more recognized than traditional media and people often rely on them for authority.  Many small businesses capitalized on free social media and made their names, leaving the big boys behind.  A good example is Korea's Psy, whose Gangnam Style video on Youtube hit over 1.8 billion views in 18 months and is still the record holder today. 
  7. Work with the Big Boys.  When you support and compliment the big boys, you get a chance to become famous and soon people will go direct to you and in time you'll take over the big boy's business. Like Google's founders Brin and Page was the outsourced search engine contractor for Yahoo! in 1996-8.  Google's search engine's page was nothing except the search bar and this soon become popular. Today Google's over 70% market share of the search engine business has become an engine of change.  
In summary, all small boys can become big monopolies in the markets if they follow the above 7 proven ways. There is no excuse to not do big even when you're tiny, for it's the bigness of the idea that counts, not the size

By Andy Ng, Sales Trainer and Management Trainer for corporates and MNC including SingTel, Capitaland, Singapore Power, AIA, Singapore Armed Forces and Nanyang Technological University. Contact him at andythecoach@gmail.com or visit www.asiatrainers.com for details.  Related articles:

23 Jan 2014

5 Common Myths and Truths of Management

I am always amazed that even in 2014, there are some people who still manage people like in the past. The following are the Top 5 Most Common Myths and Truths of People Management:

Myth 1: You need money to motivate people
Truth: Accomplishment itself is a bigger motivator, and if you use money alone, you’ll get greedy people! Look at those people cheat at mega banks and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Myth 2: You must push people to achieve Your Company's Goals 
Truth: People are pushed by their own commitment than your goals. If their commitment is aligned with your goals, your goal setting will work. Otherwise, it will simply not work.

Myth 3: People need to be managed and controlled 
Truth: You only can manage space, time and resources. You don’t manage people, you lead people.

Myth 4: Increasing sales and profits are clear goals that everyone can relate to
Truth: People relate more to something bigger that matters and make a difference, like being able to contribute and make history.

Myth 5: Happiness is not a workplace goal or issue
Truth: If people are not happy at work, why would they want to work hard? Happiness is not everything, it is the only thing.

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer Coach of Asia Trainers. Whether you are a director, senior manager, manager, CEO, or supervisor, if you too want to get the most out of your team, you need to be a High Performing Manager.  Come for our best-selling management course since 2006 How to Be a Better Manager. It is on 4 Mondays 2 pm to 5.30 pm on 10/2, 17/2, 24/2 and 3/3. This course covers the modules on Leadership, People Management, Team-building and Communication. Details are at here

22 Jan 2014

Problems with Most Employees and What to Do About Them

The problem with most employees is not that they are not doing well in their job, it is that they spent years working hard without realizing that what they do may not be what their employers want!

Remember that your employer is also a human being. What would you like to see in another human being? Someone who is initiated, reliable and has the aptitude to learn is always an asset to an employer.  Based on years of experience in coaching, teaching and consulting thousands of employers and employees worldwide, below are the first 4 of the 10 bite-sized pointers to guide you towards becoming a great value worker for your boss.

Top 10 Things that Every Employer Looks for in an Employee:

1.
Be a low maintenance employee

Before we can talk about a car being high performance, it must first be low maintenance and cannot break down frequently.  Same for an employee

Being low maintenance means requiring minimal supervision and is very flexible

Do not ‘break-down’ often (i.e. fall sick less) and don’t take too much leave to do your personal things (you can always do them in the weekends or during lunch breaks).

Possess basic training – do not ask your employer to teach you things that you should already know (like how to use Powerpoint). 

By far the best way to be low maintenance is not to be ‘blur’, i.e. , be sharp.   Anything that you don’t know should ask questions and prevent confusion in the future.
2.
2Rs : Reliability and the Right work ethics

Do what you say and say what you would do.  That also means don’t break down suddenly (like having mood swings).

Have the right work ethics. Always be supportive of the management and work with a never say no attitude.
3.
Take ownership of issues at work
Don’t think that just because you don’t own the company, the issues at work are none of your concern.  Instead ‘own’ the issues as though it is your own.

With ownership you will have Accountability. 

We know that Accountability leads to Responsibility.

4.
Be a problem solver, not a problem giver.

Craft yourself to be a person that the company can fall back on in times of need.  This makes you an asset to the company.

If you cannot solve the problem, don’t add on to the problem.  Like if you cannot collect the debts as assigned by your boss, don’t add on problem like getting into a legal tussle with the clients.


Taken from Asia Trainers' course "High Contributing Employees" coming on 14 March 2015 Friday 9 am. Click here for How to Be a High Performing Manager.  

21 Jan 2014

Three Things that Make a Difference


People often ask me as a trainer what new things I can impart to them.  When I reply that I cannot teach anybody anything new, they were disappointed.  Before they want to throttle me, I go on to explain that people do things for their own reason.  For learning to be effective, people must get to learn by themselves.

There are 3 steps for people to learn anything:
1st Step: Awareness

Most people are ignorant, deluded and unsure of what is right or wrong. That day in my training I asked my participants which apartment is near to town: Marine Parade Road or Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8.  Everyone said Marine Parade Road is nearer. But when I ask them why is the Marine Parade Road's apartment selling at 30% below the price of the Ang Mo Kio's one, they start to give me other reasons like the Ang Mo Kio apartment is a newer one.  I told them that this could be true, but we must aware of the fact that if 2 things differ in price, one is over-price while the other is under-price.

To me, that's awareness: able to see things as it is and not let your view be influenced by other people's views and not important factors. In order to be aware, we have to take out myths or delusions.

2nd Step: Accountability
With Awareness comes accountability, i.e. able to answer to yourself.  People can only take care of themselves if they they are aware of their responsibilities and not let someone be responsible for them.

Often with training, people will feel guilty that they did not do many of the things taught in the class.  In our training we get them to complete a 30-day action plan, and that sets the stage for them to be accountable.

3rd Step: Commitment
Only with accountability will people be committed. Commitment means able to take action on what you're supposed to do, it also implies some perseverance.  From my experience, constant reminders will make people strengthen their commitment.  We as trainers need to remind people what are the right things to do, and with regular training, they will have the commitment to get things done.

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

20 Jan 2014

The 36 Stratagems that Made McDonald's Rich

Throughout the world serving 69 million customers every day, the world's largest and most profitable restaurant group earns net profits as high as 20% of its sales.  From New Delhi to China, from Tanzania to Singapore, every time when you order something at McDonald's counter, their staff will inevitably ask you one question: Do You Want to Up size?

In fact this single question made McDonald's rich.  Notice that McDonald's did not ask you other questions that most salespeople ask, including, "Can you give us some referrals?", "Do you want to become our member to enjoy discounts?" or "Can you please come back next week?" etc.

If you answer no to the above 'Up size' question, McDonald's staff will next ask you, "Do you want an apple pie to go with your meal?"  If you still answer no to this question, the staff will ask you "Do you want to add $1 to get the limited edition Minion toy?"

All the questions above are questions that increase the average dollar sale.  Yes, the fastest way to increase your sales is not to advertise to get new customers, nor is it to create loyalty programs to get your customers to come back again.  The fastest way to increase your sales is to simply increase your average dollar sale.  This is because you already have the customer with you, why not just maximize the transaction value?  This strategy is so obvious but few use it.  To us, there are at least 36 Stratagems to Increase your Average Dollar Sale:
  1. Up Sell - the 'Up-size' question
  2. Cross Sell - the 'Get another product' question
  3. Add On Sell - 'Get another product at just $1'
  4. Bundle Sell - kids meal are bundled with toys like Minions
  5. 'Down' Sell - start with the higher price first and move down
  6. Increase your Price - this is the most direct way but may leave customers unhappy
  7. Increase your Price but Give More Value - this way the customers will end up with a good deal
  8. Create Impulse Buy specials 
  9. Create Packaged Deals - where the price is less than if ordered separately
  10. Bulk Buy Specials - like buy 10 get 1 free
  11. Move Up Market - serve only premium customers selling premium products only
  12. Give Away Perceived Value - like bigger bowl for just $1 more
  13. Educate customers on value, not price
  14. Scarcity - buy more today as price will go up or stock will be gone soon
  15. Incentives for Bigger Value Purchase - like free delivery if buy above $200 value
  16. Use a Check-list and when you go through it with your customers, they will end up buying more
  17. Provide Full Product Listing - and they will likely buy more
  18. Subtle Suggestion - like placing of emotional-buy products at their eye level at the exit
  19. Create Scarcity and people will pay more for things that will be gone soon
  20. Sell with a Either Or Question, and give better value for the higher price option
  21. Give people 3 options: 70% will choose the middle, 20% will choose the most expensive item
  22. Sell with Extra Warranty
  23. Sell with Extra Service
  24. Focus on Better Customers that are willing to pay more for value (and not go for price alone) 
  25. Get rid of Lousy Customers and your average dollar sale will go up immediately
  26. Clear Excess Stock Deal - tell them you are clearing stock, so worthwhile to buy more now
  27. Provide Incentives to your Staff that achieve Higher Average Dollar Sale
  28. Set an Average Dollar Value target for all sales staff
  29. Make Friend - as people buy more from friends
  30. Stop discounting - this is the most obvious
  31. Give shopping trolley (or provide delivery service) and people will stay longer and buy more
  32. Offer better Credit terms if buy above minimum value
  33. Strengthen your back-end support - and people will find it easier to buy more
  34. Create memberships - as members buy more and at higher value than non-members
  35. Train your staff on all of the above
  36. Just Ask Question and 50% of the time the customers will buy more, it's really that simple

19 Jan 2014

Win Without Fighting: Top 20 Ways for You

Human beings like to fight even though they know very well from past history that fighting never work for any parties.  Just look at the devastation World Wars I and II and the on-going wars today and you'll realize how silly we are. Psychologists said that fighting is an animal instinct, for people have this scarcity mentality and they are too attached to the notion of having things and that's why we cannot let go.

Yet wisdom from over 2,000 years of ancient civilisation including Sun Tzu Art of War, Zhuang Zi, Confucius, Lao Zi and Sidharta Gotama 'Pali Canon' told us that at the end of the day, the winner is the one that wins EVEN WHEN HE DOESN'T FIGHT.  In fact smart companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google and Apple know and practised these No-War Strategies.  In particular, Facebook is a latecomer in social media but they did not go out to fight head-on with pioneers like MySpace and Friendster.  Instead Facebook created a perfect photo-sharing and time-line platform that worked with MySpace and Friendster users and in the process, made the competitors obsolete.

In business and management, there are at least 20 ways to apply Win Without Fighting philosophy:
  1. Go with the Flow of things like be part of the trend instead of fighting against the tide
  2. Go High, for higher level have fewer competitors.  In sales, go high could also mean to straight to the decision-maker instead of to the buyers
  3. Win People's Hearts, for people think with their heads and act with their hearts
  4. Pull instead of Push.  Pushing seldom works because people like to resist changes. Instead pull (attract) people over to you
  5. Stand Out
  6. Persuade, Influence and Negotiate instead of Arguing and Fighting over differences in opinions
  7. Strategize, Plan and Review and you'll be on top of things
  8. BE-DO-HAVE: Be the Person first, and you'll do the necessary things and Have the results
  9. Leverage on other People, like strategic alliances and host beneficiary
  10. Work with People
  11. Prepare for the Worst, and your plan will prevent problems from happening
  12. Kill with a Borrowed Knife, i.e. use other people or things to 'kill' your enemy.  Like in sales, overcome the customer's objection by presenting the objection as the reason to go ahead
  13. Align with Other People's Strategy, and they'll come to work with you
  14. One-Stop Solution - there's no need for people to look elsewhere as you have all the solutions
  15. Indirect Attack, like the best way to cure sickness is to be healthy in your mind
  16. Ask Questions instead of making statements.  In this way, you'll get the answers that you want
  17. Lose first so as to gain later.  Like apologizing even when you're not in the wrong will score you marks in people's emotional bank account
  18. Know Yourself, Know Others and you'll know how to win others without fighting
  19. Make Friends or Families, for blood is thicker than water and people seldom fight with friends
  20. Wait for a Better Timing.  When conditions are ripe, you'll be able to win easily without a fight. This is especially so in investments and looking for job or for the right candidate. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
Written by Andy Ng, whose Leadership with Sun Tzu Art of War is on 22 May 2014 Thursday 2 to 6 pm.  Those who registered 2 seats will get the book "Turning Ideas into Gold" worth $55. For details, click here or call or text 8201-4347.

People are not Stupid, they are Ignorant, Deluded and Unsure

Every time I hear someone saying that so and so is stupid, I cannot help but wonder: if you give this person $100, will he be stupid enough to reject it?  If a person can survive until today, how can he be stupid?  

As a educator, I believe that there are no stupid people in this world, there are only people that are ignorant, deluded and unsure.  

Ignorant
Most people are ignorant of the important facts of life (read 'The 7 Myths of Life' at here) due to the being brainwashed by the mass media. For example, most people still expect things to remain the same when in life nothing stays constant and everything is in a state of flux at each passing moment.  Ignorance also means knowing but not knowing how to apply, and knowing how to apply but never apply due to delusion.  

When people are ignorant, we an educate them, but we cannot force them to learn, for if they learn things unwillingly, they will not apply the new learning and will remain ignorant.   If people remain ignorant, they will become deluded and will not be able to do even the simplest thing.  That give others the impression that they are stupid.

Deluded
Because of ignorance, people are confused of what is right or wrong, and that delusion will create ignorance and this gives rise to further delusion.  In other words, if you are ignorant, you will be deluded and severe delusion gives rise to stupidity. Like when you are ignorant of the fact that putting money in savings account that pays 0.125% per annum is actually not saving but depleting your money, you will be further deluded when you saw your savings account balance 'rose' when interest is added.  Of course we know that with inflation at 4% to 6% per annum, your money is being eroded even when it rises marginally due to 'interest'. 

When people are deluded, they will be very unsure of what to do next.

Unsure
Unsure-ness is caused by ignorance and delusion, and such a state of inertia gives rise to stupidity that we all are familiar with.  Often people are unsure because they are afraid of losing, and such fear causes them to be even more ignorant and deluded.  In other words, the cycle of Ignorance-Delusion-Unsure-ness continues.  

To rid people of unsure-ness, we need to let them be aware of the right knowledge and help them achieve clarity.  Watch out for our coming blog on 'How to Help Others Achieve Clarity' soon. 

The author, Andy Ng, Chief Trainer Coach at Asia Trainers and Asia Coaching Training, will be conducting a new course called "The Next World War will be Won Without Fighting".  Related articles:

  1. Why your boss won't send you for training even when you asked for it
  2. Teaching humans to be human is no easy feat
  3. The 8 things that management training must cover
  4. How to be happy at work even you're unhappy with your work
  5. Getting someone to work hard without being hard on him

17 Jan 2014

Don't Believe What You Were Told: The 7 Myths of Life

A myth is something that we think is true because most people believe or wish that it is true. In reality a myth is just a lie.  There is a market for myths because people like to have a better world. The following are the 7 Most Common Myths in Life: 
  1. Newspaper is about history and not about news at all.  A news is something that is very new and has not been over yet. So all newspapers should be renamed Historypapers because they report what has happened in the past. In fact they are not history but distorted history, for they reflect the views of the people controlling the media.  In Singapore, there is this free newspaper called "TODAY", and this 'newspaper' is definitely not about today and should be renamed 'YESTERDAY'.  On the other hand, what you do now is news because you are in the creation process of creating something new. 
  2. Your Bank Savings Account is Actually a Depleting Savings Account.  This is because the very low interest that they pay you (0.125% per annum) is way below the average inflation of 4% to 5% every year.  This means that after one year, your savings deplete by 3.875% to 4.875%!  That is the reason why people who 'saved' money into the banks hardly see their wealth increase at all after 10 years.  
  3. Perceived Reality is What we See, Hear, Touch and Sense. Reality is what is real, and what we see are actually our own perception of the reality and never about the reality itself. Like we see the sun rising every morning, in reality the sun does not move, it is the earth that is moving.  Marketers and politicians know this and they change our reality of things by brainwashing our minds. 
  4. We Cannot Forget Anything, We Just Don't Remember them in the first place.  Unless you have brain damage, what you remember now you remember for life.  There is no limit in your brain memory.  When people say they 'forget' something, it just means that they don't even remember it in the first place.  Like we can never remember what we ate for lunch last week, but if someone owes us money, we remember for life. 
  5. Going to Parties is Relaxation.  Parties are actually hard work and not relaxation because they make our 5 senses work very hard.  That's why people are exhausted instead of feeling energized after going to parties.  True relaxation is about relaxation of both the body and the mind.  One of the best way to relax your mind is meditation, whereas yoga relaxes your body.
  6. Governments Don't Create Wealth, they Distribute what is Created by the Private Sector.  This is very obvious, because government is about governing, an administrative function.  Unless the government goes into business, otherwise all governments are just spenders of wealth. Hard to believe but true!
  7. Happiness Can only be Pursued.  This is because happiness is a fleeting moment thing, and you cannot hold on to it as the moment passes so fast that you don't even know that it is gone. But in the pursuit of happiness, we get happiness because happiness is a journey, not a destination.
By Andy Ng, Trainer of How to Be a Better Manager, Successful Selling Strategies, How to Be a Great Boss and other management and sales courses.  Details are at here

16 Jan 2014

The 7 Fetters of Highly Effective People

It pains me to see some people that are so talented and yet they did not achieve much.  In fact they have what we called 7 Fetters of Highly Effective People.  Face the fetters and take action today to remove them and you will be on a different path.  The 7 Fetters are:
  1. Having No Goals.  Alas, this is so old-fashioned but really if you have no goals, you will just be living your life on a roller coaster - many ups and downs but you end up where you begin - no improvement at all.  
  2. Having Too 'Ambitious' (Unrealistic) Goals.  This is the opposite of Having No Goals, but is more than that. These people are unrealistic, they are going for the moon when right now they can't even swim in the Pacific Ocean. Such people are not grounded, they live in dreams and often they are impractical.
  3. Having No Friends.  No man can succeed alone and friends can be a great leverage at the right time. Some people said that it is better to have a few enemies but many friends than to have no friends and enemies.  This is because your friends can help you defend against your enemies.
  4. Having Too Many Friends.  These people end up spending all their time on other peoples's issues and they have no time to develop themselves.  You see it too often: people that spend lots of time preparing what presents to buy for their friends' birthdays that they forget to plan for their own lives. 
  5. Having No Money.  Yes, you need money to get a good education, and if you have no money you must know where to get free money like bursaries and sponsorships. 
  6. Having Too Much Money.  Such people have no more desire to succeed and they spend their lives on pursuit of happiness.  Just look at how the second and third generations of successful businessmen spend their time on cars and you'll know what I'm talking about. 
  7. Having Incorrect Understanding of Life.  This is the most serious fetter, and many people didn't even know they have incorrect understanding of life.  For life is not a destination but a journey, it's the journey that brings us happiness, not the destination. Get it?
By Andy Ng, whose courses (under Asia Coaching Training and Asia Trainers) on management, sales and executive skills have reached 12 countries including Japan, China, Australia and Maldives.  Reach him at 65-82014347 or click here. Related articles:

15 Jan 2014

How the Government Can SELL the MCE Away

It was reported that the Government spent S$2.8 million to promote the S$4.3 billion MCE, Singapore's most expensive and newest expressway.  But it seems like most people are not convinced that the MCE is good for them, and many people are wondering if this is a design issue or a communication issue.  In other words, can the Government better persuade us that the MCE is good?  I think the government should SELL the MCE away; SELL is our newest method of persuasion: Suffering, Empathy, Lead and Let them enjoy the benefits.

As a manager, executive or salesperson, you cannot don't persuade people.  For today no one wants to be forced into accepting another person's view, and everyone wants to have his say.  It doesn't matter who is right or wrong, what it matters is people want to be heard.  That is why social media like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are so popular today, as they allow people to share their views freely and without censorship.

From studying the most persuasive speakers to the most followed people on social media, I realized that they follow a certain structure go get people to follow them.  I called this the SELL Way:
S: Suffering
E: Empathy
L: Lead them the way
L: Let them enjoy fruits now

1st step: Suffering
This word "Suffering" is used here in a very wide context and does not just mean negative feelings of suffering.  Suffering means anything that is unsatisfactory, i.e. not satisfactory or short of happy feelings, but not to the extent of dissatisfaction.   Like we all want our income to be higher no matter how much we earn, and such an unsatisfactory feeling will always be there unless we are totally contented or are dead.

So the first step in leading people is to Identify the Suffering they are having right now. You can do so by talking to them or observing their behaviour.  But don't stop here, or you will be just a spectator, to get people to follow you, go to the next step: Empathy.

2nd Step: Empathy
When you know people are suffering, you must show them your empathy or you will be seen as unconcerned and cold. We know that empathy is not the same as sympathy, for  sympathy is feeling sorry for them whereas empathy is feeling sorry with them. You can empathize with people by letting them know that you are aware of their suffering and want to help.  The best help is to help them to take action to reduce or eliminate their suffering, which leads us to the 3rd step.

3rd Step: Lead them the way to end or reduce suffering
Here you show people the solution so that they can end or reduce their suffering. You have to walk the path and most importantly, let them come onto this path of improvement.  But this is not enough to attract them, people may hesitate or procrastinate as they fear failure, that's why we need the 4th and final step.

4th Step: Let them Enjoy the Benefits of the path
Here you let people enjoy the fruits of the path that you have led them NOW.  Results speak for themselves, so you must let people enjoy some early success to give them validation that the path that you have asked them to walk is the right one.

A simple case will wrap up this SELL way easily: suppose you want me to come to your concert. First you must identify any shortcoming of my feelings right now, like I am feeling bored. Then you must empathize with me by letting me know that you are aware of my boredom and would want to help me, which is to show me how your concert will solve my boredom. But to really spring me into action you must let me enjoy some benefits of your solution NOW, like showing me the nice pictures of the concert.  If you follow these 4 steps, I would be jumping to join you.  Isn't this a very simple but effective way to persuade people?  (By the way, this question itself is a persuasion).

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

14 Jan 2014

The QUIET Way to Handle Sales Objections

Today we look at a very useful concept that experts use to handle sales objections, it is called QUIET:
Q: Begin with a Question
U: Understand the objection (with more clarifying questions)
I : Identify the reason behind the objection
E: Empathize with the prospect's objection
T: Test the objection.

Q: Questions

Our 1-day sales training SALES POWER, is taught 7 times a year. Often participants are given a test at the end of the course on how they can handle the top 10 most common objections. One of the most effective is to turn the prospect's statement into a question.  When the prospect says, "Your price is too high", you simply pause, lower your voice, and respond, "You mean the price (pause) is too high for you?"  You are now asking further questions to clarify the prospect's objection so as to UNDERSTAND and IDENTIFY the reason behind the reason.  Usually the reason is not they cannot afford it, but they cannot see the value in what you are selling.

T: Test the Objection

We know that some prospects will not tell you the true objection, and some prospects will not know the true objection themselves.  You can do 2 kinds of tests to help you identify the real objection.

The first is 'Suppose" Test.  "Mr Prospect, just suppose that objection didn't exist. Would you go for this?"  It can also be "Suppose _______, then would you make a 'yes' decision, wouldn't you?

The second is Isolate and Validate Test.  You first ask, "Is there any other reason that would prevent you from taking advantage of our offer today?"  You don't want to deal with an objection competently and professionally and then have another objection spring up.  That's why you want to draw out all objections.

Once the prospect tells you, "No, that is the only objection", you can summarize to validate.  "So Mr Prospect, you're telling me that if _____ and ______ were not issues, you would go ahead, wouldn't you?"  By now the prospect would answer 'Yes' and you have the sale.

So my friend, use the above QUIET method to Handle Sales Objections and you'll close more sales than you can ever imagine.  Remember, until the sale is closed, you are considered as an expense, not profit generator, to your employer. You are not a salesperson until you can close sales.

By Andy Ng, whose sales include How to Close Every Sale, Irresistible Selling and Successful Sales Management. For details, click here.  

How to NOT Get Drained at Work

Many working people tell me (in our training courses) that it's hard to keep the momentum going and they are feeling tired at work.  

We know that if you are drained at work, your productivity will go down.  This will make you feel even more tired as you are not making headways at work.  If left unchecked, you will soon reach burnt-out stage.  Thus all employees, including bosses, must ensure that they don't checked out at work.  The following are the 7 proven ways that everyone can remain fresh and not get drained at work:
  1. Keep a Fresh Perspective every 90 days.  Every 3 months, take a fresh look at your job and its contributions to the society.  You'll realize that your work is not as stale as what it seems.  For we know that as long as you dig deep into your work, you will discover gems at your work.
  2. Take short breaks (5 to 10 minutes) every 2 to 3 hours at work.  If this is too much for your boss, you don't have to take smoking breaks; all you need to do is to not look at your computer screen for 2 minutes and that could be a break too.  
  3. Meditate (in your office). This sounds uncommon, but the world's second largest car company, Ford Motors, has been implementing meditation sessions into its office many years ago.  Today Ford is enjoying the benefits of daily meditation from higher productivity and this is evident from their company's strong performance in the market. 
  4. Learn Something New Every Day.  For learning keeps us fresh and we feel a sense of joy from the new understanding. 
  5. Look Beyond Your Achievements, Look at Who You Have Become.  For who you have become will give rise to your achievements tomorrow.
  6. Attend Seminars, Trainings and Symposiums. Such sessions will give you new ideas that you can apply immediately at your work.  Even if you just get one single idea from the sessions, it is worth your investment. Furthermore, the government now is giving 60% cash back or 400% tax deduction for your training fees under the PIC (Productivity and Innovation Credit) scheme. 
  7. Cut Out Totally Draining Activities, like Politics, Gossiping and All Unproductive Work, including brainless meetings and e-mails that do not go anywhere.  This must be the most powerful idea, but how many people can do this?
By Andy Ng, whose course on 'Becoming High Value Employees' is now making a comeback after running for 7 years.  The next session is on 3 April 2014 Thursday.  Just the ideas on 'Top 15 Things to Do to Win At Work' will be worth your investment.  For details, click here or call 6225-1784.    

13 Jan 2014

Be a Limitless Person

"You can make a great product, but you have to convince people that what you are selling is greater".   CEO John Sculley, in his famous speech to Apple Computer staff in 1983, said, "We are not selling computers, we are selling what people can do with computers.  A tool for the mind, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is limitless".

Indeed, in sales, if you just sell a product or service, you are very much limited in how much you can sell.  But the moment you turn your selling into what your product or service can do for the customer, you can sell anything.  There is simply no limit in your selling.  Just look at the phenomenal sales of iPad and Samsung Galaxy phones and you will know what I'm talking about.

The following are the 5 most common ways to be limitless in your selling:
  1. The Money that Can be Made with What You Are Selling.  As long as this money that people get is more than what they are paying, there is value in what you selling.
  2. The Money that Will be Lost If People Don't Buy What You're Selling.  This is more powerful than the above, as people are more afraid of losing than gaining.  
  3. Look into the Future - how your product or service can make people's future better.  
  4. The Headstart that People can Gain Over their Competitors.   This is because in business, no one wants to be behind their competitors. 
  5. Pursue Your Dreams, as everyone has some dreams to pursue, for without dreams we will all perish. 
By Sales Trainer Andy Ng, whose sales courses are at here.

SALES POWER

MASTER SELLING STRATEGIES AND INCREASE YOUR SALES INCOME

 
Date: 27 Jan 2015 (Wed) 9 am to 5 pm
 
Venue : The Plaza 02-346 7500A Beach Rd   
 
Fee: $398 each, $299 each for 2 and above, $199 each for 5 and above (with PIC 60% grant)
 
Your team has been working very hard and your company products and services are quite well accepted in the market. Your company has also invested heavily in marketing and systems. Yet you find it a challenge to keep up with the ever rising customer expectations and sales targets.
 
Make no mistake: all sales activities must have power or you will lose business to your competitors. Whether you are new or experienced in sales, if you too want to make this year the best of your career, come for this high impact 1-day course...Sales Power...
 
Note: With effect from 1 Jan 2012, all our training programs enable you to get 60% cash payout from the Government under the Enhanced PIC scheme. So take advantage of this Budget Goodie and train your team on selling and/or management skills. Call Andy at 8201-4347 for details
 

POWER-PACKED CONTENTS INCLUDE:

  1. Problem with Most Salespeople and What to Do about it
  2. How to Take Inspired Action by Setting Goals that Drives You
  3. The Five Most Elements in Sales - Prospecting, Marketing, Selling, Transactions and Wallet-Share
  4. How to Double Your Sales by just 10% Increase in Each Line
  5. Top 25 Strategies on the above (include your case study)
  6. The Sales Process from Needs to Closing 
  7. Selling differently to different VAK and DISC people
  8. Building Rapport with NLP Match & Mirror
  9. Overcoming Objections in 15 Key Ways and another 68 methods
  10. Sales Negotiation and How to Negotiate without compromising too much
  11. Jeffrey Fox Power of Dollarization
  12. The Ultimate in Sales Power: Enjoy the Journey and How
 
Bonus: Sure-win Scripts to Close Every Sale and Service Customers
 

BENEFITS:

  1. Higher Sales without Lowering Your Price
  2. Better Service without Increasing your Cost
  3. More Motivated Team without Increasing their Pay
  4. Higher Profits and Happier Team without Fuss
 
*** This course qualifies for PIC (Productivity & Innovation Credit), where you can get 60% Grant. This means your net investment is only 40%. Hurry! Limited seats, register now!
 

FOR WHO TO ATTEND:

  1. Managers and Directors in Customer Service and Sales
  2. Executives in Sales, Bus. Dev. and Sales
  3. All Support Functions Executives and Managers
  4. Self-employed people in Insurance, Banking and Real Estate
  5. Retail Industry personnel

ENQUIRIES:

Ms Idah at 6225-1784 or Andy at 8201-4347 Email to hpa88@singnet.com.sg.

BOOK THE COURSE: SALES POWER

11 Jan 2014

How South Korea Made Me Shameful of My Country and Other Things to Learn from them

It's hard to imagine: South Korea was almost bankrupt 15 years ago in 1998.  Today it boosts the 12th highest per capita GDP (Purchasing Power Parity), way above rich countries like Canada, Australia, Belgium, Sweden and including, yes, Singapore.  South Korea also ranks 4th out of 183 countries on Goldman Sachs' Growth Environment Score, which means that they did not sacrifice the environment for growth.

Bear in mind that this country of 60 million Oriental people is still at a state of war with its neighbour nuclear-arms infested North Korea.  Also note that South Korea was almost devastated from the 3-year Korean War in 1950-1953, plus the exploitation by Japan for 50 years up to World War II.

How did the Koreans did it?  I was in Korea for a one-week holiday and from I gathered at the museums, streets and institutions, there are 5 factors that we all can learn from them:
  1. Self-Sacrifice - the Koreans sacrificed their personal belongings to rescue theie country from the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-8.  Everybody took pay-cuts, and many ordinary people took out their savings and jewellery and gave them to the government voluntarily.  They also donated foreign currencies and just buy local to help their economy.  I wonder if the Spaniards and Greeks do that to save their economies now.
  2. Strong Investment in Education.  South Korea spend 4.5% of their GDP on Education, compared to 3.3% in Singapore (source: wikipedia).  Everyone in South Korea take training seriously even when they are at work.  Koreans would rather sleep less than learn less.  Employees often take up training at night to improve their skills.  In Singapore, many people only attend training if it is held during office hours, and many would not attend company-paid training if there is no lunch provided (at a 5-star hotel).   Even with the Government's PIC $195,000 funding for training, many companies still baulk at sending its employees for training for the bosses don't want to lose working hours on 'unproductive work'.  Korea really made Singapore shameful! 
  3. Government Backing for its Top Enterprises.  From Samsung to LG, from Hyundai to Kia, from Ssangyong to SK-II, the top Korean companies today occupy the top positions in the world in technology, construction and electronics, all with strong government backing.  
  4. Strong Confucian Ethics.  From strict table manners (like you cannot talk while you eat and must let your elders eat first before you can tuck in) to respect for the elders and adherence to moral principles, the Koreans are not just disciplined, they are also strong minded and can withstand hardships without complaints.  Which European nation other than Germany can we say the same for?
  5. Focus on Creativity and Emerging Small and Medium Enterprises.  The Korean Government did everything they can to help the millions of small and medium enterprises (employing anything from 3 to 50 people) to get more business so that the big enterprises like Samsung and Ssangyong can grow.  Also, in Korea, Creativity is a daily affair, and they always think of ways to do something better.  When we were at the Ski Mountain Resort, I was amazed they can adjust the ski schedule at the last minute to accommodate the sudden flux of over 200 tourists.  
But one thing we should not learn from Korean: their high suicide rates.  Maybe this is the price to pay for success, but other than this, there is nothing that left me unimpressed from my Korean trip.  

By Andy Ng at www.asiatrainers.com, whose videos on training at www.youtube.com/AndyNgCoach have reached over 10,000 views now.  Andy's blog at www.AndyNgTrainer.blogspot has now crossed 14,000 views in just a short span of 4 months from September 2013.  

10 Jan 2014

More Pay for Less Work is Not a Dream Anymore

As an employee, it is your wish to earn more but work less this year. Otherwise, how are you going to improve your quality of life and work life balance?  Unknown to many people, it is possible to work less (really work less hours) but earn more (from promotion, bonus and incentives).  The following are the 5 most common ways that we teach to our clients:
  1. Higher Skills - either move up to management level or become even more specialized and be an expert in your work.  Higher skills also mean skills that are of higher demand, like leadership, sales and communication skills.  Studies in Australia show that if you attend at least 2 courses in a month (totalling 8 hours), your chance of getting a promotion in this year increases by 43%.  One of the fastest and free ways to acquire skills is to sign up for corporate training.  Your company will be happy to pay for them because they can get $15,000 cash under the PIC Bonus scheme. 
  2. Be More Skilful, which means to be very mindful of what you do and watch out for details.  This is because most employees are not good at details and bosses know that details can make a big difference in business.
  3. Lead People.  When you lead people instead of following people or just staying put, you can get more things done without doing them yourselves.  Unknown to many people, you do not have leadership skills after you get promoted.  You need to have leadership skills now to get promoted.  
  4. Make Money for Your Employer.  This means 7 things: higher sales, lower labor costs, lower overheads, lower risk, better cash flow, higher margin sales and lastly higher profits.  
  5. Spend More Money for Yourself.  Yes, this sounds stupid but we know that necessity is the best teacher. When you have high commitments every month, you have no choice but to think earn more.  Initially you have to work harder and longer hours to earn more, but after you get promoted you can work less and still earn more.