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15 Jan 2017

Social Media Selling with Sun Tzu Art of War

As we know, social media marketing is about social first and marketing second. Same for Sun Tzu Art of War: it is about art first and war later.  
'Art' in Sun Tzu Art of War refers to how we do things, while 'War' here refers to winning in the business battlefield. Social media marketing is about how we do and not what we do.  For example, it is not about how nice your photo is on FaceBook but how you post your photo: do you post it with a positive or negative angle?
On the surface, Social Media is a 201x thing, while Art of War belongs to 2,500 years ago. Yet they both share a common origin: the Yi Jing (or Book of Changes) written 5,000 years ago: life is about evolution. Social media is always evolving, while Sun Tzu Art of War is too evolving with the times as Sun Tzu advocates flexibility as the key winning strategy.
Today I shall look at the 5 Elements of Sun Tzu Art of War and they can be applied in our Social Media Marketing. 
  1. Know Yourself Know Your Opponent, a Hundred Battles will be without Peril. In social media marketing, we need to know ourselves and how we want others to know us. That's why we don't post everything about ourselves but only things that we know well and how we want others to know us. For example, I post pictures about Chinatown because I know I am familiar with Chinatown. 'Know others' in social media marketing refers to knowing what netizens are concerned with at this time. If I post videos about what people are concerned with now, like the Lee Kuan Yew death in March 2015, I will get more shares and reads
  2. Timing is Everything: Sun Tzu said in war, a shorter but better-timed war is better than a longer and poorer timed war. In social media, shorter but more frequent posts are more read and shared than longer and infrequent posts. Also, the timing of your post is important: you should post when people are more free to read, like after 10 pm on weekdays and after 11 pm on Saturdays. Never post anything after 1 am, unless you want to capture the late owls eyeballs. 
  3. Start from a High Position: In war, if you start from a higher terrain, you can see your enemy clearly and victory is assured than if you start from a ground. Same as social media. Start from a high position, which is never the low position like complaints, pessimistic and hatred. A high position in social media is about three things: love, care and concern
  4. War is about Deception: Sun Tzu advocates using deception, which is simply changing the perception, as tactics in our war. In social media marketing, we use tactics like branding, positioning, and edification to elevate the perception of how the public view us
  5. Dao is Everything: Sun Tzu emphasized the importance of having the right Dao or purpose for your war. If you have a good and strong purpose, people will follow you. Like the USA won the Iraq War in 1991 because the purpose was strong and righteous, and lost the Iraq War in 2013-2010 because of dubious reasons. In social media, our purpose is always one and only thing: connecting people. If your messages on social media are connecting people, people will follow you and do what you say.
By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer Coach at  Follow Andy at and WeChat him at 65-8201-4347 now


What is Social Selling?  It is definitely beyond social media selling and is beyond selling. Together with Heart Selling, Consultative Selling, Key Account Selling and Attraction Selling, Social Selling is considered more effective. It is definitely way above Hard Selling and better than Problem Solving Selling. Social Selling has 8 key elements:
  1. You Sell without Selling, because you are never selling and only Socialising. Make friends, not make sales. 
  2. Share, not Sell. You share matters that people are most concerned with, and people will be connected with you. When people are connected with you, they will buy without you selling. 
  3. Making friends take priority over making money. So you would rather lose the sale than lose a friend
  4. You have to put making a sale or presenting out of the back of your mind. In other words, you simply make friend and that's it. You don't make friend because you want to present your friend with something, right?
  5. Group is more important than individual. Social means the society, thus social selling is about benefiting the society moer than benefiting the individual
  6. No Rejections or Objections, only Referrals. In social selling, because you don't sell at all but only share, you have no objections or rejections. If you face objection or rejection, you're not doing social selling but only selling. For in social selling, you don't propose at all. You just simply make friends. And if people don't accept your friendship, there is no rejection, only a friend in the making!  
  7. Ultimately Social Selling will lead to a sale, that's why it is called social selling and not social gathering. But the sale only comes after the connection is built. There is no selling at all because your friend will simply buy from you without you asking, for they treat you like a friend and want to support you. 
  8. With Social Selling, continuous selling is unnecessary. This is because people are so connected with you that they will just keep on purchasing without you asking. Just look at the yearly or once-in-two-years upgrade of iPhones and you'll know what I am talking about. People feel so connected with iPhone that they will become life-long customers. That must be the goal of social selling, isn't it?

By Andy Ng, Sales Trainer Coach with and producer of 91 training videos at 


Everyone knows today’s economy is very different from 2015 or even January 2016. Not only are the costs rising, selling prices continue their downward spiral. These factors, coupled with labour shortage and Brexit factor, make many businessmen wonder: where is the future?
As we know, every crisis produces winners. We need to ensure that we are the winner and not the loser. To do that, we must adapt fast and evolve with the rapidly changing markets. This means that we need to move to higher gear: innovate fast and ramp up productivity.
As we know, innovation is about strategies and tactics and productivity is about people.  We can learn from people who have done it before: people who have won numerous battles for thousands of years using a proven formula: Sun Tzu Art of War.
Background information and Why Sun Tzu is powerful:
Sun Tzu (or Sūn Zǐ in pinyin) was a 500 BC Chinese general and military strategist. He led his country won numerous battles against its stronger and bigger neighbours. Past and present Generals, Kings and Emperors studied Sun Tzu’s military classic “Art of War” or 孙子兵法 in depth. Even the USA Army used the Art of War strategy and won the Iraq War in 1991. Today, many top-notch companies including Apple, FaceBook and Samsung use Sun Tzu ideas and became world business leaders. Definitely Sun Tzu’s strategies are worth billions of dollars.
Now you can learn all the important strategies of Sun Tzu Art of War in a very easy-to-understand and affordable way. Asia Trainers and its Chief Trainer Andy Ng have been conducting Sun Tzu Art of War training for leaders, managers and salespeople since 2009. Our Sun Tzu courses have travelled to outside Singapore including China, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Cambodia and Thailand. We have been featured numerous times in the media including Lianhe Wan Bao, Sin Ming Daily News, My Paper and The Straits Times. For example, on 1 September 2016, Andy will be addressing over 120 officials from Singapore's Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and over 100 entrepreneurs from Singapore Enterprise Association on 10 December 2016. 
If you too want to learn Sun Tzu’s secrets of Art of War and apply to your business in Innovation and Productivity, now is the time. Enrol for this course today!  
For Who to Attend: Bosses and Businesspeople and People in sales, human resource and operations
Topics covered in this power-packed 3-hour training include:
1.     What is Innovation and how most people are just creative and not innovating
2.     Success stories of innovation: Oppo
3.     Sun Tzu’s Philosophy on Winning as applied to Innovation and Productivity
4.     Ever More with Ever Less: Art of War’s mindset in Productivity and Innovation
5.     Sun Zi’s 5 Elements of Purpose, Climate, Leader, Ground and Methods
6.     The 6 Key Strategies of Art of War: Win without Fighting, Inner Knowledge, Occupy the Right Ground, Right Timing, Being Efficient and Right Use of Deception
7.     The adjusting of Perception in Sun Tzu’s ‘Deception’ tactics
8.     The 4 Steps in Innovation per Sun Tzu Art of War
9.     Getting your people to be more productive with Sun Tzu’s ‘Attack what is weak’ strategy
10.  The Ultimate in Innovation and Productivity: Sun Zi’s ‘Take the Entire Nation’ concept by Sun Tzu 

14 Jan 2017

Number One Result that Have the Biggest Impact in Your Life

"What is the number one result that you believe would bring you the biggest result in this year?"

This is the question that I have, since 3 January 2017, asked my clients, this year. Not once but 7 times.

People give me different answers, "I want to build my business to a new level this year", "I want to super-charge my career" and "I want to fire my boss" are the three most common answers so far.

As the responses emerge, they reveal something important. Your answer to this question shows what you currently believe would give you your biggest return on investment (ROI) for the time, energy and money that you put in.

I would next ask a powerful question, "Knowing what you know now, are you willing to break out of your comfort zone and do what is necessary to achieve the result you want this year?"

This is where they will give me silence.

Let's face it: most people are just living in dreams. They say they want something, but often it is not a want but just a wish, like new year wishes. A want is more than a wish: a want is your desire. Like now I want a new iPhone 7 this is not a wish.

Until you make your wish your want, you are just living 2017 the same as 2016; going nowhere. It's time to go somewhere, and to do that you need to get out of your comfort zone and do what is necessary.

I will next ask 4 questions:

  1. What are the key factors that influence your ability to create the results you desire, and how can you develop those factors?
  2. What are the obstacles that have been holding you from getting the results you want, and how can you eliminate those obstacles?
  3. How can you leverage on people, knowing that people are your greatest resource, to get what you want?
  4. Are you able to do this with your current personality?  As a coach, I know of coachees that possess personality that will never get them ahead, like being soft and indecisive
If you can answer the above questions, you have it!  

Written by Andy Ng, Business Coach and Trainer with AsiaTrainers. Andy is available for short, one-time or many-times coaching sessions, at an affordable fee. Contact him at 65-82014347 now! 

2 Jan 2017

Understanding Customer Psychology

Why do people queue up to buy iPhone when it sells for double the price of other phones and is one to two times the average monthly income of most people?  Why when internet companies launch free mobile apps people download them immediately but baulk when they are asked to pay for the apps?

Welcome to the world of psychology, in this case, customer psychology. Human beings are highly complex creatures and most people don't even know themselves, let alone know what their customers think and want. Because of impermanence, un-satisfaction and focus on self, people are not only highly unpredictable but also highly eco-centric.

From years of training, consulting and coaching people in 15 countries from U.S.A. to China and Maldives, we at Asia Trainers have come up with the following 5 factors that make people think, decide and buy from you. Whether you are now selling to individuals or corporates, if you too want to get ahead of the pack and outsell your competitors, you need to understand customer psychology as follows:

1. Convenience and Exclusivity Rules the Day
People often say customers decide emotionally and justify their decisions with logic. So convenience and exclusivity are our top point that makes people buy.

In the mobile commerce world, if your app takes more than two seconds to download, people will close your app immediately. Taobao takes exclusivity to a high level when it launches 30 minutes special offer to the world and sold 100,000 units in 10 minutes!

If what you sell is not convenient to buy, and everyone can buy it easily, you need to sell at a low price or you will sell very slowly.

2. People Don't Think Like Computers But Think Like Children
We often think that customers are rational and will pick the better choice. Yet we often see the lousier choice sells more than the better ones (think of low-budget soap operas having more audience than dramas with higher budgets).

Because human beings think like children, they like to be coaxed. Children have short memory and are once bitten, twice shy. Apple has failed customers many times before yet people forget about Apple's problems but if iPhone 7's battery were to explode like Samsung Galaxy Note 7, people will stay away from Apple.

So we have to coax customers, please them and never fail them in a big way.

3. People are Naturally Suspicious and will Doubt You Initially
This is where most salespeople fail, especially those from big names like IBM and Xerox. The salesmen from these giants cannot take rejection, for they cannot understand how can anyone in this world doubt their big names?

Truth be told, even big names are difficult to trust initially, especially their over-priced products. The solution is simple: win over people's trust by doing things for people.

4. Analysis Paralysis affects Everyone
If you give people 2 choices, they will choose quickly. Give them 3 choices, and the decision time gets doubled. If you give people 5 choices, they will take 10 times the time to choose as compared to 2 choices.

The more people analysed, the more they get confused, and in the end, they reach a state called Analysis Paralysis. Look at all the deadlocks in Parliaments and you'll know what I'm talking about.

The solution is to give people few but high-quality choices. Limit your choices to 3.

5. Losing is More Painful than Gaining
Professor Robert Cialdini did an experiment, where households were told that if they were to install a newly launched special offer $50 gadget in their house, they will save their electricity bills by $15 a month.  Few households take up this special offer.  When households were told that if they don't install this $50 gadget, they will lose $15 a month.  More households take up this 2nd offer when in reality these two offers are the same.

Given a choice, people will do whatever it takes to avoid a loss than to make a gain. That's why governments usually impose a fine on people if they break traffic rules, but never give people merit points or money if they follow the rules.

Written by Sales Coach Andy Ng, whose course Psychological Selling is now available in Asia on 22nd June 2017 Thursday 9 am to 5 pm.  Limited seats available, grab yours now at 67% discount ($99 instead of $298) at here.  Enquiries please e-mail to or text to 65-8201-4347 now.

1 Jan 2017

I Ask Myself These 7 Power Questions Today

Questions are the answers, and smart people don't ask smart questions but empowering questions, questions that give you more power. 

So on this first day of 2017, I ask myself these 7 powerful questions:
  1. Do you truly want 2017 to be better than 2016?  If so, do you have the plans to make it happen?  
  2. Are you committed to doing things that you find uncomfortable, but will bring you results for 2017?
  3. Are you working on strategic opportunities, or are you still looking out for transactional opportunities?
  4. Is your boss going to help you get what you want?  Can you ask your boss for more?  If you are the boss, is your team helping you to achieve your goals?  Can you get better team and ask for more results from them?
  5. Are you resolved to spend your valuable time and resources with truly good opportunities for improvement?
  6. Will you listen more to your customers, your boss, your colleagues, your vendors and people that will help you in your work?  Will you engage them with questions, rather than try to prove your capabilities with your wonderful knowledge?
  7. Will 2017 be the same as 2016?  or Worse that 2016?  It all depends on what you have set yourself up to.  For me, 2017 will be a big jump from 2016, because the seeds that I planted in 2016 will begin to see fruits in 2017 and beyond. Like going to China, Cambodia, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia for training and consulting projects.  Related articles: