You are receiving this email because of your relationship with Directions Consulting. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe at the bottom of this e-mail

CJNg _ 2.jpg



    Here's the April 2011 issue of Psyche-Selling TM eNewsletter, and it is the time to go out to the market and start selling!


    Recently, I have been getting a lot of feedback from sales people saying that they had a lot of trouble handling customers who has all the buying power but none of the business and technical knowledge to make sensible buying decisions.  We call this kind of buyers "Muggles", a word which we borrow from the Harry Potter series, which means people who lacks any sort of magical ability.


     If Buyers who do not know what really matters most to them are called Muggles, then we can also term those who know a lot about their business, technical and user requirements can be termed as Wizards.  Selling to both groups of Buyers will require the sales person to be highly skilled in guiding the customer to your way of thinking.


     Hence, this month's topics:

  1. Selling to Muggles: How to Make the Sale when Buyers have No Idea What You're Talkin' About; and

  2. Nobody Asked for Butterflies: Use Singapore's Changi Airport as an example, and your employees and customers will fall in love with your enterprise


     This issue's main article is on  "Selling to Muggles: How to Make the Sale when Buyers have No Idea What You're Talkin' About", and we will be exploring some of the strategies to either persuade, educate or out-flank the customer.


    In brief:

  • Just because customers make buying decisions, it does not imply that all of them know exactly what they want or what is of value to them;

  • While there has been a lot of emphasis on educating customers so that they make better-informed buying decisions, some customers are more open to new ideas than others, and not all can be easily persuaded;

  • Even with your best efforts and best intentions, there will be certain Muggles (and even some Wizards) who will prefer to stick to their own opinions.  Perhaps it will then be time for you to seek more receptive buying influencers instead.  Read on... ...  


    To read the rest of this newsletter, pls. click here (


    In the meantime, if you had missed our February 2011 Power Breakfast Hour, you can download our PPT on "Taking On the Giants: How to Sell to BIG Companies even when You have Small Budgets and little Brand Recognition" or click the links below for the video recordings:

Selling to Muggles: How to Make the Sale when Buyers have No Idea What You're Talkin' About

by c.j. Ng


     Jack has been working closely with a new client for several months to try to get them to switch from their current supplier to Jack's company.  Since the particular materials they use can vary a lot from system to system, Jack has lots of questions and wants to make sure it will meet the customer's needs.  Based on Jack's understanding of what the customer's current vendor is providing, it's unlikely that this competitor could meet the customer's needs for energy and waste reduction, even though the competitor claims otherwise.


     Armed with the latest research to show that if the customer would just switch, they could definitely achieve substantial cost savings in energy consumption and waste disposal, not to mention additional improvements in productivity due to reduction in maintenance-related downtime.


     Jack then approached the customer's Purchasing Manager who has a reputation for always trying to cut costs to the bone, that Jack felt like it’s almost a personal thing for her.  It didn't help things when Jack's product, while far more superior than the current one the customer is using, is priced  50% higher per unit.  Furthermore, as Jack's product is a new innovation that had just been launched into the market.  That means, the Purchasing Manager hasn't heard or known about the benefits of such technological improvements.  Although the Purchasing Manager knows a fair bit about the business, she misses some of the business, technical and user advantages of Jack's product.


     Undaunted, Jack set up the meeting with the Purchasing Manager, hoping that he can convince her with his research data.  To Jack's dismay, the Purchasing Manager was ONLY interested in price.  All the research  data that showed the potential cost savings did not appeal to the Purchasing Manager at all.  In fact, it is precisely that Jack's product is a new innovation that sparked the Purchasing Manager's concerns that the new product's delivery reliability and quality consistency might not match those provided by their current vendor.


     Feeling frustrated, Jack now explores what other options he has in order to move forward with this client.


Muggles vs. Wizards


     Let's face it.  None of us can be a "Wizard" in all aspects of our work.  So it is normal that some of the Purchasing Managers  we face can be a Wizard in managing the purchase, but is a Muggle when it comes to understanding their company's business, technical and users needs.  Based on our preliminary surveys, about 83% Purchasing Managers rank the following criteria as the most important when considering a purchase:
  1. Price
  2. Flexible payment terms
  3. Fast and reliable delivery schedules and consistent product quality
  4. Ease of maintenance
  5. Reputation of the Vendor
     By and large, Purchasing Managers are not familiar with "the Total Cost of Ownership" concept, and are very skeptical about how your products can help them reduce costs, improve productivity or reduce hazardous risks.  They are usually Muggles when it comes to helping their companies achieve better business results.
     If you are skeptical with the above findings, look around you and ask:
  • How many Purchasing Managers can tell you how they can help the company achieve better cost-down, without reducing the price of their purchases?
  • How many Purchasing Managers actually go down to the suppliers' plants or warehouses to physically inspect their purchases, since reliable delivery and consistent quality is a key concern?
  • How many Training Managers (who purchase training programmes) can suggest practical ways to identify training needs and improve training effectiveness?
     Purchasing Managers also don't usually initiate the sourcing of new innovations in the supply of materials and equipment.  It's usually the user's departments that raise the need to upgrade or source for new and better supplies for production.  These needs to switch to or explore new suppliers can include:
     Buyers are not necessarily confined to Purchasing Managers only, and even if the Buyer is the boss or managing director or CEO, that does not mean that he or she is automatically a Wizard or a Muggle.  Sales people will have to exercise caution and sound judgment to decide if there are needs to further educate the customer.

Open vs. Closed Customer


     Besides distinguishing between Muggle and Wizard customers, sales people also have to distinguish between customers who are more "Open" to discussions and the external world, as well as those who are "Closed" to discussions and exploration of future possibilities.


     Hence, we can group buyers into the following 4 combination:

  • Open Muggle;

  • Closed Muggle;

  • Closed Wizard;

  • Open Wizard


     If your goal is to persuade and educate the Buyer, then you are referring to the "Open Muggle".  These are the Buyers who understand there are limitations to their understanding of their buying needs, and are willing to take steps to understand more.  In fact, they don't confine their understanding of their buying needs and requirements to just the sales person.  Rather, they take steps (and sometimes great pains) to communicate with their business, technical and user stakeholders so as to understand their needs as well.   These are the Buyers who will appreciate the sales person's help in educating them, and will resent those who want to take advantage of their lack of knowledge.


     "Closed Muggles" are those who don't know what they are doing, but often assume or pretend they know.  They tend to focus a lot on price, block any attempt for you to talk to any of their colleagues, and refuse to learn their company's business.  Unfortunately, most Purchasing Managers belong to this category.  With the "Closed Muggles" it's either you are referred by someone who knows them well, or you may have to out-flank them and talk to someone else instead.


     "Closed Wizards" tend to be authoritative figures who know what they are doing and are directive in their communication.  They tend to give clear instructions to sales people, and will not accept any "if, and or but".  While "Closed Wizards" may know a great deal about their business and how to get the best deal from sales people, they are unlikely to be "Wizards" all the time, and might make judgmental errors too.  When dealing with the "Closed Wizard", sales people will have to do lots of preparation, and be prepared to answer lots of difficult questions.  

     Finally, there are the "Open Wizards", and are so-called because they know their stuff and are still open to new ideas and discussions.  These Buyers are the rarest in the market, and are almost undetectable.  They tend to judge sales people by the questions the sales people ask to see if the sales people know their own stuff.  "Open Wizards" are in no hurry to demonstrate their in-depth knowledge, and prefer to share those knowledge to sincere sales people who would like to explore better solutions that deliver better results.

Advancing Your Sale


     Even when you can distinguish whether a Buyer is a Muggle or a Wizard, or is she Open or Closed, you will not know what the Buyer really is until you have met her.  By then, the Buyer would have then made her opinions and judgments about you, regardless of what she is.

     Hence, here are some tips on how you can create good first impressions even with the toughest of the Buyers:

  • Be prepared.  Don't just rush out for the sales meeting.  Do prepare for some tough questions or even objections that you may need to answer;

  • Build trust.  Don't rush into selling just yet.  Seek to understand your customers' business, technical and user needs, then your customer will want to understand your solution;

  • Don't just "die" with one contact.  Beware the Buyer who claims to be the Key Decision Maker when he is not.  Typcially, Key Decision Makers don't claim they are Key Decision Makers, and those who claim so are usually not.  Be prepared to develop networks within the customer's organisation.

     Ultimately, the sales person would have to size up the sales situation and know what kind of Buyer is she dealing with, so as to implement the most suitable sales strategy to advance the sale.

     Need help in selling to Muggles (and Wizards too)?  Simply e-mail or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha.  All information shall be kept in confidence.

Power Breakfast Hour: 18 May 2011
Selling to Muggles: How to Make the Sale when Buyers have No Idea What You're Talkin' About


     Join International leadership, innovation and sales force effectiveness consultant c.j. Ng in this Power Breakfast Hour in Shanghai where you will find out:

  • How to identify whether your Buyer is a Muggle or Wizard, or if she is Open or Closed to your ideas;

  • How to deal with each kind of Buyer, even if they might have no idea what you're talkin' about;

  • How to be prepared to give a good first impression that builds trust and credibility to any kind of Buyers


VENUE:  Crowne Plaza Shanghai • 400 Panyu Road (near Fahuazhen Road) • 上海银星皇冠酒店 •  番禺路 400 号 (靠法华镇路)

DATE: Wednesday, 18 May 2011

TIME: 08:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 



     To make this a more conducive discussion, we are expecting a small group of about 15 people only. The room can only take in 18, so please register early to avoid disappointments. Please e-mail your registrations to 


     You can also download our Power Breakfast Hour video on How to Motivate Gen Y (80's/ 90's)Employees.


     Pls. check out our web sites and for more inspiration.


Need a Keynote Speaker for your Annual Conference?


     Whether you are holding a conference for your regional staff, resellers or even customers, we have the right speaker who can help you deliver the spirit of your conference, and effect positive changes to meet your goals.


     The topics our speakers can speak on include:


    • Achieving Exceptional Customer Satisfaction, Productivity and Talent
      Retention by Boosting Your Employee Engagement

    • Using the Six Thinking Hats to Win More Sales and Get More Customers

    • Why Some Sales People Succeed While Others Fail?;

    • How to Lure Away Your Competitors' Key Accounts, and Make Them Buy from You Instead?;

    • Improving Sales Productivity by Motivating the Sales Force;

    • Sun Tzu and the Art of Strategic Decision Making;

    • The End of Guanxi as We Know It!; and many more!


     Simply e-mail your requests to or call +86-21-6219 0021 for enquiries.  Sample video and audio recordings available upon requests.


Practical Tips for Customer Service Managers:

Nobody Asked for Butterflies: Use Singapore's Changi Airport as an example, and your employees and customers will fall in love with your enterprise


By Ron Kaufman

Excerpt from BusinessWeek


There you are, wandering through life, when suddenly someone does something unexpected for you. Instantly your heart thumps. Your face becomes flush. And your reality changes forever. I'm talking about the moment you experience butterflies.

Human interactions fill our days. Some are negative. Most are easily forgotten. But then there are those rare occasions when we fall, absolutely, in love.

Do you know how to make someone fall in love with you? Your business? Your culture?


Changi Airport in Singapore knows. It's actually the most applauded and awarded airport in the world. And it gives millions of travellers butterflies every year, literally.

So the next question is, what if we either could not find, or could not afford the higher pay as demanded by the smart-and-hardworking new hire?  Does that mean we will have to compromise our workforce's productivity as such?

The facility combines the thrill of an amusement park, the comfort of a luxury resort, and the intrigue of a massive shopping mall. And it contains a real butterfly garden with a profusion of flowering plants, lush greenery, and an indoor waterfall. Visitors can witness the beauty and majesty of the butterfly at close range. And not just a few butterflies.  Hundreds.

Add to that all the amazing shopping and dining experiences, a swimming pool, napping rooms, spa treatments, movie theatres, video gaming stations, and a slide that zooms travellers (if they dare) from the third story of an enormous terminal down to the first. Suddenly you're no longer in a place of transit, but rather a destination. How can you resist falling in love? That is, of course, the intention of Changi Airport.


"Our vision is to connect lives," says Foo Sek Min, executive vice-president of airport management. "Airports are typically stressful places. Our goal is to remove stress. And it doesn't just happen with people. It must envelop the entire culture. It must uplift the entire organization—the people, the equipment, and the process."


Obviously this methodology worked for Changi Airport. Since the airport's humble beginnings in 1981, Changi has turned into the global standard for functionality, aesthetics, and service. It ranks as the world's sixth busiest airport, surprising and delighting more than 42 million travelers a year. That's seven times more people than Singapore's entire population.


Travellers fall in love with Changi because the airport has built an uplifting service culture. What is that? Here's my definition: An uplifting service culture is a shared purpose within every aspect of your business—from the boardroom to the front line—where everyone focuses on creating value for other people both internally and externally.

Uplifting service cultures create customer loyalty, unite and engage employees, accelerate teamwork, add value to a product, and create a sustainable competitive advantage. Yet the impact of creating an uplifting service culture is much bigger. Changi Airport, for example, serves as the gateway to Singapore. And due to its geographical location, the island country is also one of the busiest layover airports in the world. Consider that effect. Even if you never leave the airport terminal, what will be your perception of Singapore as a country?

How do you build an uplifting service culture to make people love your organization?.

"Share a vision," says Foo. "Twenty-eight thousand people come to work at the airport every day. Only 1,300 are airport employees. The rest work for more than 200 companies who do business in the airport. That's a lot of people. That's a lot of mission statements. But there's only one Changi."

"Teach a vision," advises Foo. "I can't train an immigration agent how to perform their job. But I can teach them how a smile can impact the entire organization. And when they are taught, not trained, they are inspired by the bigger picture and choose to perform. Realize your vision. Almost every Singaporean travels each year. They understand they have a stake in the success of this airport. It's the gateway to their home, Singapore's front door to the world. That's important for everyone who works here to understand. And when this is realized, we make it real."

Uplift the service where you work and see how quickly people fall in love with you. And if you need an inspiration or a new idea to get started, consider this: Nobody asked for butterflies.


Ron Kaufman is a global consultant who specializes in building service cultures.  He is the author of Up! Your Service and 14 other books.  His firm, Up! Your Service, has offices in Singapore and Newark, Del.


If you would like to get more and better ideas how to create "wow" customer experiences, you can e-mail or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha.  All information shall be kept in confidence.



Sales... ....the lifeblood of a company, a matter of "life and death", survival or extinction.  Indeed, something that needs to be studied, applied and re-modified consistently.


Yet today,

  • many companies still don't have a coherent approach as to how they can generate more sales and achieve better margins;

  • many sales people are still lying to their customers so that they can meet their targets at the end of the month;

  • many customers are still waiting ethical and professional sales people to help them find out their real needs, and provide solutions that work


Psyche-Selling TM is set up so that companies and sales people can make healthy profits and STILL provide genuine solutions to customers.


Psyche-Selling TM would like to create an environment where customers can trust sales people to give them what they want, and NOT be pushed with all kinds of products and services.  In return, customers will become loyal fans of these ethical and professional sales people, and repay them many fold for the long-term.


Psyche-Selling TM will not rest, until the above is achieved.  Not just in China. Not just in Asia.  But everywhere where buying and selling takes place.


Psyche-Selling TM is a wholly-owned brand of Directions Management Consulting Pte Ltd that specialises in the field of improving sales performance by enhancing the performance of the entire sales team.  Apart from the regular "selling skills training", Psyche-Selling ng TM conducts pre- and post-training analysis, interviews, monitoring and reviews, working closely with managers and even senior management, to deliver real improvements in sales leadership and performance.


Hence, Psyche-Selling TM would like to be known as the preferred choice of outstanding and remarkable clients, and pride ourselves as such.  We will also be continuing to assist our clients achieve greater heights in 2009 and beyond.


Enquiries and suggestions, pls. e-mail or visit



Mailing Address: Shui Cheng Nan Road 51 Lane No. 9 Suite 202 Shanghai 201103 China