My name is c.j., and here's the August 2007 issue of Psyche-Selling TM eNewsletter.


    Some issues ago, you might have come across our Sales Effectiveness Questionnaire as a tool to gauge  your sales force's competitiveness.  If you haven't downloaded this tool, your can download an updated copy here.


    On the other hand, if part or most of your sales are generated through Distributors, Agents or Partners, you can also download our Distributor Effectiveness Questionnaire and see if your distributors should deliver more results for you.  Go to http://www.psycheselling.com/DEQ.htm to download your copy today.


    In addition, if you'd like to improve your selling skills thru better communication with customers, pls. check out our August event: http://www.psycheselling.com/How.htm  Seats are limited to 15 people for optimised interactivity.


    This issue's main article is on  "Enabling Your Technical Staff to be Competent Sales People", and it focuses on a key pain in the a*se for companies selling engineering or technical products and services, i.e. having a bunch of sales people who do not understand the technical details of their products; and having technical support who simply does not know what their customers want. 


    Here's an on-point summary:

  • In helping your technical staff to make the switch into sales, understanding customers' business will be far more important than learning any type of selling skills;

  • Since most technical staff have made the transition from pure "techie" into effective business managers/ leaders, getting technical staff to understand customers business needs will be a good halfway-point before becoming a full-fledge sales person;

  • As customers' demand for effective solutions that deliver real results, pairing a technical staff to act as technical support for a sales person may give customers just what they need.

    To read the rest of this newsletter, pls. click here (http://www.psycheselling.com/page4.html).


Enabling Your Technical Staff to be Competent Sales People  

by c.j. Ng


    The biggest headache for many engineering companies and those that provide technical products and services, is that of finding qualified sales people who understand the solutions they are providing, as well as being able to sell those solutions to customers.

    Unfortunately, most technical sales people, esp. (but not uniquely) in China, don't hav the necessary technical grounding of their solutions.  Worse than that, most technical sales people tend to be product peddlers (see our previous issue in http://www.psycheselling.com/eNewsletter%20June%202007.htm) rather than a professional solution provider.  The net result is companies under-achieve their technical sales performance, and yet many companies are at a loss on how to improve their sales results.

    On the other hand, technical staff (including project managers and engineers) tend to prefer conversing with machines than with people, and find the idea of "selling" daunting.  When asked whether they would consider training and converting some of these technical staff to become sales people, most companies' senior managers gave a definite "NO!", citing that doing so will be more difficult than "reaching the sky".

    However, if we were to look at some successful global businesses, we can find out that many successful technical sales people were once upon a time simply good technical staff.  The question is: how to make that transition as smoothly and as painlessly.

Start with Understanding Business Issues

    According to HR Chally, the biggest complaint from customers in a B2B sales situation is "You Don't Understand Our Business!"

    Hence, if you were to have any success in converting technical staff into technical sales staff, the first thing to get them accustomed to isn't sales.  Rather, the first thing that they need a good grounding on is understand your customers' business.

    The good news is such "understanding of customers' business" has been quite well-adopted by technical staff.  Many technical staff have risen to management positions by either attending MBA programmes, or by simply sitting into business meetings and contributing to their companies' business issues.

    The widest ranging of "technical staff who understands business" has to be that of IT programmers.  In the past, IT programmers are simply interested in writing "cool" coding for software, databases and the like.  There was no need to understand customers' business as such.

    Then came the merging of IT and Communications to form the InfoComm industry, which put IT into the forefront of business.  No longer can IT programmers hide behind their desks and monitors.  They have to meet customers, find out the needs, and then deliver something that works in a more effective way.

    This transition from pure "techie" to an "eBusiness Consultant" was a slow, bumpy and sometimes painful ride.  However, most IT professionals today have a much better grounding in the business needs of customers, and are able to come up with innovative solutions that solve business problems easily.

    If so many IT programmers around the world can understand customers' business effectively, any technical staff can to.  The question is how.

Coaching the Techie

    If you are really serious about converting your technical staff of today to be the kick-a*s super sales performer of tomorrow, here's some guidelines on what you can do:

  1. Identify amongst your technical staff who are those who likes to converse with people, and more importantly, likes to help others solve problems (HR Chally provides one of the most comprhensive predictive assessments in this area);
  2. Tell them that you would like to give them more responsibilities that will endear your company with customers by providing better solutions to customers' problems;
  3. Start off by chatting with these selected few with regards to those projects they are currently working on.  Ask them what business problems are they trying to solve for the customer, and if they can suggest ways to do things better;
  4. While these technical staff may not be able to change the project scope at this stage, get them accustomed to the fact that they could have brought a better solution to customers had they been given the chance to share their ideas; 
  5. Next, have these technical staff to go on sales calls with sales people, NOT to learn how to sell yet, but rather act as technical support too advise customers what course of actions to take.  Better still, train your technical staff some simple questioning skills that are non-intrusive but allows the technical staff to know a fair bit of the customers' situation BEFORE going for such sales calls;
  6. Ask both technical staff and sales person to work on sales proposals together;
  7. Monitor the technical staff's performance along the way, and give active feedback.

    In doing the above, you solve 2 problems:

  1. You train, through time, some technical staff who may one-day become great solution sales people in their own right; and
  2. You also are helping your current bunch of sales people to move away from product peddling, and towards professional solution selling.
    While your actual path in transforming your technical staff to competent sales people may involve more than the above 7 steps, this outline should be able to give you a broad direction on how to do so.  

Different Approaches to Selling

    In China, a lot of technical selling are done through schmoozing with customers.  This is one of the few areas that a lot of technical staff hate to, and also an area that gives the sales profession its bad name too.  

    However, with the competition mounting and the pressure to perform increasing exponentially, companies will want effective solutions that work from a technical product or service, rather than the usual schmooze, booze and under-table cash.

    Making such transitions will not be easy (nobody said it will), and it might proven to be darn hard too.  However, such transitions are necessary steps to ever-increasing demands from customers.

        Should you ever need assistance in creating a enabling technical staff to be competent sales people, simply e-mail info@psycheselling.com or call +86-13671902505 or Skype: cydj001.  All information shall be kept in confidence.

Elite Sales Club
A Club set up by Sales Elites, for Sales Elites

We are looking for sales and marketing people (executives, managers, directors, VPs) to help form this Elite Sales Club, with the purposes of:

  • Sharing sales resources (articles, MP3 and videos) on sales and marketing ;
  • Sharing of sales and marketing experiences;
  • Providing feedback and insights for other members;
  • Placing of sales and marketing job vacancies;
  • Placing of CVs for sales and marketing jobs;
  • Reviewing the latest selling tools (IT, training programmes, books, mobile phones etc.) ;
  • Organising gatherings to exchange ideas and experiences, etc.

If you'd like to participate as a member, pls. e-mail your details to info@psycheselling.com and tell us a little more about yourself.  An online forum will be set up soon.

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Practical Tips:

Identifying Good Partners for Trainers


by c.j. Ng


As a Sales Trainer and Coach, I have worked with many training consultancies where they give me jobs and I deliver the training and/ or coaching.

Rather than just sit and wait for jobs to "fall from the sky", what I usually do is to talk in-depth with them, and discuss with them on the future opportunities and challenges they face, and then I give suggestions on how we (me and my Partner) can work together to overcome such .  After all, I'm not the only Sales Trainer that any of these partners represent.  My belief is that if I spend sometime in adding value (besides just delivering training) to them, I might just get a little more of their Mindshare in return.

Not every of the Partner whom I'm working with appreciates all these efforts.  Some even resented this, feeling that I may actually delve into their confidential information or resources.  Worse still, there are others who took my reaching-out for granted, and still regard me as just another "trainer".

Still, the few who are more open in partnering and building strategic alliances will take whatever inputs that I may have to help them grow bigger.  After all, my expertise are in the areas of sales and marketing, and those are the very areas that they will like to improve upon.

As in most partnerships, 80% of my training jobs come from 20% (or less) of my partners.  But sales figures aren't the only criteria I'm measuring my partners (hence my allocation of time with each of them).  I measure my partners on their ability to grow in the near future as well.  I observe them and see if they are taking steps to either get more customers, or to sell deeper with existing ones.  I observe them if they are adaptable to market needs and understand customers' business issues too.

In such cases, there has to be a high level trust between me and my partners.  My long-time partners know me well enough that even if I were to be arranged to speak to customers directly, never will I poach their customers.  If this trust were to be breached, the partnership collapses.

While there are some inherent differences between managing training consultancies, and managing your kinds of distributors, agents or partners, there are many common threads too.


To gauge the effectiveness of your distributors/ partners, you can go to http://www.psycheselling.com/DEQ.htm and download a Distributor Effectiveness Questionnaire.

Better still, log on to http://www.salessense.co.uk/selling_through_partners_introduction.asp .  This is indeed one of the most (if not the most) comprehensive training programmes I've been on distributor/ partner management.

About PsycheSelling.com

As you might have heard of them, the most common challenges faced by sales people in any country, and across nearly every industry, are as follow:

  • Unable to qualify for the right customers;

  • Unable to generate interest through the telephone;

  • Unable to get to the right people (who may or may not be whom you think);

  • Unable to define the decision making structure of customers;

  • Unable to get customers interested and excited about what you have to offer;

  • Unable to sustain customers’ interest through the sales cycle;

  • Unable to get past clients’ objections and close the sale

  • Spending too much time with proposals that seem to go nowhere

  • Unable to sell deeper to the same customers

Having these concerns in mind, the Psyche-Selling TM is created as a result of 1-to-1 coaching with sales people from a variety of industries across 13 cities in Asia.

Psyche-Selling TM is currently operating as a community of experienced sales and marketing professionals helping other sales and marketing professionals.  Psyche-Selling TM welcomes collaborations with consultancies and distributors.

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Enquiries and suggestions, pls. e-mail info@psycheselling.com or visit www.psycheselling.com