CJNg _ 2.jpgHi!


    Here's the January 2010 issue of Psyche-Selling TM eNewsletter, Happy New Year to you! 


    As usual, most people set their new year resolutions at the start of the new year.  Most sales people also set their targets and goals at the beginning of the year.  Yet sad to say,  most of these resolutions, goals and targets somehow did not materialize at the end of the year.  This is despite the fact that most of us have been to one kind of goal-setting workshop or another.  I guess there must be something missing when we were setting our goals then!


Hence, this month's topics:

  1. How to Set and Achieve Your Goals for 2010 and Beyond; and

  2. 6 Steps for Incorporating Training into Sales Meetings

This issue's main article is on  "How to Set and Achieve Your Goals for 2010 and Beyond", and it tells us why conventional goal setting methods are not quite adequate to help you achieve your goals.  To achieve those “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals”, you need a little something more!


    In brief:

  • While conventional S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting techniques provide a good basis to set goals, we sometimes lack the compelling reason why we MUST reach those goals we set;
  • Finding a compelling reason why you need to reach those goals can be easy for some, and difficult for others.  For most people, if your goal-setting is to merely follow other people’s goals, then you may lack the compelling reason for yourself;
  • There are 2 sides to having a compelling reason why you need to set a certain goal. While most of us will think about the rewards we get when we achieve those goals, it may also be helpful to think about the unpleasant things that will happen if we DON’T achieve them!  Read on... ...  


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


In the meantime, we are conducting a 1-day Chinese workshop on 5 Feb 2010 in Shanghai on Sun Tzu and the Art of Improving Your Sales Force’s Performance 《孙子兵法 如何提升销售团队绩效》.  Details found here: http://www.psycheselling.com/suntzu050210.htm


How to Set and Achieve Your Goals for 2010 and Beyond


by c.j. Ng


    It’s the time of the year again when we set our personal, business and corporate goals.  Yet despite all we have learnt about goal-setting, many of our goals are not met at the end of the year.


     There are many reasons why we don’t reach our goals.  It’s not due to the lack of skills, knowledge nor resources.  Neither is it about the lack of planning that results in unfulfilled goals and promises.  Rather, it is largely due to a lack of commitment.  That’s right, a lack of commitment to the goals you set.


     When most people set yearly goals, they usually don’t set the goals as “what are the things that I want to achieve this year”.  Most people actually set goals as “what are the things that my boss/ family/ friends etc. expect me to achieve this year”.


     While it is a virtue to be considerate for the people around you, setting goals according to what others want (and NOT what you really wanted) tends to have an effect of you asking “why should I work so hard to do this”, especially when you meet challenges and obstacles.  If your goals are not what you really want to achieve, then you unlikely to be fully committed to achieving those goals.  You lack a compelling reason to do so.


Back to the Basics


     The most commonly taught way to set goals is to use the S.M.A.R.T way, the acronym being:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable or Ambitious

R – Realistic or Results-oriented

T – Time-bound


     (And there are the many different permutations of S.M.A.R.T. goal settings.)


     If you set goals that are specific, measurable and time-bound, chances are you have laid a well-thought plan that will reach your goals.


     However, while it is good to have solid planning so that you know how to reach your goals, having a compelling reason why you MUST reach these goals will help you overcome the obstacles and challenges, and then go the extra mile to achieve your goals. 


     In business lingo, that’s the difference between merely reaching targets vs. exceeding ALL expectations.


     This is NOT to discredit S.M.A.R.T. goal setting.  Merely being passionate and excited about your goals will not help you achieve them unless you know specifically what needs to be done.  S.M.A.R.T. goal setting allows us to plan for what we want to do in an objective and rational manner.


Hence, having a compelling reason why you MUST reach your goal, and then using the S.M.A.R.T. techniques will help you move one step closer to achieving your goals


Why MUST I Achieve My Goals?


Here’s a picture of how most annual targets are being laid out for most employees, from the employees’ point of view:

  1. Management runs through the targets and financial figures for last year;

  2. Management then announces that the targets for the coming year, be it a 20%, 50% or 100% increase over last year’s;

  3. Management then asks all employees to work harder and smarter to meet or exceed these targets

     Here are some actual employees’ responses when they receive such directives from management:

  • “How does management know that we can achieve these targets?  Do they know how difficult it was already to meet my last year’s targets?”
  •  “Increase sales by 100%?  Impossible!  I’m NOT even going to try.”
  •  “They want us to produce more, and still ask us to reduce headcount.  Are they nuts?”


     This is not to say that as managers, we should give in to the excuses of some team members who are either whining all the time, or have already given up without really trying.ying.


     Rather, if management could take some of the following actions, they may be able to give some compelling reasons for their employees to be a lot more committed to the company’s goals on objectives:


  • Give reasons why the new targets are within reason, e.g. the market is also growing at a similar rate, or there will be some new products that will capture a lot more customers;
  • Break down into individual products, regions, customer segments how such goals and targets can be achieved.  Or better yet, involve all employees to brainstorm how such goals can be achieved and allow them to request for resources (within reason) to help them achieve these goals;
  • Let them see brightness of the future, i.e. what positive things will happen for the company, and for themselves if such goals are reached.  After all, no one likes to tell their friends that the companies they work for are unsuccessful and always fail to achieve its targets.  People like to help make their companies they work for successful too!


     In doing so, your team members are more likely to:


  • See possibilities, rather than mere obstacles.  Only when they know that they can achieve your goals will they put in the effort to make things work;
  • See the bigger picture and how they add value to the company.  People like to be appreciated and recognized for their achievements, and if they can know the value they bring, it gives them a lot job satisfaction 


     The same principle applies to your personal goal-setting as well.  What will be some compelling reasons you can give yourself, if you were to achieve your goals?


What If I DON’T Achieve My Goals


     While it is good to paint a beautiful picture of the future to motivate your team members to achieve their goals, the reverse may also be use as a form of motivation as well. 


    This means that we paint a negative picture of what will happen if the goals are not achieved by the end of the year.  Negative future pictures can be:


  • Loss of income and bonuses;
  • Losing huge market share for the company, which may result in the employee losing his job;
  • Diminished career prospects if the employee consistently failed to reach goals and targets;
  • Loss of face, due to the resulting repercussions if the goals and targets are not achieved


The reason that we are painting negative future pictures, in addition to positive ones, is people are motivated as much as seeking pleasure or positive outcomes as they are by avoiding pain or negative outcomes.  In fact, studies have shown that we tend to respond faster to avoiding pain, than to seeking pleasure.  Hence, if we are looking to motivating ourselves and others, sometimes a little “kick in the butt” can go a long way.


In painting future pictures, both positive and negative ones, here are some tips on how to make them more effective in reaching goals:


  • Make the picture as vivid as possible.  Make it seems like it’s real and happening now;
  • Paint future pictures that have a high certainty of happening.  People are more motivated if they know for sure that they will get a specific pleasure if they achieve their goals, or if they will get a specific pain if they don’t;
  • Make the future as near to the present as possible.  People aren’t as interested to about what will happen to them in 10 years time, than they would be to something that may happen to them in 1 week’s time


    Need help in giving your team members (or even yourself) set and achieve your goals and targets?  Simply e-mail info@directions-consulting.com 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: 9 February 2010

How to Set and Achieve Your Goals for 2010 and Beyond


     Join International Sales Leadership and Performance Coach c.j. Ng in this Power Breakfast Hour in Shanghai where he will be sharing with you how to formulate better strategies that will meet your expectations in simple yet practical ways:


  • Why despite with our best intentions, sometimes our team members (and including ourselves at times) fail to reach our annual goals and targets;
  • How to find and develop a compelling reason for you and your team so that you will do whatever it takes to reach your goals; and
  • How to make use of positive and negative future pictures so that you and your team take immediate actions to achieve your goals and targets.


VENUE: KABB Bar & Grill • Xintiandi • North Block • House 5 • Lane 181 • Taicang Road • Shanghai 凯博西餐厅 • 新天地 • 太仓路181号 • 新天地北里5号楼


DATE: Wednesday, 9 February 2010


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 sales@directions-consulting.com  To allow more participation from more companies, ONLY 2 registrants per company are invited.


     Pls. check out our web sites www.directions-consulting.com and www.psycheselling.com/page4.html for more inspiration.

Need a Keynote Speaker for your 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:


  • How to and NOT to Leverage Guanxi in Business in China;
  • How to Inspire and Motivate Your Team, and Win Big;
  • From Better Service to Greater Profits;
  • Sun Tzu and the Art of Sales Leadership;
  • How to Communicate with Difficult People and Other Adventures in Communication; and many more!


     Simply e-mail your requests to info@directions-consulting.com or call +86-21-62190021 for enquiries.  Sample video and audio recordings available upon requests.


Practical Tips for Sales Managers:

6 Steps for Incorporating Training into Sales Meetings


Adapted from SellingPower.com

Edited by c.j. Ng


Add another dimension to sales meetings – one that pays off down the road. While ongoing sales education is one key to success, it can be hard to find time for sales training in an already crowded meeting agenda. Hit your audience members with too much material, and you lose their interest. Try to work sales training in where you have an empty spot, and the odds are you'll never work it in at all.  


But you can successfully add a sales-training component to a sales meeting if you follow these six steps:  

1.        Focus on one skill at a time. "Salespeople spend 99 percent of their time trying to make their quotas," says Jack Derby of Derby Management (www.derbymanagement.com). "They know their primary jobs are out in the field, and they may already see the meeting as a waste of time, so if you give them too much info it just compounds the problem. They're sitting there thinking, 'What's in it for me? Make sure the point of any training session is clearly expressed right up front, and then keep the training focused and relevant. You're giving them specific information to solve a specific problem."

2.        Get salespeople thinking before they show up. "You need to get your people in the groove of, 'For two hours we're going to stop selling and start learning,'" says Derby, "so send them a document in advance. Ideally it's a case study from one of your own company accounts, but if you can't come up with one or don't want to name a client, Harvard publishes great case studies based on a variety of scenarios. The important thing is to get whatever issue you'll be discussing on their minds before the training begins. Otherwise they're walking in asking each other, 'What did they say this was going to be about?'"

3.        Take training seriously. "Sometimes people ask me how they can take care of other business and still make time for training," says JK Harris, founder of Flashpoints Consulting (www.theflashpoints.com) and author of Sales Flashpoint: 15 Strategies for Rapid-Fire Sales Growth, which will be released in May of 2010. "You do training the same way you do anything else: Put it on the schedule and establish a deadline."

Harris suggests you carve out an agenda during the year so that everyone knows what sort of training is scheduled and when
and then hold to the schedule. "The salespeople won't take it seriously if the managers don't," he says. "If you present education as an important part of the schedule, that's exactly how salespeople will take it."

4.        Talk with your salespeople, not at them. "Stay away from the lecture format," says Harris. "Training should be interactive, because the more they see and practice, the more they learn. We hold the lecture part of any presentation to fifteen minutes, followed by a question-and-answer period, and then we immediately move on to role-playing exercises.

"You can't just say, 'Here
s the principle.' You need to move quickly on to, 'Here's the application,' and you only do that by making training interactive."

Jack Derby suggests that you occasionally add peer-to-peer training to the mix. "Ownership of the content can be a strong motivator," he says. "If you have a rep who's especially good at qualifying prospects, let him or her lead that portion of the session."

5.        Respect salespeople's limits. "Any more than two hours and you'll wear them out," Harris says. "Which means you're not going to cover everything you want in a single session. Instead, set up a structured system of training over a series of meetings."

Derby agrees. "Don't
'fire hose' them with facts. Trim the material to one big question, such as how to overcome objections, and then work on another skill at your next quarterly meeting. By the end of the year, the whole team should be up to the same level, at least in terms of clinical training."

Follow up. The toughest part isn't the learning; it's the retention. In order to make sure that all this training really is having an impact on the bottom line, Harris ends each session with a short proficiency test.    


"After the lecture, the Q & A, and the interactive segment, we take a short break," he says. "And when we come back in, we ask them five or six questions to see if they grasped the material, or at least the general concept. About 50 percent of people are either going to walk out scratching their heads, even after you've gone through it, or they're going to resist the training. Salespeople who have achieved success sometimes think they know more than the organization."  


But the key is to make sure that the 50 percent who, as Harris says, "somewhat get it" go out into the field and somewhat apply it. "People need constant reinforcement of training, and that's a management issue," says Harris. "They need to have their sales manager following up and going over results, asking, 'What happened on this interview? Why did this client buy or not buy?'"  


Harris cites the example of a company whose policy dictated that salespeople remain with clients while they filled out a fairly lengthy questionnaire. "We knew it took the average client about twenty minutes to answer all twenty-six questions," says Harris, "and that this gave the client and the rep time to talk and build a relationship." But the reps, even after training, quickly slid back into their old behaviors of sending the clients the questionnaires in advance or stepping out for a break while clients completed the forms.  


"The only way to know if salespeople are actually acting on their training is to monitor their performance down the road," says Harris, "and those results are usually measured around a handful of criteria, such as close percentage or average sale. If they skip steps in the training, it will ultimately be reflected in their numbers."  


Derby suggests companies go a step further and provide standardized testing at the end of training sessions with the goal of getting sales staff certified in specific sales techniques. “In most companies,” he says, “engineers are tested, material people are tested, manufacturers are tested, but there’s this idea that testing is demeaning to salespeople. Not so.”  


Whether it’s online testing or a face-to-face process, Derby says that “if the training is on closing techniques, then at the end of that session, the participants should be tested and certified on closing techniques. Otherwise it’s like playing tennis without a net.”  


For some deeper discussion on moving your sales forward when the customer seeks to take time to think things over, e-mail info@directions-consulting.com or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha.  All information shall be kept in confidence.

About PsycheSelling.com


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 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 info@psycheselling.com or visit www.psycheselling.com