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    Here's the January 2010 issue of Psyche-Selling TM eNewsletter, and I'd like to start the year with an inspiring message that help usher in a great 2011 for you.


    Being a small and relatively new consultancy, we are sometimes rather "shy" when customers ask us for our company brochures (we only have a Word document that tells customers what we do, and that is updated every month).  At the same time, since we are already winning big customers such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Philips Lighting and InterContinental Hotels Group etc, some of our friends in the same industry, as well as some of our customers, are asking us, how did we achieve all these. 


     So against the objections of my partners, I'd like to hare with you how we, as an unknown company with small budgets and lesser resources, can take on the giants and win over the big customers.  I hope what we do can give you some ideas as to how you can grow your business too.


     Hence, this month's topics::

  1. Taking On the Giants: How to Sell to BIG Companies even when You have Small Budgets and little Brand Recognition; and

  2. Creating the Wow MICE Experience


     This issue's main article is on  "Taking On the Giants: How to Sell to BIG Companies even when You have Small Budgets and little Brand Recognition", and it is about no matter how small you are, you can win big if you have the courage and determination to take on the giants.


    In brief::

  • While it is a fact that most purchasing managers would like to buy from established companies with well-known brands, there still are some niches that you could explore even when you are small and relatively unknown ;

  • Rather than positioning yourself as a mere seller, seek to position yourself as the domain expert in your market instead and provide thought leadership to your targeted customers;

  • Rather than looking to close the sale all the time, seek to provide valuable advice, knowledge and know-how pro-actively, so as to win the trust and support of your customers.    Read on... ...  


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


    In the meantime, please feel free to check out our video on Using the Six Thinking Hats to Win More Sales and Get More Customers Part 2


Taking On the Giants: How to Sell to BIG Companies even when You have Small Budgets and little Brand Recognition

by c.j. Ng

Executive Director, Directions Management Consulting Co., Ltd



     So far, our newsletters have been illustrating how you can get ahead in business and performance through show-casing the case studies of other companies and industries.  We sometimes do get enquiries from our clients whether we really walk our talk, and if we can share our own case studies of how we generate our own business, especially since our forte lies in boosting sales force effectiveness for our clients.


     Hence, we would like to share with you, my dear reader, how as a small and unknown training consultancy could win businesses from big companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, Saint Gobain and many more, without spending any money on advertising.  While our industry (corporate training in China) is unique in its own way, we are sure that there will be some applications that you will find relevant for your markets as well.


     First of all, I would like to share with you an overview about the market we serve, i.e. the corporate training market in China.

     While there are no actual figures on how much market value the corporate training market is worth in China, what we do know is that almost all major global training consultancies have already established their presence in China, or are in the process of moving into China in a big way.  These consultancies include major global players such as DDI, Achieve Global Franklin Covey etc.


     On the other end of the spectrum though are countless of Chinese or Asian training consultancies vying for a piece of the action in China.  In Shanghai alone, it is estimated that there might be more than 10,000 training consultancies specialising in different areas operating right here.


     The global consultancies will command a premium fee for their programmes and intellectual properties to wither Multi-National Companies in China or to large Chinese corporations.  Some of the local  consultancies on the other hand, will be facing a lot more competition and hence tend to find themselves locked in price battles and struggling for better margins.


     Hence, while some of the Chinese training consultancies might have high sales volume, their profit margins are actually quite thin.  What that means is that they usually employ large numbers of sales people to provide generic training products that are priced very competitively so that they generate enough sales volume to feed their larger workforce.  What we aim to do is just the reverse.  We have a small team to customise training solutions that can give us healthier margins that will ease our survival pressures, which in turn allow us to spend more quality time and provide better service for our customers.


Why Should Anyone Buy from Us at the Price We Want?

     Hence, if we want to get a different result from everybody else in the market, we will then have to do things differently from them.  Here are some of the areas that we would like to differentiate from the market:
  • Being an expert in certain types of training solutions, rather than just being an agent to refer trainers for clients

  • Focusing on a few key domains of expertise, rather than be the jack-of-all-trades.

  • Providing customised solutions, rather than standardised, off-the-shelf courses.

  • Sharing our expertise and knowledge freely as much as possible, rather than keeping information away from the public.

  • Focusing on customised in-house training solutions, rather than promoting too many public workshops.

  • Advising our clients how they can get better results from our training, so that they need less training in future, rather than making our clients reliant on us all the time.

  • Providing solutions that will improve business performances, rather than merely filling up our clients training calendar


     When we first started, we chose the field of sales and sales leadership as our domain expertise.  While such a positioning will mean that we will be giving up some opportunities to conduct training for non-sales topics, our customers feel they get value by engaging the experts to help them.


     To reinforce this idea of being the expert in the domain of sales and sales leadership, we created the Psyche-Selling TM brand, and proceeded to create our monthly newsletters that serve NOT to sell what we do, but give our readers the insights on how they can improve their business performance.  This newsletter was created since March 2007, and hasn't stopped even during our busiest periods.


Gaining the Buy-in from Big Companies


     It's not enough to stop at the newsletters if we want to get the attention of the Big companies to buy from us.  We need to:

  1. Prove to the Big companies that we are capable of delivering effective training solutions that are on par or even better than the established international training consultancies; and

  2. Position ourselves as having the knowledge of how international companies operate, and are able to help these Big companies implement their best practices in China


     Hence, we infuse elements of cross-cultural management using our understanding of Chinese culture, history, mind-sets and business practices.  We don't just stop at the newsletters, which are a one-way communication in text.  Instead, we have the following means to make our marketing a more integrated one:


The Way Forward


     Moving forward, here are the areas that we will be focusing on in the near future:

  • An increasing focus on surveys, research and areas where we can provide scientific data for the market we serve so as to strengthen our position as thought leaders;

  • Increased exposure to more Chinese and Asian companies in addition to just servicing foreign companies in China and Asia; and

  • Enhancing our events by having a calendar of our events such as public workshops and afternoon talks in addition to our Power Breakfast Hours.


     In a nutshell, the sales and marketing advice and training content that we gave to our clients are very much the ones we use for ourselves.  We are grateful to be doing business with the Big companies, and at the same time, we believe it's not luck.  We have been working hard to develop such businesses in the past 3 years, and we will be working harder AND smarter to deliver greater value for our clients.


     Need help in finding out how our experience in selling to BIG companies when you have a small budget and little brand recognition??  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: 22 February 2011
Taking On the Giants: How to Sell to BIG Companies even when You have Small Budgets and little Brand Recognition


     Join International Sales Force Effectiveness consultant c.j. Ng in this Power Breakfast Hour in Shanghai where you will find out:

  • How to exploit niches in the market that allows you to gain acceptance by the BIG Companies;

  • How to position yourself as the expert of your domain so as to edge out your bigger competitors;

  • How to create interest and action in your market by being creative and persevered


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: Tuesday, 22 February 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 Using the Six Thinking Hats to Win More Sales and Get More Customers Part 3.


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


Need a Keynote Speaker for your Major Sales 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:


    • 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 Hospitality Managers:

Creating the Wow MICE Experience


By c.j. Ng


In December 2010, I had the honour of organising a Strategic Decision Making Experiential Programme for 200+ Bristol-Myers Squibb Sales Leaders in Xiamen, China.  This was part of their annual meeting where more than 1,000 of their staff are involved.


The hotel which hosted our segment of the activities was Crowne Plaza Paragon Xiamen, and all I can say is that we are absolutely impressed with how they created a "wow" MICE experience, not just for the client, but also for event organisers like us.


To start off, as the activity involves more than 200 participants, it was also quite a logistical challenge for us as we had to ship the equipment and costumes from Shanghai to Xiamen.  Since we need to handover the costumes to the participants the day before our event, we needed some space to hold on to those 250 sets of costumes.


Hence, we approached the hotel concierge and asked if they could help us find some space for the costumes.  Since the space required was quite substantial, the concierge said he had to consult management, and will get back to us in 5 minutes.


Exactly 5 minutes later, we got a reply.  Due to insufficient space, the concierge area could not hold our costumes.  However, the hotel could provide their Reception Lounge right next to their meeting rooms and ballrooms.  And we can even arrange our participants to pick up their costumes at that Reception Lounge, which was available till 10 p.m. that evening.


That's not all.  Despite handling 200+ of our participants, the hotel still had other MICE bookings that day too, and it has to make sure that all its guests have a wow experience regardless.


When we returned from our experiential training activities, ALL 200+ participants were crowding around the lift lobby, and some of the hotel guests could not get on the lifts to their rooms.  Fortunately, the staff at the hotel were present to direct traffic so as to ease the jam, and pacify agitated guests. 


That's not all.  Since our participants were on a tight schedule to check out, return their costumes, have lunch and then catch their flights, we needed these processes to be handled smoothly.  The hotel provided a temporary check-out counter right beside the ballroom where lunch will be taking place.  They also provided another meeting room for us to collect the costumes from the participants.


Hence, our participants could just check out, deposit their luggage, return their costumes, have lunch and then fly out without leaving the hotel's conference area.  Ample hotel staff were around to give directions so that we don't run into the wrong rooms and disrupt other people's events.  We were simply amazed at the efficiency and service quality of the hotel staff, who could still accommodate our demands with a smile all the time.

Ultimately, I don't think that the client will return to the same city for their events anytime soon, to event organisers like us, we definitely know whom we can count on to provide more than just accommodation, F&B and meeting rooms for our future events in Xiamen.


In this regard, I thank the General Manager of the Crowne Plaza Paragon Xiamen, Mr. Magandran Suppiah for helping us deliver a "wow" experience for our clients.  Mr. Suppiah and his team "wow"ed us by pre-empting the business needs of not just his guests, but also the event organisers like us who are also responsible to deliver the "wow" experience for his guests too.  Mr. Suppiah didn't just made us feel special, in fact he and his team made sure every guest is special and enjoy the experience with them.  It is such a "wow" MICE experience that really makes the Crowne Plaza THE Place to Meet.


While some may attribute to the better attitudes of the people in Xiamen when it comes to servicing customers, I believe that it is not just the natural abilities of the people to know what customers want, and then get it done before the customer says it.  I believe it had been great leadership abilities on the part of the management of Crowne Plaza Paragon Xiamen that really raised the bar for all business hotels to emulate.


If you would like to get more and better ideas how to get your team deliver "wow" customer experience every time, 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 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 Chinaa