Hi!

 

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

 

    Before we commence to our main article, pls. upcoming members' event on How to Lead, Motivate and Manage a Sales Team Effectively that's happening on 12-13 July 2007 in Shanghai.  Click here for details.  As seats are limited, please reserve your seat now!

 

    This issue's main article is on  "Creating a Customer-Centric Culture in China", and it focuses some of the most common challenges in leading and motivating sales teams in China, and what are some simple suggestions to alleviate them. 

 

    Here's an on-point summary:

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


 

Creating a Customer-Centric Culture in China  

by c.j. Ng

 

    There's a recent report on a 3-yr-old child squashed to death in a revolving door of a 4-star hotel in Beijing.  The revolving door does not have safety features to stop spinning if it's stuck.  It simply reflects the lack of customer care by the service provider.

    In fact, cases of customer negligence are rather common with businesses in China, ranging from small irritations to fatal mishaps. 

    On a bigger scale, the same issues occur across many industries in China too, transcending through aspects such as :

Historical Background

    Having evolved from a centrally planned economy, Chinese consumers are generally not educated on how to distinguish good value from bad ones.  They just accept things as it is.

    After market reforms kicked in, Chinese consumers become polarised into 2 extremes: they buy things that are either the most established in the market (big, famous brands); or that they are the cheapest.  In B2B buying though, most Chinese manufacturers are simply price driven in the expense of other valuable qualities (such as the above-mentioned).

    On the other hand, Chinese sellers having been educated during the centralised planning era, and thus simply adopts a "take it or leave it" attitude when it comes to selling.  In a B2B setting, Chinese manufacturers simply squeeze for the lowest prices from their suppliers, and then sell their products on a price-driven basis to their customers.

    Since Chinese manufacturers don't really know how to create additional value for their customers, suppliers will find it harder to provide non-price value to these manufacturers too.  As a result, end-customers, esp. those from Europe or North America, tend to complain that while the Chinese products meet up to their standards, the service provided leaves much to be desired.

Market Realities Today

    One key reality today is an over-surplus of suppliers of any type.  The other reality is that most suppliers provide good quality products.

    As such, the remaining differentiators are either price or service.

    As many Chinese manufacturers know only about reducing price, many of them are forced to sell below costs.  It's a matter of time before they bleed to death.

    Hence , the only viable differentiator is service.

    Again, the level of service here isn't so much greeting, smiling and kow-towing to customers.  Rather, customers are increasingly expecting sales people to function as advisors and implementers in addition to just providers of products.

    The reason being customers' needs are so complex these days that they may not even know what's the best fit for them.  Even when they do, they will need help from the sellers to customise a solution and then help to implement it smoothly.

    Hence, the key to building a customer-centric corporate culture isn't so much about chasing after sales figures.  While achieving and exceeding sales targets are still very important, the emphasis now is how sales people achieve this by creating additional value on top of the products that they are selling.

A Different Kind of Guanxi

    In China, the term Guanxi (Relationship) means currying favours, usually through wining, dining and even f*cking.   While in the past, such schmoozing may be just sufficient to help nail a deal, it's a different situation nowadays.  The reasons being:

    Hence, while schmoozing may be still a widely accepted way of doing business, the contents of the schoomze may have to include guiding customers how to address their business issues and get better results through your products and services.

Creating the Customer-Centric Mindset

    The first steps for Chinese companies to creating a customer-centric culture is to inculcate a customer-centric mindset throughout all levels. 

    Traditionally, Chinese sales people are very low paid and are hired based on their capacity to hold liquor.  Nowadays, the requirement for sales people is for them to act as quasi-consultants for customers.

    Chinese business leaders will have to invest a lot more in the hiring, selecting, training, retaining and motivating sales people.  While there are currently fears that sales people may bring all such knowledge to competitors when they leave, yet the bigger loss to Chinese companies is having under-qualified sales people who aren't able to create value for customers according to customers' business issues. 

        Should you ever need assistance in creating a customer-centric organisation in cost-effective ways, 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:

Is Your Job Offer Compelling Enough?

 

from Selling Power (www.sellingpower.com)

 

Joe Smith received two offers in one day. He could hardly believe his luck C one great sales position with an up-and-coming Internet-based company for $75k plus bonuses and the other for a well-established company with a $100k salary. Which one did he accept? The Internet-based company was lower in pay, but the chance to grow with the company and earn even more money lured him to accept that offer.

It's not always about the money, says Dan Miller, vice president of Talent Acquisition and Retention at Monster.com. If you can't offer a high salary, consider proposing incentives such as stock options or achievement trips along with your proposal. When extending the offer, Miller says to highlight the intangible benefits of working for your company, such as the training provided, the company culture, opportunities for career pathing, vacations, achievement programs, and perks.

"Don't just talk about the base salary; talk about the ability the candidates will have to achieve the upside," says Miller. "Candidates may take a lower offer on the base salary if they feel that they have the tools and opportunities to exceed quota. If you're trying to build a world-class sales organization, you need to sell growth as a fabric of the culture. Enthusiasm and energy has to come through when you position the job offer."

No matter what, offers need to be honest and realistic, says Miller. "You have to back them up," he says. "Everything has to be well thought out, fair, and comprehensive. Otherwise, it could lead to attrition and millions of dollars lost. Be realistic: How many people got to go on your achievement trips last year? How easy is it to achieve eligibility for the trip?"

Miller says that it's best to make the offer in person so you can explain all aspects of the salary and benefits. It also provides the candidate the opportunity to ask questions on the spot. If you're not presenting the offer, make sure that your recruitment team understands the full picture.

After making the offer, it's wise to follow it up with a formal offer letter (work with an attorney to make sure contingencies are included). Send the offer letter to restate the facts about the offer, outline the job¨s responsibilities, and highlight relevant details about your company. Important: Don't make promises or statements that can be construed as promises that you cannot keep or back up; your letter could be used as evidence in court should litigation take place.

The offer letter should include:
• Position and job description
• Location and working hours
• Base salary
• Benefits
• Starting date
• Information, documents that are needed on the first day of work
• Contingencies (reference check, start date)
• Last, include a date by which the applicant must respond to your job offer, so you can move on to the next candidate if he or she doesn't accept.

If your offer is accepted, don't forget to stay in touch until the start date. Send forms, company brochures, and other important information so that your new employee can have a successful start at your company.

 

Find out more about Better Hiring Strategies now!


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:

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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