CJNg _ 2.jpgHi!


    My name is c.j., your trusted Sales Advisor, and here's the July 2009 (!) issue of Psyche-Selling TM eNewsletter. 


    It's almost the end of July, and I've just completed July's issue.  My apologies for the delay due to my tight July schedule


    Earlier this month, we conducted a poll during our Power Breakfast Hour on what should be this month's topic.  The verdict was "The Yin and Yang of Selling", and it deals with how we can balance assertiveness and receptivity, to improve our sales results


             Hence, this month's topics:

  1. The Yin and Yang of Selling; and

  2. How do You Deal with the RFK: Request For Kick-backs

    This issue's main article, "The Yin and Yang of Selling", gives attention to when you need to impress upon your customers, and when to shut up and listen.


    In brief:

  • While current sales methodologies emphasise on how sales people should ask questions and find out customers' needs, little is mentioned on how you can mak customers willing to share infomation with you;

  • Without impressing upon the customer what's in it for them if they answer your questions, chances are they will not share the information you need;

  • While it is true that sales people will need to be receptive to customers' concerns and demands, sales people will have to be assertive enough as well to win customers' confidence and trust.   Read on... ...


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


The Yin and Yang of Selling


by c.j. Ng


     The common theme of most sales methodology is to get sales people to first:

  • Ask questions;

  • Find out customers' real needs; and

  • Find out their buying decision structure

     Then suggest solutions that will meet their needs. 


     However, this model may not be appropriate all the time.  During one customer visit that we had with the key decision maker, we tried asking them various questions to know what they need, so that we can provide the right solutions for them.  The customer replied us "I don't know, you tell me!".  We then find out with whom we can get more information, and then had an agreement from the customer to contact the relevant person.  


     Later, before we can reach out to the said person to ask further questions, we were told that since we didn't impress them enough in the initial contact, there's no need to find out more about their needs.


     While personally I'm tempted to say that that customer is an idiot, on retrospect and reflection, I believe what we could have done better was to be a bit more assertive and earn their attention and interest.  Even when we don't know what their real needs yet.


The Yin of Selling

Most people will think of Yin and Yang as day and night, positive and negative.  In our case, however, we borrow the
concept of Yin and Yang from Chinese martial arts.


     Whereas Yang in martial arts refers to the hard, rigid and aggressive (or assertive) styles, Yin refers to soft, flexible and receptive ones. 


     In sales, the traditional aggressive sales person who would force his products and services right at you, and not let you go unless some cash (usually a big amount) is squeezed out of you.  Generally, they:

  • Don't take "no" for an answer;

  • Likes to wow you with their product features and benefits, so that you can't say no; and

  • Will disappear the moment you made the payment, and won't appear again until it's time to re-order

     This can be described as the Yang sales person.  However, with increasing customer demands for sales people to be more attentive to needs, and be more responsible for customers' results, such sales people and selling style is on the verge of getting phased out.


     Enter the Yin sales person.  Unlike the Yang sales person who is all about pushing products and services, the Yin sales person is attentive to your needs.  She will not suggest any solution to you unless she can identify what your needs are, and how she can help package the right solution to meet those needs.  In fact rather than saying she's a sales person, she actually facilitates your buying, so that it becomes an easier and smoother process for you.


     The Yin B2B sales person usually does this by asking intelligent questions, such as:

  • "What are some of the challenges you face today, and how will they look like tomorrow?"

  • "Why are overcoming such challenges so important to you?"

  • "What will be some of the positive impacts if you overcome such challenges?"

  • "If you were to work with us, what will some of your concerns be?"

  • "How do you think we can proceed from here?"

     The Yin luxury retail sales person will ask intelligent questions, such as:

  • "What are some of the collection that you already have, and what will be your next targeted collection?"

  • "Can you tell me more about your tastes and preferences?"

  • "What will be some of the possible other alternatives that you will consider?"

  • "Is there anyone would you like to impress when you put this on?"

  • "Is there anything here that suits you?"

     Instead of using these questions as merely means to close the sale, the Yin sales person takes these customers' concerns to heart, and seeks to partner with the customer to deliver optimal results.  Small wonder that most customers love to work with the Yin sales person.


The Return of Yang Selling


     As a martial art, it is said that Aikido is great for self-defense.  The only issue is that its training focused so much on defending, not many of its students know how to initiate an attack (especially in situations where being the first-mover is necessary).


     In sales, while being receptive and attentive to needs are important to customers, customers are getting so busy these days to respond to each question raised by every Yin sales person that comes along.  Customers need to justify their time to commnicate with a sales person, and if they don't see the value upfront, they will not invest their time, even if it's just for 5 minutes, with any sales person.  As such, the Yin sales person may not get the right amount of attention as she deserves.


     Hence, there's an element in the forceful, "in-your-face" Yang selling that may be able to get the immediate attention of your customers.  However, merely having passion and enthusiasm alone may not be enough to pry open customers' doors.  You need to give them a strong value proposition.


     This strong value proposition, or what Miller Heiman calls Valid Business Reason, is the possible solution that you can provide to solve specific business concerns.  To consumers, this may mean the key benefits that she will get when making a purchase from you.


     Unlike the traditional aggressive sales person who is self-centred, cares only for meeting his sales targets and will do anything just to get a meeting, the new Yang sales person is able to give the customer valid reasons, or value propositions to meet up.  These reasons are not the sales person's reasons, BUT the customers'.  As Warren Buffet puts it, "Value is what you get".  The value here is also phrased from the buyer's, and NOT the seller's, point of view.


     Some examples of possible value propositions/ Valid Business Reasons can be:

  • "The purpose of my phone call is to find out if we can help your sales force capture an additional 20% of market share, while improving margins by 7%."

  • "The purpose of my visit is to explore if your sales people can apply 99.99% of what they learnt in a sales training, and get observable results within 30 days."

  • "We have helped other similar companies to boost sales performance by motivating and retaining the best performers."

     In luxury retail sales, this value proposition can be:

  • "Take a look at our limited edition."

  • "Here's something that will suit your style."

  • "Here's how you can create a strong impression at the gala dinner"

Balancing Yin and Yang


     In these times of increasing competition, customers have become more confused than ever before.  On one hand, they dislike being sold at, and prefer sales people to guide them to make the right purchases.  On the other hand, they need to feel confident and be impressed by the few sales people who can stand out from the crowd.


     As a sales person, if you are overly receptive, customers may not even notice you, and hence may not want to see you.  If you are overly assertive, customers may be frightened, and run away from you.  To be successful, you will have to balance the Yin and Yang of selling.


     Some examples on how you can balance between Yin and Yang in selling (especially in the opening stages of a sale) are:

  • "The purpose of my phone call is to find out if we can help your sales force capture an additional 20% of market share, while improving margins by 7%.  Is it okay that I ask some questions to find out more?"

  • "We have helped other similar companies to boost sales performance by motivating and retaining the best performers.  Would you like to discuss if we can help improve your sales performance too?"

  • "Would you like to take a look at our limited edition?"

  • "Would you like us to recomend something that will suit your style?"

  • "How would you like us to make sure you create a strong impression at the gala dinner?"

     Most importantly, you may need to find out a little bit more about your customers before approaching them.  That will make sure you give a relevant value proposition, and prepare for the right questions to ask.


     To understand how to balance your Yin and Yang in selling, e-mail info@directions-consulting.com and arrange to buy me a some Chinese tea.  All information shall be kept in confidence.

Power Breakfast Hour: 12 August 2009

The Yin and Yang of Selling


     Join International Sales Leadership and Performance Coach c.j. Ng in this breakfast meeting in Shanghai where he will be sharing with you how to balance the Yin and Yang of selling to generate more sales and increase profits:

  • How you can be attentive to custmer needs so that customers like to buy from you;
  • How to provide a strong value proposition that will wow prospects, and make them want to see you; and
  • How to balance the Yin and Yang of selling to generate more sales and increase profits

VENUE: To be confirmed

DATE: Wednesday, 12 August 2009


TIME: from 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

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

How to Motivate Your Sales People According to Their Selling Styles?


     As you may know, different people have different communication styles, and different communication styles will lead to different selling styles.   Sales people with different selling styles will you to motivate them in different ways, so that they perform their best to you.


     So how do you know what are your sales people's selling styles?  How do you know how best to communicate with them, and motivate them?


     Contact us sales@directions-consulting.com or call +86-13671902505 to get the link, username and password to your complimentary Psycho-Geometrics TM online assessment now!


Practical Tips for Sales Managers:
How do You Handle the RFK: Request For Kick-backs

by c.j. Ng


If you don't know what a kick-back is, you probably haven't been selling to businesses and organisations in China.  A kick-back is the unauthorised commission that the person handling the purchasing on the buyer's side is requesting. 


Now that you know what is a kick-back, the next question is: to give or not to give.

Before we give the direct answer, we will have to first look at the buyer's organisation culture and the region within China.  While it is true that some inland regions in China tend to have more requests for kickbacks, the buyer's organisation culture will determine what will be your best way of dealing with it.

1.   The Corrupt Organisation


Some organisations accept and demand kick-backs in cash or in kind at all levels, from top to bottom.  If you want their business, be prepared to splurge on entertainment and contribute generously into their coffers.

2.   The Corrupt Individual

In other instances, the buyer's organisation has a non-tolerance policy with regards to staff demanding kick-backs.  However, due to a variety of reasons, some of the individuals in charge of the buying process may demand some kick-backs before inducting you to the right influencer or decision-maker.


If your company does not allow blatant kick-backs, and if you are dealing with the Corrupt Organisation, there are a few common ways to go about it.

  • Provide the kick-backs in goods and services, not in cash.  Free travels, entertainment and even putting the children of the key decision makers in prestigious overseas universities are some common examples.

  • Get an intermediary (such as a reseller or distributor) to provide the kick-back.  Kind of the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

  • Don't deal with such organisations.  Give up the opportunity. 

However, it is the corrupt individual that is the most interesting.  Within this group of individuals, there are two sub-categories:

  • Those who will demand kick-backs at all costs, even to the detriment of their job or organisation; and
  • Those who will gently request for some cash or gifts, but will want to make sure that their job is well-done first

Those that demand kick-backs at all costs usually claim to have good connections and pre-approvals to purchase from you.  If you are dealing with a organisations that are not corrupt, then it is unlikely that this person will have much of an impact.  The organisation will still have its procedures to buy from you anyway.

Hence, the best way to deal with such corrupt individuals is to go around them, and get to see the higher authorities.  Seek for other influencers in the buyer's organisation who are willing to be your informants, and make your way through senior decision makers who are not corrupt.  Once you've reached that level, you can ignore the corrupt individual.  Fearing reprisals from management, that individual will also not be raising the issue again with you.

Those who want to do a good job, and hope to get some "goodies" on the side are in two minds.  On one hand, they would like to have a good career in their organisation.  On the other hand, they might have very low salaries at this stage, or that getting kick-backs is a prevailing culture in their region.

In such cases, you can persuade them that in order to help them develop good career paths, it is not in their interests to ask for kick-backs.  They may be fired or may miss the next promotion.  However, if they allow you to help their organisations achieve better results through your products and services, then you can put a good word for them to their bosses and superiors.  Usually, this works in these cases.

Since our company primarily does business with foreign (western) companies in China, all of our customers have a non-tolerance attitude towards kick-backs.  When we encounter their staff who requests for kick-backs, we either dissuade them, or simply go around them and seek influencers at higher levels.

For more ideas on how to deal with requests for kick-backs, you can also 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