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    Here's the November 2010 issue of Psyche-Selling TM eNewsletter, and the year is fast coming to an end yet again.


    At this time of the year, you might be strategising how you would want to generate sales so that you can achieve or exceed your targets for 2011, especially when customers' demands are getting higher than ever before.


     As you might have known by now, there are some sales communication tactics that gave you success previously may not be working anymore when customers get smarter and more knowledgeable.  You may need to give a jolt of creativity to your sales strategy instead.


     Hence, this month's topics:

  1. Using the Six Thinking Hats® to Win More Sales and Get More Customers; and

  2. How to Make Your Retail Customers to Buy More from You


     This issue's main article is on  "Using the Six Thinking Hats® to Win More Sales and Get More Customers", and it is about how you can organise your sales meeting so that you get better results out of those meetings with customers.


    In brief:

  • While it is true that you can increase your chances of winning by asking the right questions in a sales meeting, not many sales people know how to structure their sales conversations with customers to really ensure you get the deal;

  • While most sales methodologies emphasize how important it is to ask questions before making any presentations, sharing essential information and knowledge in the initial stages of the sale can actually win customers' trust in your capabilities;

  • While selling is about impressing the customer with the benefits of your offerings, your customers will always be suspicious about what you can offer no matter how smooth you make your pitch, unless you can soothe their concerns even before they raise any objections.    Read on... ...  


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


    In the meantime, I have been certified to train the following programmes, thus becoming one of a few trainers and consultants in the world to have competencies in sales force effectiveness, leadership and creative thinking:


Using the Six Thinking Hats® to Win More Sales and Get More Customers

by c.j. Ng

Certified Facilitator, Six Thinking Hats®



     Jerry believes he had his client eating out of his hand.  After all, Jerry had done his research, asked the critical questions and made a presentation so smooth that the client was simply impressed speechless.


     In addition to Jerry's impressive pitching and presentation skills, Jerry believed he had assembled the perfect package that was customised to meet the client's every need.  It fit the client's requirements to a perfect "T".  The client could not have gotten any deal better than the one Jerry was pitching.


     Jerry has every reason to feel confident that the client will buy.  All that the client needs to do is to simply get the relevant approvals, and the contract will be signed and confirmed in a few days' time.

     Well, the days turned to weeks, and there still wasn't any clear reply from the client yet.  Eventually, the client revealed that while Jerry's proposal was indeed impressive, they have decided to stick to their current vendor for the


     While Jerry fully understands that it is difficult to lure away his competitor's key account, and make them buy from him instead, he is nevertheless disappointed at the outcome.  Now, Jerry is wondering what else he could have done to make sure he wins the deal.


     Undaunted, Jerry seeks turns to the Six Thinking Hats® to help him cover all aspects of what the client is thinking, so as to win his next sale.


Structuring Your Sales Conversations According to the Six Thinking Hats®

     For the uninitiated, the Six Thinking Hats® is a creative decision making tool that allows a group of people to generate innovative ideas quickly without individual emotions or personal egos getting in the way.  In essence the 6 hats are:
  • Blue Hat - Setting and managing the agenda and focus of the meeting

  • White Hat - Information gathering and sharing

  • Yellow Hat - Logical benefits and positive feedback

  • Black Hat - Logical negative feedback, could be any potential risks, costs or negative impact

  • Green Hat - Sharing of creative ideas, alternatives, proposals, interesting viewpoints, provocations, etc.

  • Red Hat - Instinctive gut reaction or statements of emotional feeling, without the need for giving any justification


     While the Six Thinking Hats® are commonly used to solve problems, generate innovative ideas, or mapping business strategies, here's an illustration how you can use it to win more sales and get more customers.


     Before you start any sales meeting, be sure that you plan out the sequence of how you want to conduct that meeting. At the start of any meeting or communication with a customer, use the Blue Hat to set the agenda and focus of your meeting.  Since customers are busy people, they will want to know what you would like to discuss with them, and for how long.  You may phrase the your Blue Hat statement as a Valid Business Reason, which simply is a clear, concise and complete statement to help your customer accomplish, modify or avoid some important business issues.


     Alternatively, you can also use the Blue Hat to explore certain issues with the customer, starting with  "Would you be open to explore something new to reduce costs while improving results?".


     Besides setting the agenda and focus of the meeting, you can also use the Blue Hat to:

  • Drive the conversation between you and your customer, so that all key issues are covered in time;

  • Decide if you should adjust your meeting plan according to the responses of the customer;

  • Suggest the next steps, and get the customer's agreement on your next steps


Winning the Customer to Your Way of Thinking


     Once the agenda and focus of your meeting with the customer is set, you can then structure to find out what they need you to do, IF they are going to buy from you at all.  In short, here's a set of suggested steps for your sales meeting:

  1. White Hat:

    • If you had done some research about the client and understand some of their current situation, you may actually start by sharing what you know, and get their validation if you got your facts right

    • Ask questions to ascertain what kinds of solution they are using currently, and what will be their expectations if they were to change to a new and better solution in the future

  2. Yellow Hat

    • Ask them what they like best about their current solution

  3. Black Hat

    • Ask them what are the areas that can be improved for their current solution, and why are these aspects so important to them

    • While this may seem positive, it is actually getting the customer to state the negative aspects of their current vendor in a positive way!

  4. Green Hat

    • Explore with your customer some possible solutions to the challenges they face currently

  5. Red Hat

    • Check the customer's immediate, instinctive feedback.

    • Be sure NOT to argue or justify with the customer at this stage

  6. Blue Hat:

    • Check with the customer how they would like to move forward, especially if you get a favourable response from them

    • You can also then decide if you would like the customer to put on the Black Hat to state the shortcomings of what you proposed, or even get them to put on the Yellow Hat to tell you what are your strengths

    • In any case, use this Blue Hat to lead the customer to your next meeting, or setting the next-step actions


     As Sun Tzu says in the Art of War, "The victorious army plans for victory before fighting, the vanquished army fights before planning for victory"  (胜兵先胜而后求战,败兵先战而后求胜),  planning for your meetings with customers could be the key success factor for your sales meeting.  In fact, most sales people don't plan before seeing customers, and that is precisely why they could not improve their sales results despite their best efforts.


     As Dwight Eisenhower aptly summarises, "In preparing for battle, I have found plans are useless, but planning indispensable", the usage of the Six Thinking Hats® is not to stick to one fixed plan regardless of what are the customers' responses.  It is because you have planned how you would like to lead your customer in your conversations, that you know what are some of the contingencies you can fall back on.  It is entire then up to you to be flexible about adjusting your plan.


Handling Customers' Objections Using the Six Thinking Hats®


     While using the Six Thinking Hats® to lead your sales conversations might reduce the number objections from customers, it does not mean that customers will not raise any objections at all.  


     Here's what you should know when faced with objections:

  • It does NOT mean that the more objections you overcome, you will get closer to the sale. You still have to do your best to avoid objections

  • Never ever get into an argument when your customer raises objections, because you will win the argument but lose the sale; and

  • It is usually the objections and concerns that the customer did NOT raise that will kill your sale.  Hence, rather than waiting for objections, take the initiative to soothe your customer's concerns and win their trust and confidence


     So here's some suggestions in using the Six Thinking Hats® to handle objections:

  1. Black Hat

    • Get the customer to talk about their concerns, perceived potential risks and other issues that they don't like.

    • Don't interrupt them while they state their concerns and objections.  Simply encourage them to give all their objections until they exhaust all negative ideas

  2. Yellow Hat

    • Once the customer has exhausted all concerns and objections, get them to tell you what they like about you, especially if the above concerns raised can be resolved

    • Encourage them to keep on telling you why they like you.  If they can state a lot more positive aspects about you and your solution, then the objections stated above will be a less serious concern

  3. Green Hat

    • Explore with the customer how they would like to resolve their concerns.  While you may have great ideas to resolve those customers' concerns, involving your customer to generate solutions to resolve their own concerns is likely to give you greater buy-in

    • If this is not possible (especially if it is a price issue), get the customer to evaluate that for the value that you are delivering, will they be willing to compromise on their demands

  4. Red Hat

    • Check for subtle changes in the customer's facial expressions or body posture.  See if they give positive or negative cues unconsciously.

  5. Blue Hat:

    • Agree on the next-step-actions with the customer


     Need help generating better ideas to win more sales and get more customers?  Simply e-mail or call +86 21 58768009 for Mary to find out when is the next Six Thinking Hats® working session in China.

Power Breakfast Hour: 14 December 2010
Using the Six Thinking Hats® to Win More Sales and Get More Customers


     Join International Sales Force Effectiveness consultant c.j. Ng as well as Senior Consultant of de Bono China Mr. Phil Law in this Power Breakfast Hour in Shanghai where you will find out:

  • How to win more sales and get more customers by structuring your sales conversations;

  • How to win your customers to your way of thinking by leading them through your sales conversations

  • How to pro-actively seek out out and resolve customers' concerns and objections to win your sales even if the customer had not raised them yet


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, 14 December 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 


     You can also download c.j.'s Power Breakfast Hour video on Stop Hiring Under-Performing Experienced Sales People, Start Developing Competent Ones that Deliver Results.


     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:


    • 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;


     Simply e-mail your requests to or call +86-21-6219 0021 for enquiries.  Sample video and audio recordings available upon requests.


How to Make Your Retail Customers Buy MORE from You?


By c.j. Ng and Fran Tang



Now that the Shanghai Expo is finally over, things are starting to return to normal.

To the retail and hospitality industries, what this means could be a drastic drop in customers as compared to the 6 months during the Expo period. Facing with such a shortfall of customers, some retail stores are beginning to resort to giving discounts and special offers to draw crowds. At least one international 5-star hotel in Shanghai is offering (the Millennium Hongqiao) "Buy One Get One Free" for some of their Food & Beverage packages.

These are but signs to show that business is slowing down. Not only will there be fewer customers, they are also going to buy less. And the number of competitors eyeing for each other's business remains high as usual.


Based on research conducted by Deloitte & Touche, in 2009 prospects can be converted into customers in the following ways:

  • When the sales associate offers personal testimony, the sales conversion is 75%

  • When the sales associate offers suggestions, the sales conversion is 73%

  • When the sales associate asks open ended questions, the sales conversion is 62%

  • When the sales associate is able to provide answers to customers' questions, the sales conversion is 62%


In a research conducted by Kore Research in China in 2010, it is found that most customers would likely buy based on the following factors:

  • 48.5% of the buying decision is made based on product designs

  • 25.2% of the buying decision is made based on product quality itself

  • 24% of the buying decision is made after the customer has tried on the product

  • 11% of the buying decision is made based on price


Hence, reverting back to the premise that many companies in the retail and hospitality industry usually resort to price discounts to win more customers, we can see here that price has got one of the smallest impacts on customers' buying decisions.

In fact, there are cases where customers are not buying when the price is too low! This is especially due to concerns that low-priced products might be fakes or counterfeits, and higher prices actually instill better confidence.

This is not to say that customers will simply choose to buy the higher priced items. Based on the studies, customers need to be encouraged to touch and feel the product. Having customers try on the product is crucial when quality and other product values and benefits count greatly in buying decision.


As such, developing the sales and service skills is not merely the domain of the training department.  Sales associates, if able to ask the right questions and build trust with customers, will be the strategic "weapon" to win sales and make customers buy more.


The questions then are:

  1. Do your sales associates know what they are supposed to do to help generate more sales?

  2. Do you know what they have been doing? and

  3. Are their actions and behaviours effectively engaging customers, so that they buy more from you?


If you would like to get more and better ideas how you can get your customers to buy more from you, you can e-mail or call +86 21 5239 9668 and arrange for a discussion.  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 China