Here's the November 2011 issue of Psyche-Selling TM eNewsletter, and the weather's getting colder while we brace ourselves for 2012.
While 2012 may not be the end of the world as we know it, it sure has a lot of dark clouds looming in the horizon. There are some companies predicting a decline in sales and profits, and some have already announced hiring freezes for for Q4 2011 in anticipation of uncertainty and tough times.
In any case, life will still go on. It's just a matter of whether you know how to thrive in times of adversity.
Hence, this month's topics:
This issue's main article is on "Thriving in Severe Adversity: Strategies to Overcome Insurmountable Odds and Win More Sales", and we look into ways you can help yourself and overcome challenges to still generate sales and profits in times of severe adversity.
In the meantime, catch c.j. in Beijing on 6 Dec 2011 as he conducts a half-day workshop on Spend Less Time and Get More Results for Your Sales Coaching . Seats are limited. Reserve yours NOW by e-mailing email@example.com .
Thriving in Severe Adversity: Strategies to Overcome Insurmountable Odds and Win More Sales
by c.j. Ng
Carol is on a "suicide" mission.
As part of an Oncology pharmaceutical sales team, Carol is in charge of launching a new product to a market place that has been dominated by a single competitor for 10 years. For years, customers (i.e. the hospitals) have been waiting for an alternative, and Carol's team is about to provide this highly-anticipated alternative product.
Except that things are not as simple as it is. Carol currently faces the following challenges:
If the above challenges are not enough, Carol's team is young and most barely had any experience selling in tough market situations, let alone selling in such severe adverse situations .
Even in the face of such a "suicide" mission, Carol is undaunted in her quest to provide the better alternative to her market. She knows that this will be a test of both will and wits, so that she and her team can outwit, outplay and outlast the competition.
Thriving Against Insurmountable Odds
When we face adversity or any difficult situations, we generally have 2 choices: either we overcome them , or we run away from them. In most cases, we will run away from the very difficult challenges, UNLESS we have a clear reason why we MUST overcome those difficulties.
Using a goal-setting concept from Leadership IQ, if you want to get yourself or your team to be motivated to thrive against insurmountable odds, you have to do it the HARD way as follow:
One of the greatest mistakes made by senior executives to motivate sales people is to provide more "spiffs" or bonuses if they deliver or exceed targets. While some may argue if money is a good motivator for sales people, the bigger picture of incentive-related motivation can be summarised using the following formula:
Chances of success, divided by
The amount of effort required
In a nutshell, if you are asking someone to put in a lot of effort to achieve something that he thinks is impossible, he might not even do so for a million dollars because he does not see any chances of succeeding, despite his best efforts.
If we take a closer look at what's happening in many sales teams, most sales people and even distributors tend to sell the products they feel most comfortable selling at, rather than the products that pay the highest commissions. If you work out the math, it's very simple. If you pay someone twice the bonus to sell something that will take 3 times as much time and effort, he won't do it. Period.
On the other hand, if you want someone to achieve the impossible, you probably won't be able to motivate him or her using money or any material incentives. Achieving the impossible means putting a lot of effort to achieve something that has a close-to-zero chance of succeeding. If someone is doing such things, he must either be madly in love with what he is doing, or he's doing it for something far more valuable than money, or both.
Outwit and Outplay the Competition
To thrive in severe adversity, it's not enough to just have the will to overcome all odds. You need to outwit and outplay your adversaries too.
From the perspective of selling, there are 2 general ways of beating the competition:
Generally speaking, customers hate to change suppliers, and hence it's relatively easier to get them to add you as a back-up/ alternative supplier. Does that mean that you will always be the back-up and not the main supplier? Of course not, and here's why:
Being a supplier, even if it's a small one, allows you access to
the key decision makers and buying influencers, thereby
cultivating your relationship with the customer for potential
Sometimes, even if your products and services are clearly more
superior, or even when your prices are lower, it does not mean you
will win the sale. In fact,
lowest-priced bids win less deals than
highest-priced ones, and the most technically superior
proposals lose 49% of the deals to inferior ones. To win, you
will have to consider multi-dimensional aspects so that you
lure your competitor's key accounts and make
them buy from you instead:
Sometimes, even if your products and services are clearly more superior, or even when your prices are lower, it does not mean you will win the sale. In fact, lowest-priced bids win less deals than highest-priced ones, and the most technically superior proposals lose 49% of the deals to inferior ones. To win, you will have to consider multi-dimensional aspects so that you lure your competitor's key accounts and make them buy from you instead:
To obliterate the competition, ask yourself these lateral thinking questions:
Why not you suggest something that the customer is not aware of? Why not approach someone else in their organisation? Why not you do the impossible for the customer?
What if you help customers resolve some of their chronic problems and inconveniences? What if you come out with some wishful and outrageous ideas?
Give Yourself a Chance to Survive
Most tough challenges require long periods of hard work before you can overcome them. Most difficult periods will get harder before they become easier. Hence, here are 3 main reasons why many people failed in the face of tough challenges, rather than overcoming them:
When things get really bad, there are times that we can look at it from the positive points of view. In the Six Thinking Hats lingo, it's about using the Yellow Hat in the face of many Black Hats. In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), it's simply about shouting and thinking "That's Good!" in the face of severe adversity.
When facing insurmountable odds, leaders and team members will have to really be united as one, and be willing to support one another so that the team synergises and thrive in severe adversity. As Sun Tzu puts it, if your goal and purpose is aligned from top to bottom, you win (上下同欲者胜).
Need help in getting your team to overcome insurmountable odds and thrive in adversity? Simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org 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: 15 Dec 2011
Thriving in Severe Adversity: Strategies to Overcome Insurmountable Odds and Win More Sales
How to build trust and rapport with demanding customers in difficult and challenging situations;;
How to understand the causes of bad customer behaviour, AND the objectives that you can help them achieve; and
How to use some Lateral Thinking methods to create innovative solutions for customers that work!
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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 email@example.com
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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:
Simply e-mail your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +86-21-6219 0021 for enquiries. Sample video and audio recordings available upon requests.
Practical Tips for Hospitality Sales:
How to Overcome Insurmountable Challenges and Achieve Great Sales Results in the Hospitality Industry
By c.j. Ng
Carl (not his real name), is the Director of Sales and Marketing (DOSM)
for a 4-star international business hotel in the suburbs of
Shanghai. Although a 4-star brand, the hotel's facilities are
good enough to match any 5-star hotel anywhere in the world.
Undaunted, Carl led his team to target at the
MICE (Meetings, Incentives,
Conventions, Exhibitions) market. In particular, he targeted at
companies who would want to bring their staff a from all over China
and other parts of the world off-site to have a series of meetings,
training or strategic planning.
The other way of thinking could be "how can we shrink the distance between the hotel and places to shop, dine and wine?" In this way, we have the following ideas:
These are just some of the ideas that we can generate to help Carl get more sales despite his insurmountable challenges. Some will work, while others won't, but if you don't generate enough of all kinds of ideas, you probably won't find the one that will deliver the best results for you.
If you would like to get more and better ideas how to overcome insurmountable challenges and achieve great sales results, you can e-mail email@example.com or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha. All information shall be kept in confidence.
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Psyche-Selling TM is set up so that companies and sales people can make healthy profits and STILL provide genuine solutions to customers.
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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 LtdPsyche-Selling ng TMconducts 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.
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