Professional Development

Professional Development

How to Overcome Rejections and Disagreement at Work 
Autumn 2012, Asia Volume 4, Number 5

How to Overcome rejections and Disagreements at Work?

Everyone goes through a form of rejection or disagreements at some point in their working lives. It happens when you go into a situation that doesn’t go as you had planned or imagined it to be. It could even be the case where the degrees of rejection or disagreement is so great that it affects your performance. Luckily, there are ways to overcome such rejections or disagreements and prevent you from prolonged periods of feeling unworthy or unwanted. It starts with remembering that rejection is a person’s opinion and not a fact, while disagreements personally as it is much more difficult for you emotionally. It’s much better to step back from the feelings of personal rejection and consider the circumstances as objectively as you can.

Divine

Intervention

This may sound as a floozy way to overcome rejections, but it does work. When you believe in something larger than you, it becomes something you can turn to in times when you can’t answer everything yourself. It can be an organized religion or something closer to you in a personal way. There may be times when a disagreement can stay with you for days and you cannot seem to concentrate on anything else. Believing in divine intervention allows and guides you in gaining perspectives about the situation and hopefully, if you cannot resolve it, overcome it.

Believe

In Yourself

It will be difficult at first, especially right after your self-esteem has taken a blow, but through practice, you will be fine. You have to make a choice to overcome your indulgent feelings and stop wallowing in self-pity. Focus on your strengths and use this time to better yourself. Maybe you were rejected because a change was needed, so work on that. Rejection, since it is a form of opinion, could also be a flaw in the other party because they cannot accept your ‘too radical’ propositions. So do not take it too hard on yourself.

Hire

A Coach

If the pain seems too much, and your thoughts focusing on little more than the disagreement or rejection you have been through, get counselling or seek professional help. It is not a form of weakness and you may even find it embarrassing, but it is not uncommon for a rejection to become a basis for depression. Group therapy works as well for these who find it intimidating for a one-to-one session. Whatever the case may be, you would rather overcome these feelings than carry them around secretly or risk losing your job altogether because of your inability to focus.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

Bolster your self-belief, give yourself a pep talk and seek to learn everything you can about the causes and circumstances of your rejection/disagreement.

Quick Tip2

Manage your emotions or you won’t receive reasonable feedback from a coworker or boss.

Quick Tip3

It’s ok to seek some solace and sympathy from friends & family, just make sure the sympathy you see is short term or you will end up wallowing in self-pity/whinning. Move on to the next opportunity and be ready when it arrives.

Quick Tip4

Sign up for our workshops and accelerate your performance overnight. Guaranteed!

How to Justify a Higher Price for your offering 
Summer 2012, Asia Volume 4, Number 4

How to justify a higher price for your offering?

As much as we want to tell our customers it is our job to maximize profit, sales revenue or ensure growth in our company, the cold and hard truth is that the layman can’t understand this. Furthermore, speaking in economical jargon would merely make consumers think you are pulling the wool over their eyes with your fancy words. How do you convince them that what you’re offering is worth the price? After all, 85% of the time consumers’ buying decisions are based on price.

Be

Long-winded

In this matter, being elaborate is beneficial. Be truthful with the customer and tell them upfront what the key resource was in making that product that it demands such a price. Allow room for queries; if you keep talking they’ll find you pushy, judge you for it and walk away without buying anything. If the customer is being stingy with the price, acknowledge that it is pricey, but don’t be patronizing. Sincerely listen to their hesitations too, perhaps you could offer them something else to suit their needs. Forget that commission once in a while.

Make a

List

Make a list of general reasons why your product is worth more than what it is priced at, then memorize. As a rule, think of ten. Tell your customers clearly how they’ll benefit, why it can’t be substituted and most importantly, how much they would actually be saving. Try not to be over-zealous as it would kill your whole persuasion. Never make an anticipated move, ie. Putting the item into a bag and telling them you’ll help them carry it to the counter is not helpful at all!

Know the

Product Well

You are halfway there once you know the product inside out. That way, you’ll know exactly the market it caters to and you can focus your attention solely on that market. Don’t try preaching to everyone that comes your way. Look for an interested face: an open, questioning look with quick, discreet glances your way. Approach kindly and through interaction, decipher if they need they would truly need the product. If they don’t, don’t push but if they do, they go home happy and your cash register rings. They won’t think twice about the price if they need it.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

Be truthful with the customer and tell them upfront what the key resource was in making that product that it demands such a price.

Quick Tip2

Tell your customers clearly how they’ll benefit, why it can’t be substituted and most importantly, how much they would actually be saving.

Quick Tip3

Know your product inside out. That way, you’ll know exactly the market it caters to and you can focus your attention solely on that market.

Quick Tip4

Sign up for our workshops and accelerate your performance overnight. Guaranteed!

How to Handle Difficult Customers who Shout all the Time 
Summer 2012, Asia Volume 4, Number 4

Aunt Agony: How to handle difficult customers who shout all the time

You probably know as well as the next person that it is never advisable to shout back, no matter how unreasonable the customer may be. In every service and sales line, ‘the customer is king’ , and unfortunately, most customers believe this to be true. Nobody ever makes a mistake on purpose, but no matter how you try to avoic situations as these, the truth is they still do happen. All you can do is be prepared for it when it happens.

First

Things First

Acknowledge that the customer has the privilege to be angry. Telling them otherwise would only worsen the situation. Find the root of the problem. More often than not, irate customers tend to go on and on of how they were duped that it makes it difficult to find out what actually upset them. Your job is not to give a sympathetic ear, though you should appear to be doing so, but to listen carefully to identify what requires your primary attention. Moreover, the less talking you do the less need for the customer to raise his voice to be heard.

Patience

Is a Virtue

Try to remember that the customer is not directing his anger at you personally even if it seems like it. It is no use trying to stop the customer from shouting to save you the embarrassment. In fact, the longer you wait for your turn to speak, the more the customer realizes what a scene he’s creating. Don’t patronize the customer as you’ll just experience a new wave of shouting; keep calm, no furrowed brows, folded arms or rolling of eyes. Continue acknowledging the situation the customer is in instead to diffuse the situation to buy yourself time while you think of a resolution

Own

The Problem

Tempted as you may be to direct the customer to someone else, when the customer sees how involved you are in genuinely solving his situation, his anger will simmer down. Speak softly, and use affirmative verbiage: ‘Thank you for bringing this to my attention. This is important and I will act on it.” Keep your tone steady to convey the importance of your message, Eventually, the customer will lower his own voice to hear what you are saying. Also, don’t forget to follow-up on the problem after you’ve given a resolution.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

Acknowledge that the customer has the privilege to be angry. Find the root of the problem. Listen carefully to identify what requires your primary attention.

Quick Tip2

Keep calm, no furrowed brows, folded arms or rolling of eyes. Continue acknowledging the situation the customer is in.

Quick Tip3

Speak softly and use affirmative verbiage. Keep tone steady to convey the importance of your message. Don’t forget to follow-up after you’ve a resolution.

Quick Tip4

Sign up for our workshops and accelerate your performance overnight. Guaranteed!

How to Present and Not Put Anyone to Sleep 
Summer 2012, Asia Volume 4, Number 3

Presenting dynamically: how to present and not put anyone to sleep

Keep the idea that you are presenting to restless ADHD children in mind when you are presenting. This keeps things in perspective and work your creative juices in coming up with an engaging presentation. As with all successful things, do up a plan. Even planned jokes can be funny and wake your audience when said at strategic times. Your main objective it to get your point across in the fastest and most interesting way as possible. People will get fidgety if you overshoot the time, no matter how great your presentation may be.

Visuals,

Visuals, Visuals

This could not be emphasised more. In this age of technological advances, people would be expecting you to use the numerous tools available to present. Fewer words are always a good idea if you could use a picture. Pie graphs and graphs are fine, but pictures and images speak a thousand words. Also, speak to the emotional part of people when you present. It usually takes more than facts to move people, so be sure not to overload them with facts but take some time to tell an appropriate anecdote as well.

Be

Prepared

And show that you are! You can blame it on stage fright but the ‘uhm’s and ‘ah’s merely give away that you do not know your content. People become disinterested. After all, why should they listen to one who does not know his stuff? Verbiage and tone of voice is vital in presenting as you already know. If you feel an ‘uhm’ coming on, stop to pretend that you need a sip of water. Don’t take too long in drinking, and try not to use this excuse too many times as it stalls your presentation.

Wrapping

It up

If you can’t fit your key concepts and ideas on a 3 x 5 card, you are being long-winded, and never read your notes. Remember your main message at all times and convey it consistently; then you won’t have to repeat yourself. Let your passion for the topic shine and your audience will feel enthusiastic about your presentation too. They would rather a sincere presenter than one who puts on a facade. If you have the resources and time, create a simple door gift to remind them of your presentation and ideas long after it is over.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

As with all successful things, do up a plan. Your main objective is to get your point across in the fastest and most interesting way as possible.

Quick Tip2

Fewer words are always a good idea if you could use a picture. Speak to the emotional part of people when you present.

Quick Tip3

“uhm’s” and “ah’s” merely give away you don’t know your content. Let your passion for the topic shine and your audience will feel enthusiastic about it too.

Quick Tip4

Sign up for our workshops and accelerate your performance overnight. Guaranteed!

Transforming the Wallflower into a Winner 
Summer 2012, Asia Volume 4, Number 1

Transforming the wallflower unto a winner: How to get your boss to notice how great you are

He knows you’re qualified. After all, he did read your CV and gave you the job. However, lately you feel you have taken a backseat and that your position is not appreciated as much as you want it to be. What your boss needs is a reminder, a permanent wake-up call. This way, you can guarantee the satisfaction of holding a key role in your company. It comes with turning positive actions into habits, and, painful as it might be at the beginning, weaning off your old ones.

Humble

Yourself

While you’re at it, be honest too. People tend to blind themselves from disagreeing facts. Your sales are down? Be professional about it, face the truth about your skills and improve where necessary. Take time to learn the ropes from the beginning if you have to rather than pretend to know something you don’t; once your ignorance is revealed, everyone will brand you as obnoxious and incapable. Learning from your mistakes as much as enjoying your successes in the spirit of humility sets an example for your subordinates, who will respect you more for it, and so will your boss.

The Duck

Habit

Are you one who dismisses small opportunities in the hopes you’ll land a huge one? Stop. While you are waiting for that elusive Holy Grail, others are grabbing those opportunities you had let go of. The luckiest guy at work only seems lucky. You have to work hard to be at the right place at the right time. Put yourself out there and develop relationships that would expose you to fruition, know what you’re doing and why. Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but paddling like hell underneath. Your boss will soon recognize your seemingly effortless successes.

Don’t be an

Office Hermit

It becomes easy to fall into a routine after spending too long in one company. You may spend all day in your office working, arriving early and leaving late, hoping to project the ‘hard worker’ image. While this may beneficial to some point, you may come across to others as being afraid of disappointments and risks, including your boss. He would think you to be the ideal office staffer, and not that great, go-to guy you really are.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

Take time to learn the ropes from the beginning if you have to rather than pretend to know something you don’t

Quick Tip2

Put yourself out there and develop relationships that would expose you to fruition, know what you’re doing and why

Quick Tip3

You may spend all day in your office working, arriving early and leaving late, hoping to project the ’hard worker’ image. While this may beneficial to some point, you may come across to others as being afraid of disappointments and risks, including your boss

Quick Tip4

Sign up for our workshops and accelerate your performance overnight. Guaranteed!

Assertiveness will Pay Off 
Autumn 2011, Asia Volume 3, Number 7

Assertiveness will pay off, aggressiveness gets you laid off

People often mistake assertiveness as synonyms for aggressiveness. The emotional or physical force used to express one’s feelings, needs and rights associated with aggressiveness can rub off people the wrong way. They back away from potential business opportunities in fear they may be coming across no different as that obnoxious salesperson that breathes down your neck and makes you feel victimized. However, while aggression conjures up thoughts of arrogance, rudeness and intimidation, assertiveness is its sweet little sister who comes to soften demanding and difficult people that would culminate in a happier situation.

Compromise

Is Key

When solving a problem, compromise is almost always necessary. Difficult people can be very stubborn. Always listen to what they have to say, then express your own point of view and try to look for a middle ground solution that would prove to be satisfactory for the both of you. You must be willing to negotiate and not be demanding. Being assertive is not going to get you everything you want, but it will certainly let you be heard rather than being a doormat or overly pushy.

Be Cool

And Confident

Always strive to project a Grace Kelly-like aura, be self-assured and stand your ground. ‘No’ is not always the wrong answer when said the right way. You are more likely to be taken seriously if you appear poised and self-confident rather than aggressive and hostile, and not letting your emotions get the better of you will allow you to address the situation more objectively. Remember, in a professional environment, being emotional is a sign of weakness. Your boss is looking for someone who can perform. If you feel like you cannot handle the situation at present, take a rain check and come back to the problem later.

Mind Your

Language

One of the easiest ways to distinguish between an aggressive and an assertive person is from the way they speak. Use ‘I’ language : ‘I have a different opinion. I think that…’ as opposed to `If only you would do it this way…’. The latter statements sound full of blame and negativity and would cause the other person to react defensively. Be direct. Deliver your message to the person for whom it was intended, not via another person. Be as specific and clear as possible about what you want, think or feel without being rude or demeaning. Ask for feedback. This lets others know you are expressing an opinion rather than a demand. Questions such as “How do you think this should be done?”, “What do you propose?” encourages others to correct any misconceptions they may have. Remembering your value in your organization makes it easier to be assertive. Don’t be afraid of appearing to be aggressive or selfish. Assertiveness takes time, energy, patience and self-control. If done correctly, your assertiveness will help others realise your inherent value in any business or company and you’ll be well on your way in building a powerful reputation.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

Aggression conjures up  thoughts of arrogance, rudeness and intimidation;  assertiveness soften  demanding and difficult people

Quick Tip2

You are more likely to be taken seriously if you appear poised and self-confident rather than aggressive and hostile, and not letting your emotions get the better of you will allow you to address the situation more objectively.

Quick Tip3

Use “I” language. Be direct. Ask for feedback. Remembering your value in  your organization makes it easier to be assertive.

Quick Tip4

Sign up for our workshops and accelerate your performance overnight. Guaranteed!

How to Prepare for an Effective Meeting 
Summer 2011, Asia Volume 3, Number 6

How to prepare for an effective meeting?

An effective meeting is one that has the attention of every member of the audience and makes its points quickly and clearly across, all while being done in the shortest time possible. After the meeting, the ideas and suggestions remain fresh in their heads and make them feel empowered enough to take action. This is just basic; you must know how to juggle presentation, engagement and interest for your meeting to be a fruitful and effective one.

Presentation

So you have planned, have an idea of the needs of your audience and have matched your content accordingly. You’ve done the role play (remember to speak with conviction) and body language (eye contact); your visual aids are impeccable. What do you do to add that extra zing? Humour. Having a laugh is not wrong during a meeting. In fact, it opens the minds of your audience to your ideas in general, besides making time fly. They would be more interested in reading your handouts if you present them humorously.

Engagement

Acknowledge up front from the start that you genuinely do not mind people asking questions and giving opinions. All parties benefit from it in the end. Before the meeting, write up a list of queries you have for your audience as well; things that you are unsure of and in need of second, or even third, opinion. When others see you sharing your ideas and asking questions, they would be privy to doing the same as well. You would experience a lot of new perspectives and fresh takes on situations you never thought of before.

Interest

This is by far the trickiest of the lot. It is impossible to cater to every one of their different ‘points of interest’, so to speak. The rule of thumb is, if it is interesting to you, it would be to them. Would you give in to your own idea? Why? And even if it turns out not to be, convince them that they are interested. Speak with unwavering enthusiasm and they will slowly feel a little excited with you. People take on new interests when they feel the attachment to it, and it is your job to make them feel that attachment.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

Inject humour into your meetings. Having a laugh is not wrong. In fact, it opens the minds of your audience to your ideas

Quick Tip2

Before the meeting, prepare a list of queries you have for your audience ; things you are unsure of and in need of second or even third opinion.

Quick Tip3

Speak with unwavering enthusiasum and they will slowly feel a little excited with you.

Quick Tip4

Sign up for our workshops and accelerate your performance overnight. Guaranteed!

Generation Next : How to handle Y generation employees 
Winter 2011, Asia Volume 3, Number 5

Generation Next: How to handle Y generation employees

The first thing you should know about Generation Y (born between 1982-2000, also known as the Millenials) is that they are made from a different mould. It is probably this outright display of individualism that puts you at a loss at how to react to them. They’re not like your mild baby boomers, but they’re not your wild flappers either. You dislike the feeling of walking on eggshells around them, you don’t owe them anything. They make you pull at your hair and yet you don’t want to get on their bad side either. If you want to know how to carry yourself around your Millenials subordinates, read on.

When in

Rome

You know the saying, when in Rome do as Romans do? Likewise here. You have only one shot to gain the trust of a Millenial, but once you do, it will stay that way for a long time. Don’t pull a fast one and pretend to be like them as they can smell a phoney 10 feet away. They will recognize a genuine effort, and most times, with their trust comes their respect. And once you’ve gained their respect, be sure to hang on to it. A Millenial who respects you will obey you. Or at least, listen.

Give what’s due, nothing more

And Nothing Less

Millenials are brought up in a family where parents are very active in the lives of their children. It is not uncommon for them to plan their achievements as well as take part in their activities. As such, Millenials develop a strong sense of empowerment that can be hard to reign over. Show them your authority cannot be challenged by consistently doling out unbiased judgements or praises where it’s due. While it’s easy to find a favourite subordinate, doing this will only make the others scorn you. So give what’s due, where it’s due.

Allow Some

Space

You should understand that Millenials are racially and ethnically more diverse than other generations. They have also grown up at a time where globalisation is rife and thus hold more worldly opinions. They tend to want to ‘travel and explore’ more than other generations as well. This independence cannot be easily boxed in, so it is wise to give them some space and trust that they would do their job. They don’t like the ‘constant-breathing-down- your- neck’, neither do they understand it. If supervision is necessary, explain it to them logically and/or do it as discreetly as possible.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

Don’t pull a fast one and pretend to be like them as they can smell a phoney 10 feet away

Quick Tip2

Show them your authority cannot be challenged by consistently doling out unbiased judgements or praises where it’s due

Quick Tip3

Give them some space and trust that they would do their job. If supervision is necessary, explain it to them logically and/or do it as discreetly as possible.

Quick Tip4

Sign up for our workshops and accelerate your performance overnight. Guaranteed!

How to Find out the Needs of your Customer? 
Autumn 2011, Asia Volume 3, Number 4

How to find out the needs of your customer?

You know your stuff: listen actively, putting yourself in your customers’ shoes, etc. But do you know how to find out the needs of your customer prior to their arrival? Or is it a mad flurry of half-baked questions resulting in half-baked ideas? The case is you only find out the needs of your customers when you meet them, not including the research you did for the market for your product. The key lies in the initial few questions you ask before the customer deems you incompetent with your endless queries about ‘what they want’.

What are you

Expecting?

This question is very general but allows very specific answers. It is your duty to get your customer what they want, how they want, in the shortest time before they wander off and find another salesperson or even worse, another shop or company. First rule is never ask yes/ no questions. The more talking they do, the more you know. Besides this, make it a point to ask a maximum of four questions before introducing a product to your customer.

Allow for

Feedback

You improve from a third person’s point of view, and this third person is usually the customer. Carry out frequent surveys for constant improvement. Try to weave in a few questions after a service has been done and make sure you collate the findings afterwards. Frequent feedback has benefitted many companies as customers feel you are truly looking out for them, and they will be back for more attention and customized service. Remember, most of the time the customer wants to feel like they are king in the situation, and you need to find out how to cater to them.

Know your

Product

And know it inside out! When you know the type of service or product you are promoting, chances are you’ll also know to manipulate your conversation with your customer to assure them you have what they are looking for. You won’t be wasting anyone’s time if you know the product is not right for them, and they would be more than grateful if you could kindly steer them towards the right direction. Do not ever force anything on the customer. They usually already have a fixed idea in mind already, so cater to that.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

You wil only find out the needs of your customers when you meet them. The key lies in the few questions you ask.

Quick Tip2

Never ask Yes/No questions. Make it a point to ask a maximum of four questions before introducing a product to your customer

Quick Tip3

Carry out frequent surveys for constant improvement. Try to weave in a few questions after a service has been done and make sure you collate the findings

Quick Tip4

Sign up for our workshops and accelerate your performance overnight. Guaranteed!

How to maximize your potential and become a star at work? 
Autumn 2011, Asia Volume 3, Number 3

How to maximize your potential and become a star at work?

When I say potential, I mean the underutilized resources that you naturally posses. Along the way to fulfilling our dreams, we sometimes compromise our abilities for the sake of pleasing our bosses or securing an opportunity. We rely on the unsustainable tried-and-tested methods that others before us have done, leading us to neglect our own abilities in the first place. It is up to you to harness your own potential in order to survive at your workplace and surprise yourself as well as those at work with what you can accomplish with your own hands.

All Good Things must…

Have A Plan

Like the beginning of each year, take stock of your life and clear anything that seems to be clogging up your schedule. Only then can you make time and space for self-improvement and set honest learning goals which should tie in with your priorities in life, so make time for serious self- reflection every week. Make a list of things you could be good at, and then start honing them. Under-promise in the meantime; it’ll make you seem more capable when you do well on those promises early, and buys you more time as well.

Invest in

Yourself

To be like a star, you have to look and feel the part. While you are creating that winning routine, include some physical improvement. You’ll need the energy everyday to become the best you can be, so work that stamina and commit to getting fit. It is said athletes have more discipline and focus than regular people, and discipline and focus are what helps you to finish every project to completion. With every successful completion, your standing at work will increase too. Dress for excellence and conduct yourself respectfully. Soon, others will recognize the excellence in you.

You are what you

Say You Are

This cliché could not be truer in helping you reach your potential. Start by making the decision to be indispensable at work. Tell yourself you’ll be so good at what you do that you’ll be the first person to come to for advice. Maximizing your potential means becoming the best you can be, so don’t settle for anything less. You can start by including in your plan to hone your best 3 talents first over the year. You’ll be so good that they can’t function without you, and you’ll become a star at work.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

It is up to you to harness your own potential in order to survive at your workplace and surprise yourself as well as those at work

Quick Tip2

Make a list of things you could be good at, and then start honing them

Quick Tip3

Dress for excellence and conduct yourself respectfully

Quick Tip4

Start by including in your plan to hone your best 3 talents first over the year

Making a little go a long way: how to network with strangers when you don’t like socialising 
Summer 2011, Asia Volume 3, Number 2

Making a little go a long way: how to network with strangers when you don’t like socialising

How do you build that supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and/or groups with common interests as yourself when you dislike small talk and endless schmoozing? Networking doesn’t have to be all about clocking in face time with various people. You can keep socializing to a minimal, (i.e. parties with people you won’t normally talk to and conventions where you find yourself having to plaster on a smile,) and still build a substantial network. Be it through new media or far-flung social circles, work with what you already have and extend your network based on that.

Decide to

Connect

Take an interest in everyone you meet. They could turn out to be a useful contact. This also allows you to strike out social gatherings where the agenda is to purely network / socialise. You’ll find it easier to be yourself as the setting you create is causal, making you seem more genuine to other parties and therefore more attractive to meet. So your friend’s cousin is having a party? You never know who you might meet, so bring along some business cards, and don’t forget to collect some.

Social Media is one

of the criteria

Before you dismiss social networking sites as passing fads, know this. According to a 2010 Nielsen study in the U.S., social sites occupy a quarter of online activities. It’s safe enough to assume your potential prospects use it as a daily tool and it helps that it connects like-minded people. Twitter, Linkedln, SaleSpider, Jigsaw… coupled with features such as a business directory, these can actually help to attract and retain clients. Once people are able to connect with you directly and understand straightaway what you are looking for, there is little need for socializing with a bunch of strangers.

Kindness

And Karma

Make it a habit to help out those who seek favours from you, and do it in the spirit of giving and sharing. Successful networking is about promoting others’ needs as much as your own, and the receiver will have a positive memory of you that he will be sure to share with others, even it he was a friend and not a business contact. It makes people more receptive to helping you out when you need a favour as well, creating a strong, capable and most importantly, active network. As they say, what goes around comes around.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

Work with what you already have and extend your network based on that.

Quick Tip2

Take an interest in everyone you meet.

Quick Tip3

Social media helps connects like-minded people and occupy 25% of online activities

Quick Tip4

Make it a habit to help out those who seek favours from you, and do it in the spirit of giving and sharing

Subconscious success: how to create a bad first impression without even knowing it 
Summer 2011, Asia Volume 3, Number 1

Subconscious success: How to Create a bad first impression without even knowing it

Interviews and first-time social interactions with strangers, some of whom can be your colleagues, are apt situations where you don’t want to start rubbing people off the wrong way. Between mentally preparing for a big interview and being tossed into a workplace full of strangers, there is little space to fret over the presentation of yourself. Try slowly threading in certain habits into your every day routine and you may find that you can create a good lasting impression on someone with minimal effort, and thought, on your part.

Physical Appearance

Matters

Before you can impress anybody with your winning personality, the first clue a person gets about you is your grooming. A good haircut and a clean shave would serve you well for most occasions. Make it a habit to keep good posture; a more self-confident and reliable image is projected. Inculcate good personal hygiene. This doesn’t mean to bulk up on your preferred scents as that would irritate and drive people away, especially those with sensitive noses. Rid yourself of ill-fitting and garish items in your cupboard as a rule, and use common sense to dress appropriately for the occasion.

Body

Language

A comfortable distance of 4 to 12 feet between you and another in formal situations is recommended, while that between yourself and acquaintances would be 1.5 to 4 feet. Do not follow the person if they move away from you; you may have been too close to them so let them set a comfortable distance instead. You probably have heard that making eye contact creates a good impression, but if you find this intimidating, do the Triangle Trick: alternate your gaze from the other person’s eyes to his forehead then to the bridge of his nose, creating the illusion of eye contact.

Conversation

By all means, laugh, smile and joke but don’t overdo it. Too much and you’ll seem pretentious and overbearing. Steer the conversation away from yourself and consider your choice of words. They give away your intelligence and socio-economic background, among other things. Avoid cursing and using big words that you don’t understand yourself. Make it a habit not to criticise, condemn or complain about others. It would be beneficial not just during an initial meeting, but for future interactions as well. Nobody likes to hear their opinions being put down.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

Try slowly threading in certain habits into your every day routine and you may find that you can create a good lasting impression on someone with minimal effort, and thought, on your part.

Quick Tip2

Rid yourself of ill-fitting and garish items in your cupboard as a rule, and use common sense to dress appropriately for the occasion.

Quick Tip3

Triangle Trick: alternate your gaze from the other person’s eyes to his forehead then to the bridge of his nose, creating the illusion of eye contact

Quick Tip4

Make it a habit not to criticise, condemn or complain about others

My clients are allergic to price increase! 
Spring 2008, Asia Volume 2, Number 1

My clients are allergic to price increase!

Been having a hard time of late? I’m sure some of you have probably got your sales targets or business goals for the year. And while there is little compassion from management to take a breather, it seems that customers too are unrelenting with their demands.

A client recently remarked that they were finding customers impossible to deal with. With the dizzying increase in oil prices, their latest round of ‘price increase’ letters sent to customers certainly didn’t go down well with many of them, who were not the least bit understanding or compassionate. That letter resulted in constant re-negotiation and explanation. Why couldn’t the customers accept it when the whole world knows about it? Why couldn’t they understand?

Switching perspectives, clients who were recipients of such letters saw it differently. Faced with constant pressure to deliver more for less for their end customers, they felt that these vendors were unable to explain why the need for such increase and beyond the percentage changes. As a reaction, they used the price increase as an opportunity to open the door for competitors with better value proposition to woo them over. But interestingly, more than 90% accepted the price increase after several rounds of negotiations and then it was business as usual. Why? Because they needed the vendors’ support and their familiarity with the company made it tedious for them to move to another supplier.

So if you’re preparing that letter the next time round, it’s a good reality check to justify the value that you provide to your customers apart from price. Help customers understand how indispensable your service is. Show them how you can help them achieve their goals. Talk about their goals ahead and show them how you provide business improvements and more importantly, value.

Customers buy because they see the need, even in price increase situations. So do they really need you?

“Whatever you say”

Is he always King?

Working as a project manager in the building industry, James felt that he simply had to give the clients what they wanted. “Because the customer is king, so whatever he says goes” was his reply to me as he sighed. Is this what client servicing is about? The best welcome mat wins? The more you do, the more he will appreciate you?

Professional client service engagement requires us to firstly be competent in our skills and abilities – that’s not a “nice-to-have”, but a “given” from the client’s viewpoint. Clients will always be more demanding and we need to satisfy their needs. How we do it determines how the client will perceive our value.

When your client beckons you for more, it’s time for you to put your consultant’s hat on and find out why? Be ready to also put your negotiation skills to work and develop different possibilities of satisfying his need. Beyond that, be ready with options even if you eventually have to say NO. It’s right to treat your customer as king but serve him like the king’s advisor and not the jester.

Putting me in his shoes…

Easier said than done

When presenting your point of view, it’s so easy to get caught in the trap of “me versus him’. It’s because we’re wired to see things instinctively our way, not the other. So we’ve got to do what’s unnatural, focus the conversation with the audience in mind, or “A.I.M” as I call it. When you have the A.I.M., you’ll find that it’s easier to place yourself in his shoes and see things from his point of view. Then start constructing your ideas based on the audience’s background.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

See price increase actions as the ultimate litmus test to find out if your customers value the contribution you bring to the relationship. If they don’t see it, they simply won’t buy the price increase. So calibrate and check out your value contribution before you present the inevitable. Identify what is it you do better than the rest and make sure the client agrees with it. What they can’t see, they don’t value and they won’t pay. When you’re better than the rest, your customers will find it hard to say no.

Quick Tip2

Seeing things from your client’s viewpoint is the quickest way to build credibility. Why? Because they are drawn to you if you speak their language and see their worldview. Walk away from the traditional ‘sales pitch’ and start focusing on understanding his industry, his needs and his business. He’ll be quite impressed and you’ll reap the rewards!

Are you spending effectively? 
Winter 2007, Asia Volume 1, Number 4

Are you spending effectively?

Many times, marketers are overwhelmed by big goals and small budgets. And the knee jerk reaction
is to switch suppliers who can offer better value, cheaper quotations and even a one-stop shop.
When budgets get tighter, instead of going for the big axe across your vendors and suppliers, why not take a different approach. Identify the needs of the sales team and clarity where the obstacles are related to prospecting the right target, closing the sale or simply generate awareness for the right audience.
Integrating your marketing goals with the sales team isn”D5t a bad thing because both departments are after the same piece of the market? Identify how your marketing plan has an impact on sales leads generation, converting a cold lead into a warm prospect or generating interest and response to your products and services.
When you begin a plan focused on the gaps within the sales team, you will be able to determine the crucial marketing projects that are needed to optimize the leads and sales opportunities ahead. Know the pipeline and help to magnify the opportunities with the sales teams.

Answering your questions…

Don’t hide your burning questions about sales and marketing effectiveness. Simply write to us at feedback@ddynamics.net and we’ll certainly reply back with our response to your questions. Here are some recent queries that we received from our readers –

How can I build more leads for my company when the advertising budget has been slashed by half? Without market awareness, how are prospects motivated to give us a call?
Begin by knowing your target customer profile and his purchasing behaviour.Hire a reliable database, direct mail of e-mail of a targeted audience and develop a campaign to educate and excite the audience about your offerings. Provided trial incentives and ensure that your communications are tailored to the needs of the industry. Focus on developing an integrated communications approach where the customer has the option to response by e-mail, sms or visiting you at a nearby road show. Better still; include telemarketing as a follow-up to his response. Plan for programs that stir a callto- action and make it easy for the prospect to respond wherever he is.

Are events marketing losing its attraction? I did an exhibition recently and less of half of the attendees were interested prospects. Why?
Event marketing isn’t about strategizing on the onsite happenings alone. Instead, an event should be culmination of a marketing campaign activated probably 1-2 months prior to the event. Hence the event becomes that catchment reservoir to conveniently get your prospects to see and try.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

When you begin a plan focused on the gaps within the sales team, you will be able to determine the crucial marketing projects needed to optimize the leads and sales opportunities ahead. Know the pipeline and help to magnify the opportunities with the sales teams.

The 80:20 rule still rules! 
Fall 2007, Asia Volume 1, Number 3

The 80:20 rule still rules!

Looking back at the month end sales, has it even baffled you why the results were simply not reflective of the late nights and long hours you had spent prospecting and following up with your potential customers. Or is it sheer Lady Luck that wasn’t on your side this time, again. The 80: 20 rules states that most times 80 percent of your revenue is derived from the top 20 percent of your customers. If you don’t believe, go check your sales summary sheet and analyze the sources of the revenue contribution.

Conversely, many of us tend to spend time on customers and prospects who contribute to the latter 20 percent of the revenue. It’s not uncommon to have to trail the customers who make enquiries for small value items, prospects who ask for lots of leeway in the contract but are bent on starting on a small deal. How many times have you been calling on customers who send you on a rat race to get loads of information, discounts and package offers only to find him sitting on the proposal for the next two weeks and not picking up your calls right after.

Perhaps, it is timely to find out who the top 20 percent of your customers are and work on them further for further cross-sell or up-sell opportunities. In addition, ask your top customers for referrals and reward them with discounts when you secure a deal with their referral contacts.

Sieve out what’s taking the most of your time and giving you the least results. It is the typical ‘urgent but not important’ list on that ‘IN’ tray probably. And the challenge is to cultivate a discipline to be focused on what is important as opposed to what needs to be addressed immediately.

Why cold calling

Shouldn’t be cold?

“I’m busy right now. Please email or fax your company products and I will call you if I am keen. Bye!” Such comments are not uncommon for all of us who have done cold calls. Did you know that the start of a successful cold call opportunity begins with knowing and identifying the need
of that prospect you are about to call?

Haven’t you been irritated by telemarketers who blatantly sell you something when he is unfamiliar with your needs and the profile of your organization.

Review your audience – check out business magazines, research on the organization web site and study the industry trends. Then pitch your message to your knowledge of his marketplace. Trust me, he’ll want to talk further.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

“The 80: 20 rules states that most times 80 percent of your revenue is derived from the top 20 percent of your customers.”

Quick Tip2

Keep these things in when prioritize your goals for the month: Identify your top 20 percent customer base and focus on them. Rationalize the opportunities with prospects before committing excessive hours to their needs. Actively up-sell and crosssell to your current accounts. Ask for referrals!

 

Are you marketing effectively? 
Summer 2007, Asia Volume 1, Number 2

Are you marketing effectively?

Many times, marketers are so overloaded with projects it becomes a sweat shop that specializes in printing collateral, updating sales presentations and organizing customer events or press conferences. Have you taken time to check how effective your marketing activities are?

What worked in the past is likely to work again because the competition catches up really quickly nowadays. Media clutter and brand proliferation is a great challenge faced by companies in affluent markets. Hence it is probably good to do a review of all the marketing activities over the last quarter and delete projects which are less than effective.

Staying focused, identifying and prioritizing market segments are ways to improve the productivity of marketing funds. Integrating your marketing communications materials is not about sharing the same graphics and taglines.

Ensure that your marketing conveys a single and focused message about the value proposition to the marketplace. Strive to run programs that move the customers from awareness to action.

Add Testimonials

To Your Calls

Don’t hide your testimonials in a sales presentation kit. Generate success stories and encourage your customers to share their company goals and aspirations. Testimonials are a great way for your client to publicise how successful they have been working with your organization, while reinforcing your organization’s values and solutions that you bring to your customer base.

What to Include

Begin by explaining what the problem or the need of the client is. Within this section, expound on the background of the client and the vision and business goals of that company and the expectations that was needed to achieve it.

Add Excitement

Highlight the challenges and complexities that were inherent in the project and reflect on how both the client and your company worked together to achieve the desired future state. Do not focus on your organizational successes but instead talk about co-operation, collaboration and teamwork between your team and your client. Impress other with your company’s ability to be agile and meet the needs of your customers. Emphasize the benefits your bring to your customers instead of what products your offered. Talk about the outcome.

Outcomes and happy stories

Be sure to include candid summaries of the outcome and include comments from both sides of the fence – that is, your company and your client. Include verbatim comments from your delighted customers and update them regularly.

Unique services

Include special mention of unique services and ideas that your company has provided for your delighted customers. Demonstrate how you can help customers by truly understanding their needs and going that extra mile!

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

What worked in the past is likely to work again because the competition catches up really quickly nowadays. Hence it is probably good to do a review of all the marketing activities over the last quarter and delete projects which are less than effective.

Staying focused and identifying and prioritizing market segments are ways to improve the productivity of marketing funds

Staying on Course Despite All 
Spring 2007, Asia Volume 1, Number 1

Staying on course despite all

Many times the original plans that were scheduled are often affected by the unpredictable circumstances surrounding the environment. Inevitably, customers resist and hold purchases with such uncertainties and you’re probably stalled for more sales and results!

While it is tough to push a hard sales when customers hold the pause button, it is necessary to stay in touch with the customer to understand that ‘D4change of heart’ that has just occurred in the organization. Engage in more dialogue with your customer to understand the reasons surrounding the postponed decisions and the probable change in budget, purchase process and the criteria for evaluation. Most importantly, make it a point to read and understand about your client’s business from the internet, business journals and newspapers to understand the pressures of their organization.

When you are in synch with the happenings in your client’s world, you will be able to forecast your pipeline better because you see his needs and challenges. Seize the opportunity to understand how you market your products and services currently and analyse if there are gaps in the value
proposition. You have to change and steer towards the changes of the marketplace.

Why NO isn’t

So bad after all

“He declined to try the product and did not even want to give the trial a shot.” Such comments are not uncommon at all and do not feel despondent when you encounter such sales situations. Did you know that the start of a successful sales opportunity begins with understanding why the customer declined your product or service?

When customers say NO, it really is not the end of the sales cycle but the beginning instead. Accept the decline graciously and add an eager anticipation to understand his reasons for the decline. Probe gently and sincerely and express a keen desire to know the reasons and circumstances behind his ‘NO’ response.

Review his concerns and objections and rationalize where the gap between the selling and the needs was. When you are able to confidently present a proposal the meets the needs, ask the customer again because by then, you would have fulfilled his requirements! Don’t give up on a NO as it is the gatekeeper to knowing how to get a YES response.

Create a Rapport

At first sight

Always research the company’s website before calling on a prospect, you’ll be surprise how little employees actually know their website and its details. It’s a great way to build rapport from the start!

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More

Quick Tip1

“Engage in more dialogue with your customer to understand the reasons surrounding the postponed decisions.”

Quick Tip2

Keep these things in when your prospect says NO: Be sincere and ask why. Clarify the reasons for his concern. Don’t assume you know what he means. Reflect on his feedback and propose again. Be eager and ask for the business since you know what he wants!