Tuesday, December 31, 2013

SG Sales Guru: Season's Greeting for 2014

SG Sales Guru wishes all our friends and business associates a healthy, wealthy and happy 2014. To help all make the full use of 2014, we share the following 17 Wealth Tips by T. Harv Eker.
 
1. Rich people believe "I create my life." Poor people believe "Life happens to me."
2. Rich people play the money game to win. Poor people play the money game to not lose.
3. Rich people are committed to being rich. Poor people want to be rich.
4. Rich people think big. Poor people think small.
5. Rich people focus on opportunities. Poor people focus on obstacles.
6. Rich people admire other rich and successful people. Poor people resent rich and successful people.
7. Rich people associate with positive, successful people. Poor people associate with negative or unsuccessful people.
8. Rich people are willing to promote themselves and their value. Poor people think negatively about selling and promotion.
9. Rich people are bigger than their problems. Poor people are smaller than their problems.
10. Rich people are excellent receivers. Poor people are poor receivers.
11. Rich people choose to get paid based on results. Poor people choose to get paid based on time.
12. Rich people think "both". Poor people think "either/or".
13. Rich people focus on their net worth. Poor people focus on their working income.
14. Rich people manage their money well. Poor people mismanage their money well.
15. Rich people have their money work hard for them. Poor people work hard for their money.
16. Rich people act in spite of fear. Poor people let fear stop them.
17. Rich people constantly learn and grow. Poor people think they already know.
 
 ― T. Harv Eker
 
 

Monday, December 30, 2013

SG Sales Guru: If top athletes like Tiger Woods needs a coach, don't you think you could use professional sales coaching too?

Engaging a professional sales coach to help you achieve, and maintain, peak performance is logical. Even World class athletes like Tiger Woods use them. Why shouldn't you?
 
When you think of the word “coach”, what comes to mind? A football coach? A basketball coach? What about a life or business coach. Most Singapore professionals are familiar with the former two, but few have heard of a life or business coach. If they have, they usually associate life and business coaches as being a politically correct names for counselors.
 
But this is not the case. One meaning of the word “coach” is synonymous with the word “carriage” - as in the horse-drawn conveyances of times past. As such, the function of a coach is to help bring a person from where he is now to where he wants to go. In the same sense, the coach serves the need of the one being coached and helps the client "arrive" at his destination quickly and in a better state than if he were to get there on his own. In fact, when someone is being coached, a good coach's presence will not even be felt or noticed. Just like a good conveyance would not even be noticed by the passengers enjoying the ride. :)

If you have not yet reached peak sales performance, or if you have and wish to remain at your peak, contact us at Justin[a]cwfongandassociates.com for professional sales coaching.
__________
 
Life or business coaching is available via Elijah Consulting. They can be contacted via elijah[a]elijahconsulting.com.


 

Friday, December 27, 2013

SG Sales Guru: Our sales trainer explains why business should never give discounts to close a sale

The giving of discounts to close a sale is a common sales technique and has, in a sense, become the norm. The psychological basis of a discount is to make the buyer to feel good about his purchase by facilitating the perception of receiving a good bargain.
 
My advice to companies is to always offer cash discounts as a last resort. Instead, the company should offer additional items or services to make the deal more attractive. So instead of giving a 10% cash discount (which by the way is no longer attractive), the company could offer the client an additional month of service or credit vouchers of equivalent or great value.
 
The logic is simple. The cost of offering these additional items will usually be much less than the cash value of the discount. Hence, but offering these items as incentives to buy, the company improves its bottom-line. Also, if margins are sufficiently high, offering a 20% credit is more attractive than offering a 10% cash discount.
 
At the end of the day, the buyer wants to feel that he got a deal. How the deal is structured is up to the creativity of the sales professional. So use cash discounts only as a last resort.
 
SG Sales Guru
 
P.S.  Giving a cash discount implicitly reduces it to competition of price which in turn undermines the value of your product and service. So think carefully before using this as a sales strategy.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

SG Sales Guru: Why professional sales people love the holiday season

If you are a professional salesperson, you must love the holiday season. Why? Because it gives you the perfect opportunity to fill your sales pipeline by reconnecting with people in your network without the awkwardness.
 
Regardless of how diligent you are about maintaining your prospect list, there will invariably be prospects whom you wanted to connect with but you either didn't have the opportunity or whom you had let slip. The holiday season is thus the ideal opportunity to reconnect.
 
While a simple SMS will do, social communication platforms like Whatsapp and WeChat offers you an even more powerful way to "sell" yourself. All you need to do is to create your personal greeting card (embedding your company logo or some hint as to what you do) and then send it to your contact list on the eve of the holiday. Once the prospect responds, you then have the window of opportunity to pick up where you left off. For me, I will usually say something along the lines that it has been sometime since we last met, let's do coffee soon.
 
So, while there are many sales professionals who hate the holiday season as they see it as lost opportunity for selling (unless you are in retail), for me I love it as I see it as the perfect reason to reconnect with my weak ties and to strengthen rapport with my new.
 
To maximize the opportunity, if you have the budget, I would suggest getting a professional personal greeting done. A cute or interesting greeting (especially an animated one) will often be shared. And if your name is on it and it goes viral, that is an invaluable branding opportunity.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

SG Sales Guru: Our coach explains how using NLP helps close more sales ...

Everyone of us process information differently. Thanks to the "science" of Neural-Linguistic Programming, or NLP, we now have a framework with which to better understand human behavior and the sales process.
One of the ideas taught by NLP is that people in general have two motivational patterns - some move towards success, while others move away from pain. Neither is better than the other, it is just how people are motivated. In other words, if I am motivated by avoiding pain, telling me how much I will gain by doing something is not going to motivate me. And vice-versa.
 
In the context of a sale, knowing the "motivational pattern" of the buyer is useful. If the buyer is motivated by avoiding pain, as a sales professional, you would then focus on telling the buyer what he will lose out if he does not buy. On the other hand, if the buyer is motivated by gains, focus on telling him what he will gain. If you think about it, you are in actuality saying the same thing. Only in a different way.
 
Speaking and using the buyer's motivational pattern will not guarantee you the sale. It will however increase your chances of getting through to the buyer and building that all important rapport.
 
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Increase your earning in 2014. Join our Sales Coaching Program with money back guarantee.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Public Service Announcement: Global Youth Summit 2014 - "Waste Not!"

Be part of Actions for Earth Global Youth Summit.  The inaugural event will be held in Singapore from 15th to 18th January 2014 at the Singapore Science Centre.
 
The Global Youth Summit aims to empower found people to plan, collaborate and implement innovative and sustainable living solutions on a local and global scale.  The theme, "waste not", will inspire our young delegates to create solutions and take actions to reduce waste.
 
To find out more, or simple to stay up to date on the latest green initiatives, like Hemispheres Foundation's Facebook page.  #Recycle #Reuse #Reduce
 
Youths taking actions for sustainable living
 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Maketing Tip from a Singapore Sales Trainer: Why I never do free preview seminars!


One common tactic of many Singapore trainers is to offer free preview seminars.  The trainers do this in the belief that if they were to charge, no one will turn-up for their previews.

I am totally against this tactic for two reasons ...

Firstly, if you truly have something of value to offer, why should you be afraid of asking potential clients to pay?  In the same light, if the potential client values you as trainer and thinks you have something of value to offer, paying a token sum to attend a seminar should not deter him.  In fact, giving your knowledge away for free actually undermines your value with the potential client.

For me, I do not do previews.  What I do do is conduct mini-workshops where I charge potential clients a token sum to attend.  Hence, for the potential client that does attend my workshops, he or she can be assured of learning something useful. In addition, as they have paid, they will be less concerned about having to sit through a selling presentation.

Secondly, charging a token sum for my workshop allows me to qualify my clients and to weed out the freeloaders.  There are many workshop junkies out there and they feed off free previews.  The worse scenario is a competitor coming to one of your previews to "steal" information for their own programs.  While you cannot stop them from coming, as long as they pay for the information, I can live with that.

My own statistics prove that while I may have slightly fewer participants (20% on average)at my mini-workshops, those that are present already value me and my services and are therefore more likely to sign-up for my full-workshop (approximately 30%). Thus, while on the surface, having a free preview sounds attractive, I believe that the negative effects far out-weigh the positives.

If you don't value your own time and knowledge, your potential client won't either.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Social Selling: How to Use Facebook's Events Application Correctly

Facebook is now arguably one of the most powerful social media marketing tool due to its reach.  Unfortunately, reach alone is not enough and many Singapore small business owners struggle to monetize their social media fans.
 
In the world of social selling, one tool that is under-utilized is Facebook's Events application.  It is under-utilized because many have tried it and found it to be ineffective.  My question is whether the business owner had used it correctly in the first place.




For most business owner's, the standard approach to using the events application is to create the event, invite friends and fans and then sit-back and do nothing else.  This "post and forget" strategy is not the correct way to use the application and dooms the event to failure.
 
While it is true that an invite will appear as a notification on the receivers' wall, most people receive numerous invites and have literally become "blind" to it.  A one time appearance on their wall is therefore likely to either go un-noticed, or if noticed ignored as the post may not have interested him to read more.
 
A more effective strategy of using Facebook's event application is to think along the lines of a conversation.  What the business owner should do is create the event, invite his friends and fans, and then create a series of daily posts promoting the event.  What most users of the event application do not realize is that as long as the invitee has not declined the invite, each new post will appear on their news feed.  Thus, if you have developed  a compelling story as to why they need to attend your event and the benefits they will gain, chances are that each new post will attract a few more attendees.  Additionally, if your post is something meaningful and they share it, more people will know of your event.
 
In short, many people do not use Facebook's event application as they have found it ineffective.  The problem is however not with the application itself, but with how the business owner uses the social media marketing tool.
 
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CW Fong & Associates is a Singapore-based boutique communications consultancy specializing in social media marketing.  If you are not getting the results you want from your social media platforms, give us a call for a no-obligation consultation.  eMail: Justin[a]cwfongandassociates.com
 
 

SG Sales Guru: A Tongue in Cheek Lesson on Marketing Concepts ...



You see a Gorgeous Blonde at a party. You go up to her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" - that's Direct Marketing.

You are at a party with a bunch of friends and see a Gorgeous Blonde. One of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says: He's very rich. Marry Him!" -that's Advertising.

You are at a party and see a Gorgeous Blonde. She walks up to you and says: " You are very rich! Can l marry you?" - that's Brand Recognition

You see a Gorgeous Blonde at a party. You go up to her and say: "l am very rich. Marry me!" She gives you a nice hard slap on your face. - that's Customer Feedback

You see a Gorgeous Blonde at a party. You go up to her and say: "l am very rich. Marry me!" And she Introduces you to her husband. - that's Demand and Supply Gap

You see a Gorgeous Blonde at a party. You go up to her and before you say; "l am very rich. Marry Me!", your wife arrives. - that's Restriction for Entering New Markets.
 
Source: Extracted from a friend's Facebook page.

 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

SG Sales Guru: How to Increase Prices Without Losing Customers

Increasing the prices of your product and services is always a difficult decision for companies. The inherent fear is that a price increase will push existing "marginal" customers to cheaper alternatives.
 
In a consult with the CEO of a Singapore-based event company, the CEO was lamenting the low ticket price his predecessor had set for an annual 3-day exhibition. The CEO confided that he needed to raise prices to remain profitable but was concerned that doing so may cause him to lose gate numbers. This is because, over the years, customers had become used to the low ticket price and they are likely to be very resistant to any price increases.
 
My strategy to him was simple. Customers simply don't take price increases well unless they perceive a difference. Hence, my suggestion to the CEO was to increase the ticket price but give his customers a goodie bag with a similar or higher value than the price increase.  Then, once the customers had begun paying the new price (probably after 2 events), the company could then stop giving the goodie bag. And because the customers had become used to the new ticket price, there would be little impact on gate numbers.
 
The beauty of this approach, is that the introduction of a goodie bag allows the company to charge a placement fee and possibly get products for free. This could then be a new revenue stream for their event.
 
So there you have it. A simple but effective strategy to raise prices without losing customers.

Part-time Job: Sales Professionals Wanted

SG Sales Guru in looking for part-time closers to join our team.  We have secured contracts to provide sales professionals for various events and exhibitions in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.  Selected candidates will be paid a show-up for each assignment plus commission for every deal closed.

If you are an experienced sales professional living in Singapore, send us a brief resume about your selling experience and we will contact you.
 
If you are new to the sales profession but willing to learn, we also have a learn and earn program. 

The sales profession is the best profession in the world.  It is the only profession where your educational qualifications does not matter, and how much you earn is determined by your personal attitude and desire for success.
Contact us at justin[a]cwfongandassociates.com

Motivational Quotes for the Singapore Sales Professional

Being a sales professional in Singapore is no different from being a sales professional anywhere else in the world. If is tough, it is lonely and it can be demoralising. However if, and only if, you can endure the difficulties great financial rewards await you.

To help you on your journey to being sales superstar, here are some motivational quotes for you to ponder …

1. “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” ~ Vince Lombardi

2. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

3.“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” ~ Dale Carnegie

4. “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll

5. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

Business Networking Event Cum Sales Training Workshop

Come join us for our final event of the year and learn valuable selling skills that will help you start 2014 with a bang!

Event: Networking cum Sales Training
Date: 18 December 2013
Time: 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm
Venue: Lion Building
Investment: $10
To register: eMail justin[a]cwfongandassociates.com


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

SG Sales Training: To Up-sell or Down-sell?

The question of up-selling or down-selling invariably comes up when working with clients on developing their product range.  To me, they are actually two sides of the same coin.  (Although some sales consultants will disagree. Click here for an alternate perspective)

When a company introduces a "new" product into its range, the intent is to meet the needs of a distinct new market segment. Designed and packaged correctly, the new product should not canabalise the existing market but create new markets. If there is canabalisation, then there is an overlap of needs and there is insufficient product and market differentiation. In this instance, offering a lower priced variant may hurt the business as clients will naturally gravitate to the cheaper alternative i.e. down-selling.    Down-selling is however not all bad, and may even be necessary if the company's strategy if on gaining market share. 

Up-selling on the other hand is capitalising  on an existing sales relationship. As a strategy, the company offers a "lite" version of the product that meets the needs, but not the complete needs, of the buyer. Then, once the buyer has bought and used the product, the sales professional highlights existing gaps and offers the buyer the full-version solution.  Key point to note is that an up-selling strategy does not equate to introducing a cheap product and then getting the buyer to buy the more expensive product. This is because a properly designed product range has different products for different market segments. In short, in up-selling, one generally does not cross market segments.

Up-selling and down-selling are therefore two distinct strategies.  Being clear on this will save companies a lot of lost revenue and profits.

Adv: Tutors and Students Wanted

If you are a tuition teacher looking for more students,
or a parent searching for a good home tutor for your child,
visit SG Tutors.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Sales Closing Techniques: Isolate to Close

All sales training courses teach closing techniques. Invariably, the techniques taught will involve the overcoming of the buyer's objections by downplaying its importance and to continually overcome every objection until the buyer caves in and ends up buying.

Not a good approach if you ask me, as chances are the buyer will only buy once and never buy from you again - hard-selling does not build customer loyalty.  Research has shown that the cost of customer acquisition is much higher than the cost of customer retention.  Hence a strategy that sells once is not as good as a strategy as one that allows you to sell multiple times.

The question then is how do you close?

The key tenet of our sales system is the building of a relationship.  Premised upon this, we do not sell the buyer something he does not need.  If your company's product or services does not meet the client's needs and you tell him so, he is likely to trust you even more.  Thus, perhaps he might not buy form you now, but he will most definitely contact you again if his needs changes.  Additionally, your honesty with him is a refreshing change and he will likely become an evangelist for you and your product to his friends.

Closing Technique - May I know why?

The closing technique we teach is what we term the "may I know why" approach.  Assuming you have already built some rapport with the buyer and then done your benefits presentation, if the client objects to the sale, you simply ask why.

Asking why is important as you need to know if it is a condition or an objection.  In the former, you cannot do anything so your objective will be to build a long term relationship; while the latter is an indirect request for (a) more information; (b) better price/ deal; or (c) reassurance.

It is impossible (and very unproductive) to try to guess the reason.  The best way is to ask.  If there is rapport, chances are the buyer will tell you.  And this is where most sales professionals make the mistake.  Once a buyer gives an objection, the sales professional immediately jumps on it and goes into his close.  If the reason is the real objection, the sales professional will succeed.  If it is not, another objection will come up and the sales professional will need to close again.  If this goes on multiple times, the impression of a hard sell will form.

As such, at our sales training program, we emphasize that the sales professional isolate the objection.  For example, if the buyer says it is the price, the color or the delivery dates, then we ask if these are the only issues.  If the buyer says yes, then we proceed to overcoming the objections and do the close.  If the buyer hesitates, then we ask what are the other issues.  If the buyer brings up another issue, then we then try to isolate it again.  Only when all the objections have surfaced, do we even attempt to overcome them.

The point we are driving at is this.  There are conditions and there are objections.  You cannot close a condition so don't bother.  You can however close objections, but not a "moving target".  Thus, in order to close the sale, you need to isolate to close.

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To learn more closing techniques, join our sales coaching program.  We guarantee that you will triple your investment in 30 days or we will give you a full-refund.  To sign-up, email justin[a}cwfongandassociates.com

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

SG Sales Guru: Product Segmentation - Who Moved the Cheese?

SG Sales Guru was engaged earlier this month by a real estate investment company to provide strategic counsel on their sales and marketing strategy.

In order to better understand the client's sales processes and the buying motivations of their target market, the SG Sales Guru team spent two weeks observing the company going through its paces. Our consultants even did ad hoc sales focus groups with past, existing and non-clients (those who attended the company's preview talks but did not buy) to understand what buyers wanted.

With the data in hand, we then matched the company's current product range with the buyers' needs. The startling discovery was that while the market had changed (due to new government regulations) creating 4 distinct market segments, the company had not picked up on this and continued to offer a one size fits all product. Not surprisingly, sales returns per dollar spent was extremely low with many potential clients not buying simply because they did not want to pay for services they do not need.

Our recommendation to the client was simple. Repackage the existing range to fit the new segments and, where necessary, create new product lines. With this new approach, we believe that the company will be able to capture all the segments instead of only those that needed the full package.

The 2 key lessons from this example are:

A.  Market segments are not constant. Macro factors can impact segments and make them obsolete overnight. It is thus important for companies to regularly study their target markets and make the necessary adjustments to their sales and marketing strategy.

B. Sales is not only selling, but also about information gathering. By constantly reviewing sales performance and analysing trends, sales professional are best positioned to sense the changes and inform senior management.

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If you are having problems with your company's sales and marketing, visit our online Sales  Training Clinic.  Ask us a question and we will prescribe the "medicine".

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

SG Sales Guru: Our Perspective on Sales Training in Singapore

In our opinion, sales training is a growing, and as yet untapped, market for corporate trainers in Singapore.

This is because increasing business costs related to land and labour are forcing businesses to be more efficient and more effective. Each sales professional hired must now not only sell more, but sell faster.

Unlike Western countries where the gift of the gab comes naturally (important for building rapport), sales professionals in Asian countries like Singapore are more reticent. The only way to increase their effectiveness and efficiency is therefore to train them.

Unfortunately (but fortunately for us), most sales systems currently taught in Singapore are based on Western models. While effective in their own countries, these models cannot be transplanted wholesale without customization.  For example, closing techniques which Americans can accept may be seen as insulting in Singapore.  Companies that engage sales trainers must therefore be careful to select trainers and consultants that know the local market.  This is where SG Sales Guru comes in. Based on the art and science of psychology, our system works at the unconscious level and automatically adjusts for cultural differences.

In short, the sales training market in Singapore is set to experience a boom, and trainers who are able to deliver systems that suit the local market are poised to benefit from it.

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Sign-up for our Sales Coaching Program today and start your journey to becoming a sales superstar.  Our money back guarantee makes it risk free for you.  You therefore have everything to gain, but nothing to lose.

Monday, December 2, 2013

SG Sales Guru: Sales Coaching Program with Money Back Guarantee (Singapore)

If you are a sales professional in Singapore and you are interested in increasing your income, this sales coaching program is for you.

 
Based on scientific research and the art and science of psychology, our sales training program will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to be the best in the field. Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned professional, the knowledge we impart will super-charge your selling. Even the world's top athletes continue to train with a coach when they are #1.

In fact, we are so confident that you will benefit from our coaching program that we will not only offer you a special discount to take-up our coaching program, but will also give you a money back guarantee (no questions asked) if you find that you have not benefitted from our course.  You therefore have absolutely nothing to lose, but everything to gain.
 
To start your journey to selling success and great income, email our consultants at justin[a]cwfongandassociates.com

SG Sales Guru: Sales Clinic

Dear Fans of SG Sales Guru,

Sales can be a lonely profession as many sales professionals view each other as a competitor.  In some sense, sales is a zero-sum game as a buyer either buys from you or your colleague.  As a result of this mind-set, sales professionals have no one to turn to for advice.

Recognizing this need, SG Sales Guru has created this page as a "sales clinic".  If you have any questions or challenges you have about the sales process, drop us a comment and we will give you our "diagnosis" and prescribe the right "medicine" for you.

The doctor is in the house ….

SG Sales Guru: Selling Skills Based on Building Rapport

We were recently shown some interesting data on closing. According to the study, 80% of all successful sale occurred between the fifth and twelfth contact with the buyer:

* 2% of sales are made on the first contact
* 3% of sales are made on the second contact
* 5% of sales are made on the third contact
* 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
* 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact

This data is empirical proof that supports our framework that places rapport as the foundation of an effective sales system. Simply put, multiple contacts between the buyer and the sales professional increases the level of rapport.  This in turn helps facilitate the sale.

Now imagine how much more effective you can be at selling if you had the skills to build instant rapport. Instead of closing after the fifth contact, you will likely be able to close on the second or third.


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For a quick lesson on how to build rapport, click here.

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To sign-up for our "Psychological Selling" Sale Training Program, email us at justin[a]cwfongandassociates.com.

Sales Prospecting For Financial Consultants Using Social Media

An extract from the Singapore Social Media Consultancy CW Fong & Associates ...

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Since March this year, CWFA has highlighted the need for Singapore property agents and financial consultants to prepare for the introduction of the Do No Call (DNC) Register.

With the introduction of the DNC register, traditional ways of sales prospecting via SMS marketing or tele-marketing have become obsolete overnight. Agents and Consultants who did not prepare will now need to play catch-up with those that heeded our advice and began using social media for sales prospecting.

One effective technique we teach our clients is what we call "sphear fishing". Unlike SMS and tele-marketing, which is akin to trawling, sphear fishing is based on the use of indicators to identify clients who need your product or service.

For example, Financial Consultants can  systematically comb their friends status updates on Facebook to spot changes in life-style. If a friend has a new born, you can approach them to establish an endowment policy. Or if a friend has mentioned going overseas for a holiday, you can approach them to buy travel insurance. The opportunities are endless. And the best parts are that you can prospect from the comfort of your home and you can literally cover hundreds of friends in a day.

Social media platforms like Facebook are a powerful tool for sales. Used wisely, it can make you more efficient and effective in selling your product and services.

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To learn about the importance of the Meet and Greet in the sales process, click here.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

SG Sales Guru: Professional Sales Force for Hire

If your company is participating in an exhibition, convention or trade show in Singapore, we have a team of temporary sales professionals for hire.

Whether it is for a one-day or three-day event, or whether you need a team of 1 or a team of 10. We are your one-stop source. Just tell us your needs and we will take care of the rest.

Trained, experienced and highly professional, our team of sales professionals will help you achieve your sales goals.

For more information, email us at justin[a]cwfongandassociates.com

SG Sales Guru: Features Tell, Benefits Sell

One of the key points I always emphasize in our sales training programme, is that features tell but benefits sell.

The most common mistake in sales is to talk about the features of a product and not tell the customer the benefit he or she will enjoy. Customers don't buy features. Customers buy the benefits the feature brings them.

While some features are intuitive and the customer can draw his own benefits, not all benefits can obvious. As such, during a sales presentation, it is useful to adopt the structure of stating and explaining the feature, and then leading to a benefit. Following this structure religiously will ensure that you never forget and this, in turn, will increase your closure rate.

Always remember in sales, features tell but benefits sell.

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Do you think you can close every sale?  Click here to find out the answer.

SG Sales Guru: Successful Selling Begins with the Product

Have you ever wondered why Apple is one of the most successful companies in the world? Or how Apple products fly off the shelves the moment they are launched?  The answer is simple. Steve Jobs did not start out by asking what Apple could build, but asked what the consumer wanted.

The same is true with sales. In a recent consultation with an internet company, I was asked to review their current marketing strategy. During their brief, the first thing I noticed was that the product range was packaged according to what the company felt was the most profitable to themselves. Little or no thought was given to determine how the target market could use the product to their own advantage. Obviously, this was wrong and their sales figures reflected this.

I then led the management team in an analysis of what their target subscribers really needed and then worked to repackage their services to meet the needs of their subscribers. While their sales team have just started to work with the new range, preliminary figures are proving positive.

In short, sales always is always about the needs of the buyer. Offer a product or service that meets those needs and you are guaranteed success. While it may sound intuitive and basic, many companies still fail to do this.

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Sign-up for our Sales Coaching Program today and be on your road to becoming a sales superstar.  Our money back guarantee means you have zero risks.  If you do not triple your investment in the course in 30 days, we will give you a full refund.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Online Education: Sales Training Class - Can you close every sale?

Besides conducting sales training classes, as a professional sales organization, our team is often engaged by companies who need closers. Inevitably, the question of why you did not close the buyer will come up.
 
While not wanting to appear defensive or offering excuses, we have always responded that our role as salespersons is to match the need of the buyer with the product/ service the company offers.  Sometimes this also involves helping the buyer realize needs that he may not know he has and which the company can solve.  Ultimately, whether we can close will depend on (a) whether the company's product/ services meets the buyer's needs; and/ or (b) whether the buyer's objections are conditions or excuses.

If it is a condition, nothing we say or do will change it.  For example if the buyer does not have enough money, even if we were to offer a 50% discount, the buyer still cannot buy. If however it is an objection (which usually means he needs more information or wants a better price), then it comes down to whether we can identify his need and convince him that the company's product/ service will meet his needs.

In short, yes we can close every case if the buyer is genuine.
 
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To learn how you can identify if it is a condition or an excuse, join us for our sales coaching programmme.  Being able to identify the difference will increase your income by allowing you to spend your time with genuine buyers.

SG Sales Guru: What is the most important skill in selling?

In our sales training programmes, I always start by asking the trainees what they think is the most important skill in selling.

Invariably, the gift of the gab will always come up. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth and it is a myth perpetuated by movie and TV characters who are portrayed as being able to sell ice to Eskimos.

The truth is that the new generation of buyers are no longer naive and the proliferation of the Internet and increased educational levels make today's buyers savvy to silver-tongued salespersons.  It is thus practically impossible to sell them something they do not need.

As such, in our sales training programme, we emphasize the need to listen and understand the buyers' needs. It is only with this understanding that the salesperson will be able to offer the company's solution to meet that need.

In short, sales today is all about identifying the buyer's needs. If you are talking and not listening, chances are you will not know what the buyer needs. And this means a lost sale.

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For more in-depth information on how to build rapport.  Click here.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

SG Sales Guru: How to Improve Your Selling Performance

As part of our sales training programmes, we teach our students the Action Learning Process or ALP.

Developed by the Singapore military, the ALP is a powerful tool that enhances performance by making every experience (or sales encounter) a learning process.

The ALP comprises 3 steps ...

Step 1: Before Action Review: In this step, the salespersons reflects on his previous sales encounter and then sets a specific selling skill he/ she wants to improve on at the next sales encounter. With a clearly defined objective and an area of improvement, the salesperson is now in a better position to build on their strengths.

Step 2: During Action Review: This step takes place during the actual sales process. Here, the salespersons continuously assesses whether what he/she is doing is going according to plan. If it is not, the salespersons must adjust. The biggest mistake any salesperson can make is to follow a scripted plan that is not working.

Step 3: After Action Review: In this third step, whether the sales encounter has been successful or not, the salesperson pauses and reflects on what happened.  Two questions they should ask themselves, (a) what went well and thus I should continue doing; and (b) what did not go so well and I should either strengthen or change. The areas identified for improvement or change will then form part of the first step where the salespersons decides on what to work on in Step 1.

Like any profession, being good means learning from every encounter. Failure to learn dooms you to mediocre performance. The ALP is a proven method for enhancing performance and we strongly advocate that our students (and you) adopt it.

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Do you think you can close every sale? Click here to find out the answer.

SG Sales Guru: Effective Selling Tips: Why you need to qualify your prospects

While I am the first to discourage qualifying buyers based on appearance,  in today's high labour cost scenario, not qualifying is no longer an option.

Allow me to explain what I mean ...

My team and I are currently engaged by a company to assist in closing sales. The company has on average about 30 prospective buyers at their weekly seminars. If cost was not an issue, the company would engage 30 salespersons to close every participant. However, as good salespersons are not cheap, my client had a budget to engage a team of only 5.

Thus to ensure that the 5 achieve the highest closure rates, we introduced qualifying techniques to prioritise the participants as they arrived. Via this system, the salespersons will then focus their efforts on the high probability buyers, seek to engage the low probability buyers and ignore the shoppers (or time wasters).  The use of this simple system allowed us to maximise returns on our client's labour costs.

In short, qualify to prioritise.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why this blog on Sales

Being a serial entrepreneur and currently a business consultant to several Singapore SMEs, I find that the main contributing factor to failed businesses is the inability to sell.  Sure, there are natural-born salespersons, but more often than not, most Singaporeans simply cannot sell.

Even supposedly great salespersons like property agents and financial consultants are merely doing customer service.  All they do is deliver a canned presentation and then hope for the best.  This is not selling!  Selling, as I have come to know it, is identifying the buyer's needs, packaging your company's product and service to meet that need and then closing the sale.  

Fortunately, great selling skills can be taught and that is the purpose of this blog.  Over the years, I have developed and refined a truly powerful selling system that can be taught to any one.  I will use this blog to help my clients as well as any Singaporean who is keen to master the art of sales.  I will share valuable information on the sales process and tips on proven sales techniques.  I will however not share everything as I have to earn a living.

Thus, if you find the snippet of information I share on this blog powerful, I hope you will engage me (and my team of sales professionals) to teach you the art of selling.  Our sales training programme comprises a half-day workshop followed by 3 one-on-one coaching sessions.  Our fees are extremely reasonable and you assure you that you will earn it back many times over in the course of your sales career.

So if you are keen to being one of the superstars of selling in Singapore, drop us an email at justin{a}cwfongandassociates.com

Online Education: Sales Training Class - The Importance of the Meet and Greet

In a recent consultation with a Singapore company interested in boosting their preview sales, our consultants did an audit of their sales process.  One key finding was that little or no effort was made in the initial stages of the sales process to establish rapport with the buyer.

As we had mentioned in one of our previous blog posting, research has shown that up to 83% of all sales are made simply because the buyer liked the salesperson.  More importantly, in buying decisions that involve sums in the hundreds or the thousands, the absence of rapport will doom the selling process.

Our recommendation to the client is to create a new "standard operating procedure"  to enable the rapport building phase of the sales process where the buyer (1) signs a registration form; (2) is then greeted by an assigned salesperson; and (3) led to the refreshment area.  This process will then enable the salesperson an opportunity to talk with the buyer to establish rapport and to determine the buyers' needs.
 
While the meet and greet stage of the sales process is taught in all selling programme, this stage is often ignored.  Most sales training programmes focus on overcoming objections.  We however firmly believe that overcoming objections can only occur if there is rapport.  Hence, the meet and greet is to us an integral part of selling process.

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For more in-depth information about building rapport click here.
 
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To learn how to sell more effectively in today's world, contact our consultants at justin[a]cwfongandassociates.com.  Sales is the lifeblood of any company and you cannot leave it to chance.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Singapore SMEs: Preview Sales Training

Many organizations in Singapore, are beginning to recognize the power of preview selling.  Used typically by real estate and FOREX companies, preview selling involves offering free information about a subject of interest to whet the buyers appetite and then up selling them the full training programme or service.

While not a new method, many of these organizations fail as they simply do not have the "correct" type of sale staff to close the deal.  Doing sales at these previews is what selling is all about.  The prospective buyer is there.  You match your your company's product/ service to the buyer's needs and then you close.  If the buyer says "no", you ask why.  You then address their objections and you close the sale.  Such selling does not come naturally and takes training.

At SG Sales Guru, we have trained hundreds of people on how to sell at previews.  If you are doing preview selling and you are not getting the results you want, give us a call.  On average, our trainees close about 75% of their prospects.

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For more information about our sales training programme, or if you need a professional sales team for your exhibition, email us at justin[a]cwfongandassociates.com

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sales Training for Singapore SMEs

One of the biggest challenge small business owners face is doing sales. Somehow many first time business owners find it difficult to place a price on their service and end up shy to ask for the sale.

This need not be the case. In all my sales training, I teach salespersons to see their job as a match-maker. And just like a match-maker, their job is to identify the client's need and match it to the company's product or service.

What this implies is that you are not there to sell something the client does not need. In fact, if you have identified the need for the client and your company's product or service helps satisfy that need, not asking him to buy is injustice to him.

So there you have it. All it takes is a simple shift in mind-set. If you, or your salespersons are not asking for the sale, get them to see themselves as match-makers. You'll be amazed by the results.

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For professional sales training or coaching, contact us at justin(a)cwfongandassociates.com. Sales is the lifeblood of all businesses and we are here to help.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Secret Technique to Successful Selling in Singapore

Research has shown that approximately 83% of all sales are made simply because the customer liked the salesperson. The ability to quickly build and establish rapport is therefore the key to becoming an effective salesperson. Abraham Lincoln summed it up perfectly when he said “if you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.”

Rapport

Webster’s dictionary defines rapport as a state of harmony between two people. People in this state think and feel the same way, and have often described the state as a feeling of being completely in sync with one another. Essentially, creating a state of rapport with someone means making him, or her, feel that they are understood and that you share a strong common bond.

Building Rapport

So how do you build rapport? Building rapport can be done either verbally or non-verbally, with the later being the more powerful. Premised upon the belief that people like people who are similar to them, the key objective in building rapport is to make the other person like you. To do this, you simply have to make yourself as “similar” to the other person as possible.
The following three techniques of mirroring, physical touch and ‘speaking the other person’s language’ are effective basic tools in building rapport.

Mirroring

The first technique is mirroring. In mirroring, the idea is to match the other person’s posture and body language. To do this, you simply mimic the person’s behavior much like a mirror. The trick to doing this effectively is to subtly follow the other person’s lead. Whenever he changes posture, pause for 3 to 4 seconds before following him. Initially, you may feel uncomfortable doing this, however rest assured that the other person will not be aware of your actions. They will not know why, but on the sub-conscious level, they will feel a strong bond with you.

Physical Touch

The second technique is physical touch. It is important in the process of building rapport that you initiate physical contact with the other person in the early stages of your encounter. Studies have revealed that physical contact with a person, even as slight as a touch, makes you seem a warmer and nicer person. In fact, 90% of those touched do not even remember being touched.

To do this well and, more importantly, not to offend the other person, the touch must be as natural as a pat on the back. Ideally, the touch should be made to a neutral part of the body i.e. the area between the shoulder blades, or the part of the arm between the shoulder and the elbow.

Speaking his Language

The third technique to building rapport is to ‘speak the other person’s language.’ Once again, psychological studies have shown that different people process information differently i.e. visually, auditory and kinesthetically. This is known as their preferred representational system. By paying careful attention to the type of words the other person uses, you will gain a fairly accurate assessment of the way they process information. Once you have identified their preferred system, you simply choose to use similar words in your conversation with them.

Summary

The use of the above three techniques will enable you to build almost instant rapport with anyone. Initially you may feel overwhelmed by having to think about building rapport in your daily encounters with people. However, like any skill, with constant practice it will only be a matter of time before you start doing it unconsciously.

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For in-house training programmes, contact our training consultants at justin[a]cwfongandassociates.com