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13 Dec 2017

What Surprised Me in Switzerland

As we know, Switzerland is a beautiful tourist haven for many.  From my recent 16 days trip, I got some nasty surprises too:
  1. The smoking rate is pretty high for such a developed country that is well known for pharmaceutical and health sciences.  If you see 2 adults standing, likely one of them is smoking. Everywhere people smoke: inside train stations, door of restaurants, just outside museums, ski mountains etc
  2. People are friendly generally, they just don't smile often and appear to be cold
  3. Trains are very punctual and fail-proof, the train tickets are, like everything in Switzerland, expensive
  4. Unlike Spain or other European countries, it is not common to find beers being served in fast-food restaurants.  Also, beer is not cheaper than soft drinks, unlike Spain and other countries
  5. Eating at restaurants can cost you an arm and a leg.  That's why Swiss seldom eat out.  But we managed to find small eateries that charged very low for very tasty food.  They just don't have friendly service!

12 Dec 2017

5 Good Things You Must Know About Switzerland

I just came back from Switzerland Holidays, and these are the 5 good things about Switzerland that we too can learn from:
  1. Perfect public transport system comprises of trams, buses, above-ground trains, underground trains, mountain trains, cable cars, and boats.  They even have real-time arrival time of trams and buses using GPS
  2. United but not uniform.  Switzerland is actually not a country but a confederation making up of 26 cantons, which are federal states that have very great power. There is little central government control, unlike China or Russia. Every canton is like an independent country, with their own laws, languages, customs, and culture.  But the cantons are united as a nation but there is no uniformity. This gives rise to lots of creativity and competition among the cantons, which as a whole makes the nation stronger
  3. High Trust system.  Everyone uses public transport base on trust.  People do not buy train tickets and slot tickets into machines to enter train platforms, they just board the train as if the train is your private car.  There is a rigorous system of checking by conductors.  In this way, it is very easy to get on and off a public transport and this saves up much valuable space and time in trains, trams and buses
  4. Very Pro-Tourism.  In Switzerland, tourists are welcome not by the citizens opening up their arms but by the entire tourism ego-system.  For example, once you bought your Swiss Travel Pass, you can travel freely on all forms of public transport. There is also no admission charge for any other things including admission to museums, cable car rides, and even glaciers
  5. High use of Automation.  The Swiss are among the highest salary people in the world, but their productivity is very high because they automate a lot.  All doors are automatic, and so are the lights on the streets of remote mountains and toilet flush systems.  Because of automation, people are trained to do things in a orderly fashion, thus there are very little chaos and mess in most places

27 Oct 2017

7 More Misunderstandings about WeChat

  1. WeChat Pay is only used in China. Truth: WeChat Pay is now available in 15 countries and regions for payments in 12 currencies
  2. WeChat Wallet can only be opened and used in China. Truth: Anyone can enable WeChat Wallet, even if they don't a bank account opened in China. How?  Just link your WeChat to your Visa or MasterCard and complete the authentication process
  3. I need to know Chinese to use WeChat. Truth: WeChat has a translation function that can translate 21 languages, so you don't need to know Chinese to use WeChat
  4. WeChat is not secure as the China government can spy on us. Truth: China government doesn't need to spy on Wechat users because Wechat has it own internal audit process that ensures that no WeChat users use WeChat to engage in non-government-approved activities, like HK Independence
  5. WeChat is just a fad and may not last, just like Viber.  Truth: WeChat is not a fad as its user base has been growing faster than WhatsApp and Facebook
  6. WeChat is less friendly as it does not allow us to add people that we don't know.  Truth: WeChat has a function called 'Add Friends Nearby", so you can simply add people that you don't know
  7. Using Wechat will open me to many strange friends and will make me exposed to undesirable activities. Truth: No one can add you on Wechat without your concurrence. In other words, you will not be opened or exposed to undesirable friends, AS LONG AS YOU DON'T ACCEPT THEM. 
Written by Andy Ng, WeChat Trainer in Singapore, Malaysia, and Asia. Andy Ng has over 30 years of professional experience and has been training on topics including sales, finance, Sun Tzu Art of War and leadership since 2001.  Since 7 August 2017, Andy has been conducting weekly half-day WeChat and WhatsApp marketing courses at very affordable fees.  (Usual WeChat courses are conducted in Chinese by mainland Chinese and one charge S$1,500 for a half-day course). To see the next course, click here Watch short 1-minute video at here
WECHAT DIGITAL MARKETING
(14th run since August 2017)
Date: 7 Nov 2017 Tuesday 9 am to 12.30 pm
Venue: The Plaza 02-346, 7500A Beach Road, Singapore 199591
Fee: $99 for one OR $199 for 3 (no GST)
Register at here. Enquire by text to 8201-4347 or call 6225-1784 Ms Idah
Most WeChat courses in Singapore are done by China people and they teach in Chinese. Some charge $1,500 for a half day course, while others charge $750 for a one-day course. They are good courses, just that they are taught in Chinese, and most Singaporeans prefer English. We at Asia Coaching Training teach in English and we charge less than a hundred. 
This hands-on training rewards you with contents including:
  1. Using WhatsApp for Marketing: the 5 Ways: Status, Group Broadcast, 1-minute Videos, Personal Messages and Group Chats
  2. The Do's and Don'ts of using WhatsApp: how to attract, not distract people
  3. WeChat as a superapp: what it can do and can’t
  4. The 8 Ways to Add Friends on WeChat
  5. The 25 useful Functions of WeChat that WhatsApp does not have
  6. How to create Moments that people will follow
  7. How to do broadcast to more than 5,000 people daily FOC
  8. How to open WeChat in Singapore without opening bank account in China
  9. How to use WeChat Wallet to give out Red Packets and Transfer Money (on the spot)
  10. How to Accept Alipay and WeChat Pay for Your Business FOC
  11. The 5 Ways to Market on WeChat: Moments, Broadcast, Messages, Official Account and links
  12. Using Fomo Pay to receive RMB from customers' Wechat Pay but credited as S$ n your bank account
Register at here. Enquire by text to 8201-4347 or call 6225-1784 Ms Idah

24 Oct 2017

The 7 Ways to Advertise on WeChat

As of now (24 October 2017), there are almost one billion daily active users on Wechat.  That's why many businesses are looking at how they can advertise and do marketing on Wechat.

We all know that WeChat users are mostly people from China and they use WeChat 5 times an hour daily and are open to buying goods and services via WeChat.  In fact, many large companies including Huawei, Orchard Road Business Association and Capitaland market aggressively on WeChat.

As WeChat is very different from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google, there are 7 ways that you can advertise on WeChat:
  1. Incur at least US$20,000 to Tencent Holdings, the company that owns WeChat.  Tencent will, base on your target market, do a message broadcast to selected WeChat members.  You can specify who and where you want to target, like target the Shanghainese or the China people in Singapore.  Many Singapore companies including Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Tourism Board and Kaplan Education have been using paid WeChat advertising for years and are getting good results
  2. Register (for free) up to 5 WeChat Official Accounts with Tencent using your business registration.  With an Official Account, you can have a mobile site with maximum 15 pages.  You can broadcast up to once a day to your Official Account followers.  Search for a good example of an Official Account 'Soheaven' and you'll know what I'm talking about. 
  3. Message Broadcast.  You can send up to 5,000 characters per message to up to 200 contacts in one message broadcast to your WeChat contacts.  Just like Facebook, you can have up to 5,000 contacts on WeChat.  Note that your WeChat contacts will receive the message as though you have sent to them individually and are not aware that the message is sent in bulk
  4. Moments is like newsfeeds on Facebook, and you can post as many Moments as you like daily.  Each moment can have up to 10 pictures and may include articles, web links and even videos of up to 10 seconds
  5. Join or start WeChat Groupchats.  Before you advertise, it is customary to give out Red Packets to your friends, if not, you may get backlash and even be kicked out of those groups. To give out Red Packets, you need to enable WeChat Wallet.  Nowadays, you can enable WeChat Wallet without opening a bank account in China.  We teach this in our courses at here
  6. Individual message with articles  This is far the most effective and also most time-consuming. Make sure your article message is appealing and include beautiful pictures, bolds, and underlines.  You have to use free WeChat apps like 'Mei Pian' to create such appealing messages and articles. 
  7. Plain simple message with just words and links.  This is the easiest to create and may be effective if your contacts are familiar with you
Written by Andy Ng, WeChat Trainer in Singapore, Malaysia and Asia. Andy Ng has over 30 years of professional experience and has been training on topics including sales, finance, Sun Tzu Art of War and leadership since 2001.  Since 7 August 2017, Andy has been conducting weekly half-day WeChat and WhatsApp marketing courses at very affordable fees.  (Usual WeChat courses are conducted in Chinese by mainland Chinese and one charge S$1,500 for a half-day coruse). To see the next course, click here Watch short 1-minute video at here

What Is a Real Sales?

Real Sales is About Chatting

Sales = Chat

1.     The real sales is a happy chatting experience, we chat about each other’s aspirations, worries, how to achieve our wishes and how to help each other take away our worries
2.     The real sales has no position, no buyer and no seller, only friends
3.     The real sales is about helping to solve your friend’s problems wholeheartedly
4.     There is no need to convince or persuade the other person if you’re doing real sales
5.     There is, of course, no pressure under real sales situation
6.     The real sales is about saying what the other person wants to listen, and we are selling what the other person want
7.     The real sales is full of value and meaning as you the salesperson is helping your customer to solve a real problem
8.     After the closing of a real sale, the customer will say thanks. You will not feel relieved, because throughout the whole process you and the customer do not feel any pressure at all, and there is no persuasion on either side.

There are only two steps in a real sale:
1.     Use your heart to understand the customer’s wishes and worries
2.     Use your knowledge, product and service to help the customer fulfill his wish and eliminate his worries

The biggest reward of a sales is not how much commission you earn, not promotion, not achieving an assignment or your sales result. The biggest reward of a sale is the trust you have gained from a person in your life.

The biggest enemy of sales is not your price, your competitor, prospect’s rejection, your product or your company’s system.  The biggest enemy of sales is your gripe, your grouse and your compliant

Translated by Andy Ng, original article in Chinese by Xu He Ning 徐鹤宁 (WeChat ID: xhngf111) 

20 Oct 2017

Sun Tzu Service Warrior

Sun Tzu (or Sūn Zǐ in pinyin) was a 500 BCE Chinese general, military strategist, and author of The Art of War, an immensely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. Many great leaders like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan studied his work and became legendary leaders. Many corporate leaders paid thousands of dollars to attend courses to learn Sun Tzu secrets.

We believe that you too can learn master Sun Tzu secrets and apply them to your work easily.  This is because we take the essence and compile them into a Half-day course that will leave you with just enough materials to serve your bank’s customers and lead your business to greater heights. Since October 2010, we have trained over 1,137 leaders coming from countries including Indonesia, Philippines Cambodia, Japan, Sri Lanka and even China.

How does this military classic apply to your CUSTOMER SERVICE?
  • To ‘win without fighting’ in customer service is to serve your customers wholeheartedly and yet you never feel that you are serving at all. This is because you have made ‘service to others’ as your highest purpose. Because of this, your every little action of is about putting customers first, and such attitude, in turn, wins more referrals and repeat business and makes all customers loyal
  • Many of Sun Tzu’s concepts, notably, ‘Know Yourself Know Others’, ‘Always leverage on local resources’ and ‘Take the entire nation intact’ are often applied in everyday service.
In this half-day high impact course, we put this complex 5,900-words ancient Chinese military classic in a simple and modern way. Filled with stories, entertaining video clips, exercises, group discussions and role play, this course will leave you with many memories of valuable lessons for years to come.

Whether you are now serving customers front-line or looking after customers on the phone and on the web, come for this course if you too want to get ahead of your peers.

POWER-PACKED CONTENTS INCLUDE:
  1. Sun Tzu Art of War simplified and clarified: how does it relate to your customer service?
  2. How to serve customers with your heart using Sun Tzu's strategy of 'Win the entire nation'
  3. Creating trust and rapport with customers using Art of War's 'Know Yourself Know Your Enemy' strategy
  4. Letting your customers understand your boundaries using Sun Tzu's 'Terrain' strategy
  5. Know why customers are difficult and how to serve them using Sun Tzu's 4-stage strategy and 'Fire' method
  6. Performing service recovery with Art of Deception
  7. Creating no ordinary moments service with the 5 Elements of Mission, Climate, Ground, Leadership, and Methods
  8. Sun Tzu 6 strategies to go extra mile to serve customers
  9. The ultimate of a Service Warrior: Transform nation

5 Oct 2017

Replace your Financial Statements with Contribution Margin Statement

Financial Intelligence: Replace your Financial Statements with Contribution Margin Statements

(Watch our short video at here)

Having looked at financial intelligence for an individual, today we look at financial intelligence for businesses. I will tell you to throw away your financial statements as they are not useful!

Traditional financial statements will show you the profit and loss statement as follows:
Sales
Less cost of sales
= Gross Profit
Less expenses
= Net Profit

The question I want to throw to you is: is this your real profit?  How do you make decisions based on this information?

We know that businessmen do not rely on the above financial statements to make decisions because they lack an important information.  They do not give you information on your costs.

There are two types of costs: fixed and variable. Fixed costs do not vary with operations level, like your rental or staff salaries, they are the same regardless of your sales.  Variable costs vary with your operations level, like your selling costs and cost of purchase. 

You need to break down your costs into fixed and variable in order to have meaningful information. For example, when sales are down, what can you do to maintain your profit level?

When you know your costs as fixed and variable, you can compute your Contribution Margin as follows:

Sales
Less Variable Cost of Sales
Less Variable Expenses
= Contribution Margin
Less Fixed Expenses
= Net Profit

You have simply converted your traditional profit and loss statement into contribution margin format. With this Statement, you have a new term: Contribution Margin.

To maximise your profits, you maximise your Contribution Margin. You do not reduce your fixed expenses, because they are fixed in the short term and reducing them will reduce your quality and lead to lower sales and contribution margin!

With Contribution Margin statement, you are able to know which product to focus on. Naturally, you will focus on products that have the highest contribution margin,

With Contribution Margin, you can also compute your Operating Leverage, which is simply how much are you leveraged on based on our fixed cost.

To know more about Financial Intelligence for businesses, come for our last public run of Financial Intelligence course on 16 October 2017 Monday 9 am to 5 pm. To know more, text to Andy at 65-8201-4347 now!

Financial Intelligence: Why the Rich Get Richer

(Watch short video at here)
As a Chartered Accountant by training, I want to talk about Financial Intelligence today.  This is because everyone wants to be rich, but few have financial intelligence, the key ingredient for richness.

Intelligence is the ability to make sense out of information, strategize, think and act appropriately. Most people have no intelligence, for they simply follow the crowd and react more than respond. For example, when times are hard, most people will cut costs, and they end up with lesser sales and less cash flow instead.

There are 2 indicators to show if you are financially intelligent:
  1. When you are empowered by numbers and take advantage of financial leverage, like make use of other people's money
  2. When you can act without money as the objective
There are two key elements in financial wealth: value and cash flow. These two are interlinked, for when you have more value, you will have more cash flow.  The rich can turn value into cash flow and turn cash flow into value. 

Value is what you are worth in the marketplace, not what you think you are worth in the marketplace. Value can be real or perceived.  

Value is what the marketplace is willing to pay you NOW and is determined more by your future than by your present. For example, Design Studio and Breadtalk are two listed companies with about the same annual profits of S$11 million. Yet the market value of Breadtalk is at least 7 to 10 times higher than Design Studio, because the market thinks that Breadtalk has more value in the future than Design Studio. 

Value is also what people can get out of you, note that price is what you pay and value is what you get. So people are willing to pay more for Breadtalk shares because they think they can make money from Breadtalk shares. 

Cash flow is cash flowing in and out continuously, year after year, month after month, day after day.  Cash flow has two flows; inflows and outflows.  Both of them can be active or passive, active means you have to work to get it flowing, passive means you work less to get cash flow.  For example, most people have active cash outflow, this means that even if they stop working, they still have expenses they have to pay. On the other hand, most people have active cash inflow, this means that the moment they stop working, they have no cash inflow. These are definitely not financially intelligent!

Why the rich get richer while the poor get poorer?  Because the rich can convert things into value and create cash flow out of this value created.  The poor do not create value and instead diminishes value. For example, the rich can attend a course and make good business contacts from there, whereas the poor only attend training to enjoy the free meals and they seldom turn what they learned into value. 

The rich also delays gratification while the poor yearn for instant gratification. 

Most importantly, the rich spend money to save time, and they use the time saved to generate more value and cash flow.  For example, the rich will pay for higher airfares to get better timing so that they can get a good sleep and be ready for next day's meeting. The poor will try ways and incur lost of time just to save money, and they end up with little money and time!

At the end of the day, Financial Intelligence is about you able to get more out of what you have, and to an individual, what you have is simply your self worth.

Written by Andy Ng of Asia Trainers. If you too want to learn more about Finanial Intelligence, come for our public seminar on 16 October 2017 Monday 9 am to 5 pm.  For details, text to Andy at 65-8201-4347 or email to andy@asiacoachingtraining.com now!