Sun Tzu’s Art of War!

Just attended a mini seminar by Mr. Khoo Kheng-Hor this morning. He’s the master of applying Sun Tzu principles (Sun Tzu was a chinese general and military strategist that never lost a battle in the 6the century BC and the author of legendary book Art of War) great to various areas like leadership, change management, sales, marketing, customer service and human resources. I like his term ‘SunTzu-nize’. That gave me an idea to coin the term Sales Ninja-ing people. Pretty cool term. Great idea. Here are some short points that i wrote:

  • Though Art of War has been written over 2000 years ago, the principles still apply to modern times.
  • Art Of War is all about winning – preferably without fighting.
  • Principles can be used for good or bad, depending on your application.
  • Know yourself, know your enemy, 100 battles, 100 victories. Knowing your enemey can be also knowing your colleagues, customers, bosses, share holders, investors, prospects, wife, children and also in-laws. When we fully understand the other person, the battle is ours.
  • Preparation is the key to war. (Hanzo adds) Preparation is the first part of selling. In Sales Ninja MASTER selling model. M stands for M:eet People, there are 3 stages of M:eet people 1: Preparation 2: Prospecting 3: Positioning. So preparing is the first part to any situations we do, selling or living.
  • I like Khoo’s quote that goes “You want to rise to the top? Go the extra mile – be more productive, be more creative and be less calculative.” It rhymes well and adds a certain punch to the message.
  • Sun Tzu uses the Moral Law to run his army. Moral Law is the mission statement of modern corporations. It’s what you stand for. In Sales Ninja: it can mean 2 things: 1 – the Philosophy of Sales Ninjas 2 – It means living by the 10 Codes:  abundance, courage, commitment, contribution, duty, focus, honor, honesty, trust and improvement. He also pointed out that he has proven to 3 ceos that not all of their staffs know the company’s mission statement, then what use it it than nicely frame in the corporate office?
  • Khoo gave an example of police solving a crime scene. In order to solve the crime, they need information. From their clues and from people. So if there is no cooperation from the people, there is no information or they get the wrong information, therefore the police can’t solve the crime. Same with Sales – without the right information, without the right cooperation (though rapport & relationship) – sellers won’t know who you are bidding againsts, what the bidding criterias are or what the evaluation criterias is going to be. Ultimately, getting information is crucial to success.
  • To build great teams – you need Harmony. Harmony in team members goes back to the fundamental of Art or War which is know the enemy. Know their needs, their wants, their desires, their problems and give them solutions.
  • You want to be successful – go through “Hard-ship”. I totally agree with Khoo on this. I’ve been through so many “Hard-ships” it totally transformed me into a super tough lean mean selling machine and right now an entrepreneur. In good times, sellers don’t need to sell because buyers just want to buy. In tough times, buyers don’t want to buy and the sellers who have been through ‘Easy-ship” is now going through massive “Hard-ship.” My personal quote goes like this “Begin hard and you will end easy, begin easy and you will end hard!” So what it is going to be?
  • Change is like water. Water has no constant shape, water has no constant condition. Are we stuck with the old ways of doing things? Change is the only thing that keeps us alive. Change moves us forward. If you are not changing – fast enough, you will be left behind and Sayonara! Evolution is change, revolution is change.
  • Crisis brings out the best and worst in managers and leaders. How they act and react in crisis, is how their character is.
  • To end his speech, it was an emotional moment because Mr. Khoo loss his wife a little over a year ago, and he shared with us, never take our love ones for granted. Translating that to business, never take our staffs or performers for granted. Do what you can when they are around.

So far I’ve read 6 books on Art of War, and it’s definitely a good refresher and Khoo’s story-telling abilities strenghtened the application of the principles. Totally “Sun-Tzu-nized”. So right now, my turn to “Sales Ninja-nize” sales people.

Sales Ninja Grandmaster

© 2009 Sales Ninja Training. All Rights Reserved.

Hanzo Ng is Sales Ninja Grandmaster, lingo for Chief Trainer of Sales Ninja Training, Asia’s #1 Unconventional Sales Training. Sales Ninja Training specializes in helping small-medium, listed and global companies transform their sales people into the ultimate sales professional known as Sales Ninja. For more information on our sales, motivation and leadership trainings, visit our website.

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