Interview with a Sales Coach Expert (Aaron Chong): Episode 1

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Don’t miss a beat! Watch the next episode now (EP 2)

In this week’s blog post, we have a very special guest on our show.

Aaron Chong is a much sought after sales coach that has been selling all sorts of products from mobile phone accessories to luxury items and even B2B solutions in the 7 and 8 figures. 

He has been doing this for almost 20 years – – and has trained over 10,000 students in his highly acclaimed ‘Ultimate Closer Masterclass’.

The amazing part is people start getting immediate results from his free workshop itself! 

In this first video, we’ll be picking his brains on the biggest secrets to selling

So dive in and get ready to hear:

  • How Aaron closed his first six-figure deal – – as a trial for his ‘Ultimate Closing Formula’ 
  • Why he realised sales was better than any high-paying job
  • The one question salespeople need to ask themselves if they wanna rake in… ‘the big bucks’
  • And how he launched his first multimillion-dollar business without any money, customers or product in hand – – with nothing but his sales skills.

So get ready to take some notes because this ‘Ultimate Closing Formula’ is a fresh approach to selling that they don’t teach in your everyday seminar.

Click on the link below and watch our video now 

Transcript

Terence:

Hi, everyone. This is Terence Tam.

I have a treat for you today because I have one of the most famous sales trainer in Malaysia. 

His name is Aaron Chong. He is a self-taught salesperson who has actually been in sales for over 18 years with real world experience, not some theory. And he has trained over 10,000 am I, right? Aaron?

Aaron Chong:  In the past two and a half years, more than 10,000,

Terence: More than 10,000 people in the past two and a half years.

And if you’re on YouTube, if you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen his face around. So today I really want to ask him some pressing questions about selling. And so this is going to be a treat.

So, listen, I guess some of my audience and your audience don’t fully know who you are.

 So can you tell us a little bit about your background, how you came into sales? Just tell us about you and why should people listen to you?

Aaron Chong:

Wow, that’s a great question. Why should people listen to me?

We’ll get to that later. I didn’t choose to go into sales by choice. Back when I was in college, probably 18, 19 years ago, I don’t look as handsome as I am now. That time I remembered I was, like, having a final exam where I was trying to get a job after that because my mom told me that, hey, Aaron, I don’t have enough money to send you to degree so you can’t get a job after your diploma. So I was like, oh, shit. When I was having my exam, I was
searching for jobs already. 

And when I was looking at all the jobs at all, because I studied in Internet, IT business information system, a bit to do with programming and networking system. However, when I flipped the newspapers on the vacancy side and all I could see is degree, degree, degree, degree, degree, degree, degree, degree, degree.

Everyone needs a degree. I was like, Shit, how can I find a job right now? Those are quite high paying job. 

Then I know that there’s a club of students and there’s not enough IT section jobs. So what I did was I tried to find other jobs and as I was looking for other job, my brain start thinking, oh, my God, my mum sent me to college with like 30, 40, 50,000 spent on me for the past two years in diploma, right? And if I were to tell her mum I get a job not in the field that I studied, she would be infurious, right? She would have been furious and she would feel like the money wasted. 

So I was like, okay, now this cannot be. Then I started looking for other jobs I was thinking about this, eh Aaron What is the one job that you can see right now that the income has practically no limit, right, anything that’s higher than the basic. Because back then the basic was very low, about $700. And then in USD it’s about less than 200 basic for any other jobs. I was like, wow, that’s very low, right?

So eventually I found one job on the vacancy, which is sales, and I didn’t go to it by chance. It’s like, okay, this is a sales job, it’s the nearest to my home, so I can save up a little expenses. Then they still have commission. So, boom, I went for an interview and I scored it immediately during my exam. 

And I started the sales job the second day after my final exam. So my final exam was Saturday, I had a rest on Sunday and boom, I started working until today non-stop. And that’s the beginning of my sales journey. Then I was selling mobile phones. Then after that, a couple of years, I started my own mobile phone business for a couple of years, one to two years. 

Then I switched to becoming a sales manager because the mobile phone business was going down, because all the other, I would say, like the Telcos, the service providers are picking up mobile phones and giving plans to do an installment so people no longer need those kinds of mobile phone shops. So I switched to becoming a sales manager. And that is the part when I found out my sales skills that I thought was very good was bullshit. 

What do I mean? Back then when you start selling, right, normally the seniors and the boss and the managers will teach you to start using features and benefits and, and discounts. And so what happened was, as they were teaching me that I got very good because it’s easy to learn about product knowledge back then, very easy to have a book of like GSM Arena nowadays, right? We can go to GSMArena.com. They can see all the phones with all the features. 

Every single thing we send out there is a booklet like that before the internet has like we can access internet, it’s a booklet like that we can actually refer to. So we have that booklet and we all just open that and read out the features to the customer and hoping the customer would buy, right? So that was what we are doing. And I got very good at that because it doesn’t require a lot of skills anyway, it just requires some memorization and some techniques that you learn, like pushy techniques that you actually tell the customer to get them to buy. 

So I was doing that for about 6-8years of my life, if I could remember correctly. Then when I switched to becoming a sales manager, I got a job, hired as a sales manager to sell luxury artworks, luxury furniture, which is like single cut wood. It’s a piece of hardwood that actually cut into furniture and also painting.

So that’s when I tried using the same skill. What was the ticket value? Like, how much would be each of these
pieces? The first one would be like, three figures, but it’s still like a single piece that it’s very hazy. If
you like it, you like it. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it. But the most expensive piece could be like,
a piece of table. A dining table for six could cost you 20,000 ringgit.

 A piece of artwork that time would cost you a few thousand, up to 30, 40, 50,000. Right. And that time the most expensive piece, after I’ve been working there for about six months, my boss brought in back then, he’s from Singapore. He brought in back then an artwork from a very famous Chinese artist that was like booming back then. And his artwork was in the range of six figures. Cheapest one was RM 45,000. Right. the most expensive pieces 7 figures.

So here’s the thing I tried, okay, so I was, like, selling those things. Then I was thinking, hey, this
wood, right? I was, like, telling about the features. It was called a rain tree wood. It’s a (inaudible)
from Indonesia and Thailand Right. It’s not the most hardest one, but it’s a hard wood. It’s the
softest of the hard wood.

 So we are talking about all right, this is the features, like, oh, it’s kiln dry to
about like, six to 7% humidity, moisture level. So you’re talking about that where it came from. It is
sustainable and all these things. I thought I was doing a good job because that was what my boss
asked me to study about woods. Tell them all the good things about wood. And they’re like
they turn around and laugh. 

Those customers that comes in, because the showroom when I was
working in retail, was at the most affluent part in the town. So all these customers are, like, super
rich. You don’t get like, 20,30, 40, 50 customers. Like, you know, the supermarket coming to your
shop probably one day, you get like three to five to ten maximum. 

Wow. So it’s like very low foot traffic now. When the customer comes in you gotta try your best to be able to upsell them and close the sales. So when I was trying all that, right, and every single time I tried, I was, like, baffled by it. This is what I learned from my boss, right. Why isn’t people buying? And these are things I damn
good at. 

And it makes me feel like, Aaron, do you actually know how to sell? I was, like, doubting
myself already. And this was after eight years of selling mobile phones. Exactly. No way this is
happening. I was like. Wow. I use all the techniques. All the things that I know. 

But the good thing is that I’m daring and willing to try because I’m in sales so I was like I wasn’t shy.

I just move up to people and talk to people so that’s a good thing that I can actually practice well, then I found out that I wasn’t good then I started looking for answers and I asked my boss and manager back then because when I started that job. Right. My manager actually left me after two days with no training Iot a job. 

I mean I replaced his spot here, he went to Singapore so left here without a single training at all so I was like wow, ah you’re good enough to be on your own already I was hired on the spot OK, cool. So I tried all my techniques and everything so it wouldn’t work. Then the piece of artwork let’s go back to the piece of art that he brought in half a year later was about six figures and they had it for one year and no one was able to sell it, Singapore, Malaysian, NO one we actually created a gallery in under the forlorn part of the town, another showroom. Just gallery to display the artwork

and nobody bought anything. Nobody could sell even in Singapore or Malaysia. That 6 figure,
nobody could sell. Right? And so back then I still remember this vividly, after I tried to look for new
ways and I started to ask myself Aaron hey. I know something’s not working right so I got to look for
a new way so when I started to look for new ways. Right. I do some self-study.

 I go and research, back then luckily we had internet and I started looking online to search because our company don’t have any sales training the boss being the boss so you know. When we are not having a lot of profit they wouldn’t want to spend this kind of money. Right So after that I go and search and go and learn on my own I learned from other people so there’s a lot of other furniture shops around as well very high end one piece of sofa would cost you 20, 30, 40, thousands so I went there and looked for a friend he was like telling some of his stuff to me I said okay. 

So that’s good and my turning point was when there was one time I remember there’s a client that came into my shop and she actually bought the table. She locked it. I thought it was luck, actually because she came in. She liked thetable and she bought a $20,000 table so she was asking me Aaron. 

Do you have any other friends that sell furniture? Because we just moved to this new area, it’s a bungalow, a very huge house, a beautiful storey-house so she asked me if she was buying furniture for the new house and she asked me to recommend so I remember I had a friend in Bangsar. So I recommended her to go there. And
this boss, in 2 hours time sold 700,000k on the invoice to her. So you sold RM29,000 and you sold
RM700,000 700,000. I was like, what the hell is happening?

 I was looking at him. I was baffled. No, you know that kind of feeling? You brought the customer there. You have only signed 29,000 worth of deal and you are looking at him. So I was asking the boss, hey boss, can you teach me what you did? I got commission from there. It’s good because we just recommend before I ask the boss to teach me something, say, okay, I’ll teach you. I don’t think he will teach if he didn’t get any sales
from there, right?

So he taught me that. And I got a good sum of commission as well. But he asked
me this question, Aaron, now I can teach you, but you know, nothing is for free. Then already you’re
going to get commission from here, right? Okay. So he gave me 10% commission actually. So that’s a
huge sum, 50% of your commission. 

Then I said that was like 35,000 years at least to me, that was huge money. Back then, when I was like 20-something years old, I couldn’t imagine having the kind of money I was thinking to keep it. I just don’t know what happened to me at the time. I was like not thinking anything without a heartbeat. Okay, cool, no problem. Because I saw what he did after that. He coached me and teach me a little bit, right? Then I started to understand that the question that we need to ask ourselves is not how do we sell better? 

We ask ourselves, why do people buy it? And we have to shift our thinking to the consumer and to the buyers and start thinking that way. And that was my turning point in my whole entire sales career and until today. And started from that spot onwards, that insight on what I started looking for, human psychology, how people make a decision and all these things. 

And this is how today can be, that I came out and teach people. And back then I was thinking, you know what, these are the things that not many people want to do. So I start practicing it. Eventually I got results. So the results that gave me the confidence to know that, hey, this is working, is when I was using the same skills that boss teach me, right? That friend taught me to persuade and convince. I don’t like to use the word convinced, but at that point, I was trying to convince my mind. I was trying to convince the boss because he said this six figure artwork we usually display on our showroom, but we don’t bring it to an art expo. Back then, we are already
participating in Art Expo Malaysia, which is a yearly event where they put all this kind of cheaper
artwork. 

There are also people that put expensive artwork from Taiwan and everything. But my boss
was being influenced by the organizer. The organizer told my boss was, hey, you know this art expo,
the maximum that you can easily sell is about 20,000. Don’t do anything more expensive. And he
told me that thing, right. And I used his thinking and I told him something that convinced him
otherwise. And he allowed me to say the last word. 

I remember I said to him, give me a chance, let me prove you got nothing to lose. But I’ll take full responsibility because I know he said it was risky, like few hundred thousand there. If you put two pieces, it’s like a million there already. Right. I was like worried that people are going to ruin the artwork. There’s children coming to that art expo as well. But it was really effective. I said I’ll take full responsibility, so I reduce all the resources then.

Okay, then because of that, I arranged for the whole thing to be there the first time ever. And that
particular first art expo, it was our second or third art expo and I sold two of the most expensive
piece plus the 31,000 one. So in total I sold about 467,000. It’s close to half a million ringgit in three
days. Nice. And that is when I know this is fun, this is working. This is actually better than your first
Trying to shove all the information into a person’s throat hoping they will swallow it and digest it and
come up to you and say, hey, you know what, I want to buy from you. Right. 

So that is what happened. Now that is the beginning of the confirmation and confidence that this is working. And I start moving forward from there. And after that I was like jumping out of this business. Because I
knew that time if I can make my boss, nobody can sell in the company, not even Singaporean, the
best salesperson, I can sell half a million. 

And that time I know that if I continue to work for my boss, I’ll make him rich. Because right now I’ve got a skill that he doesn’t even have. Right. And I was like talking to myself, Aaron, why don’t you make yourself rich? Because I know that he has a very good hefty profit margin on that. If I go and sell it on my own, I would have been rich very very quick.

Giving the confirmation that I’m in the right industry. Why? Because sales is the only industry that I
found out that you can make people maybe ten years salary. You can shorten your time by 10, 20, 30
years compared to other people. That’s working 9-5. True. Right. Literally compressed time. And
that’s when I noticed, well, this can be done. When I was selling low-ticket items, it feels like I’m still
working in 9-5 job. But when high ticket items you can get high commission and see the profit was
can make you know that you can compress time. 

So that’s why I started my first ever multi-million dollar business which is distributed darts machine. And I’ve never sold. Okay, there are three things that happens there. I don’t have the product back then. Because after I quit the job from this luxury artwork furniture and everything, I was resting for two months. So I take a break. I have never a break in my life. So I took a break for two months. I went to Bangkok. I came back. Then I was talking to my friends and we still don’t know what to do. And my friends also doing business. So he got
chased out from his father. He was arguing with the father.

 He goes to Klang. So he got chased out. He moved to KL and like always coming up because we are the only two that have no job. Everybody had a job and working, right? And suddenly we stumbled onto a Darts bar. That’s cafe with a two electronic Darts machine. So at a cafe when I was going in there, we are playing the dart machine with our friends. We are drinking back then and somehow hit our brain. We are enjoying the game.
We’re like, We are spending. We are a bit gambling there.

Who buy the drink, right? So it’s like normal things, but at the end I say how much you spend really
well. Calculating. Okay, I owe you this, I owe this. But it feels like we don’t win any money. Okay? We
paid for the beer and the drinks. It feels like we don’t win any money among us. So where did the
money go? And then we realize about two to $300. We went into the machine in the matter of
about 3 hours to 4 hours.

Then it hits my brain. Hey, this thing is making money without anybody
selling it. The machine is standing there by its own. But we are feeding money into the machine. So
it’s very passive. Oh shit. Let’s go and do this right. And we’re so high up. We talked about and I was
the It literate guy.

 So I was like doing all this kind of research and everything. So what happened then? We don’t have an investor, we don’t have the product, we don’t have the customer. So we go and close the investor on the money first with this idea, right? And then I found the source of machines which we flew to Korea first and flew to Spain to get it. And we closed them. We don’t have any background.

Terence:
How much did you raised from the investor?

Aaron Chong: 

About 10 million. I was trying to know what the investor want. I look at them and it from their point of view, right, with the new skills, new principles that I have. So I was closing on that and I closed the supplier
using the same skill and after we closed the supplier, I closed the customer without even having the
machine yet in Malaysia and they have to wait three months for it and give 1.6 million to us before
they even got the product well so I was like, Damn, this is fun. 

So I was like, we are deal broking, we can close people using this skill I was like, wow, this is quite versatile, right? And they don’t give too much thought so it starts from there so after I got a lot more time on hand as that one we went from zero to seven figures in one year without doing a lot of prospecting because I closed another
company using one of the techniques that I’m using I closed another company to share their
customer base with us and I don’t even hire a single salesperson I was the only sales person by the
company with my friend and the rest was technician and accounting and everything right? 

And we went from zero to seven figures in one year, right, so just to be clear, you leveraged on someone else’s customer base? Yeah. I don’t even need to do anything prospecting I was servicing the customer and that’s it. We’re closing deals every single day there will be messages that we call coming in so we use a method of leveraging another method that’s really powerful so what happened was as I grew the business. By the third year I’ve closed my biggest ever deal it’s my first eight-figure deal in the business and 11 million ringgit deal. 

So we went from zero to eight figures in just 
3 years and that was what happened and I didn’t give too much thought about the sales skills and everything so as we got more successful and we were doing great right? And what happened was I got friends that start noticing and they start asking me to share alright? And then back then.

Because we know how to sell but doesn’t mean we know how to run a business so I was like think. Oh. The business being good. We might not know how to control the cost. We might not know how to have the SOP and stuff like that so we went to look for a business mentor. Especially me. I’m not my friend. I went to look for a business mentor and back then my mentor was noticing me as well. Right?

 And say, hey, you know, Aaron, your skills of selling, you should teach to other people I was like, Why should I be teaching to other people? Do people want to pay money to learn? I mean, we got no idea at all, right? It wasn’t in radar at the time so it’s like, yeah, trust me he said, Trust me. I hired sales trainer before none of them are using your principles and the way you think, right? Because you’ve been talking to me. I know they’re not like that, so they’re very by the books and say, what do you mean? 

You try it, then you know. Okay, so I took up the challenge because me being I took up the challenge, I want to try this. Then I explored it, and I haven’t come up with my syllables and everything and my courses and the modules, so everything is still inside here. It was not very structured. It was still inside there. I took a long time to put it down to paper before that. I had my mentee back then. 

One person that came up to me because of this mentor. So we went to a retreat in a mastermind so we went there and because my mentor started noticing me. That I had a lot of people always surrounding me. When I start opening my mouth. I was like. Talking to one to one.

Then you start noticing there’s a lot of people surrounding me. Naturally, naturally, naturally. I was like, Why? Because it must be something that I was talking, making sense with them. And one of the participants, who is my longest mentee right now, I never had any student or any mentee, so he came to me directly and said, I want to learn how to talk like you. I want to learn how to sell like you. He saw a lot of people and he said, because every time I see there’s a group of people surrounding you, I want to be like you. I say why? 

I mean, I’m not good at anything, even my business alone, like, very super successful and things like that. Right. I just know to sell. So he’s like, the way you talk, and the way people would listen to you. I said, okay, so I just like, for fun. I didn’t know it was good. So for fun. Then after that, this mentee after he learned from me, he fixed some of his problems immediately, and he invited me, starting to invite me to a couple of events that he attended, and he organizing. 

So as a speaker, I’ve spoken before, then I might just try.  Right? That is the start of my journey of I mean, this recent two years before the pandemic happened, I started my journey to  speak to people. And back then, I was still damn skeptical about the skills that I have. Why? Because I didn’t think that people would really want to learn sales. But when more and more people after my speaking event back then, we still can do physical event, they came up to me and said, Aaron, I can apply to my team. It’s very useful. I was like, serious not? because in my brain I was always thinking about it.

Everybody that do sell should know this. Everybody that do business should know this already, because if I can discover it by myself and I go and learn and follow the path, right? Then I was like, everybody should be able to do the thing because you should be stuck in some place.

Recently, I know it was not true. I was like, Consume my own. Then I started teaching other people.
And after dynamic happened, there’s a lot of virtual events, multi-speaker event, right?

So they invited me as well. I was like, okay. So I went and gave a talk. And there’s a lot of good reviews. A lot
of people think my stuff was worth much more than whatever they’ve been paying for or whatever.
Life changing. I was like, Why are people saying that? 

Until this year, in 2022, where it gave me the biggest confirmation of whatever, that I’m doing it the right way. And actually, it’s helping people because one of the biggest cable TV in Malaysia, Astro millions and millions of viewers every single time, and a lot of subscribers, they invited me to their actual business talk. 

 I was  having the idea that when I started sales right after college, because I was a C+ student, I never thought it would come to this. It was never my plan, but somehow it ended like that.

 I’m glad that it ended so and that’s why I think this is one of the reasons that we’re talking here today.


 

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