Archive | April, 2015

Acquiring Negotiation and Persuasion Skills (By Jocelyn Ke)

Negotiation Skills

by Jeffrey Williams, Trainer & Coach

 *Check out pics from the event here*

The ability to persuade and convince other people is a highly desirable skill, sought after by employers, and also extremely useful in daily life. Interestingly, we have been negotiating all our lives – Jeffery brings up the example of how babies seek attention and care by crying, and children negotiate to get things they want from their parents. In previous workshops conducted for Polytechnic students, he had them try to invite strangers to give them money and join the workshop. The most successful participant managed to gather S$90.

We all already possess some knowledge about negotiation, so give yourself a pat on the back! The difficult part is in the execution and application of these skills. These situations happen to all of us – asking for a pay rise, bargaining for a discount, asking someone to do a favour for you, closing a sale with your clients, convincing your spouse/child/parent to do


Possible outcomes in a negotiation

Vinco Event - 22-Apr-15 - Negotiation Outcomes

Always aim for win-win!


In any negotiation, many people assume that they need a glib tongue, or that they must be the fastest speaker in the room. Quite the contrary, we actually need to have good listening skills and to ask the right questions at a suitable timing. And while we may think that all we need is ourselves at a negotiation table, we must be aware that preparation makes a difference, it is better to be over prepared than underprepared. After all, you want resolve differences and have both parties walk out in a win-win situation, so do not leave it solely to chance!

Six Negotiation Tips
1. Prepare yourself. What do you want? Which areas can you exercise flexibility in? Are there any alternative courses of action?
2. Actively listen. Focus on listening out for what the other party wants.
3. Ask questions. Clarify any doubts, and ask questions to gather sufficient information for you to make a case.
4. Identify any areas of common ground. Instead of spending time undermining each other’s stand, spend more effort listening to find out what similarities both parties have or are seeking.
5. Use positivity to build rapport. You can decide on the way you speak and the words you choose. Using phrases like “Yes, and…”, “You are right that…”, “That is true, and…”, instead of “Yes/No, but….” would greatly improve the atmosphere of any negotiation. It taps into the emotional part of us which prefers similarity.
6. Know when to walk away. Sometimes, even after repeated efforts and giving in, the negotiation still falls through. As long as you understand your position well, and have explored all options to reach consensus, giving up may not be the worst case scenario. It should however be used as the very last resort.

How to Improve Negotiation Skills
There are some other soft skills and knowledge that add to your overall ability to negotiate well – some are overlapping and/or closely related:
Interpersonal skills, verbal communication (talking/speaking well), listening, problem solving, decision making, building rapport, emotional intelligence, remaining calm and composed, influencing others, body language, handling objections, assertiveness, reciprocity, and desire to reach a mutually beneficial outcome, and more.

Some simple rules to keep in mind:
(1) Negotiation skills can be learned and refined
(2) Everything is negotiable
(3) Negotiations are never final

Keep on learning! Remember, the difficult part is not learning about negotiation techniques and skills – it is using them effectively to get the results you want. So practice, keep on reviewing your performance, and always look out for good role models to emulate!


Written by

Jocelyn Ke (



Paths To Financial Freedom (By Jocelyn Ke)

Paths to Financial Freedom

What is capital mastery, and social trading?

18 April 2015, Vinco Game Changers

*Check out event images here*


Many people would feel that they are using their monies in a good way. Our cash flows can be pretty obvious: our salary, investments, bills, debts and expenses. In the long run, will our single incomes and investments still be sufficient for us? We need to think about how we can make our money work harder and smarter for us, not continuously work harder for more money. Whether you are a business owner or not, how often does cash flow problems create obstacles for you in your personal and business life? Rachel highlights one method you can free up cash right now in your life, while Marcus introduces us to an easy way to start investing in Forex.


Speaker 1: Rachel Chong from Business Mentors

Unlock Capital Mastery

Have you ever thought about your insurance plans and premiums more carefully? The percentage of people insured with at least one plan in Singapore is very high, and the usual way insurance is bought is through friends or a recommended insurance agent/financial planner.
One quick question: How do you know if you are getting the best deal for your money? The multitude of plans, prices and coverage baffle most of us – even if we read through the entire Terms & Conditions set out by the insurers, we might not be able to fully make sense of all the data, or effectively compare it to another plan.

According to Rachel, up to 82% of us here are overpaying for insurance. The differences in pricing from one insurer to another can be absurdly high – up to 70%! Here are the three myths that Rachel wants to clarify:
(1) That all insurance plans are similarly priced – No
(2) Policies that are linked to investments and payouts are the best of both worlds – Not really
(3) Just having life insurance is enough for retirement – No

Rachel brought up the story of a new business owner who needed cash, and after reviewing her existing insurance plans, managed to ‘unlock’ cash of over $30,000 while increasing her coverage.

There are some other things that Rachel wants us to take note of, including conflicting goals. A lot of times, due to the large amounts of information that the financial planners might not know, or will not be able to tell you, your personal financial goals may not be met in the best possible way. We assume that if we tell them what we want to achieve, then they are able to do it. Unfortunately, not every financial planner is equal – getting second opinions may save you a lot of money.

What Rachel can do for you, is to help you assess your current insurance portfolio, to determine if there are ways to increase your coverage while lowering the amount you pay.
Find out more about Business Mentors:


Speaker 2: Marcus Lau from Riovest Pte Ltd

Social Trading in Singapore

Have you always wanted to try out investing your own money, but have no idea where to start? Marcus Lau, seasoned investor and trader, thinks that social trading is one place you can start. With technology and the internet, forex trading is highly accessible to everyone, anywhere in the world.

What is Social Trading?
In very simple terms, a social trading platform is likely to be a web application that allows everyday investors to trade online in real-time, but with an added ‘social’ element. After setting up an account, you can befriend other traders online. It is a platform where data is viewable by all users, and past track records is available for scrutiny. The interesting part about this, is that once you spot a trader that is doing well or making consistent profits – you can choose to copy their transactions and trades with just a click of a button. A lot of traditional trading functions are now fully automated; you can set a limit to your gains and losses for a particular trade, and safely to to bed at night.

What are the benefits of Social Trading?
There are very low entry requirements, and you can decide to stop anytime. Most recreational traders consistently lose money, and Marcus puts the percentage of consistent money makers at just a mere 5%. This would probably result in a long-term loss rather than bringing you closer to your retirement goals.
Trading itself can be very complex if you delve deeper into its mechanics – but with the rise of social trading, there is no need for you to learn Technical Analysis to trade anymore, because you can choose to tap into the knowledge of other master traders. On the Riovest platform, you will be able to earn commission (no cap on earnings), simply by introducing your friends to join you. Their subsequent transactions would earn you some money, with no expiry date at all. Marcus pointed out that this is a powerful way of building your financial security.

People without experience, knowledge, or time can benefit from the existence of master traders on social trading platforms. While no investments are 100% risk-free, the beauty about the open-ness on the platform will show one thing – data does not lie. People would naturally follow and copy the better traders. Riovest, along with Brightwin Securities, are curating a ‘Master Trader Community’, a group of leading traders with proven track records. They are available to give you advice on trading, and they meet up once a month. Riovest also holds frequent training and educational workshops on financial education.

If you want to try your hand out at forex trading, talk to master traders, and ask more questions – reach out to Riovest:

To attend an upcoming free preview session: (look out for social trading previews!)


Written by

Jocelyn Ke (