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Japan's Top Business Interviews is the premier business interview podcast for people who want to know more about business in japan. The guests cover a range of industries and organisation sizes, to present a thorough overview of issues with leading in Japan. If you are a leader, especialy someone leading in Japan, then this is the podcast for you.
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Normally when we give presentations, they tend to be pretty dry affairs. We marshal the facts, relate what happened, tell stories perhaps but in a one dimensional way. We are relating what happened, but are not making any attempt to bring it alive. However, what do we seek when we are looking for entertainment or education – we are looking for dial…
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“I would be able to sell a lot more except for all the external factors over which I have zero control”. Actually, you have never heard this line of argument before from a salesperson. This is because this statement is an honest appraisal of what they see as the problem, but they don’t express it that way. Instead they bitch about the boss, the mar…
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Sometimes you see a confident leader really bomb their presentation. It doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does, the contrast is vast. If they are totally hopeless and they bomb, well that is understandable. But a competent leader shouldn’t bomb their presentation. He did and I was wondering why that happened? It was only at the end, when i…
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Previously Tony was in the Financial Accounting Group-Advisory and Administration, Nomura Holdings, Head of Real Estate Finance Macquarie Group, Chief Financial Officer Merrill Lynch, Area Financial Controller HSBC, Manager PWC and Auditor KPMG. He has a Bachelor of Economics, Accountancy from the University of Sydney.…
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I have often thought there are so many lessons from the martial arts for our businesses. Here are my musings after 53 years of training in traditional Karate. Stepping on to the floor The dojo is the ultimate equalizer. Whether you arrived by chauffeur driven Roller or took Shanks’s mare, once you step on to that dojo floor only your ability and ch…
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Salespeople don't set the price of what they sell. This is usually an obscure outcome decided by someone else inside the machine. It might actually be an elaborate process, where multiple variables are carefully calibrated, mathematical formulae are applied and a price is arrived at. Or, it might be a slightly moist index finger boldly thrust skywa…
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The hardest sales job in the world is selling something you don’t believe in yourself. The acid test is would you sell this “whatever” to your grandmother? If the answer is no, then get out of there right now! It is rarely that clear cut though. The more important test is whether what you are selling solves the client’s problem or not. Selling clie…
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One of our problem areas is what to do with our hands when we speak. Judging by most of the presentations I see in Japan, few speakers have worked this out yet. Here are some common habits we can improve upon to make ourselves much more persuasive and professional. 1. Hands in front of the body. The arms and hands when held in front of the body cre…
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Previously Patrick was Operations Director at Innov8; Purchasing and RD Director at Groupe ADF; Operations Director at Uniross; Purchasing Director at Alcatel Mobile Phones and Mechanical Manager at SAGEM. He has a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Arts et Metiers Paris Tech – Ecole National Superieure d’Arts et Metiers and an MBA from …
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Okay, now its time for the show, Soredewa ikimasho, so let's get going. The hush has now swept across the room. All eyes are fixed on the MC, breaths are being held, awaiting the announcement of this year’s winner. Amazingly, it registers that it is your name they are calling to the stage. Emotion wells up. Your team join you for handshaking, shoul…
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If we are presenting a brochure, flyer, price list, hard copy slide deck or any other typical collateral item, then we should adopt best practice for greatest success. Have two copies always, one for you to read and one for the client, unless you are a genius of reading upside down (which by the way seems to include all Japanese!). At the start, pu…
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We are all pretty average on recalling events, people’s names, locations, sequences, inanimate objects, etc., but we are geniuses on remembering feelings. We are especially good on how people made us feel and what super memories we have developed in this particular department. Business is deemed to be logical – cool, balanced, unswerving on the roa…
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Previously Ahbijay was Vice-President of Development for IHG Japan, Australasia and Pacific Region, Director of Development Planning AMEA for Whitbread PLC Singapore, and Director of Development Middle East, Africa and South Asia for the Jumeirah Group. He has a Master’s Degree from Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School Of Management…
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The Master of Ceremony (MC) goes to the microphone to get the programme underway but the audience are simply oblivious, caught up in their own riveting conversations. The situation is much worse at receptions where alcohol is already flowing and the people down the back are generating a roar, a positive din, that drowns out the speakers. Here are s…
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Prior to her Japan posting Simone was VP Marketing International Business Unit in Indianapolis, VP and General Manager Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Chief Marketing Officer Japan, Managing Director Austria, International Marketing Leader Cardiology Indianapolis, National Sales Director Germany, Austria and Switzerland, New Product Planning Mana…
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Usually this isn’t even a question for most presenters, because the organisers have already set up the room when you arrive. Our speaking spot has been designated for us. But have we been designated a spot by experts in public speaking or by the venue crew who usually just haul chairs, lug tables around and set up the stage? Sadly the coalescence b…
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David has been with Bain his whole career, starting as an Associate to Partner, becoming a Partner and HR Leader Switzerland, Partner and Healthcare Practice Leader, Senior Partner and Regional EMEA Practice Leader for Transformation and Change, Senior Partner and Global Leader Change and Implementation Practice.…
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To succeed in our own business, we need three critical skills: the ability to master our time, to clone ourselves and to be persuasive. Time: Poor time control leads to inefficiency, wasted efforts, stress and missed opportunities. Entrepreneurs are geniuses at trying to do too much. This means they are run ragged with time demands and no good solu…
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Prior to starting the Swiss Prime Brands company in Japan, Luca was an Assistant Manager at Masuda Infinity Japan, a Junior Associate at Goldwyn Partners Group AG, a Consultant at Het Buitenhuis. Be honest – are you a great leader or are you a mediocre leader? How can you become a leader people actually want to follow? How can you be the leader who…
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There is an old truism in sales, “sales is nothing more than the transfer of the enthusiasm of the seller for the product or service to the buyer”. What are we doing when we are speaking? We are selling! “Hang on a minute there Greg. I am a professional, I am not a car or vacuum cleaner salesman”, you might be saying to yourself. That sort of self-…
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Eddie’s coaching of Japan to defeat South Africa against their hometown advantage in South Africa, was a breakthrough moment for Japanese rugby, which until that point had never managed to win a game at that level. Eddie started his coaching career at Randwick as an assistant coach in 1994. He coached Tokai University as an assistant coach in 1995-…
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Having a buying need and doing something about it can often be quite disparate ideas. When the buyer is looking at the gap between where they are now and where they want to be and they judge it is pretty close, they don’t feel any urgency or need to buy. They will have certain drivers pushing them along in their role in the business, but this gap p…
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Sadly, not everyone is like us – wonderful, charming, amusing, attractive. Despite our best efforts to be a role model of perfection, setting them a good example, others persist in being a major pain. Here are some selective tips on negotiating with the difficult amongst us. 1. Meet on mutual ground Try to meet, rather than engage in a protracted e…
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The chances of speaking to a 5000 person business audience happening and happening regularly in Japan are remote for most of us. Nevertheless, in case you find yourself in front of a very large audience, here are a few hints on how to adjust to the increased size of the event. Get there early and go and sit in some of the most far-flung locations. …
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Geoffrey has started his own company Shining Prince Entertainment, currently he is Japan Representative for Drylab Media Tech. Previously he was Co-Founder and Head of Sales for V-Net Solutions Japan, General Manager HBO Max Japan, Japan Country Manager for IMAX, Strategic Advisor for 20th Century Fox Japan, Advisor to LAIKA LLC, Advisor to Netflix…
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In sales in Japan we chill, cruise and take the foot off the pedal. We get lazy. We start cutting corners. We get off our game. The temptation is when we get to a certain level of success we think well, we have done enough. We have to facedown “average is good enough” self-talk. We need to make sure we are doing the basics like a demon on fire. The…
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Maxime founded his company in 2007 in China and now has offices in Tokyo, Paris, Vancouver and New York. Before starting Ekohe, he was the R&D Manager at Labbrand in Shanghai. He has a Master’s Degree in Engineering from Centrale Lille Institute and another Master’s Degree in Artificial Intelligence and Pattern Recognition from Shanghai Jiao Tong U…
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The classic movie half-time locker room Churchillian oratory from the coach, whipping the team into a frenzy for the coming onslaught is now gathering dust in Hollywood’s archives. Today’s most successful coaches are masters of human psychology, combining insight with superb communication skills. What about leaders in business in Japan? In my exper…
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Guillermo has spent most of his career at Chanel as Country Manager Singapore, Regional President SE Asia, Global Marketing Director (cosmetics), Japan Cosmetics General Manager, Japan Fashion General Manager. He graduated from the University of the Basque Country (Spain) and is also a graduate of the EU’s Executive Training Programme in Japan (ETP…
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When we stand in front of an audience, we are representing our personal brand and our firm’s brand. People evaluate us and our companies based on how we perform. Think back to the presentations you’ve seen and I’m sure you’ll agree that many speakers are missing passion and commitment to the topic. Don’t be like that. Typically, we speakers enter a…
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Derek previously was Country Manager Japan for Tourism Australia. He has spent over 31 years working for Qantas, in a variety of roles including: Senior Manager Qantas Business Rewards, Head of Commercial, Commercial Manager Pacific and Japan, Manager Pacific and Japan Routes, Marketing and Management Services Manager Japan. He has a Degree in Asia…
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Often the first reaction to hearing no from the buyer is for the salesperson to panic and go harder. They somehow imagine they can force the buyer to buy. The immediate impulse is to go straight to the answer to counterpoint the objection. This is mainly an emotional reaction based on the adrenalin flooding the brain with the fight response. We nee…
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Bosses are often oblivious to the idea of diversity. I don’t mean diversity as mainly considered in Japan, which is usually about lack of inclusion of women in the workplace. Diversity here means variations amongst the team in terms of communication preferences. Here are two decisions to determine the best communication style to deal with your boss…
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The usual frequency for most people for giving formal presentations is once in a blue moon. In other words, we don’t do so many in a year. This presents a problem, because as we know, repetition is key to learning and improvement. Instead of hanging around waiting for someone to invite you to speak, you need to get out there and beat the bushes for…
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Previously Alfonso was Japan Country Manager, Regional Director North Asia, Oracle Advertising; Business Director Acxion; Deputy Managing Director, Bandai; Overseas Marketing Team Manager, Sega; Senior Consultant Japan Office, Hall Kinion. Alfonso is a graduate of the University of Navarra and has a Masters degree from Nagoya University.…
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Buyers should buy and not quibble, hesitate or question. That at least is what salespeople hope for. The reality is we want buyers to object. If we don’t get a commitment to buy right then and there, the next best case is they give us an objection. No objection then no sale. Let me explain why. If we are giving our presentation and at the end the b…
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You are at an event, it could be internal presentation or an industry event and you are been chosen for a prize or recognition. Award awarded and now you have to speak. This is where we are genius at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, as we make a dog’s breakfast of our remarks. Very depressingly, we go from hero to zero in rapid order. It …
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