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Thursday, January 20, 2011

How Cheryl Turns "No" Into "Yes"

Cheryl Ng, CEO & Founder of FouFou Dog, has a one-of-a-kind personality and charisma that is ‘often imitated but never duplicated’. Throughout my childhood and into my adulthood, the one thing that has remained consistent about Cheryl is her nickname “the ball-breaker”. This means she is known to give people a hard time; whether this pertains to convincing you to eat PHO (her favourite Vietnamese dish) when you’ve been craving sushi all day, going shopping with her, skipping a day at the gym, or getting you to watch a chick flick.

Cheryl has carried over this title from her personal life to her business one. At work, she’s the top sales person and natural business woman at heart. She is passionate about her products, her ideas and what she believes in and is not afraid to let people know it.  If you hear her on the phone with any person at any time of day, you know she’s always closing a deal.

I have witnessed firsthand the power of Cheryl’s charisma on several occasions when clients and potential clients repeatedly tell her “I’m not interested”. The more they say no, the more they add fuel to the fire.

I remember a few years ago, Cheryl, Evelyn, and I were sitting in a meeting together with a large corporate buyer who was pretty much showing us the door. Evelyn and I took our cue to leave and were packing our belongings while Cheryl sat glued to her chair with absolutely no intention of going anywhere.  Her persistence and motivation to turn "no" into "yes" was relentless.  In watching and listening to her interact with all types of people, I've learned that she's not afraid to ask questions and doesn't get intimidated easily, whereas most people, myself included, hold back in fear of saying something foolish.  By being herself and telling things as they are, her natural "realness" is eventually what wins people over.  That meeting turned into a sale as we left with sweat on our backs and smiles on our faces.

Turning “No” into “Yes” is like a challenge to Cheryl that she takes on with personal drive and ambition. Keep in mind that it isn’t just a game for Cheryl, she doesn’t sell or preach anything that she doesn’t wholeheartedly believe in.  Cheryl takes great pride in her successes, her products, and her goals.  When she feels there is a want or need out there to fill, she will do so one step at a time, starting with you.

The next time you catch yourself falling under a Cheryl spell as she engages you in conversation, whether you're talking shop or just shooting the sh!t, sit back and embrace the passion she emits as she discusses with you what she thinks is the next best thing since sliced bread.  And when she's finished talking, I dare you to say "no".

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