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BLOG: Top 3 Tips on Winning in Asia & China at Cathay Pacific RTG Conference

Posted by in Communications, Events, Inspiration, Latest News, Latest News, Marketing

I was most honoured to be speaking at the Cathay Pacific Routes to Growth Asia Conference yesterday. It was a great pleasure to share my thoughts with some 100+ business leaders in the room.

To recap, I was asked about the acumen for women winning in Asia and China. Below are my three genuine thoughts based on my three perspectives:

  • as a crazy not-rich-yet Asian an who has lived and worked in HK, China, Singapore and London over the past 30+ years;
  • as a business owner running a PR and communications agency between UK and Asia/China;
  • and drawn from my inspiration from other powerful Asian female leaders.

My three genuine thoughts are:

 #1. To win in Asia, you need to empower others, not just to inspire, but empower others. We need to help each other out.

We, as an Asian and a woman, are culturally modest and even shy.  If people praise us, we will often say: “You are too kind, not really” instead of saying “yes, thank you”. In Asia, women generally don’t dare to ask for things, don’t dare to ask for opportunities.

So we must help each other out to create opportunities for each other, to empower each other to get what we want faster.

Because of this very reason, I recently co-founded The Chinese Mums in Business Club with the vision to inspire and empower Chinese mums in business to realise their full potential.

To win in Asia, as a woman, we need to empower each other.

#2. To win in Asia, you need to build and NUTURE your people’s network, to build deep relationships.

In the West, your client hires you because of your professional qualifications. They don’t care who you are as a person.

In the East especially in China, it is opposite. Your client hires you because of WHO you are as a person; or who you know in your circle. Chinese clients may not even bother to ask you about which company you work for or your past work experience.

To give you an example, my friend, Eva, Head of China Desk at a big property company in China recently put me in touch with James, who runs a business etiquette school in China, on WeChat. James wanted to run a royal-like private dinner event in London for his top 20 UHNWIS client from China.

Because James trusts Eva, and Eva recommends me to James, James just gave me the job without even asking me my background or work experience.

That’s how you do and win business in China and Asia. Nuture people’s relationship, build deep relationship. It’s down to WHO you know.

And how you can start build your network in Asia and China from here (UK)? Maybe you and I can become friends first. 🙂

#3. Finally, to win in Asia, as a woman, we need to have excellent public speaking skills. Be confident. 

Asia is the home of powerful female leaders. To name a few, most powerful women in Asia include CEO of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and wife of Singapore’s Prime Minister; chairwomen of the board of Huawei Technologies; Founder of Li Ka Shing Foundation; WHO Director General; and CEO of SingTel, etc.

They are all powerful Asian women in Asia and they all share one thing to be a great leader – which is EXCELLENT PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS.

They are all great public speaker who can motivate and mobolise people to believe in their visions and take actions, through their power of speech.

To win in Asia, as a woman and to be a leader, we have to be a good public speaker. And my little secret is to join a Toastmasters public speaking club near your home or office.  I tried it myself, it has worked really well so far.

To conclude, to win in Asia, as a woman, we need to empower each other, build deep relationships and have excellent public speaking skills.

If you’ve any thoughts on the above, I’d love to hear from you. Email me at sally@11kconsulting.comor WeChat me at sallymaieryip.


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Sally Maier-Yip is the MD and Founder at 11K. She is a seasoned cross-cultural Public Relations Strategist with a mission to help ambitious companies grow in China, Hong Kong and the UK.

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