DESK SPACE Clutter-free your clients
Document management-part 2
Salesman Arif Rashid talks the talk
Win a Staedtler digital pen
THE EDITOR’S LETTER CONTENTS 03
NEWS PITCH INVADERS The latest news and products to help you deliver the perfect sales pitch
MARKETPLACE STORING UP SALES Finding the right filing and storage solutions for your customer
DESKSPACE ODYSSEY Leading the way to sales in desktop accessories
NINA ROSANDIC Hi and welcome to this month’s edition of USP and, as you may have noticed, our happy marriage with Dealer Support! We’ve had a little reshuffle at IMS, and along with the amalgamation of the magazines, we will be launching the new and improved website for all the latest in the UK office supplies marketplace, complete with the latest product news. In this issue Jonathan Hills takes a look at desktop product solutions (page 7), and Bryony Taylor highlights the trend of the ‘Google’ HQ, whereby the move towards innovative use of space, functionality and design may have implications on what your clients are looking for in terms of organising their office, and more specifically, the way they file (page 4). When it comes to sales, it’s all about rapport and those all-important first impressions, as Not Just Stationery’s Arif Rashid explains. He tells us his tricks of the trade, including a smart style, a mission to sell without selling (inspired by Al Pachino), and how it’s important to convince customers that you’re not a mugger. Take heed. Until next time.
HIGH ROLLERS FIRST IMPRESSIONS Not Just Stationery’s Arif Rashid tells the story behind the pitch
BREAKTIME Fun and games and a digital pen up for grabs
LIVE IT HOW TO SPEND IT The latest in film, music and technology – the best way to spend your commission
USP EDITOR NINA ROSANDIC | email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR JULIA DENNISON | firstname.lastname@example.org COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR VICKI BALOCH | email@example.com SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER – MEDIA SOLUTIONS MATTHEW MOORE | firstname.lastname@example.org ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE – MEDIA SOLUTIONS KRYSTLE DAVIS | email@example.com
DESIGNER SARAH CHIVERS | firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION ASSISTANT SINEAD COFFEY | email@example.com PUBLISHING ASSISTANT/CIRCULATIONS MANAGER NATALIA JOHNSTON | firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHER DAVID COLLINGBOURNE | email@example.com DIGITAL MANAGER DAN PRICE | firstname.lastname@example.org
04 ON THE COVER 04 STORING SALES
Document management part 2
07 OUTER DESK SPACE Clutter-free your clients USP magazine is published by... Intelligent Media Solutions | Suite 223 | Business Design Centre | 52 Upper Street, London N1 0QH tel: 0207 288 6833 | fax: 0207 288 6834 | email: email@example.com | web: www.uspmagazine.com Follow USP on Twitter at Twitter.com/uspmagazine Printed in the UK by Buxton Press www.buxtonpress.co.uk
10 FIRST IMPRESSION Salesman Arif Rashid talks the talk
NEWS PITCH INVADERS 03
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04 mARKETPLACE document storage
Storing up sales
In part two of our document management series, Bryony Taylor looks at the product innovations in the filing and storage market that can offer dealers sales, even in a recession USP
One of the most important commodities a company has is the space it and its staff inhabit. How you use the space says a lot about you as a company. Take the Googleplex, the headquarters of one of the world’s largest technology companies, and almost a tourist destination in its own right. For Googlers – as those working there are known – the Mountain View Googleplex represents the concrete and glass version of the company’s innovative vision on the internet. Granted, not all companies can offer free canteens, games rooms, or wine tasting classes, but more often than not they can utilise their space better to make it more pleasant and efficient for staff, create a company culture, and even just to free up enough space for a coffee machine. Most of the time this can be achieved by better use of storage and filing solutions. Google says it wouldn’t be successful without its staff being comfortable sharing ideas in its canteen or playing volleyball with the boss. They want an inventive workplace for an inventive team working to reinvent the way we use the internet. For Google, everything is connected, and it is lucky enough to be in a financial position where the cost is manageable. For SMEs struggling in the worst recession for a generation, space is at a premium and the boss might not even know what volleyball is. Most SMEs are in fact making do with what they’ve got, or even reducing as income drops. This doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities for dealers though; in fact it is quite the opposite for dealers pitching the right solutions. Every company, even in today’s age of the electronic document, has filing and storage units littering its office space. Some, such as law firms, which predominantly work in paper, more than others. And as space becomes scarcer, how efficient these storage solutions are can become a primary selling point for resellers. “Customers are increasingly looking for office accessories and storage solutions that are space-efficient, as well as contemporary, stylish and functional,” explains Gregg Corbett, marketing director at Avery Office and Consumer Products. “Although the last few years have seen a rise in businesses storing information in electronic format,
mARKETPLACE document storage 05
some documents will always require paper copies to be available. While record keeping and document storage may not be the most glamorous part of a consumer’s job, it is essential, as many procedures, records and instructions are legally required to be stored. Dealers should also note that the larger the organisation, the more difficult it is to keep on top of physical paper documentation.” Kevin Wharton, marketing manager of ExaClair agrees, adding that something all manufacturers have in common is a shared drive to develop smaller, more compact and innovative filing and storage solutions. “We are working on filing systems that enable customers to purchase a variety of different drawer units and integrate them to create a bespoke filing solution that perfectly suits their needs,” he explains. “Flexibility and adaptability are what many businesses are now seeking from their office equipment, as it allows for elements to be added at a later date according to the need for more storage, bringing repeat custom to dealers.” Resellers should also consider what products might be required to keep documents safe and easy to locate whilst they are being stored, Wharton adds. Particularly colour coded labeling; document tracking; scanning of documents to electronic form and database work, which can all be sold as extras for added value. With manufacturers continuously looking to explore new offerings, Susan Leeson, export manager for Jalema, points out clip technology, which allows files to be stored without wasting space. The system allows files to adjust to the size of their contents, unlike lever arches which are a set size whether full or not. These are an important innovation that resellers should take note of, suggests Leeson. As are track systems which allow storage units to be moved forward and backwards on a track, depending on what is needed at hand. “The best sales techniques come from fully understanding a business’ needs and requirements,” explains Tracy Goodwin, commerical director of Rackline. “Our products are adapted to reflect changing needs and demands in modern offices, which
has been one of the reasons behind their popularity,” he adds. “In terms of added value, stylish solutions have never been more popular,” adds Corbett. “Greener office supplies remain a key trend, and with their popularity set to continue, storage solutions need to incorporate this in order to add value. Finally, dealers should also look out for promotional incentives such as reward schemes, which give customers something back for their loyalty to the brand.” He adds that it is also worth highlighting how many offices are now recognizing that a clear and tidy desk is the key to productivity and emphasizing how less time spent on trying to find resources leaves more time to productive work. “The last thing a consumer will want is to waste considerable time trying to find important documents,” he explains.
While record keeping and document storage may not be the most glamorous part of a consumer’s job, it is essential The key to success is dealers to talking to their customers and understanding what it is they require. “The most important thing is to ask a lot of questions in order to find out what the exact demand of the customer is,” explains Leeson. “Does he want to file looseleaf or punched, or a combination of both? How and when is he going to use the documents? How much capacity does he need? [Do you] have a good solution for each and every filing need?” And if sales still prove to be hard to make, take a leaf out of Leeson’s book. She describes the early days of Jalema, where the sales team were pitching a complete lateral filing system whereby the files have one suspension point and hang laterally on a bar. To sell this to doctors, the team bought several old ambulances and kitted them out with the filing system. They then drove these to the hospitals where the doctors were working and showed them the benefits of their system in their ‘mini ambulance car showroom’. Thinking outside of the box never did hurt.
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DESKTOP ACCESSORIES MARKETPLACE
As stationery budgets tighten, workforces streamline and workspaces become smaller and more mobile, manufacturers of desktop accessories have had to evolve and innovate to stay ahead in the marketplace. Jonathan Hills looks at what office product dealers and their salespeople can do to continue to secure those all-important sales within this product area
ODYSSEY Traditionally the backbone of the office supplies industry, desktop accessories have undergone somewhat of a transformation in recent years as they have had to adapt to the workings of the modern office. However, their traditional role of keeping desk space tidy and proficiency up has remained the same.
A NEAT PITCH Personal printers, desktop scanners and compact shredders are now far more commonplace than they were 10 years ago, which has resulted in an array of organisational issues. The integration of such products into the daily routine of office workers has seen an increase in the amount of
clutter that can be found on the desk and in the workspace. In addition, with more and more workers â€˜hot deskingâ€™ in smaller offices and more confined spaces, salespeople can look to inform their clients that a tidier office is a more efficient office and that desktop accessories can be an effective means to save money.
08 MARKETPLACE DESKTOP ACCESSORIES
“We fidget and rearrange ourselves and our desks because things are placed in the wrong place. An organised and appropriate desk layout can increase comfort” says European marketing manager at Fellowes, Louise Shipley. “This wasted time and lack of organisation affects your productivity. “Use stackable solutions to take advantage of vertical space,” she says. “Simple yet effective accessories ensure frequently used items are kept within easy reach. This will create more space and encourage you to stay organised.” “In tough economic times sales teams need to give consumers a reason to invest in desktop accessories. It is worth highlighting how many offices now recognise that a clear and tidy desk is the key to productivity,” states marketing director at Avery, Gregg Corbett. “Equally, a series of untidy and disorganised desks can reflect poorly on a business.” Dealers and salespeople need to consider that if they are inviting clients into their own office, they make sure that their and their worker’s desks are tidy and organised – it is a great opportunity to exhibit the worth of desktop accessories. There has also been an increase in the amount of work that an office worker can be expected to do, and this can lead to a mountain of clutter when trying to hit deadlines and stay ahead of the workload. “In the age of streamlined workforces and workspaces, the need for organisation is paramount. An employee who can maintain an organised desk is more likely to be able to manage their workload and keep on top of a to-do list,” states head of identification at Brother, Mike Kelly. Salespeople would be well advised to look into identifying those people in their clients’ company who are under the most pressure and assessing their needs to ease the strain.
increases its value. Stackable filing solutions are one such example as many models permit an alternate filing arrangement depending on the desk space available and the products that are to be filed. “The desktop accessories market has fared well over the last few years considering the economic climate. Products and brands that lead the way in innovation, quality and service have fared better than the ones that don’t,” says Ben Reynolds, marketing executive for Stabilo.
The introduction of the many hi-tech accessories that are commonplace within the modern office has meant some totally new solutions have started to emerge in the market, and dealers and their salespeople should be aware of these immediately to alert their customers as soon as possible. Shipley says: “This is leading to an increase in monitor arms to allow more workspace, monitor risers and laptop risers with USB cable connections and storage compartments to accommodate the whole host of equipment we now have.” However, Reynolds reminds dealers that desktop accessories will always be essential to an efficient working office, regardless of what product or service they are selling. Kevin Wharton, marketing manager office products at ExaClair, says: “In reality it will be a long time before electronic systems completely eradicate the use of paper, if ever. But what the increased interest in those gadgets has brought to desktop accessories is a renewed demand for ever more compact solutions and aesthetic designs.”
High-end desktop accessories carry a certain kudos and ‘desire to own’, meaning they’re potentially very profitable
VERSATILITY, LONGEVITY… ECONOMY Remind clients that that the cheapest and simplest option is not always the best. Also, versatility is one of the greatest virtues of a desktop product, as the potential for a single accessory to solve a number of problems
Salespeople should not shy away from any premium quality products when they are dealing with clients, reminding them that longevity means a lower reordering rate and therefore a reduction in cost-over-time. “People today are, more and more, looking for value for money. This however does not always automatically mean you should look to supply the cheapest product, as this does not necessarily fulfil their needs,” says Alun Lloyd, key account manager at CEP office supplies. “Focus on convincing the customer that it can be a better long-term investment to buy a better quality product that you are sure will last many years.” SPACE AGE The increase in hot-desking and the introduction of modern technology has also had a significant impact on the demand and nature for desktop accessories. Dealers can open up more and more sales opportunities by informing their clients of the latest changes and innovations in the market, there may even be a solution available that customers were not even aware of. “The popular introduction of tablets and smartphones has forced brands to accept them into their world and allowed a new range of products to be born to compliment the increasing use of technology in the workplace,” says Reynolds.
SHINY, SHINY Finally, salespeople should remember that they can also sell on the basis of desirability, even in the remit of office accessories. Lloyd suggests that with “more and more people working from home, people generally want more stylish and modern looking products to fit within their home environment.” “We also see more stylish designs coming through in home computers and laptops as well,” he says. “Therefore to match seamlessly, desktop accessories need to be in-keeping with these items.” Kelly concurs: “The type of desktop accessories carry a certain kudos and ‘desire to own’, meaning they’re potentially very profitable. They are also very easy to demonstrate,” he says. It is obvious that desktop accessories still provide vital storage and organisational solutions for new and emerging office products, they remain integral for the organisation of traditional products and result in a generally more efficiency and happier office space to work in, meaning increased productivity and savings for your client.
10 high rollers NOT JUST STATIONERY
First impressions The first impression is key, and Not Just Stationery’s Arif Rashid makes those initial moments count. He tells Nina Rosandic about selling without selling and proving to clients that you’re not a mugger
Selling office supplies is one thing, however, when selling
but generally, often use pretty salespeople to coax people in.
floristry, event management, catering, concierge, call answering
Obviously the Office show was a little different; you often
– to name but a few of Not Just Stationery’s services – Arif
have attractive ladies, but seeing as the audience was made
Rashid’s manager, Maq Kashmiri, requires strong and
up of mainly ladies, some of the stands had attractive men
somewhat flexible salespeople. Part-salesman, part-IT genius,
instead. However, it doesn’t seem to work so well. For
Rashid came in the back door with a proposal for IT support
example, there were some topless guys there selling events,
and was snapped up as a member of the sales team.
but I think women prefer a man in a suit rather than with his pecs out and glitzy leggings.
How did you get into role? Basically, I originally came from an IT support background
So that’s not an approach you’re planning for Not Just?
and came to Maq with a proposal as I was doing IT support
No no, not something we’re planning here, that look doesn’t
for an existing customer base, and we’ve gone from there. I’ve
cut the mustard here unfortunately.
since got more involved in the stationery sales side of things. The IT support side won’t increase without sales. We’re at a
So, glitzy leggings are a no-no, how did you entice
stage where we’re really looking to grow the business now.
the customers in at the show?
We’ve been established for some time, but definitely looking
We went for the smart-professional balance: the
to do more sales. I have had a fair bit of sales experience
‘approachable look’, as it were. Obviously it’s about
working for internet provider Bulldog broadband. I started
wearing suits and looking professional, but not looking so
there doing residential sales, then commercial, then moved
dolled-up that people find you unapproachable. Obviously
over to the IT side. Sales is a challenge, but back there it was
smiling a lot, and an impressive flower arrangement, with a
all incoming, which wasn’t so difficult, whereas in most sales
show full of ladies, a lot of people were like: “Wow those
job you are cold calling and doing lead generation, which is
flowers are amazing!” We also had a Mac on the stand, and
the hardest bit. I’ve been quite fortunate, as we recently did
you know people are always impressed with Macs, they
an exhibition at Earl’s Court, and we managed to generate a
think: “Oh they’ve got a Mac, they’ve got a nice set-up”, it
lot of leads from there.
just looks presentable – that was the main focus. The trick then is to make sure that there aren’t too many of you on
Was that the Office show?
the stand as it puts people off. The thing is that when it gets
Yes, it’s an exhibition for office managers. It was our first time
busy, you need have to have a lot of people ready to meet
doing something like this and we managed to get a lot of
potential customers – it’s a very tricky balancing act.
However, in summary I’d say: be approachable, yet smart, yet accessible.
Good stuff. So, considering it was your first exhibition, how
did you make it worthwhile?
Can you describe your role?
The first thing we needed to do was to get the stand to a
My main role at the moment is to chase the leads we
point where it had an element of ‘wow-factor’ or at least
generated at the exhibition. It’s not cold calling, nor is it
attraction to it. That’s the hardest thing; making yourself
warm cooling, it’s luke warm cooling. That’s been my main
stand out amongst all the other exhibitors that are there. I
aim at the moment, aswell as generating business on our
know that a lot of the competition, not just in this industry,
high rollers NoT JusT sTaTioNery 11
What’s your biggest career achievement?
What is it about Arif that makes you good for the job?
Quitting my day job and partnering up with Maq. I was an IT
Well, I don’t want to blow my own trumpet, but I’d say that
manager in the telecoms market for a small telecoms provider
I’m pretty good at just being able to talk to people. People
before this and it was a big decision.
find me a bit disarming because they expect one thing from me and get something entirely different when it comes to
What’s the biggest challenge when it comes to sales?
face-to-face. I’m a bit, erm tall, and when I approach people
Trying to get people to commit to something – anything! It’s
they think I might mug them – they look at me and don’t
fine, you can talk to someone for half an hour on the phone,
know how to gage me as a person, but once they speak to me,
and they’ll say ‘in principle’ they’ll use your service, but
they’re like: “Oh ok, this guy seems quite cool.” On the
getting them to translate that to actually placing an order can
phone it’s a matter of just being friendly and polite really,
be the hardest thing.
cracking the odd joke here and there helps.
So, in order to get people to take the plunge, what’s the
Any early morning rituals to get in the sales spirit?
key? What makes a good salesperson?
Hmm, well Maq likes to listen to drum and bass, but that’s not
Have you ever seen the film Glengarry Glen Ross? There’s a
everyone’s cup of tea at nine in the morning. I think I’d say
scene where Al Pacino is sitting in a restaurant just talking to
coffee is what gets me going!
“ONCE YOU MaNaGE TO CONViNCE sO MEONE aNd GET a saLE, iT’s ThE M OsT saTis fYiNG T hiNG”
a guy. He’s not trying to sell him anything as such, he’s just telling him a story. By the end of it he has this guy literally lapping out of his hand and he would literally buy anything from him. But he hasn’t actually said what he’s selling, or what he’s doing – so it’s the art of selling without actually selling. You’re just talking and by the end of it saying: “By the way, I’m selling this,” and they’re like: “Ok, yeah I’ll have one of them.” Any particularly tough clients? There are quite a few, but I can’t drop any names! There are a few types; you’ve got the absentee ones, who give you their contact details, and when you call up they’re never there. There’s one lady who hasn’t been there for the past month – an absentee office manager! Or there’s the ones who you meet in person and are all happy and great, and when you then call them it’s like you’ve offended their mother. What’s your favourite part of the job? Once you finally manage to convince someone and get a sale, it’s the most satisfying thing. No matter if it’s a small order, knowing that you’ve managed to influence them to move over from their existing supplier is a really good thing. Do you manage to get out on the road and visit your clients face-to-face? At the moment it’s been mainly over the phone, although we have been arranging face-to-face meetings, once they place an order. If you want to have a long term relationship with a customer you have to meet them in person and build familiarity. It reinforces that relationship you have.
12 SALES ACADEMY BREAK TIME
Breaktime WIN A STAEDTLER DIGITAL PEN
Staedtler is extending its successful promotion to boost sales of its digital pen until the end of March, offering the consumer a free 2GB USB branded memory stick with each pen purchased. The promotion, available through Vow and Spicers, was originally devised to boost pre-Christmas sales but has proved exceptionally popular. Here at USP we don’t think your customers should have all the fun, so we’re giving one away to one lucky reader. Just try not to spend the whole working day playing with it.
PUBQUIZ 1. Which metal do you get from bauxite? 2. Which animal produces the biggest baby? 3. In pop music, which two herbs go with ‘parsley and sage’? 4. Who was Leonardo DiCaprio’s co-star in Titanic?
To be in with a chance of winning one of Staedtler’s fine hi-tech writing instruments, just answer the following question:
5. What does a lepidopterist collect? 6. What acid is associated with muscles in the body experiencing lack of oxygen? 7. Which British prime minister famously said: “You’ve never had it so good”?
Who invented the ballpoint pen?
8. In which country was ex-England cricket captain Tony Greig born?
a) Lazslo Biro
9. Which composer wrote ‘The Water Music’?
b) Byron Faber c) Slavoljub Penkala
10. What was Tom Jones’ first UK number one single?
Send your answer with the subject line ‘digital pen’ to firstname.lastname@example.org Closing date for entries is 16 March. Winners will be chosen at random. Only successful applicants will be notified. Judges decision is final.
DO YOUR NUMBERS
4 7 5 2
4 9 2 7 3 8 3 4 8 3 6 1 9 4 5 2 8 9 3 1 3 7 9 4 2 1
6 1 2 8
8 2 4 9 9 4 8 3
1 4 4 5 6 5 9 1 6 8 3 5 4 2
ANSWERS: 1. Aluminium 2. Blue whale 3. Rosemary and thyme - ‘Scarborough Fair’ 4. Kate Winslet 5. Butterflies (and moths) 6. Lactic acid 7. Harold Macmillan 8. South Africa 9. Handel 10. ‘It’s Not Unusual’
Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
Fancy taking a break from the sales calls, client meetings and proposal writing? Put your feet up and switch your brain on to our break time puzzle. No prizes, just the satisfaction of beating the grid.
UR F YO O RT R PY PO FO CO P IP L SU FL UA ER US AL DE
The best way to spend your free time and money
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THIS MEANS WAR
GOOD Tom Hardy’s star continues to rise with the release this month of action comedy This Means War. Tuck (Hardy) and Foster (Chris Pine) are best friends and top CIA agents, but they soon discover that they have something else in common. Both men have unwittingly been dating the same woman, Lauren (Reese Witherspoon). They agree not to divulge their discovery to her and decide to compete for her affections. Both men start playing dirty pretty quickly and employ all the tools of their trade in the process. The result is the most explosive love triangle committed to celluloid yet. There are plenty of laughs to be had along the way as dates are interrupted by everything from tranquilizer darts to indoor rain storms. May the sneakiest man win. Released 17 February
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PORTABLE POWER Listening to music on your phone no longer has to be a solitary experience. The X Mini v1.1 Capsule Speaker’s concertina design and 54.7g weight make it extremely portable while the 36mm driver delivers surprisingly loud and clear sound. Now that everyone can hear your music, it might be time to delete that S Club 7 mega mix.
The Southampton trio return with their much anticipated second album, Sweet Sour. The band’s first album, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, was a huge hit with fans and critics alike on both sides of the pond and this latest offering deserves equal acclaim. The band’s trademarks are all on show, tub thumping drums, Jack White-esque guitar riffs and wailing vocals. It’s the best thing to leave Southampton since the QE2.
FREE TIPPING Corner Perk, a small Coffee shop in South Carolina, has become a mecca for random acts of kindness. It all started two years ago when a customer paid her bill and left $100 to pay for other people’s coffee. The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, has made several similar donations since, and her generosity has proven to be infectious. Some customers now come in simply to donate, without even ordering a drink.
SALTY CRIMINAL A man in Pennsylvania has broken into a post office because he simply couldn’t wait to get hold of his delivery… of bath salts. He was unable to find the package and instead made off with a U.S. Postal Service jacket and hat, among other items. The criminal genius was arrested a few hours later, wearing the same hat.
Released 20 February
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July 2011 Issue 193
PEOPLE NEWS FIND OUT HOW OTHERS ARE FARING AND LEARN FROM THEIR EXPERIENCES
MANAGEMENT ADVICE EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS
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INDUSTRY NEWS THE LATEST NEWS, TRENDS AND GOINGS ON IN OFFICE PRODUCTS
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