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MARCH 2012

USP SECRETS OF SUCCESS The psychology of sales


Salesperson of the year is back


How to spend your commission


NEWS PITCH INVADERS The latest news and products to help you deliver the perfect sales pitch


MARKETPLACE THE WRITE STUFF A homage to opportunities with the humble pen and pencil


SALES ACADEMY SETTING THE GOAL POSTS Failures are often the result of not setting the right goals

NINA ROSANDIC This month we have gone from one extreme to another. A few weeks back there was the serious snow whitewashing; beautiful in its splendour, but nothing less than horrendous for business, particularly for those that depend on deliveries. However, we have also seen the sun’s face smiling across the country for the first time in 2012, which brings – other than ill-advised March flip-flop wearers and the smug soft-top types, braving the March chill with the hood down – a swing in your step andmakes the long working days a little more palatable. So, capitalise people! Those sunny weekday mornings may very well make potential clients a little more amicable when it comes to getting those business meetings booked. This month we check in with sales psychologist Bryan McCrae in our sales academy section for some tips on setting goals (p6). Also, we look at the poster boy of the stationery world – the pen. The variety that the writing instrument has grown to encompass is something that every OP salesperson should be looking to highlight and customise for clients (p4). With all the usual breaktime bits, it leaves just one more thing to say... leave the flip flops until at least May.


HIGH ROLLERS SPOTYA 2012 Introducing the first candidate for this year’s Salesperson of the Year Award


LIVE IT HOW TO SPEND IT The latest film, music and technology to spend your commission on






The effect of the paperless office on good ol’fashioned pens


The psychology of winning sales

08 SPOTYA 2012

Salesperson of the year is back 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: | web: Follow USP on Twitter at Printed in the UK by Buxton Press


How to spend your commission


All the products and developments you need to deliver the perfect sales pitch

UNIBALL BACKS-STATIONERY DAY NEWS uni-ball has become an official partner of National Stationery Day and will celebrate by launching a PR and marketing campaign that looks at our obsession with stationery. Stuart Barker, marketing manager for uni-ball, said: “We all take great pride in our stationery and over the next few months we are going to take part in some very exciting events and activities to reveal just how passionate we are about the pens we buy.” Stationery Show organiser Chris LeonardMorgan, said: “The involvement of uni-ball will really help National Stationery Day achieve its objective of getting people writing, talking about and buying more stationery.” To find out more about uni-ball visit www., follow or like

NEW MSE CARTRIDGES PRODUCT Micro Solutions Enterprises (MSE), the industry leader for Intelligently ReEngineered™ cartridges, has announced the release of the 51X (P3005) cartridge. MSE is offering yields of 38% more than the 13k page original which offers great CPP savings for any dealer/MPS provider. Says Luke Goldberg of the release “ these printers and MFP’S are found heavily placed in small and medium sized workgroups and are having their longevity increased due to refurbished printer sales and the overall aging of installed bases. This 18,000 page cartridge makes these ideal to manage for any dealer with a cost competitive, reliable product.” MSE as always approved this product using its multiple stress test protocols including stop/go testing and duplex printing. Look for more MPS engineered releases coming soon. MSE is acclaimed as one of the leading edge innovators in the marketplace and prides itself on offering the highest levels of after sales support to its dealers.

IMATION AND BETA JOIN FORCES NEWS Imation have announced that Beta Distribution PLC will have UK Distribution rights for its range of scalable storage data archive and data protection products. Imation’s channel sales manager, Maurice Stewart-Ashley, was confident in Beta’s ability to support Imation’s goals. “They already have a very strong position in the UK storage market and trade with over 1500 dealers each month, proving their expertise in storage distribution’. The range features products for small to medium size businesses. Imation’s range is designed to help companies lower storage costs, meet compliance requirements and protect data. The core of the range utilises RDX technology, but LTO drives also feature. ‘We are delighted to be offered this unique opportunity,” said Lee Wright, Beta’s storage sales manager. “It fits well with our current products and provides us with an exciting new product range.” Any dealers who would like further information on the Imation product range should contact Lee Wright at Beta Distribution – 020 7531 2828.

TOSHIBA’S FLEXIBLE BACKUP SOLUTION CASE STUDY Formed in 1987, Financial Management Bureau (FMB) develops strategies to manage clients’ finances and looks after approximately 2,500 clients and over £250m of assets. In order to protect vital customer data and convert its hard copy archive of over 65,000 documents; the company decided to install an electronic scanning and back-up system. Gill Forrester, director of operations and HR, called in Toshiba TEC to overhaul FMB’s data management system. With Toshiba’s e-STUDIO02500c and the e-BRIDGE Re-Rite software, FMB can convert hard copies into a number of editable and searchable formats. Toshiba’s Meta Scan technology was also utilised and allows users to scan documents directly into FMB’s electronic client folder through uniquely configured control panels at their multifunctional devices. FMB is delighted with the result and the final word goes to Gill Forrester, who concludes: “Toshiba have done a fantastic job in providing a system that complies with industry legislation and is quick and simple to use. It has made our operation extremely flexible, offers demonstrable benefits and allows staff to access files from any remote location as and when required.” For further information please contact Jeremy Spencer at Toshiba on Tel: 01932 580100, E: Jeremy. or visit


WRITE OF PASSAGE The office writing implement stretches far and beyond the basic biro and, as a salesperson, it is important to make sure you are maximising the opportunity to meet your customer’s needs. George Carey looks at the state of the market and some of the innovative new designs available


MARCH 2012

We are constantly told that a paperless office is the future, but what does this mean for the humble pen, and is it already affecting

on a device, select the required programme or format and eventually write a report or send a message, when it’s often more straightforward

sales? There is probably little doubt that the development and proliferation of tablets and other electronic devices will have some impact on the writing instruments sector. However, such equipment is yet to have a real effect on sales of pens in the office products channel. It is not always practical to switch

to reach for a pen and write a quick note. There also remains a certain charm about picking up a pen. “A pen is not just a pen, there are pens and there are pens,” says Henry Abrahamiam, international sales manager for Kores. For example, some pen makers offer lifetime


guarantees on the mechanism of their writing instruments. “It takes time to develop all aspects of a quality pen rather just mass production,” he adds. “Therefore the consumer will always enjoy holding and using a quality writing instrument.” TRENDS In these austere and eco-conscious times (see Dealer Support p60), it seems that consumers are looking to cut down on material and capital waste by investing in products with longevity. Wendy Vickery, marketing manager of Pentel, said: “While consumers are seeking brands at bargain prices and the market is certainly the most competitive it’s ever been, buyers are also looking for value for money. This can mean longer lasting or refillable products. She has seen sales of Pentel’s refillable pens increase and demand for refills growing in some areas, particularly from dealers with an online sales platform. “Added value offers are also providing additional incentive to purchase and promotions give focus for dealer staff,” Vickery adds. This is a view shared by Benoît Marotte, deputy general manager of stationery for Bic when he spoke to OPI this year: “Consumers are attracted by promotions and are actively seeking good deals. The general consensus, or perhaps the way of thinking, for customers is ‘I don’t want to get it wrong’. Therefore they are seeking reliable products that are built to last. I believe that this will be a long-term trend; it won’t go away any time soon.” DIFFERENT STROKES Here at USP HQ the office has gone mad for erasable rollerball pens, which offer the novelty of erasable ink and the practicality of saving on paper. Four colour pens have also proved to be very useful. Marker pens are still very much in demand with whiteboards and flip charts still part of the warp and weft of many offices. There is a huge variety of styles, colours and tip sizes available for use on paper, card, metal, plastic and glass, while dry wipe markers with clean-erase ink and vivid colours ensure stand-out in the conference or classroom. Permanent markers have also proven to be extremely popular, thanks to a recent bout of television advertising.

Biros and rollerball sales could experience the biggest changes, with a shift towards consumers wanting refillable pens or biodegradable pens to cut down on waste. Refillable roller ball pens with ink level indicators have proven particularly popular with offices nationwide. Biodegradable pens look set to be more popular as businesses become increasingly eco-conscious and an excellent example is the corn starch ball pens on the market, which take only around 12 months to biodegrade in soil or compost. Fountain pens have seen a makeover of late. If customers are looking for a pen that might be a bit more at home in the boardroom, then they may be interested in pens that combine the look of a fountain pen with an easy and clean refill system, which is altogether more convenient than its predecessor. With the huge range of white label products on the market, it seems more important than ever for dealers to communicate the added quality and reliability that the leading brands can provide. Vickery appreciates that manufacturers must do their part in delivering this message as well. “Arguably, branding is more important than ever, as the market is saturated with a bewildering choice of products for every purpose,” she says. Even though buyers are looking for the best prices possible the expectation of quality hasn’t diminished. This generally favours the brands that have invested over the years in creating products of superior performance and reliability. In a market with so much competition and pressure on pricing, ensuring brands stand out on shelves and in catalogues is vital.

While consumers are seeking brands at bargain prices and the market is certainly the most competitive it’s ever been, buyers are also looking for value for money MARCH 2012






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SALES MOTIVATION Not achieving success is often blamed on failing at something, but generally it’s because the goal was not clearly defined in the first place. Sales psychologist Bryan McCrae explains why having the right attitude can make all the difference A recent survey of salespeople around the globe discovered that what many of them want, but rarely get, is effective coaching from their managers, with over 70% quoting this as one of their top three concerns. Why? There is ample evidence that a combination of goal-setting supported by coaching is the best way to achieve success, which in the current climate could be the difference between success or failure for many companies. WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR 2012? In order to achieve, you need to have the right attitude. Not achieving success is often blamed on failing at something, but generally


MARCH 2012

it’s because the goal was not defined clearly in the first place, you had no plan about how you were going to do it or that you weren’t really motivated enough. We need to look at the big picture, take time to set clear goals and write down the top three. By choosing our three key goals we can really focus rather than having a long list on which we make little or no progress. Take some thinking time over the next day or two to really consider what things you would like to achieve, then write down your top three. Once you’ve set your goals, you need a plan to achieve them. Wanting to achieve isn’t enough, you need to develop a step by step plan to achieve your goals. Next, the goal is often too vague. If your goal is to ‘lose weight’ or ‘sell more’, then you are going to struggle. How much weight? One gram or 20 kilogrammes? Sell one pound more or £1m more?


You need to set yourself a very specific goal so that you can track your progress against it and know when it has been achieved. We often describe goals such as weight loss, in terms of giving up something rather than obtaining something that we want. Saying that I’m going to give up eating chocolate or give up long lunch breaks doesn’t work, because we’re not giving ourselves any incentive to give up something that we like. You need to change your mindset, translate these into things that you want, such as: “I’m going to reduce my waist by 5cm and fit into those

connections between what we think, how we feel and how that influences how we behave. In fact, these factors all work with each other, in complicated ways, all of the time, and often without us having any awareness that it is happening.

jeans I love” or “I’m going to leave my work at the office every evening so I can spend more time doing things I enjoy, such as painting”. Describe your goals using positive language. We sometimes just give up too easily. If these goals were easy, we would have done them years ago. Adopt the mindset that says: “I’m not going to give up at the first hurdle; this is going to be the year that I do things differently and succeed.”

study has shown that these techniques, when applied in a large sales force, achieved a 20% increase in salespeople on or above target, a reduction in resignations of a factor of three and significant reductions in stress levels. When you consider how long it takes and how much it costs to recruit a high performance salesperson, then the reduction in resignations alone can make this worthwhile. Previously, these techniques have only been used successfully in business through traditional training and face-to-face coaching. Although very effective, delivered like this, it can be expensive, difficult to organise and disruptive to normal selling activities.

EFFECTIVE COACHING Once you’ve set your goals, you need to get the support or coaching to help you achieve them. Coaching in the workplace can sometimes be difficult to justify, particularly in the current climate. The reasons are often a combination of lack of time, skills or resources within management, or sometime even a lack of desire to coach. So, is it possible to provide coaching to boost motivation and performance while also reducing costs? It may seem like these are conflicting requirements, but there is now an approach that can address all three simultaneously, based on the most sophisticated technology available discovered so far in the universe, which you already have, but you are probably using just a fraction of its capabilities. PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS That technology is the grey stuff between your ears – the human brain. Business psychologists are rapidly gaining an understanding of what can be done with it through use of some advanced proven psychological techniques to help people perform better. These techniques are focused on the

POSITIVE PERFORMANCE These proven techniques can be used to take positive steps to make changes in what we think and how we think, to bring about more helpful feelings and behaviour, which leads to greater motivation, less stress and improved performance. A recent published

SUCCESS THROUGH SEAMLESS DELIVERY However, psychologists have managed to translate these techniques to be delivered successfully through technology-based platforms, such as e-learning, to achieve at least the same levels of success as the traditional methods. This approach can be implemented to integrate seamlessly with the salesperson’s normal selling activities over a period of a few weeks, leading to long-lasting, more effective habits and strategies for dealing with the stressful situations that are common in sales roles. Perhaps it is time to investigate how to get the best from that lump of grey stuff between our ears. Bryan McCrae is a sales psychologist and MD of Sales Motivations


Business psychologists are rapidly gaining an understanding of what can be done with the brain through use of advanced proven psychological techniques to help people perform better



SALESPERSON OF THE YEAR AW USP’s Salesperson of the Year Award returns. The first nominee for 2012’s SPOTYA competition comes from Olympus in the shape of Nick Seaman, senior account manager – major accounts at distributor Midwich SPONSOR: OLYMPUS

USP’s Salesperson of the Year Award is sponsored by:

Olympus is a leading manufacturer of dictation products, offering business solutions for all requirements. Today, everything needs to be efficient and digital dictation is an effective upgrade to bring workflow, transparency and cost benefits. Understanding customers’ needs and delivering exceptional quality and service is vital to success; Olympus delivers reliable products developed for specific applications – its training and education ensures a complete service. Olympus values its dealers and work together with them to maximise results.


Nick is a highly dedicated account manager showing a great working knowledge of day-to-day requirements, as well as a great commercial understanding. For Olympus’s specific business model, we need to react quickly to run rates and large tender business; this is a distinct mindset that Nick has shown a great flexibility for. It’s also glowing recommendations from our dealers that has led us to nominate Nick for this award. USP

MARCH 2012




WARD 2012 Tell us about your background. I studied biology at Bath University and ‘fell’ into working at Midwich as a sales admin temp. Shortly after I was asked to stay on permanently and subsequently have worked my way up within the sales teams, having been with the company for nine years. I now look after resellers in the DMR [digital media recorder] sector, which is a role I really enjoy. Outside of work I’m a proud husband and father and selfconfessed petrol head! Can you describe your role? I manage our three largest accounts on an internal and external hybrid basis, being responsible for the overall ownership of the sales out process. I am supported by two excellent internal sales admin staff. Why are you in sales? I get a real satisfaction with growing numbers, both revenue and in the spread of sales across our portfolio of technologies. Being part of the process, influencing the purchasing decision is a real buzz – it’s a great feeling when I suggest a solution for an enquiry where the customer’s initial product request wasn’t the best option. Knowing you’ve affected the choice of kit and given them a superior selection is fantastic.

“We are pleased to take this opportunity to thank all our dealers for their hard work. Olympus supports the SPOTYA awards as an avenue to show our appreciation and acknowledge individual salespeople for their dedication.” Tim Crosthwaite, key account manager – consumer audio, Olympus

What’s your best achievement in this job? In December I won the Midwich internal sales recognition prize. It’s an award for excellence in a number of KPIs and one that is particularly hard for account managers with established client bases to win. What’s your best piece of sales advice? Do the simple things well and look after the basic sales processes with meticulous detail. Describe how you feel about the nomination. I was surprised and honoured when I received the nomination. I’m a person who likes to get their head down and get the job done, so being recognised is a real commendation. Why do you believe you should win this award? My job is one where I have to spin a lot of plates and manage many vendors and

technology areas. However, I aim to give time and attention to all of our partners, as exemplified by the fact I’ve grown the Olympus professional voice recorder business into our major accounts year on year on year. This award would be a massive accolade and one which would act as a springboard for future sales focus both within my team but also the wider Midwich sales force.

VITAL STATS NAME: Nick Seaman TITLE: Senior account manager –

major accounts

COMPANY: Midwich

MARCH 2012




The best way to spend your free time and money



21 JUMP STREET As a wise man once said: “Stick to what you know.” Jonah Hill clearly subscribes to that school of thought because yet again he’s starring in a teen comedy. A reimagining of the hit 80s TV show, 21 Jump Street sees Hill and Channing Tatum heading back to school to fight crime. Jenko (Tatum) and Schmidt (Hill) couldn’t have been more different in high school. Jenko was the popular jock and Schmidt was the invisible nerd with braces and a strange obsession with Eminem. When their paths cross at the police academy, they strike up an unlikely friendship, with Jenko benefiting from Schmidt’s brains and Schmidt hiding behind Jenko’s braun. However, when they bumble their way through their first arrest, they are relegated to the 21 Jump Street programme, where they must infiltrate a high school, posing as students, to bring down the supplier of a new synthetic drug. I’d be lying if I said that this is a particularly unpredictable or clever film, but let’s be honest, that’s not what it’s there for. It’s good unclean fun from start to finish and has a great supporting cast, including Ice Cube as the hapless pair’s police captain. Released 16 March

GOOD RECORD BREAKER Chinese stuntman Li Hongxiao has broken a world record by successfully balancing 23 benches on his teeth (the previous record was 14), holding the unusual load for 11 seconds. With each bench one metre long, 45cm high and weighing in at three kilos, the combined weight stood at a whopping 69kg – almost as much as his 75kg body weight.




DUFF BEER Ever wished that you could drink like the world’s favourite four-fingered yellow dad? Well, now you can with the UK release of Duff Beer. Described as a German Pilsner that delivers a crisp refreshing taste, it’s reasonably priced too, so it won’t cost you too much D’oh!

Port Of Morrow is The Shins’s first new material in four years and this glorious record is a timely reminder of how to craft good, old, solid indie rock, built on smart storytelling and melodies that head straight for the heart. The band has seen a few personnel changes since the last album but its lost none of the magic. Standout tracks include the beautiful opener The Rifle’s Spiral and the thundering drum-led epic Simple Song.



MARCH 2012

ANTI-HEALTH FOOD The award for the most ironic injury goes to a man who suffered a cardiac episode while eating a ‘triple bypass burger’. The burger is available at the aptly named Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, which, among other things, offers flatliner fries and free meals to patrons over 350lbs. Let’s hope he had the recovery roulade for dessert.



















USP March 2012  

USP March 12

USP March 2012  

USP March 12