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Ordinary people achieve extraordinary results This selling course was extraordinary. My job is to sell subscription of financial review. I have always performed well at my job, but now, one month after the sales training, I have fulfilled my sales plan by 150%. This is superb! Thank you! Galina Normak, Senior sales consultant, Estonian business daily Äripäev

Spring-summer 2008

TNT successfully competes with Europe’s best companies

and found out all the hot spots. We were astounded at how the consultants could pin point our works specifics so quickly and when conducting the training could talk like our own customer service people. We never had had anything like that before – all the previous training providers had given examples about how to sell cookies or how to do business in the hospitality industry. Never before had anybody taken any real life examples from our own company. That was awesome! It is very important that the consultant can identify him or herself with the audience and understand the specifics of the company’s work area. All the trainings were built on our very own problems, our cases”.

“The very first feed-back from our customer service was unbelievably good,” recalls Katrin Alujev, TNT’s personnel director, the impact of Vain & Partners training sessions to the whole company.


NT is the leading provider of business-to-business express delivery services. In 2002 TNT Estonia was the first Estonian company to be awarded with the Investors in People certificate, a standard that focuses employers attention to their employees. In 2003 TNT Estonia was awarded with the Quality Award. And a year later the pan-European survey “Best Employers – Best Results” placed TNT Estonia as the most attractive employer in Europe. At Vain & Partners, we have been at the heart of TNT’s training needs and it shows!

Created company ideology Vain & Partners has been TNT’s training partner for years. Katrin Alujev, TNT’s personnel director: “It is important that the training partner understands our values and that our problems matter to them. When Vain & Partners started to build up management trainings for TNT Estonia, we realised that our company did not have local company ideology – no values, no goals, no mission or vision – nothing to follow, nothing to deliv-

Sincere wish to help

TNT invests into its personnel development.

er to our personnel and to our customers and co-operation partners. So, we started with that. After that Vain & Partners conducted a number of interviews with our management, found out their strengths and weaknesses. Based on that Vain & Partners tailored management training and development programmes for TNT Estonia”.

Asko Talu, the ex executive director of TNT maintained that a “satisfied client will always come back to us. That gives us the opportunity to de-

Important “field” work

velop hand-in-hand with our customers.” The company continued to invest into its personnel develop-

It has always been TNT’s policy to invest into employee development.

Vain & Partners has taught us to think big Vain & Partners have taught us to set high goals, think big and learn to succeed. Succesfully.

Tiina Drui consultant


t all started nearly ten years ago. In May 1999 Olympic Casino top management took part in Vain & Partners team leading seminar the Leadership of a Winning Team. This event was the start of a lengthy partnership between the two companies and lay the foundation for Olym-

pic Casino’s systematic, long-term personnel development with the help of Vain & Partners. The relationship has contributed to achieving ambitious goals of Olympic Casino Group. It became a good tradition that all OEG executives attended the Leadership seminars. From there on our relationship with Vain & Partners developed naturally – Vain & Partners’ customised trainings tailored for the needs and expectations of OEG were carried out not only for Estonian but

“All the trainings were built on our very own problems, our cases” Katrin Alujev

in Latvian and Lithuanian staff. Many OEG managers attended the Coaching for Influence seminar taking the know-how and ideology from the classroom back to in-house company trainings. The reason why Olympic has looked for the development support from Vain & Partners are the values that both companies share: concentration on results, constant development and pursuit for improvement and people’s individual development. At the beginning of our relationship Olympic Casino was an Estonian company with 300 employees. Today we work in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Ukraine, Belorussia, Romania and Slovakia with personnel reaching 3000.

Tiina Drui was Olympic Entertainment Group personnel development director in 1998-2005

ment. And so grew the partnership between TNT and Vain & Partners. Vain & Partners have been consulting and training TNT staff at every level – from the customer service to the top management. It is good to have the same training partner for years. The consultant understands the partner’s essence, trait of characters and work specifics. Katrin Alujev: “The prior training “field” work was very thorough – Vain & Partners consultants hit the very nerve centre in the customer service

Over the years Vain & Partners have tailored and developed new trainings, new modules and topics have been added to the portfolio. The portfolio has evolved with the customers’ needs and together with changes in the marketplace. Katrin Alujev: “Our co-operation with Vain & Partners has been so lengthy because both companies have been developing very rapidly and there is always something new to learn. The things that have made the partnership possible and fruitful are the fact that the trainings are tailored especially according to our needs and the attitude of the consultants – you can see and feel the sincere wish to help.”


e in llenc Exce tive Selling


a nsult • Co il Sales e phon ta mers • Re s By Tele s Custo le • Sale nced Sa and Key a l v e a d c en • A s to Loy ales. ond out s w ab • Sale g with C o n k in d to • Sell ante ver w ou e tners y ll A r & Pa Vain

Ordinary people acieve extraordinary results

Leading experts value Vain & Partners’ work

Our people took part in Vain & Partners sales seminar and it was fabulous. Everyone came back starry-eyed and with lots of new ideas.

Vain & Partners will help you to set the direction on that road and will let your own energy work for you about the existence of which you may not even be aware of yet.”

Ritta Roosaar, Sales Manager, A&G Toitlustuse AS

Only the boldest will survive Only the boldest will survive in today’s economic downturn and arise stronger than before. Their future success will be based on their courage to question their existing business model, willingness to radically review and redesign their ways of doing business and, of course, passionately improving the quality of their human capital. International expansion might not seem to be the best idea in the prevailing economic climate. We have seen industries hurt by the disappearance of purchasing power, high inflation and galloping salary costs. A lot of companies have reduced or are thinking of cutting their marketing, training and development budgets, trying to keep hold of their historical business models. Vain & Partners has been helping customers to solve their sales and management related problems and increasing the value of their human capital since 1997. We have grown from a small firm with few employees to a leading PanBaltic sales and management training and consultancy company. Our organic growth has been based on our customers, both businesswise as well as geographically, on training their people and adding value to their businesses in almost every East-European country. Our international work has grown to the extent that we have decided to set up our first foreign subsidiaries. Vain & Partners’ Latvian subsidiary will open in the fall of 2008. A Lithuanian subsidiary will follow in the 1st half of 2009. Navigation through the stormy seas of change has never been easy. Unknown territories, hidden underwater rocks, aggressive enemies, discouraged crew – any one of them can rip the confidence in the selected course and speed of change. Having a team of experienced change pilots onboard will ensure the course is right, the ride is smooth and the value of your change investments is maximised. Vain & Partners has a reputation of helping their customers in achieving extraordinary results. The time for a real change is now! Invite us to be your pilots! Loit Linnupõld CEO

Helma Purvinska, Parex Banka Personnel development manager

A frog wants to get out of the pond Of course one cannot jump over one’s shadow and the vision of the future cannot disappear into open space. However, if you are a large company in the Estonian or Baltic context, employing more than twenty or thirty people, then why should the state border be the border of your business operations as well? The other counterargument – what growth are we talking about in times of economic recession – belongs to the repertoire of victim mentality. Executives cannot personally affect economic trends, but they can concentrate on their business. And if the recession takes its part of business turnover, isn’t it time to reconsider your goals, in order to be able to make more money during the upcoming growth period and be less affected by the next downward trend?

Raimo Ülavere consultant


et’s call him Anders. Anders was a frog. Let’s say he was a small leaf frog. Just like hundreds of his kind, Anders lived in the countryside, in a pond behind a schoolhouse. Sometimes some of his fellow pond-dwellers mysteriously disappeared (the school teaches zoology among other things), but generally life in the pond was peaceful and there was enough mud for everyone. One day Anders got an urge to go somewhere else, to discover and explore other ponds. His friends laughed at his plans and Anders felt very ashamed. After a couple of years he died. The pond dried up. Sad story. No punch-line either.

Be ambitious When I surfed the web sites of Estonian companies, the following picture emerged: of the companies listed in the Äripäev TOP 100 only 25% have set a goal of becoming the largest in their respective fields, and the best in the Baltic/Nordic countries. However, there’s no mention of Europe, let alone the world. And we’re talking about the créme de la créme of Estonian economy. Lack of ambition results in poor growth. And what happens when there’s no growth? In other words it’s just a matter of time, before a company, at least in this form, ceases to exist. Each company, each organisation is like a person, who wants to grow. In a more general sense a company is no more than an abstract formation for the purposes of organising a group of people and enabling them to grow together.

Generally the main reason for leaving a company is the manager. Or so they say. Is the reason really always that simple? Isn’t the real reason, the so-called reason behind the reason, that people don’t see any more possibilities for growth. Yes, the manager’s primary job is to help the employee see and use his/her potential. If the company’s ambition is non-existent, then why should an ordinary middle manager suddenly rave about setting high goals? „Try to put up with it for a little longer. I plan to leave soon myself,” would be a more positive message in these circumstances.

Have vision I really like ex-decathlon athlete Erki Nool. As an athlete, and as an Olympic champion. As his contemporary I know some people who on suitable moments, at the end of some formal event, have reminded others that they once beat him. Nool, however, was very different from his

schoolmates in one aspect – he had ambition. And it wasn’t modest. This ambition released his potential and resulted in Olympic victory. There are not enough people like Erki Nool in Baltic businesses. There are too few managers who would dare to grab a pen and paper and gather their key people around them and write together: „In On their death beds 10

people don’t regret what they did, but the things they didn’t do.

years our company will be the largest in the Baltic and Nordic countries... the most successful company in Europe... the best in the world...“ The future visions of many Baltic companies (if they have them at all) still linger on improving the quality of their services or customer relations. Does this vision of the future induce people to make a greater effort or join these companies?

Stand out However, you shouldn’t doubt or have any illusions. People will laugh, if the goal you have set yourself exhibits any signs of ambition. The largest in the world, the best in Europe, ha-ha-ha... You can be certain that you are on the right track! Because you stand out from the crowd, and your ambition will generate followers. And you will never be bored. On their death beds people don’t regret what they did, but the things they didn’t do. Setting new and ambitious goals may seem a little difficult and achieving these goals seems impossible? Maybe. Take a piece of paper and put down nine dots in a square, three in each row. Now connect the dots with four continuous lines. And then with three lines, two lines? How about one? See, it wasn’t that hard, was it?

Smart leaders make businesses thrive At Vain & Partners we know that leadership cannot be taught, but it can be learned


conomic, technological, social and environmental factors compel organisations to look for ways of increasing productivity, improving quality, maximizing profits and finding new opportunities in a competitive market. In this dynamic world, a successful organisation is one that is effectively managed. When managed smartly, the result is a setting where workers earn a lot, managers receive prizes and captains of industry build business empires. The 21st century management term

is teamwork. Team working is essential in all organisations. Whether you are a work team, a management team, a project team or a committee, it is vital that the team works effectively from the start. Quality teamwork, at any level, requires good leadership. But what does it take to become a leader who can truly motivate and inspire? The key is a leadership style that empowers and motivates team members. A leader can develop the strengths of team members to enable them to fulfil their potential, a leader can recognise the levels of team development and identify action to improve work processes, a true leader continually seeks to develop the skills of team members for the benefit of the team as

a whole, a leader is master in creating an open and positive working climate that is achievement oriented. At Vain & Partners we know that leadership cannot be taught, but it can be learned. We can help our clients to create a thriving environment which enables the development of great leaders. We have the tools to empower your team leaders with the skills to create synergy and develop high performance, generating maximum commitment to organisational and team goals. Vain & Partner Management School has a considerable experience in advising how to set up team purpose, structures, processes and dynamics, we can help teams that have lost their way, run into turbulence, or

Vain & Partners Management School: •Coaching for Influence •Development of a Winning Team •Leadership of a Winning Team

simply want to move on. We can help you to understand how to motivate workforce toward a mutually desired cause, creating an atmosphere where individuals from diverse interests are encouraged to work together in pursuit of common mission.

Athletes gain confidence that helps them win

Athletes gain confidence that helps them win

Methods that Peep Vain uses for helping people to achieve their goals are super cool! They increase clarity of mind, give energy and raise confidence.

After completing ’Learning to Succeed’ I felt that if someone attached handles to the Earth, I would certainly be able to lift it.

Kristina Šmigun, double Olympic Gold Medal Winner

Mati Alaver, Head Coach of Estonian National Ski Team

Where there’s a will there’s a way Urmas Purde, consultant and partner

Have you ever thought why some changes in a company are very difficult to make happen, if at all? Even if people seem to be properly trained for changes and the processes are well thought through?


ne of the most common reasons is people’s lack of will to make contribution in making the changes happen. As most of the trainings are confined to offering knowledge or, in good cases, training skills, it really does not make any difference. For example, when the managers want the sales team to make more “cold” calls (call new prospects), then teaching the team prospecting skills does not break the salesperson inner preference to stay in his comfort zone and deal with the existing and familiar clients. So, it is not what anybody knows or is able to. It is always about how much the change is wanted. This is the most widely missing component to make changes happen.

Train to change culture The will to change expects you to give up what you have. Giving up is impossible when people do not believe that something better is replacing the old. If the change compromises with the peace of mind, then the chances to make any change without big losses are marginal. If the change can be seen as a tool to increase overall well-being, then accomplishing the change can-

not be stopped by anything. A very good training does not give people just skills but changes their willingness to go along with changes. For example, if change is about involving more responsibility, then the training has to show the benefits of increased responsibility. There is one thing that influences person’s will in a long-term even more than the best training programme in the world. It is company culture, or reasons that the person encounters and experiences in order to make the change. Company culture has the most direct influence on the occupational will. If the person, just out of the training, experiences that the new level he acquired in the training is not essential to perform at work, that the meetings and the managers are the same as before and the change is just an attempt to make people to work more, then the newly gained enthusiasm is quick to disappear. In worst case scenario the person who finds enough strength in himself will leave for where he believes that he and his will belong.

Demand deep and complete solutions Company culture describes how and why the real work is done. Company culture calls the strategy into


nd by


ta Hesi tion Will Tools

Motion Will Culture


Tools, will and company culture are the essence for change and growth of the company.

Selling has become tricky


t is not as easy as it used to be. The competition increases worldwide, the number and variety of sales channels continue to grow. New technologies give organisations more information about market and products than ever before, highly competitive market and increased price pressure is making sales more difficult to manage and execute. Not to mention the current economic downturn – increasing inflation has made the purchasing power to plummet and consumers think twice before digging into their pockets. It is not as easy as it used to be. Key account management, presales, after sales, tele-sales and customer service - the different func-

tions of selling have to work hand-in-hand in order to satisfy ever growing customer needs and demands. Long-term added value for the customer is the key to success in selling. And, above all, the right attitude toward sales work. We at Vain and Partners have the expertise to help our clients to optimise their sales efficiency. We can restructure sales, improve competence and implement excellent performance of our clients’ sales forces. Vain & Partners Sales Academy is the tool to quickly fix company’s growth and profitability. Sales Academy concentrates on selling: building long-term partnerships with customers, understanding customer priori-

Vain & Partners Sales Academy: •Consultative Sales •Retail Sales •Telephone Sales •Sales to Loyal and Key Customers •Advanced Sales •Selling with Confidence

ties, creating right attitudes, improving the skills and know-how of the sales force. We believe that in order to improve results you have to be more effective and efficient.

existence. Strategy is real only when the employees feel that they are working with the help of competitive advantage. Strategy for employees is a knowledge based feeling of competitive advantages. This correlation makes the understanding of and the attitude toward the competitive advantage part of the company culture. In short, stereotyped approach to changes like creating new processes (knowledge), consulting (knowledge) and common training (skills) are not enough as they do not influence person’s will or the company culture. Although the tools are essential, they are not as important as the will to use them. If people see that there is a lot to win, the neglected knowledge may be implemented by itself - where there’s a will there’s a way! There is a very good reason to be very demanding and choosy about your training partner – it has to help the company with the creation of three components: (1) tools (knowledge and skills), (2) will (attitude and way of thinking) and (3) culture (management, management processes, teamwork, values and the way of working). Helping organisations in those three areas has made Vain & Partners the wanted partner not only to educate people but also to nurture companies.

Improvement will continue after training is done Kaur Hanson, consultant The world has changed. Lifelong learning has become the new standard of education. If you want to remain competitive on the job market, you have to keep improving both professionally and personally. Vain & Partners is addressing this new kind of demand. Our aim is to introduce development programs that could provide gradual improvement over many years, at a pace suitable for each individual and with flexible customization options. The first step to this direction is to prolong the effect of each training. Technology will come in handy here. Studies say that within two weeks people forget 80% of the information they obtain. After three weeks, 95% is gone. These numbers can be turned by reminding the participants of the course material every few weeks. But the maximum effect will be achieved if we get people to solve practical tasks. In Vain & Partners’ e-learning environment, the participants will be able to read additional course materials, work with audio and video trainings, take individual or group tests and discuss their tasks and problems with other participants. Individual progress can be monitored via evaluation and benchmarking tools, which are also made available to our customers to assess their employees, as well as keep track of their progress. If the person will see a long, integral and meaningful path of development ahead, his motivation to keep improving will be much higher. Every employer will be happy with self-motivated employees who have a clear vision of their own personal development.

Managers profitably invest in their people

Leading experts value Vain & Partners’ work

‘’After participating the seminar we doubled our company’s turnover in 6 months, and that increased our income more than 100%.’’

Vain & Partners seminars are dynamic, thought provoking and entertaining. Their training approach challenges audiences to encourage creative and innovative thinking.

Marika & Tauri Tallermaa, GNLD Estonia

Daniel Maly, Microsoft Regional Education Programs Manager

The learning company and the learning people Ilze Kloka, Sales Manager, Vain & Partners Latvia

The 21st century trend is to have clear development and training programmes to ensure constant growth.


ompanies compete with each other all the time. Today the society and businesses live in an environment of endless changes and development. Constant pressure to be competitive puts the companies into position to find ways to be smarter and more successful. What is the best strategy? There are two ways: making strategic changes in the personnel through sustainable training; or smart recruitment. But what strategy is the best? Whether to train your own people or to constantly recruit new, already competent people who have been trained at their previous job or have got their education through formal educational system? Compared to the 1990s the com-

panies today are more likely to look into the future. In recent years many companies in the Baltic’s have understood the importance of positive and motivated personnel and are willing to invest into it. Often these companies are the ones where extensive changes have taken place (expansion, merger, organisational or structural changes) or companies that are innovative (they have improved technology, introduced new products). Having a clear training programme says very much about the company. Compared to International companies and companies in Western Europe the Baltic’s still have a long way to go to. The European trend is to adapt the concepts of the learning company and the self- development of an organisation. Companies have clear personnel development programmes and explicit training programmes to ensure the constant development and avoid standstill. At Vain & Partners, we have built up an exclusive reputation in Estonia and are also known in Latvia and Lithuania. Having adapted the con-

cept of the learning company and the self development we have been offering our knowledge and know-how for 11 years to the most advanced and innovative companies in Estonia mainly focusing on tailored in-house trainings and development programmes on every level from top down. In recent years we have been present also in Latvia and Lithuania. Having worked with the top companies in Latvia and Lithuania like Parex Bank, Hansa Bank, Coca Cola, Oriflame, Olympic Casino and many others we feel that the time is right to move forward and in the second half of 2008 Vain & Partners is coming to stay in Latvia. Lithuania will follow next year. Our goal is to help to make changes happen. We believe that every single person in the company is a valuable asset whose development and trainings ensure the lifelong success of the company in the competitive markets. Ilze Kloka joined Vain & Partners at the beginning of 2008. She is responsible for sales

Vain & Partners consultant Peep Vain explaining the secrets of success.

and marketing in Vain & Partners Latvia.

Upcoming open trainings in Latvia In the 2nd half of 2008 Vain & Partners offers several open courses in sales and management. Consultative Selling “Consultative Selling” is a 3-day sales training course. The aim of the training programme is to help sales people to become well-trained and skilled professionals, able to offer customers the best advice, so that customers will consent to buy. Our programme includes discussing the right attitudes and the details of a sales process, how to direct sales and how to achieve the closing of a sales deal. The course is conducted in Latvian.

Retail Sales “Retail Sales” is a 2-day sales seminar. The aim of the seminar is to learn how to offer more goods to the customer according to the customer’s needs; how to establish good relationships in order to have new contacts in future. The seminar explains various psychological issues, which help to sell expensive and high-quality products and make your store attractive for customers. This training is meant for sales personnel in an environment where customers themselves pay calls. It is suitable for every salesperson needing to understand retail sales process, ir-

September 2008 • Consultative Selling, 3-day course, 599 LVL + VAT • Smart Time, 1-day course, 229 LVL + VAT

October 2008 • Consultative Selling, 3-day course, 599 LVL + VAT • Retail Sales, 2-day course, 399 LVL + VAT • Smart Time, 1-day course, 229 LVL + VAT

November 2008 • Consultative Selling, 3-day course, 599 LVL + VAT • Retail Sales, 2-day course, 399 LVL + VAT • Smart Time, 1-day course, 229 LVL + VAT

December 2008 • Consultative Selling, 3-day course, 599 LVL + VAT • Retail Sales, 2-day course, 399 LVL + VAT • Smart Time, 1-day course, 229 LVL + VAT • Telephone Sales, 399 LVL + VAT • Leadership of a Winning Team, 3-day course, 799 LVL + VAT

respective of the product offered or of their role in that process. The course is conducted in Latvian.

Telephone Sales “Telephone sales” is a 2-day sales seminar with the aim to learn to use a telephone call as a sales tool which helps to conclude sales via telephone converstion. The seminar explaines the particulars of the telephone sales and helps to adopt techniques that ensure the increase of closed sales.

The course is conducted in Latvian.

Leadership of a Winning Team “Leadership of a Winning Team” is a 3-day management seminar with the objective to learn to create a working environment where people would want to commit themselves 100% by doing the right things, in the right way, in the right amount; trying to get the best results using their talents; being motivated by an inner

need to realize their potential. The course is conducted in Latvian.

Smart Time „Smart Time” equals efficiency equals less stress. The 1-day seminar teaches how to manage the increasing info flow and to save your energy in order to save your time. You know where you are situated with your on-going projects, you keep your incoming mail-box under

control, you achieve more in a shorter period and you feel good. Within three months your efficiency has increased by 20%. The number of trainees in a group is usually 20.The seminars are conducted in Latvian exccept “Smart Time”, which is held in English. Seminars are carried out in the forms of short lectures, practical examples, written tasks and brainstorming.




lting onsu nd c ce. a g n n i oach performa ng, c raini mpany’s t n ow co op-d ove you use t r In-ho d to imp re tailo evel. ery l v e t A


Vain & Parners: Pärnu mnt 139C, 11317 Tallinn, ESTONIA; phone: +372 68 18 840, +372 68 18 850; e-mail:;,,; design: Profimeedia; print: Printbest

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