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Issue Date: Vol. 45, No. 6, June 2005, Posted On: 6/14/2005


Len Rashkin Consulting Offers OCS Sales Training Guide


Tim Sanford
Editor@vendingtimes.net

BELLMORE, NY - Len Rashkin Consulting has published a comprehensive Sales Training Guide for coffee service operations. Available for self-study or presentation as a company training program, the Guide is provided on CD-ROM.

Len Rashkin, an OCS pioneer who helped establish the Eastern Coffee Service Association in the late '60s and the National Coffee Service Association soon thereafter, has distilled almost four decades' experience as an operator, educator and consultant into the Sales Training Guide. Fully indexed, the Guide is suitable for interactive computer presentation, and a comprehensive index to the 185 pages of material simplifies printing sections for use in home study or for topical handouts at training sessions.

The full course of instruction begins with a historical overview of the modern coffee break and the development of professional coffee service as an efficient solution to evolving workplace leads.

Effective selling is critical to OCS success, and Rashkin is well-known on the industry lecture circuit for his insistence that sales personnel must understand the factors that affect profitability in order to be effective. The Guide enumerates the greatest obstacles that a new coffee salesperson must overcome, and explains that understanding both the needs of the prospect and the costs incurred in setting up a new account gives the knowledgeable sales rep "the keys to the vault."

Whatever the product or service, the sales professional must "sell" his or her credibility and the credibility of the company as a necessary first step in gaining and retaining the account. The Guide offers detailed information on accomplishing this, including "Len Rashkin's Credibility Scale" as a handy checklist. This leads into the deployment of product knowledge , features , in relation to client needs (benefits) to build on that credibility, and to reinforce it.

Among Rashkin's recurrent themes is "bridging," the ability to recognize that a client who buys a particular item or items often will be eager to buy other, related items. This perception has underpinned allied-product programs in OCS throughout the industry's history. Today's clients are more interested than ever in single-source refreshment programs, and the Sales Training Guide explores the opportunities for adding pure water service, bottled or filtered, to a coffee service business.

The Guide offers detailed, up-to-the-minute information on today's wide range of brewing and serving equipment, including the strengths, weaknesses and cost factors of each type. The discussion of espresso equipment and its growing popularity in upscale markets leads to an in-depth examination of the opportunities for expanding coffee services from their traditional base in workplaces to a range of prospective foodservice clients, from delicatessens and convenience stores to restaurants.

Other sections of the Guide offer a solid grounding in coffee knowledge, an introduction to "teas of the world," and a discussion of the relative advantages of private label programs and national brands. "Buyers want to deal with informed salespeople," Rashkin emphasizes.

Throughout the Guide, the industry veteran provides detailed advice on understanding and overcoming objections, gauging the prospect's response by means of "trial closes," when and how to use demonstrations, how to conduct effective cold canvassing, and writing winning proposals. This information is recapitulated in a five-page summary, the "winning presentation format."

Information on the services available from Len Rashkin Consulting can be had by calling Rashkin at (516) 804-0221, fax (516) 783-0976, or visiting his website at http://www.lenrashkinconsulting.com.

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