For OCS sales success in 2022 – focus on these five resolutions

Jan. 26, 2022

I once heard my business partner, Jon Fishman, selling coffee service on a telemarketing call and the prospect said, “There is no way I will change services, I am very happy.”

Fishman’s response, “What if I give you the coffee for free? Would that be of interest to you?”

The prospect said, “If it’s free, I might be interested.” My partner responded, “So you do have an open mind after all!” The prospect laughed out loud and gave him the appointment.

The moral of the story – it doesn’t hurt to be creative and that is one of five New Year’s resolutions for coffee service sales reps – five things you need to focus on in 2022.

Resolution No. 1 – Be creative

Creativity can mean a lot of things. Check out these three quick videos from my b2b Perspective Channel that talk about creative selling:

  1. Taking a side door approach: About how to use accounting to get through to the decision-maker.
  2. Using an unlikely source to get hot leads: Hint – look to your suppliers.
  3. Taking a different route to satisfy clients: It involves taking risks that can pay off.

Another way to be creative is to use content to establish yourself as a thought leader and your company as an innovator. That means posting useful content, not content that celebrates your most recent installation. Refresh your memory by reading this column from January 2021: Operators: why are you bothering to post on LinkedIn?

Resolution No. 2 – Be a storyteller

Storytelling is one sales technique that will set you apart as an elite professional. In case you missed it, I produced three b2b Perspective videos last year on storytelling and in one of those videos, I provided two stories to use specifically in OCS sales. Those videos are:

  1. Storytelling – For Huge Sales Success provides fundamental rules.
  2. Storytelling – Take it to another level discusses the importance of relevance.
  3. Storytelling – Two stories you can use offers actual stories that worked for me in OCS sales.

Resolution No. 3 – Be more prepared then ever

Selling can get hectic. Appointment setting, followed by appointments, followed by proposal meetings and another round of appointments setting. Too often, that busy schedule results in more meetings and less preparation. What does it mean to be prepared?

Before you even call a prospect, use LinkedIn to find out:

  • Where the prospect worked in the past. Have you served them before?
  • What the prospect’s company does. Do you serve similar companies?
  • Does the prospect have any common connections? Names you can drop.

Ask your colleagues if they have any history with the prospect.

Pay special attention to what the prospect said when you were setting the appointment. Did they give you an idea of why they are seeing you to begin with? What is motivating them? Is it price? Is it service? Is it quality? If you have a clue as to why the prospect is opening the door for you, then focus on preparing a presentation that is geared to satisfy that specific client need.

There are many aspects to being prepared and exceptional preparation can be the difference maker.

Resolution No. 4 – Add two more important selling points to the “big three”

The big three selling points of course are price, quality and service, but not necessarily in that particular order. Last month, in this same column and on my b2b Perspective channel, I talked about the new selling point that will take center stage in 2022 – sustainability – because it resonates with Millennials and Generation Z.

There is one more selling point that is becoming increasing important to prospects, not to mention your existing clients. That selling point is safety, and it appeals to all generations and was sprung to the forefront by COVID-19.

Regarding issues pertaining to safety, answer these questions:

  • Are your drivers and techs vaccinated and boosted?
  • Do you require regular employee COVID-19  testing?
  • Are you taking special steps to sanitize at your client’s breakroom areas?
  • Are you taking special steps at your own facility to promote health and safety?
  • Are your employees equipped with the best in masks, gloves and protection equipment?
  • Is your company committed to touch free solutions?

Make sure your prospects and clients are aware of your company’s commitment to safety and sell it.

Resolution No. 5 – Improve your skills with training

Maybe you aren’t aware of this, but the National Automatic Merchandising Association has spent some significant money, close to $100,000, on an online course that is designed to develop elite sales professionals in the convenience services industry. I wrote and produced the content, and a distinguished course development firm was hired to make the program extremely user-friendly.

The course is called “Selling Convenience Services.” Here is a free sample.

There is a sales rep edition and a management edition, both of which are a powerful, comprehensive resource, available to NAMA members for around $300. You can order by using the discount code B2B10 for some special savings.

My question is this: If you are in the business of selling convenience services, how can you pass on taking this course? We have seen rave reviews from those who have taken it. Unfortunately, and inexplicably, the orders have been minimal.

In April at the NAMA Show in Chicago I will be presenting a live version of the course in a special, three-hour preconference session featuring break out groups and plenty of audience involvement. I hope to see you there.

About the Author

Industry consultant and contributor Bob Tullio is a content specialist who advises operators in the convenience services industry on how to build a successful business from the ground up and advises suppliers on how to successfully connect with operators. Tullio’s YouTube channel, b2b Perspective, is designed to “elevate your business in two minutes.” Tullio is currently developing an online course, Leverage the power of LinkedIn to grow your business. Visit to learn more about VMW's contributing editor and his b2b services.

About the Author

Bob Tullio

Since selling his business in January of 2017, Bob Tullio has been an active industry consultant at focused on content creation, strategic planning, sales training and business development. In addition to serving a growing client base, he has written over 50 columns and features, providing operators and others with an inside look at how he helped build a successful business from the ground up.

Phone: 818 261-1758

Email: [email protected]


Coffee Machine Pixabay 3551758 1920

A look back at Bob Tullio’s ‘OCS Operator’ series may prepare you for the year ahead

Dec. 31, 2021
What a year it’s been, and we think 2021 won’t be missed by many in the industry. Unfortunately, as we approach the third year of the coronavirus pandemic, office coffee service...
Bob Tullio Best Of Ocs Banner2
Coffee Service

OCS operators: along with survival, focus on the ‘long game’

Aug. 25, 2021
Just when office coffee service operators thought there was a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, the Delta variant has delivered a gut punch. Once again, the reopening dates...