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, vending and micro market operators will start the new year with same confusion and uncertainty they faced at the start of 2021.

Through it all, the industry remained resilient and innovative, and VendingMarketWatch.com and Automatic Merchandiser are proud to have been able to share news, stories and insights with our readers – and we had a prolific year.

After reflecting on the closing year, and the new challenges that will begin on Jan. 3, we thought of the abundant contribution from our colleague Bob Tullio, whose published insights are as relevant now as they were 12 months ago. In particular, Tullio’s “OCS Operator” series, comprising 14 articles in 2021, might be even more relevant in the new year.

We’re happy to put them in one place here, and we encourage readers to have another look.

Jan. 21: For OCS sales success, try this direction in 2021

Anyone who has sold convenience services, specifically coffee service, knows the importance of seeing things from the prospect’s perspective. Unfortunately, repetitive selling habits can lock a sales rep into a state of tunnel vision, greatly diminishing performance and results. How do we break away from selling patterns that are comfortable, but often unproductive? | FIND OUT HOW 

Jan. 27: Why are you bothering to post on LinkedIn?

Coffee service is exciting. People get emotionally attached to their coffee and much like wine, many end users, prospects and clients consider themselves “aficionados.” These factors are a real plus when it comes to posting content on LinkedIn and other social media. There is so much potential to promote engagement with the target audience | FULL ARTICLE

Feb. 16: Be more than a ‘talking head’ on LinkedIn

Using video on social media is a great idea for anyone in the b2b world, including office coffee service operators. The content potential is virtually endless. However, producing a video to deliver a message or promote engagement on LinkedIn or Facebook requires more than just switching your smartphone into video mode. Unfortunately, our social media feeds have been invaded (often by operators and suppliers) by what I call “talking head videos | READ MORE

Feb. 23: Four sales lead strategies on the ‘road less traveled’

Technology and b2b business trends have a way of pointing us toward new lead generating ideas. As a big fan of taking the “road less travelled” to generate sales leads, I am happy to share four fresh ideas that will help operators find new clients | SEE HOW

Mar. 17: Operators weigh in on pandemic-driven technology

About a year ago it became apparent that the global pandemic was going to have a significant impact on the convenience services industry, especially coffee service, as offices suddenly closed. This article on technology is the first of a three-part series that explores the challenges faced by operators around the country, the actions they took, the lessons they learned, how their business practices will change and their outlook for the future | CHECK IT OUT

Mar. 24: Operators share lessons learned from the pandemic 

The year 2020 was defined by words that took on new meaning for all of us. Zoom, essential, remote, social distance, pivot, flatten the curve and mask, among others, became part of the operator’s new vocabulary – operators who are navigating uncharted waters. This is the second in a three-part article series | READ MORE

Apr. 20: A mixed forecast as operators predict the future

Here is the good news: The workforce is returning to the office and this time it is for real. By the way, there is no bad news in all of this. Operators are finally hearing from clients about when they will return to the office. This is the final article in a three-part series | VISIT HERE

May 15: Key strategies for the new office coffee service landscape 

On May 11, I presented a webinar for NAMA called “Selling OCS,” where I discussed five risk factors that exist in the new office coffee service landscape. If we fail to overcome these negative developments, OCS will become commoditized at a new level – one that gives the upper hand to Amazon, Costco and other delivery alternatives | CLICK HERE

Jun. 24: A prescription for getting employees back to the office

Over the past four weeks, I have spoken to several operators and facility managers to get a handle on the direction of the workplace. Opinions vary and one new catchphrase has emerged when referring to the percentage of employees who will ultimately return to the office: 70% is the new 100% | READ MORE

Jul. 20: On August 17, five things will happen in New Orleans

An article in last week’s Wall Street Journal, titled “The Pay Is High and Jobs Are Plentiful, but Few Want to Go into Sales,” dealt with the discomfort that many people feel about a career in sales. I have been thinking about this a lot | SEE MORE

Aug. 8: OCS operators: along with survival, focus on the ‘long game’

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 are off, as Sep. 1 has turned out to be a false promise. Besides survival, what should operators be focusing on? | LEARN TO PLAY THE LONG GAME

Sep. 22: Beyond the numbers, why The NAMA Show was an incredible display

Despite a gloomy backdrop, my takeaway from the NAMA Show was overwhelmingly positive. Keep in mind, this outlook comes from a guy who spent three hours presenting to six people in a room that was set up for 200. My optimism was driven by two factors | CONTINUE

Oct. 5: Why I finally fired my gardener: a lesson for OCS operators

After years of mediocrity, I finally fired my gardening service, “Blow and Go.” I do not know why it took me so long, but when I think back to my days of selling office coffee service, I remember how frustrated I became when a facility manager made me wait endlessly to install my equipment, even though the location was suffering from an underperforming operator. I would want to scream, “Just make the call!” | GO HERE 

Nov. 2: A true OCS story – I am not making this stuff up

Over the past two years, I have been beating the drum for storytelling as a business development tool. I have conducted webinars, spoken at conventions and recently posted a three-part storytelling video series on my b2b Perspective Channel, because I believe that storytelling is a powerful and useful skill | CLICK HERE

Dec. 14: A key selling point moves to center stage in 2022

Baby Boomers pretend to be motivated by it, Gen X is certainly interested in it, but, in reality, the Millennials and Gen Z are truly driven by one new and important selling point that is moving up to center stage in 2022 | READ MORE


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