Business Development

Why 8% of sales people get 80% of the sales


Research suggests only one in 50 deals are struck at a first meeting, yet many sales people give up after just one or two knock-backs. Perseverance will give you a major edge on competitors.

You can sometimes be so close to your business that you can miss the simple solutions for growing it, where the greatest opportunities often lie. Solutions that are blindingly obvious, once you’re aware of them – but are amongst the best kept secrets on the planet if you’re not.

For example: Only 2% of sales occur at a first meeting

People in business often hope and expect to do business the first time they meet a prospect. Yet studies reveal that only 2% of sales occur when two parties meet for the first time.

The 2% who buy at a first meeting tend to be people who have already looked into the subject matter, and already know what they’re looking for. If they meet someone who ticks all the right boxes and they get on well, then business may well be transacted. But that is far from the norm. The other 98% will only buy once a certain level of trust has been built up. Continue reading

Even Tasty Emails Can Fall Flat

SOS Email Expert Guidelines: How to Keep Your Tasty Emails From Falling Flat

1. A Unique Selling Proposition

Your email will be more successful if you provide a product or service that nobody else has. Or if you are offering a discounted price point, you’re ahead of the competition.

2. Timing
You’ll do better when you are ahead of the market with products. 
For example selling organic products before organics became popular. Continue reading

Redefining Convenience Stores for the Needs of a New Generation


C-Store of the future? Small footprint specialty convenience-oriented grocers are starting to pop-up and prosper, meeting the needs of Millenials and Gen-Y consumers.

SOS White Paper: SOS Business Development – C-Stores Changing Bad Rap for New Generation

Today’s consumer wants not only the convenience of fresh, prepared meals and healthy packaged foods but
also the ability to pop in and out of a store in mere minutes. Read more about what retailers are doing.

Free Report

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Food Marketing: Clean is the New Green

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Clean is the new green for food labels in 2015 and beyond. According to new Mintel research, food labels are eschewing the terms natural and green for the coming years, instead latching on to a new term that encapsulates more than the environmental sustainability of the ingredients.

The term clean signifies not only a natural and healthful product but one that is also transparent, a new priority among consumers that’s growing across food categories and beyond.

According to Mintel, 22 percent of U.S. grocery shoppers want product packaging to help them more easily identify healthier food products.

Nutritionist Joy Bauer, of “Today Show” fame, called out “clean” as the trend for the near future, noting a consumer shift toward wholesome foods, and away from diet foods, when it comes to maintaining and improving their health.

Clean may, in fact, encompass many of the claims consumers seek. “No additives” is the current top claim added to new products launched globally, which suggests consumers are, indeed, looking for less-processed products. Food origin is quickly becoming a leading purchase factor, according to Mintel, and 35 percent of consumers seek out products with a local claim that allows them to learn more about the provenance of ingredients.

“Simply and effectively communicating benefits is essential for consumers and a big trend this year,” said Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight at Mintel. “Brands should look to educate consumers and help them understand why certain ingredients are in products and the purpose they serve.”

But while the term is increasingly used to describe and promote products, “clean” doesn’t have a standardized definition in the industry. Producers use the term for claims as varied as triple-cleaned organic kale and buffalo mozzarella with a “clean” flavor.

To rein in the word’s broad use, Prevention magazine’s Cleanest Packaged Food Awards boasts a criteria of five detailed points, including BPA-free packaging, Monterey Bay Aquarium sustainability approval for seafood, and avoidance of genetically modified organisms.

From a health standpoint, “clean eating is about eating foods as close to their natural state as possible, and avoiding anything artificial or highly processed,” explained nutritionist Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. “People want to feel good about what they’re putting into their bodies, or their children’s bodies.”

Sass, who authored the upcoming clean-eating book, Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast, noted that clean eating is focused on quality first, and not letting marketing terms like low-sodium and sugar-free distract the consumer.

She recommended brands be authentic and transparent about their products, from sourcing and manufacturing to packaging and marketing.

“I think products that are truly clean have ingredient lists that read like a recipe,” she added. “Consumers want to know that they could have gone to the market, purchased all the ingredients on the label, and made the granola or yogurt or whatever the product is themselves. But they didn’t have to because [the brand] did it for them.”

Clean is shaping up to be a movement, not a trend, Sass predicted. “Across the country people are reading ingredient lists and looking for cleaner products in every category—not just food, but also cleaning products, shampoo, makeup,” she said. “Consumers are really making the connection between what they eat and how they feel,” she added. “What a fantastic opportunity for the food industry and for food and health professionals.”


  1. Your food doesn’t use artificial ingredients or added preservatives. Consumers can pronounce and recognize each ingredient.
  2. Your product comes in environmentally friendly packaging, such as BPA-free plastic or biodegradable materials.
  3. Ingredients used are sustainable, local, environmentally friendly, and organic. Animal proteins are humanely raised, and fish species are included in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s sustainable seafood list.
  4. Your company can answer questions about the complete production and supply chain, and knows where every ingredient is at virtually every stage possible in the production cycle.
  5. You can explain the presence of every ingredient in the product, and any health claims to promote the product.

SOS is a marketing and business development consulting firm with a focus in specialty food and beverage. For a free white paper contact SOS: