Wales Co-operative Centre

Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

Welsh duo bid for global gains at Co-operatives United

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PrimePac talking to Brazilian delegates at Co-ops United

PrimePac Solutions busy networking with Brazilian delegates at Co-operatives United, earlier today (Wednesday)

Tomorrow, at the ICA Expo ‘Co-operatives United’, two Welsh co-operatives will go in front of an international audience in a bid to sell their products and services. The hosted buyers workshop at the event, being held at the Manchester Central, could be attended by up to thirty companies looking to do deals with Dulas Ltd and PrimePac Solutions.

Both are also exhibiting alongside the Wales Co-operative Centre and the Co-operative Group who have sponsored the Co-operatives in Wales stand.

PrimePac’s Managing Director, Steve Meredith has told us how he has prepared for the event and how he is feeling ahead of the meet the buyer session:

I have exhibited PrimePac’s services and capabilities at numerous exhibitions with, to be honest, limited success. Networking is the most you can hope for. I live in hope but don’t expect anyone to visit any exhibition stand with a need for a million sachets. But who knows?

Usually I am just one of the many companies vying for the attention of the buyers attending. The difficult part is to know who the buyer is. I have often mused that if only they would make the buyer, who is actually keen to develop a business proposal, wear a big orange hat! Never going to happen, so the challenge is similar to a shop or pub worker who has a secret customer who will appear at any time, you have to keep positive and read name tags fast. The hardest thing for me is to smile when I know the visitor, although maybe interested, is never going to raise an enquiry or place an order. Worse still is the salesman who wants to sell me something when I am trying to sell, and as you’re talking to this visitor you see the buyer you really want to talk to walk past, straight into the outstretched business card of a competitor.

Enough negatives and whinges, in sales every ‘no’ means you’re closer to the next ‘yes’.

Contract packing is a strange sell. I basically sell machine time, as the products are not mine they are my customer’s. In the past I have stood there with all the sachets, bottles and packs previously made at PrimePac scattered and arranged around me, thinking everyone knew what a contract packer does, and the sad fact is that they don’t.

So at the ICA Expo I am going minimalist. No samples of other people’s products, it’s stripped to bare bones…a few PrimePac sachets and bottles and two pop-up banners. My first aim this time is to make sure people know what we do and what a contract packer can offer. Fingers crossed on that one! Apologies for my scepticism but last time I stood there with samples of all sorts and a large poster behind, professing that PrimePac is a great contract packer, packing sachets, bottles, strip and blister packs only to be asked what I did and if I had anything to clean the wheels on their van! But as always keep smiling, well try to anyway.

Sales are key to any business. It’s what feeds the hungry mouths otherwise known as employees and members. It’s what drives me to think that the next yes is just after the last no.

Cup half full at the moment, but what will I be like two days into the event? Smiling and pleasant or will the veil slip and a glimpse of a salesman trying to keep a multimillion-pound business fed, peep through?

The last few days I have designed the banners and set about putting PowerPoints and videos onto my iPad! So now I have an iCloud account, a Dropbox and some mpg to mp4 converter software. Whoever says Apple, iTunes and iPads are easy is very much respected by me. I struggle to find my way around the forums but it looks like I have made it.

Having spent the last few days on sales visits and getting everything ready for Manchester, the adventure can begin………….

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