Channel Clusters Companies Get Sales Training Tips from Russell Ferguson

Thursday 4th November 2010

The IEA held a very successful sales training seminar for food and drink companies in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cork Airport on Thursday November 4th. The title of the event was called Sales Training and Market Information Seminar. In total, 20 food companies sent representatives and the overwhelming response was very positive.

The sales trainer, Russell Ferguson, was the keynote speaker and he gave the attendees a thorough overview of the principles of selling and the various different selling scenarios.  In the afternoon, David Edwards of Total Food Marketing in Wales , gave some valuable insights into the UK retail landscape including how each retailer was performing, the importance of researching the market and your competitors, the various routes to market from Ireland to the UK, the trade margins required in the UK and many other areas.

Conor Hyde from Bullseye Food Marketing then presented on the subject of the criteria for selecting a distributor in Ireland and the caveats that needed to be included in a contract. Sheila Gallogly from Márla.ie followed Conor covering the subject of why it is so important to know your customer. The final speaker was Ronan Gillespie of Next Step International who spoke about current trends in food retailing.

The seminar ran from 9.30am to 4.30pm and was open to companies participating on IEA Channel Clusters Programme* and to members of the IEA.

*This project was made possible through a financial contribution from the European Regional Development Fund Ireland Wales (INTERREG 4A) 2007-2013. This article reflects the views of the author only and not those of the Programme Authorities. Please click here for the full agenda.



The main speaker was Russell Ferguson. He spends much of his time working in food markets for all sizes of companies. He has run his company successfully for the last 27 years and delivered a programme for Irish Exporters Association for companies trading at Food and Drink Expo in Birmingham March 2010. His skill is in marketing and sales – looking at product offerings and companies from the ‘outside in’ – from the customer viewpoint. In addition, he has worked with Irish Exporters Association before and was instrumental in the creation and subject matter of the learning DVDs - Celtic Recipes. He also works for Enterprise Ireland's export offices and unusually for food sales, in the high end jewellery sector for Irish jewellery retailers.

Areas covered included: Principles of selling Understanding the framework for sales Clarification of your key benefits and why the customer should buy from you Sales ladder – a ‘simple to follow’ technique that can be used in many sales situations. Sales technique at exhibitions Techniques at meet the buyer events Follow up on the telephone Repeat business and order taking at your place of work 

If you wish to attend an event like this in the future, please register your interest with Sinead Braniganby emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it