eNewsletter October 2007

"At GAC, we are continuously striving to transform the organisation from operationally- focused to sales driven. In practice, this means two things:

Firstly, we will identify the best ways to instill this mindset throughout GAC. Most of us know the importance of having a strong sales force to grow our business, but few realize that everyone from the mailroom to the boardroom is part of the sales process.

Every staff must recognize and act upon the sales potential inherent in their jobs.

This in effect means turning our existing workforce into a vast sales force.

Secondly, we will invest in the tools and training in order to create an environment which is conducive, not only for the actual sales process, but also pre-sales and post sales."

"I believe this approach will ultimately lead to increased business, productivity and profitability - the future belongs to those who can sell." - Bill Hill, Group Vice President, GAC Logistics

How many times have you heard the phrase "he can sell ice to Eskimos" and wished you knew how "he" did it?

If you were the really inquisitive type, you’d probably also wonder how much he got the Eskimos to pay him, and of that amount, what his share was...

But those questions come in later. The key question to ask here would be – what did he really sell when he sold the ice? If you were to ask the Eskimos, they would probably tell you the price they paid wasn’t for ice – it was for the “value” that the ice added to their lives. The “value” was what “he” created, and that value is key in executing any sales transaction.

Industrial selling isn’t any different. The task of any salesperson is to first effectively identify a business opportunity, and then to realize it, but this simple cause and effect scenario stems from a complex structure that comprises of relationship building, expectation management, effective negotiation and closing skills. And what was once a fine art can now be easily translated into a science through GCA’s Strategic Sales – Logistics course.

By Waleed Jameel

Your words are powerful, they convey massive amounts of information, but did you know that more than 55 percent of communication is visual and is expressed through body language and facial expressions?

A further 38 percent is vocal, resulting from your tone of voice, pitch and volume. In fact, only seven per cent of our total communication stems from the words we choose. As a result, you may be saying one thing – but your body is saying something completely different. Here are six tips to help you “speak” better.

1. YOU LOOKIN’ AT ME? The classic mistake of many speakers is to avoid making eye contact. If your message is wrapped in this, you will appear nervous and lacking in confidence. Watch how good leaders speak to their people – with eyes connecting and smiling at everyone – confidently.

2. QUICK! HIDE! Ever crossed your arms in a meeting, stood behind a podium or spoke from behind your desk? There is a pattern emerging here. People notice body blockers that get in the way of you and them, and they make the speaker appear timid or defensive. Steve Jobs serves as a great example of how to avoid body-blocking entirely- when on stage, the Apple CEO does not hide behind a desk or podium but stands in the middle of the stage for all to see.

3. MOVE ALONG NOW - I’m guilty of this one myself: constantly fidgeting or moving. This type of movement distracts your audience. Instead of paying attention to what you are saying, people will concentrate on the tap, tap of your foot against the floor, or the constant fiddling with your tie or rearranging of pencils, etc. If you can’t concentrate on your message enough to hold still, how can you expect the listener to?

4. A SHOW OF HANDS Everyone does this, yet few realise the negative effect it can cause- keeping your hands in your pockets or clasped together (in either case unavailable and closed) sends out the subtle message that you’re not interested. Interested parties have their hands out, a classic sign that is warmly received by people across language borders. The solution is simple: leave your hands out and available.

5. KEEP IT REAL - Late-night television infomercials are full of these. Presenters speaking loudly, excitedly with matching gestures. Their hands (and body) are going all over the place and, given the context, it seems acceptable. These people are genuine in their speech. However, many presenters tend to use fake gestures to emphasise their points. This is not a good idea. An energetic fist pump may match the words, but the rest of your body can be saying the opposite. While gestures are often a reflection of complex thought (your body subconsciously matching your words), an artificial gesture looks forced and reminiscent of a bad politician. Don’t go over the top with physical gestures- if they happen naturally, they’ll appear natural. If you’re forcing them, they’ll look fake and dent your credibility.

6. FREEZE! Imagine a presenter who stands completely still throughout an entire speech. What does it say about him? That he is rigid, incapable of moving beyond his invisible box, boring and, most likely, nervous. Who can get excited enough to follow this guy? Not me for sure. Presenters should walk and move around. This little bit of movement helps your body, your mind, and the audience when presenting.

There you go. Six easy tips for communicating with your body. If you’re smart, you’ll be a step ahead and listen to what other people’s body language is telling you. Enjoy the conversation.


I attended the Presentation Skills Course last week and it was very good, the facilitator was highly professional at the same time it was fun! I believe that everyone who attended was happy with the course and improved their presentation skills.

Other than being a successful course, it was a good forum to meet your GAC colleagues, not only to share experiences and thoughts in the course but also to get more contacts that could help at the daily work in the office. Thanks for that GCA!

Anna Ekman
Business Development Coordinator
GAC Dubai

SSL is targeted primarily towards GAC sales professionals and business development personnel. The course focuses on empowering these people with skills to identify and cultivate business opportunities. This power stems from the simplicity and the effectiveness of these tools.

It is integral to be familiar with the selling tools and strategies that are currently relevant to the market. Can they be improved upon? Challenged? Eliminated? How do these skills impact the customers and their decisions, and how can the skills be applied to meet or exceed customer expectations?

GCA’s Sales Strategy- Logistics course will guide you through many areas of the field, providing an in-depth break-down of the process of sales into four steps.

Initial Approach: How to target, identify and approach a customer

Needs Analysis: How to accurately gauge the customer’s requirements

Presentation: How to match your products to the customer’s requirements and package the solution for their approval

Negotiation and Closing: By far the most crucial stage, this step will lead sales personnel through the process of closing the sale and making the deal.

Sales is a tough and competitive game, and SSL will help you accurately identify what exactly your customer is coming to you for, and what he needs from you so that you can stay on top of it.

Selling doesn’t stop at negotiating and closing deals, you have to answer more calls, you have to meet more expectations, you have to solve more problems – in short, you have to ensure you stay on top of your customer’s mind. If they have a need, you should be the first person they turn to. To achieve that, you will be taught the basic principles and concepts of Consultative Selling, along with the concept of Value Addition and the basic principles of Customer Relationship Management.

The fundamental truths to selling are very simple and very few, and GCA SSL will arms you with the tools you need to master your sales strategy. For more information, a GCA Liaison Officer is just a click away.

"What people are interested in when they look for a new service provider are not only the numbers and statistics of a company, but what is behind. The soul and story of a business. Business is about people and relationships between individuals."

-Bjorn Engblom GAC Executive Chairman Excerpt from the GAC Course, IGW


Profile: GLO Rosy Chaanine

I joined the GAC Family back in 1991 when it re-opened in Lebanon after the war of 1975. I was a total stranger to the Shipping business when GAC Lebanon was recruiting...

It was not my specialization, but I was destined to step into this big and interesting field from a wide door, i.e GAC.

I started as a PA to Mr Simon and had the chance to have him as a tutor and role model. He believed in me and gave me the chance to learn, so I was quickly involved in the Shipping Operations Dept.

Then, in 1998, I was nominated Liner Dept Operations Executive during the Evergreen Marine Agency representation in Lebanon. In 1999, I was designated as Company QA and Internal Auditor.

I moved to the Logistics Dept in 2003, and in spring of this year, came back to where I had started from – the Shipping Dept as Operations Executive, but armed with my experience from the QA & Internal Audit functions.

The first time I heard about GCA was when Mr Lars Safverstrom came to Lebanon this spring, and with a “congratulations”, both Mr Bejjani (our MD) and Mr Safverstrom told me that I had been nominated to enrol in the GLOL731 course. I then read more about GCA in GAC Chat (May 2007 issue).

What first interested you in the GLO program?

Shifting from department to department has made me familiar with all activities/services provided by GAC Lebanon, allowing me to work closely with staff, helping me to understand each one of them very well, on both a professional and a personal level.

Having once been a part of each of these departments enables me now, as a GLO, to deeply analyse the SWOT of each Dept, and determine the training and human resource development needs based on my previous cooperation with my colleagues. I know them well so I can assist them better!

I know each department’s quality objective, each department’s customers; I can deduce better the training needs.

I know that I will seize every learning opportunity given to me for self-development and do hope that I will succeed in transferring and sharing the learning I have gained in this course. I look forward to being a good Liaison Officer and I would like to succeed in playing this role on a bigger scale.