The results of the first annual Nova Scotia Professional Sales Awards are in.

As a founder and champion of this initiative, Innovacorp played a key role in establishing the awards’ strategic intent, categories, and nomination process. The organization also helped manage event sponsorship, promotion and logistics.

The awards were established to honour the province’s best sales professionals, with the intent of elevating the profession and recognizing excellence. This initiative is highly relevant to Innovacorp’s clients as it indirectly helps Nova Scotia companies become more proficient in “going to market” regionally, nationally and globally.

Sales awards recognize “driving force” behind business
BY BARB MCCAY CASHIN & JAMIE LEE, TRANSCONTINENTAL MEDIA 
The Nova Scotia Business Journal

Looking for sales executives dressed in checkered polyester suits and glossy vinyl shoes? They were nowhere in sight last night at the inaugural Nova Scotia Business Journal Professional Sales awards in Halifax.

The first annual sales awards, presented by Talentworks, honoured today’s polished new professional salespeople who are changing the perception of the profession and are the driving financial force behind their organization’s success.

“We felt that there were key individuals and teams within our businesses that, up until this point, had not received the recognition they deserved,” said Jeff Nearing, publisher of Transcontinental Media’s Nova Scotia Business Journal. “Our goal tonight was to promote professional sales as a driving positive force and an exciting career option.”

The 2007 award recipients were: Robert Lachowicz, RBC Financial Group (Sales Professional of the Year); Christian Patterson, Konica Minolta Business Solutions (Rookie of the Year); Paul McGuinness, xwave (Sales Manager of the Year); Ross Elliott, Investor’s Group (Community Service Award); and the North American Sales Team, Precision Biologic (Sales Innovation of the Year).

xwave’s Paul McGuinness—possibly the highest-profile award-winner of the evening—said it’s more the soft skills like communication and forthrightness that equals success in sales. “Sales is very challenging at the least of times,” he said. “I think the key element is understanding people.”

Precision Biologic’s Wendy Porteous agreed, adding on receiving her team’s award at Dalhousie’s Rowe Building that her salespeople followed a simple but effective approach to customer service. “We work with our clients collaboratively in our product development and our sales efforts; we help our customers make educated buying decisions and we help them with any problems or emergencies that may arise,” she said. “That’s our job, and this award recognizes us as more than just vendors and peddlers.”

EXTRA: The winners

By Barb McCay Cashin

In a world where Hollywood doesn’t respect its salespeople—the drivers of wealth in most, if not all enterprises—the Nova Scotia Business Journal’s Professional Sales Awards sought to right the wrong. Below are the profiles of the award winners.

Paul McGuinness, Xwave: McGuinness, sales director of fulfillment services for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, is known for effectively leading teams to generate solutions to complex problems, mobilizing client organizations around solutions, and guiding his sales team and executives through the changes. Over the years, he’s developed many long-lasting client relationships.

Robert Lachowiez, RBC Financial Group: Mortgage specialist Robert Lachowiez is always looking for opportunities to improve his clients’ financial security. His focus is not only on developing existing relationships but building new ones. Throughout his RBC career, Lachowiez has received such awards as: Rookie of the Year, 2005 Top Performer, 2006 Top Performer, and 2006 Lighthouse Award.

Christian Patterson, Konica Minolta Business Solutions: Since joining the sales team at Konica Minolta in March 2006, Patterson has surpassed all sales expectations and reached President’s Club (125 per cent of sales quota) in his first year with the company. Colleagues describe him as determined, focused, assertive, approachable, and detail oriented.

North America Sales Team, Precision Biologic: Precision BioLogic develops, manufactures and markets a line of medical diagnostic products used throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Its North American Sales Team has successfully overcome the challenge of selling direct to sophisticated end users across two continents from a remote location.

Ross Elliott, Investors Group: Over the last decade, Elliott has consistently been a leader in Atlantic Canada as well as in the top five to seven per cent of consultants nationally across the Investors Group sales force. He has qualified for Presidents Elite year after year and has received the inaugural Herbert H. Carnegie Community Service Award. Elliott is a leading example of the core values of Investors Group: quality, responsiveness, and integrity.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 3, 2007