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Breakthrough Mindset: The PPAI Expo 2022 Keynote Speaker Spotlights Corporate Specialties

Published: 2022-06-7 Author: Lisa Horn

At The PPAI Expo 2022 held in Las Vegas earlier this year, keynote speaker Simon T. Bailey kicked off of the 42 sessions in the education line-up by urging attendees to take a more purposeful approach to customer service, what he calls “customer love,” in his opening presentation, “Breakthrough Thinking For Breakthrough Sales.”

A former sales director for The Walt Disney Company and author of seven books including Be the Spark: Five Platinum Service Principles for Creating Customers for Life, Bailey says the best experiences buyers have with sellers and brands—the ones that prompt repeat business within the promotional products industry—involve going above and beyond, not merely serving the customer, but caring for them, creating “spark moments” that turn transactions into relationships.

During the presentation, Bailey emphasized the need for breakthrough thinking, and he talked about how Corporate Specialties President Valerie Hayman Sklar (although he inadvertently said Valerie Hayward) used breakthrough thinking to begin looking at “what can I do” during 2020 and 2021 to not only survive but thrive. 

Bailey shared how Valerie shifted during 2020-2021 by hosting a virtual events, one of the key strategies that led to best the year in company history and helped Valerie reach $1 million in sales. 

He also highlighted Valerie’s work with The Detroit News on recreating a t-shirt Drew Barrymore wore on the cover of InStyle magazine, which raised $70,000 for the Rosa Parks Foundation. (Read all about it here.)

For a recap of Bailey’s entire presentation, check out the coverage via PPB magazine here

And if you’re looking for ways to augment your brand experience with some breakthrough thinking, our concierge service is standing by to help you strategically implement branded merch into your marketing campaigns.

It’s easy to get started. Just drop us a line at or book an appointment at Choose from quick 10-minute chats, 20-minute new product calls and 30-minute brainstorming sessions to learn about all the available options.