Business Development and Selling for Growth - Sales, Exporting and Entrepreneurial Leadership Workshop for Designers

The Kuopio Academy of Design Foundation and Design Union are organizing a 4-day workshop for growth minded designers aiming to boost and grow their business by opening doors to new markets abroad and exporting their products and/or services on an international level. 

The workshop is held by Professor Susan Laing (University of Westminster) and Dr Barbara McCrory (Transform Consultancy)

Time: May 9th - 12th at 09:00-16:00

Place: Design Union, Piispankatu 8, 70100 KUOPIO

Price: €100 (no added VAT.) 

(The price includes the 4-day workshop and materials, with daily morning coffee, lunch and afternoon coffee, as well as one evening event with a common dinner.)


The Workshop Program:


Welcome, introductions, what will be learnt on this course and key takeaways. On completion of this course you will have:

- New knowledge on influencing and negotiating

- Competence in sales techniques for different settings

- Importance of entrepreneurial leadership and managing innovation

- Fundamentals of exporting

Sales (Business Development)

Introduction to Business Development takes the participants through the difference between selling and negotiations, what do they mean, the importance of stopping one and starting the other, it discusses areas that are negotiable when making a sales deal.

We look at how selling is not only suitable for selling products and services but for selling ideas, plans, negotiating pay rises, going to interviews i.e., selling yourself.

FAB selling is the basis of most sales techniques, it’s the format that allows most people to sell any product or service. It stands for Features and Benefits selling (also known as Features, Advantages and Benefits selling), and is also used in conjunction with other sales techniques. We will work on the FAB selling technique in general and then on the participants product or service and then focusing on their uniqueness and value proposition.

Spin Selling is the most successful sales technique used across the Globe, we will have a look at its techniques and develop appropiate questioning for your product or service to entice customers to become more involved in the selling process.


Exporting is key to a country and therefore companies business growth. We take you through what an export plan consists of, why its important and review where to get the information to develop you own unique plan, we investigate key target markets, how to get into then, how to find and develop key partners, and will review international marketing techniques and the differences required abroad.

Entrepreneurial Leadership

The importance of developing an organisational and strategic capability not just to manage change, but embrace it, create it and shape it, and implement it at speed are considered.   Entrepreneurial leaders understand the need to grow businesses where we have incomplete information, and this session provides some tools and techniques on how to best do this.  Understanding cognitive ambidexterity, through an appreciation of prediction logic and creative logic. Developing capability in 360-degree world views to create opportunities which maximise social, environmental, economic responsibility and sustainability (SEERS).  Encouraging and implementing an entrepreneurial capability throughout the organisation or department with and through others.

Managing Innovation

This section will deal with understanding the need for innovation and change management within an organisation.  We will discuss -Why does innovating matter? Briefly look at the innovation process and identify tools and techniques for innovating.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs)

Our work embraces the UNSDGs and seeks to consider global challenges and then assistant business owners to understand how their business may fully include these in strategic developments and seek innovative local solutions. 



Susan Laing is currently interim lead of the School of Management and Marketing at University of Westminster. She accepted this role to support the School with their transition back on to campus, lead a culture change and build the community of practice across the seventy strong team, and develop the senior leadership group of the School. During this role Susan has been awarded the title of Professor of Enterprise.

Susan stepped down as Dean for Teesside University Business School in 2020, to allow her the opportunity to build a portfolio focussed on enterprise education agenda and supporting entrepreneurial businesses to grow.  She was appointed as Dean in June 2017 to relaunch the School and has grown the income by 62% to approaching £12.5mn and increased student numbers by over 50% to July 2020.

Prior to Teesside, Susan spent more than twenty five years at Edinburgh Napier University where she led the Enterprise strategy (academic and commercial income) creating a track record of leading innovative courses locally, nationally and internationally.

Barbara McCrory has over 30 years in the field of business at Director level. She currently holds a number of roles including Transform Business Consulting a company she set up to assist companies transform their businesses. As part of this she is a trainer and advisor in business development for Scottish Development International, Ayrshire Council, the British Council (India) and the Institute of Leadership and Management and has recently completed a large mentoring programme for businesses across Northern Ireland for Invest Northern Ireland. Barbara also lectures for Edinburgh Napier University and Teesside University and holds the position of Director of Partnerships with Cormack Consulting Group who facilitate business between international countries helping companies develop and grow globally.  

She holds a Doctorate in Business, an MBA in Business and a Degree in Marketing and has completed courses in mentoring and coaching and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Her workshop and training topics for higher education and across the SME sector are Internationalisation, Business Development (Sales and Negotiations), International Sales Management, Entrepreneurial Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Productivity through people, Leading Change, Effective leadership and Managing innovation.

Barbara is a visiting lecturer with the Stockholm School of Economics delivering lectures on Consumer Behaviour, and International Selling and Negotiations.

She is also an invited speaker at European business conferences and seminars across topics such as “Internationalising your Business”, “Working in the UK Market”, “Managing Risk in Business” and “The UK Food and Drink industry”.

She started her trade with Tesco working her way up to Trading Director with a final responsibility for over £400 million sales and lead a team of over 30 people. Her career expanded into other areas such as General Manager, Commercial and Marketing Director for a number of different companies and across different industries. Her experience allows for a fuller understanding of leadership, management, business development, procurement and exporting across large and small companies and across industries.

As a business consultant she has worked with some of the biggest brand names such as Mars, Masterfoods, Unilever, Dolmio, Heineken, Hellmans, Flora, Nivia, Walkers and Johnson Brothers. Barbara is also a mentor for a number of companies with the Scottish Chamber of Commerce.

Her publications include: “Customer Retention through the equal incorporation of continuous improvement, culture and customer service” and “A holistic framework to embed good company practice for customer retention”.


Should you have any questions kindly contact:

Eija Tanninen-Komulainen

+358 44 731 8000



Business Development and Selling for Growth -Sales, Exporting and Entrepreneurial Leadership for Designers


Date: Monday 9th May - Thursday 12th May

Time: 09:00 - 16:00


The registrations are open until 05.05.2022: