A few years ago, after giving a speech in Dallas, I ran across some interesting words inscribed on a plaque at one of Dallas’ famous downtown pubs. The words, were simple, yet succinct: “Entertainment is education, education is entertainment, and if you don’t know that, you don’t know anything about either one.”
As a day-to-day sales manager, and today, when conducting sales meetings for clients, I always try to follow those simple points that make sales meetings a fun learning experience for everyone in attendance:
1. Make it simple.
2. Make it relatable.
3. Make it entertaining.
4. Make it memorable.
During one of our recent “training” sales meetings, we played the TV game show Family Feud. We had eight sales reps and divided them into teams of two. There were eight questions with one final bonus round.
Some of the questions were, “What are the digital positions of each of the top radio stations in the market?” We then listed 16 stations in the market with points assigned to each station. Another question was, “Name each of the stations' programming features.” Another, “What are the top web sites with the most unique viewers in the market?”
At the beginning of the game, one rep from each team would stand at the conference table. I would ask the questions, and the first rep to pound the red Staples “That’s Easy” button and answer correctly with one of the available options could pass or play. The team that chose to play would then answer the questions.
If they answered incorrectly three times before they finished all the choices, the other team would have the chance to take all the points in that round by correctly answering the questions. A bonus round with double the point values would give the trailing team a chance to win. At the end of the game, the winning team was given restaurant contra for each team member and the losing team members were given contra to a lesser value.
It was fun. It was entertaining. And it was an educational experience. The sales reps were talking about it for weeks, and it was amazing how much of the information sticks when presented in an entertaining fashion. You also might be surprised to find out how much your sales reps don’t know -- either about the competition or even about the product they are selling.
The Lord’s Prayer has 66 words. The Gettysburg Address has 286. The Declaration of Independence has 1,332. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s regulation on the sale of cabbage has 25, 211. Sometimes, it’s the simplest idea that has the most impact.
Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As seen in Radio Ink Headlines March 4, 2013