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Ten Essentials for a Highly Engaged Sales Meetings Part III

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Corporate Sales Retreats

We are often asked advice on planning and running effective meetings. The following tips represent important lessons from our experience in this area.

7.      Variety Samenessis the enemy of a great sales meeting.  Variety is the spice of life, right?  So mix it up.  Follow number crunching with something a bit more lively.  Give awards for more than sales volume for example and spread the recognition wealth with awards for “Best Relationship Builder,” “Best Practices Champion,” “Mentor in Chief,” or “Director of First Impressions.”

8.      Venue Few things have such a pervasive impact on an audience’s experience than the location (warm, sunny climate with compelling after-hours activities) and the quality of the facility (room size and comfort, in-room and hotel amenities).

9.      Visuals We are primarily visual learners (especially if the visuals evoke an emotional response), so a presentation at a sales meeting needs to connect & engage with the audience in a visual way.  I believe the most important visual element in the room is the speaker.  Then follows the quality of the visuals displayed on the screen, whether using PowerPoint or any other platform that makes it easy to display audio, video or static images.  The software (like PowerPoint) is rarely the presentation.  The lasting impression of the event is usually tied directly to the speaker, enhanced by the images, and locked into longer-term memory in proportion to the level of emotional engagement.

10.  Coordination – with multiple divisions, and layers within those divisions, making presentations, someone has to see them all to ensure congruence and prevent the spirit-crushing audience experience of seeing the same material repeated multiple times.  More broadly, you want congruence across the organization.  For example, the presentation made by the VP of Marketing should be similar to the one made by the VP of Sales in terms of altitude, use of visuals, tone, and hopefully, execution.

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Don Rheem’s presentation on Employee Engagement gets underneath the real “whys” on the behavior of discretionary effort. I found his examples to be relative and understandable. I see how our leaders are making better connections with the hearts of our people, so everyone better understands the goals of the enterprise.

--Peter Rittenhouse, Director of Supply Chain
Nestle Waters
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