By Dr. Jack Singer
Licensed Sport Psychologist
Professional Sales Team Speaker/Trainer
This is part 1 of a 5 part series.
Successful college and professional coaches have certainly perfected a game plan for practicing and finely tuning their team members’ skills, so that when game day comes, they are prepared to perform at a consistently high rate, regardless of unforeseen obstacles and challenges.
The exact same skills can be taught to sales teams, in order to maximize their ability to perform when it counts the most, rebound quickly from setbacks, and stay focused on maintaining their edge. This series of articles delineates five days of training, with each day representing a different theme, leading up to Friday’s final day of sales training.
Many sales managers put their team members into competition with each other, with fancy charts and graphs, showing who is winning for the month, etc. But, rather than putting team members into individual competition with each other, it is critical to form a foundation of team cohesion, with incentives for accomplishing team goals, so members push each other to achieve.
When I consult with sales teams, I always begin the training by developing cohesiveness with fun (yet powerful) team-building exercises. First, we engage in a warm-up exercise. This may involve attendees pairing up and each interviewing their partner to learn about a success “secret” that no one else in the room knows about. For example, someone may have been a science fair winner, a spelling champ, or a varsity athlete or cheerleader. The interviewers then share these “secrets” in front of the group so that something special is learned about each member of the group.
Another powerful exercise is “brag bags.” This is a wonderful exercise, for smaller teams, where everyone on the team knows all the other members. Each member has her/his name written on a paper bag, and all the bags are taped to the wall. The task is for each team member to anonymously slip a separate piece of paper all the other bags, listing something positive about every other team member. Team members then seal the bags, which are not to be opened until the days’ activities are concluded and the team members leave the office or workshop site. Imagine the boost you would feel when you get into your car and start opening your bag. You will get positive feedback from each of your colleagues about things they recognize, but probably never related to you.
Once everyone is warmed up they are ready for a fun, yet empowering teambuilding exercise, where attendees are divided into teams and given a task to complete. The first team to complete the task wins prizes, such as gift certificates, movie passes, etc.
There are a myriad of books on training games, team-building exercises, etc. The task may involve puzzle solving, a treasure hunt, or an outdoor challenge. They must cooperate and work together to achieve success.
Notice that on Monday nothing related to sales has transpired. But the foundation for the coming days of training has been established, with the entire sales team knowing much more about their colleagues than before and a cohesive team is forming.
Stay tuned for my discussion of the second day of the Game Plan, Triumphant Tales Tuesday.
About the Author:
Dr. Jack Singer is a professional speaker, trainer and psychologist. He has been speaking for and training Fortune 1000 companies, associations, CEO’s and elite athletes for 34 years. Among the association conventions which Dr. Jack has keynoted are those which serve financial planners.
Dr. Jack is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX SPORTS and countless radio talk shows across the U.S. and Canada. He is the author of “The Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide,” and several series of hypnotic audio programs, some specifically for athletes and some for anyone wanting to raise their self-confidence and esteem. To learn more about Dr. Singer’s speaking and consulting services, please visit DrJackSinger.com and FunSpeaker.com or call him in the U.S. at (800) 497-9880.