Situation: Six managers from six different global offices of a professional firm were charged with launching a major sales effort. But they hadn't shared enough time together to be speaking the same core messages or to express a collective wisdom. Furthermore, their presentation skills were not evenly matched. They needed to come together enough to sound like the same firm — giving similar presentations and representing the firm "brand" in a strong and consistent, memorable manner, no matter where in the world they were.
Solution: We recommended a two-day intensive seminar, with prep work in advance. We had each of the managers collect coworker feedback on their capabilities so we could quickly address each individual's strengths and areas for development at the seminar. We also asked them to bring their typical sales presentation in outline form, and a few of their favorite slides. Meanwhile, Vander Zanden Inc. called half a dozen prospects that had heard their sales presentations to find out how well the firm sells its expertise.
In the seminar itself, we began creating a master sales presentation that each manager would tailor for his or her prospect group. We agreed on a master slide presentation as well, although our greater work focused on what to capture in an evolving slide library. Each manager presented a sample sales pitch several times so they could each get immediate coaching on how to optimize presentation strengths and shore up delivery style when their performance was less than memorable or effective. We also developed a buddy system for them to take this first step back to their offices, put into practice everything they'd learned, take copious notes on how well it worked, and return in three months for round two.
It's too early to track a large jump in sales, but the confidence of the group is vastly improved, and they tell us their communication is consistent, clear and concise now, leaving plenty of space in their prospect encounters for good conversation and learning more about one another.