Power of Strategy Sessions —DeWese
I pointed out to the company owners that I have sold more than 150 printing companies, and the businesses that earned the greatest value were always the ones where the CEO was heavily involved in sales. Either she/he actively sold their own book of accounts and/or they were actively coaching the sales team. You know...making team calls and strategizing to gain new accounts.
Value of Brainstorming
I also told the group about a book I wrote several years ago that was titled, "A Year of Selling Successfully." The book contained 48 two-hour weekly sales meetings. Each week a different salesperson conducted the meeting. He or she was the facilitator/trainer and my book provided them with the curriculum for the session.
One company used the concept to create in-house new account strategy sessions. The CEO and the sales manager would sit in and, with the entire sales team, they would brainstorm ideas to penetrate a new account for each salesperson. They would spend about 30 minutes per prospect, so it might take several weeks to brainstorm each salesperson's major prospects.
The value of these weekly brainstorming sessions is that the genius lies within your company; not in some book, not in some consultant, not in some tape, but within your company.
And the beauty is that it costs nothing. That printer, by the way, grew from a $7.8 million performer in 2001 to $24.7 million in 2009, in spite of the recession. It still conducts those sessions every week, and they also now supplement the meetings with pizza and, sometimes, fried chicken. In tripling its sales, the firm has not lost one salesperson, but instead has gained four new reps.
Aside from the pizza and chicken, they haven't spent a dime. Wow!
Remember though, when brainstorming, be sure not to denigrate the ideas of others. Write everything down on a flip chart. Everyone must contribute. The sessions should be conducted in a collegial, non-competitive atmosphere.