Getting the most value out of each sessions

I recently was asked to attend and observe a session for one of my clients. It was an opportunity for the client to put to bed certain issues and complaints from their sales force leaders and then share all the sales aids that was available to them. It was a full day event and had eighty people in attendance.

Now with a passion for performance my observations came thick and fast. I struggle to go into a restaurant and not think about how the restaurant could operate more effectively and efficiently. Anyway at the first break I spoke to the client and clarified exactly what he wanted to get out of the session. ‘What message do you want the attendees to leave with?’ What is the key take away that they are going to pass on to their sales people tomorrow?’ That question was ok to answer. My next question then was ‘How are you supporting them get clarity in the message?’ How are you helping them tailor the take away to ensure the intended consequence from the session is delivered?’ These were a lot tougher questions to answer.

I constantly remind my clients that the investment they make in these sessions is not just the cost of the location, catering and transport but also the lost sales opportunity that occurs when you take your sales force out of the field for a day. Therefore you need to spend more time thinking about how you are supporting your attendees truly hear the message and then take it away with them in a format that creates a lasting impression. However, most of us spend hours on the agenda, hours on building the presentation that you are going to deliver but then assume that the audience will actually hear the message and then implement what you are asking them to do.

It is critical, as a business leader, that you ensure that you are delivering the message, not to be heard but to make a lasting and sustainable impact. It is not always about the message you are delivering but the message that the audience remembers in a day, week or month. How are you going to ensure your session is a revenue generator and not an expense? How do you really understand the cost of your message? When you are pitching your product are you pitching it based on your knowledge of the product or to align the needs and wants of your audience? Sounds simple but is it?

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