Thursday, November 4, 2010

We have met the enemy and it is us.

Don't get me wrong.  I still enjoy being here.  But it's clear I have my work cut out for me.

Why?  I have to be at a pricing meeting tomorrow morning at 6am sharp.

I can't say any more about it because I would be divulging proprietary information.  

There.  I just made it sound more exciting than it actually is.  I don't even want to think about how early I have to get up.  

To cheer myself up, I thought about my missionary work in working with the reps and wrote up "Mission Impossible" looking/sounding documents.  I walked around the office with the files, walked up to the reps and said cryptically... "Tell no one."

When I heard my colleagues in peals of laughter,  I knew I had succeeded in generating excitement about ongoing training.

Here's one profile for the role playing game:

"You are the wealthy heiress of an impressive family fortune.

You chose to invest it in a Dude Ranch in Southern Arizona.

You are trying to make it a destination site for elegant weddings.

You have already invested in a full page in the Bridal guide.

You think the Internet hasn't really caught on and is a waste of your time.

Money is no object.

You go with your gut, numbers don't impress you.

Nothing makes you happy."

The game works as follows..

Salespeople are matched with the profile actors.  They role play trying to sell to this character. The salesperson doesn't know anything about the profile.  I have a score card on building rapport, uncovering needs, product knowledge, appropriate solution, and identifying upsell opportunities.

The exercises are meant to help the salesperson understand how to present a total solution, including print and online.  I benefit because I learn the print side of the house.  The salesperson gets to sharpen his or her skills, and the profile actors get to ham it up, play along, and watch and learn.

One scenario involves a young marketing coordinator who is so stressed she cries during the sales call.

Another involves a marketing manager for a Japanese baseball team in spring training.  He actually speaks very good English but pretends he doesn't to find out if he gets the same story twice.  He likes to pretend he is less competent than he actually is.

Another is in product marketing tests for a large ad agency and can't divulge company information.  

Another VP of marketing for a theme park isn't who she says she is.  

I confess, I'm excited about the little treasures I've left hidden around the office.  I have something really fun to look forward to.  

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