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How to show the importance of a structure?


I'm sure there must be hundreds of ways of showing the importance of a structure. I want participants to see that without a structure things become more difficult, the session is specifically for sales people and is intended to be shortish (10 mins) and also double as a bit of an energiser.
Any ideas?

Thanks, Jon.
Jon Sheriff

6 Responses

  1. Importance of structure
    I’m sorry but your question isn’t very clear. Do you mean a sales management structure, the structure to an interview, the structure that comes from following a sales model (like SPIN), structuring your sales schedule….or what? And it would help if you could let us know a bit more about the context – for example, are they specialists selling in a technical environment on an awayday or new tele-sales staff on their first day of a sales course?

  2. A little clarity
    Hi Graham,
    apologies for my lack of clarity!
    I’m referring to the structure of the sale itself – the sales model.
    The training is an introduction to tele-sales aimed at people with little experience.
    Thanks in advance for any tips.

  3. Sales structure exercise
    Thanks for the clarification. For a short illustrative exercise you could try the four card trick.
    Get four cards and write on each one of four stages in a simple sales structure (eg intro/build rapport, ask what they are after, tell them what we can provide, close/agree the deal).
    Put the group into pairs each with a set of cards. Get them to agree who is A and who is B (A is the customer wanting to buy product X, B is the seller). Get B to shuffle the cards and work through them in order (if they are still in right order shuffle again). Repeat with them in the right order this time.
    It takes about 10 mins. It is fairly light but does make the point that it is more effective if you have a sensible sequence to the sales conversation.
    Hope that helps

  4. I have a simple and effective exercise

    I have a simple and effective exercise for you involving post-it notes. If you email me on [email protected] I will be happy to email it across to you.

  5. Structure
    If you have a tent, you could get them to try and get it to stand up without the poles. Should show how much easier it is with a structure!


  6. Drawing!
    Hello Jon
    I don’t know if it is going to be of any use to you. But one little exercise I do is have my delegates think of the last thing they bought. (Works on anything – a car, a sandwich at lunchtime, a pint the night before) and I ask them to draw that process. (No words allowed!).
    This always raises a laugh!
    The steps in the process are:
    • What made them realise they needed/wanted that item
    • How they went about choosing that particular item
    • What happened next (i.e. they bought it)
    I am one of the world’s worst artists in the world – so I always make sure I join in, then no-one feels bad about their artistic talents!
    In the example of a car, they might draw their old car breaking down, then they might draw themselves looking on the internet or round a car showroom, then they might draw themselves handing over the cash.
    Each delegate then talks through their work of art and we discuss why those steps were taken in that particular order. I ask – what would it have felt like if one of the steps had been missing etc.
    Good luck!


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