If your salespeople don’t ordinarily brainstorm innovations on their own, your next sales meeting would be a great time to introduce them to the power of creative thinking. To help unlock your team’s minds and release all the great ideas within, give these tricks a try at your next meeting.
That’s the ticket!
Schedule a mandatory sales meeting and ask reps to present an index card with an original idea written on it as their admission ticket. Collect the “tickets” at the door and start the meeting by reading everyone’s contribution.
Getting a new perspective on an old problem can bring to light new ways to solve it. At your next meeting, have each salesperson write down a current job-related problem or question. Ask everyone to pass their problems to the person on their right, and then give the group 60 seconds to write down a solution to whatever problem they received. Share the problems and solutions aloud.
Sounds of success.
During meetings, try sound effects like roaring crowds when someone makes a good suggestion, laugh tracks for nervous salespeople, jungle noises to cure negative thinkers, or bombs blowing up when ideas are discarded.
Bring a box of toys to your next meeting and have each of your salespeople choose one. Give them a few minutes to familiarize themselves with the toy, and then ask them to compare it to a current problem they face. The playfulness of the exercise might encourage them to be more bold and perceptive.
All fired up.
Ask your salespeople to imagine that they’ve been fired and must reapply for their jobs. By analyzing how they are and aren’t qualified to sell, they will better understand their selling strengths and weaknesses. (You could also have your team pretend that your company has gone suddenly bankrupt and ask them why that might have happened and how they could have prevented it.)
Making the big time.
Ask reps to imagine that they’ve been chosen as salesperson of the year; then invite each of them to make an acceptance speech in which they discuss how they earned the honor. As an alternative, ask them to imagine that their most ambitious sales goals for the year have been reached and ask them to discuss how they did it.
Once your salespeople realize their own creative potential, chances are they won’t wait for a sales meeting to generate million-dollar ideas.