And so into the second day of the Esselte Sales Conference in Seville , Spain.
The focus of the day was centred on some more key skills of the art and science of professional selling.
The delegates started with a quick quiz on their company’s heritage and products.
There were also some fun questions about the previous evening’s guided tour of the Cathedral of Seville and the concert.
Then we broke out into groups to analyse in depth the Product and Brand offerings that both differentiate and distinguish the offering from the competition.
Over the five years that I and my colleagues have worked with Esselte at these high profile conferences I am always amazed and inspired by the speed and quality of the work of Esselte people.
It is easy to forget that for the majority of the delegates at this European conference, English is their second or third language.
Then two courageous delegates were selected to represent the team in a 5 minute presentation to a tough Procurement Director a certain Mr Jacobus von Bremen ( Played by Esselte’s Chris Exner ) accompanied by Tack’s Simon Cooper and an entourage of Esselte top management team.
In next to no time the break out produced imaginative product displays to support the presentations.
After coffee the next session centred on Negotiation skills with a stretching and paired role-pay exercise which generated much laughter, passion and learning.
The delegates then reflected on what they have learnt from the experience. Their feedback was intelligent and positive.
The final session of the break out groups was a refreshment on gaining client agreement , commitment and closing.
Then the break out teams, The Flamenco, the Matadors, the Bulls, The Rioja and Conquistadors regrouped in the main room for the final and very testing assignment. Under very strict timing the group were set a four part exercise to prepare for a detailed negotiation, develop a creative slogan, answer some very stretching objections and produce a painting on a five feet square canvass.
Could they complete “ Mission Impossible” – of course they could. The team all went at it with gusto. Just take a look at their “ Masterpieces” clearly inspired by Goya etc!!!
“…Thank you for all your effort and enthusiasm with which you have approached all the tasks we have set you.
Some of you have seen some of what we have done before. Some of you have not. However what I want to remind you of is the profession of sales.
Like any professional we have to practice, practice , practice.
We also need to constantly look at what we do and how we do it so that we can improve. Just like a professional.
So our job was done and it was our duty to hand back the conference to Cezary Monko to reflect on what we had learnt and set the Esselte team the mission for 2011.
He concluded ” … failure is not an option”
Then it was time for a break before the Esselte awards ceremony in the Hacienda.