January 19/26, 2015; Volume 28/Number 15
By Brian Gracon and Paul Friederichsen
Two heads are better than one, and experience is the best teacher. These are two truths everyone can agree on as they create the formula for a dynamic workshop. Together we have created a session that is part brainstorming and part problem solving, helping to engage participants.
Don’t do it alone
As smart and experienced as many dealers are with regard to marketing and sales challenges, they can’t possibly have all the answers. What we’re creating is a safe environment and opportunity to share solutions to common—but often perplexing—challenges. It also gives them a chance to hear what their peers would recommend. Participants can build a network with their workshop teammates so together they can solve other problems in the future.
Think of it as “speed brainstorming.” As facilitators we will pose typical situations to attendees who are grouped in teams and given a limited time to solve each situation. We’ll also play devil’s advocate and encourage others to chime in and offer their input.
Real challenges, real solutions
The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) has provided additional guidance by reviewing their dealer marketing and sales scenarios. We felt it was important to get a reality check from a knowledgeable third party; we feel you can’t do much better than WFCA. We appreciate the help from Scott Humphrey, CEO of WFCA, and Tom Jennings, vice president of member services.
Challenges to be covered
You may be wondering about the challenges. We’re aiming to cover at least four. Each round starts with a detailed challenge to all the teams with five minutes to solve it. Each team reports their solutions and the team with the best solution wins the round as voted on by their peers. Participants will also be offered a complete list of all solutions suggested by the teams.
For example, if the challenge is trying to get the highest return on your training investment, participants might develop solutions such as detailed audits of customer needs and staff skills, effective methods to evaluate training before investing in it, integrated hiring and training strategies, improved coaching systems, and separate strategies for addressing motivation vs. skill issues.
Attendees can expect to delve into the following challenges:
1.Improving marketing effectiveness: Defining your brand, knowing your customer, using social media, etc.
2. Improving installations: Making it an extension of your service and sales mindset, proper training, etc.
3. Maintaining profitability: Discount policies, pay systems, merchandising, etc.
4. Being competitive: Knowing your competition, using technology, being different, etc.
Knowing what to do and how
Attendees will come away from this workshop with some valuable insights and real-world solutions. They will discover a tip or technique from someone doing business hundreds of miles away, or they’ll get affirmation for what they’re currently doing. But, just as important, they will participate in a team-working process that they can use in their own businesses the very next week.