My stomach churned as I sat in the front row…butterflies in my gut letting me know it was nearly time. As I stepped onto the stage, took a deep breath, the nerves turned to excitement as I looked into the eyes of the audience and began to tell a story…
It wasn’t a long speech, about 30 minutes of motivation leading the group into their leadership breakout session, yet person after person came up to me afterwards, thanking me, shaking my hand, telling me it was one of the best.
The most powerful part was what happened long after everyone went home. Months later the message was still resonating. The teams were taking action, hitting goals, all aligned to a vision shared at that kick off event.
Why? Because a powerful sales kick off vision, the kind that lasts beyond the actual event, has four (4) key components:
Key #1 – The Vision Itself
This may seem obvious, however the vision itself has to be clear, broken down into ideally no more than three key strategies and communicated so powerfully the team can taste it, feel it, see it and remember it beyond the 2-3 days of the event.
The vision itself also needs to have a structured process for how it’s communicated and reinforced pre, during and post event. From main stage keynotes to breakouts every leader, both on stage and off, reiterates that same vision.
Key #2 – How Your Speakers and Leaders Show Up
Having a strategy designed to prepare all the main stage and breakout speakers and leaders will significantly increase the success of the event. Giving them the tools they need to execute and share the vision include: consistent messaging, talking points, and slides along with guiding them on how they need to show up (mentally confident, clearly articulate, and with their own authentic charisma).
When speakers and leaders are equipped ahead of time, practice in advance and are clear on the post event expectations their ability to reinforce the vision almost becomes second nature and that’s when a sales kick off vision becomes part of the culture for the entire year.
Key #3 – The Thread
Think of this as the magic behind the curtain. What is the support, systems, skills, communication strategy that all needs to be put in place before, during and after the event. A single slide, a powerful image, a song, a tagline, a common thread that weaves everything together.
It’s that common thread that turns a powerful, inspiring, and exciting event into one that also reverberates throughout the year.
Key #4 – Anticipate Road Blocks
I’ll never forget what one of the executives said to me one time when we were in the midst of planning a sales kick off. It was one of those stressful, chaotic moments, when it was getting down to the wire, a million moving parts and one of those years where the success of the event HAD to drive revenue results. Not that they don’t always have to drive results…but this was THAT YEAR (you know what I mean).
“Diahana, How is it you always stay calm, hold ‘The Vision’ and make managing all the moving parts look easy year after year?”
My answer – cling to the big vision while anticipating the road blocks. Always have a contingency plan and be prepared with Plan A, Plan B and Plan C.
Maybe you have the content, but not the execution strategy. Maybe you have the execution but your breakout speakers need the “this is how you need to show up” speaker and leadership tools. Executing a wildly successful event that resonates long after everyone has gone home can be tricky and there are things that can’t always be seen from the inside.
What sounds great internally at the executive level, may not resonate at the sales rep level, or it may just need some polishing. Plus, there are secrets to how you should structure and deliver your event in order to not just inspire in the moment, but to be memorable long after the event.
Interested in exploring ways that your Sales Kick Off event can inspire action in others well into 2020 and beyond?
Let’s discuss what working together might look like. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org