Our Sales Manager, Abby, gathered the room together at the beginning of January for an impromptu meeting and my curiosity was piqued when I was asked to attend. Not being a part of the sales teams I am rarely needed for many of the meetings they hold. It was in this meeting that she announced they were holding a new form of training, mandatory for all sales staff – and for me.
We would be required to sell Farsight… to the Farsight senior management team.
Donna – The Director
Abby – The Sales Manager
Tom – The CEO
Each person would get a chance to put a presentation together and a few minutes to give a sales pitch – the best would win a prize.
I panicked for a moment as all information about Farsight flew from my mind and had me questioning how much I really knew about Farsight. I’ve been here 9 months, marketing the brand of Farsight, talking to candidates and clients online, telling people exactly what and who Farsight are and exactly what makes us different. Was it possible that I had actually learnt nothing in those 9 months?
The resourcers and other support staff were given the opportunity to also take part of the Dragon’s Den training, though not mandatory for them. Jess Lees, the Service Manager was first to put herself forward eagerly. “I was excited to do it, this is the kind of thing that I thrive at.” Confirmed Jess when asking what her motives were. Newcomer, Parris, put herself forward next, perhaps looking to prove herself and show how much she’s learnt so quickly. After a few days of thinking, Jack, one of our Senior resourcers decided that he would like to do it as well.
The office was a flurry of discussion for the following few weeks, people discussing different tactics, different sales pitches and how they were going to present their product; Farsight.
For two weeks I was invited into the weekly sales meetings to practise some selling techniques and pitching to our colleagues. My confidence in my ability to sell – and to specifically sell Farsight – started to rise.
I spent some extra time with the sales staff over the last few weeks before the Dragon’s Den training, trying to see what they did, how they acted, what was said. I already had an idea of how I wanted to present – putting my acting abilities to good use – but I needed the knowledge to back me up. I was quick to realise that they only said what I said to people every day, the same kind of things that I bang on about in the blogs, or on posts online. All they did was explain to people what makes us different. If people had bad experiences of agencies, then our consultants went in to change their minds, to prove to them that our core values aren’t only words, they are what we live breathe and stand by on a daily basis. It was then that I realised I could do this, I could sell Farsight, because without really realising it, it’s what I do every day.
When the day arrived, I was given the last time slot for the day. We hired out a room from The Cosy Club, which is a restaurant a few doors down from us. Abby, Donna and Tom set themselves up in the room for the day as one by one we headed down to present to them, answer their questions and receive feedback. Then one by one people headed back into the office and were interrogated by their collegues. "How did it go?" We would ask, desperate for any scrap of information, but no one gave much away. “It went really well.” Most of them replied. All of us left with a sense of dread, that we were going to be caught out, that our knowledge of Farsight might be lacking somehow. We all came back with a sense of achievement and relief. It was nowhere near as daunting as we first thought, but definitely a training exercise to keep us on our toes!
Everyone seemed to present differently, from powerpoint presentations, to making leaflets and flyers, business cards, dressing up in builders gear and then what I did – which was to sculpt the Yes/No typographical illusion originally made by Markus Raetz, from foam (It started off as clay - long story).
It seemed as though everyone had gone above and beyond to show off their knowledge about Farsight and really impressed the ‘Dragons’. “I think everyone put so much thought and effort into this training exercise, it made me very proud to see my team up there doing so well, it’s going to be really hard to choose a winner.” Says Abby.
The winner of the Dragons Den exercise will be announced to all the staff next Friday, at our quarterly meeting, so until then we will all have our fingers crossed, but I think it’s safe to say that we all did the management team, and Farsight, proud that day.
- Pip Gorringe, Marketing Manager
Posted 3rd February 2017