Need A Workshop Facilitator? 5 Ways A Rainmaker Knowledge Café Can Transform Your Business

Need A Workshop Facilitator? 5 Ways A Rainmaker Knowledge Café Can Transform Your Business You have a new project at work. You organise a meeting and get the team together. You desperately want to hear from everyone, including internal and external stakeholders .. However as usual the same voices dominate the discussion and everyone else nods quietly in agreement. Sometimes getting everyone’s perspective helps. That’s where a Rainmaker Knowledge Café comes in.

What Is A Knowledge Café?

A Knowledge Café is a workshop where participants sit in small groups of four to eight people at a table, like a café. Participants at each table discuss one specific question for 20 to 45 minutes. At the end of each round, one person stays at the table and the rest of the participants move to other tables. The person who remains at the table acts as a host to welcome the new participants to the table. The host summarises previous round’s discussion for the newcomers. Then the newcomers share their observations from the previous round and the discussion continues. In the third round, participants have the option of returning to their first table. A new question can also be introduced to deepen the discussion. After several rounds, the whole group share their discoveries and insights. The Knowledge Café builds on the collective knowledge of the group to develop possibilities for creative action.

5 Ways A Knowledge Café Can Transform Your Business

1. Increased Participation. Sometimes the most dominant people do not have all answers. In a Knowledge Café all contributions are valued, from board members to junior staff. Working in smaller groups helps quieter people feel more comfortable and gives them the chance to get their views heard. Decisions are made that take account of a broader spectrum of opinions. 2. New Perspectives. The Rainmaker facilitator will listen to everything that is said and accurately feedback the discussion to the group. The facilitator will help the group and remain open to input from all group members. People who perform different roles in the company may have conflicting ideas. Facilitation brings different views together to form a fresh perspective on a situation. 3. Creative Solutions. The supportive environment of the Knowledge Café allows groups to make creative decisions. Instead of focusing on the problem, groups concentrate on the desired future state that they want to achieve. Working backwards from the solution allows participants to think more creatively. 4. Faster decisions. The Rainmaker Cafe speeds up the decision-making process. Participants focus on their first intuitive responses, which often lead to higher quality decisions than a long drawn out analytical process. Participants continue to build on the decisions made at the Knowledge Café once the workshop has finished. 5. Improved Motivation. People are more committed to plans they help create than plans that are simply imposed upon them. Sometimes managers are afraid that junior staff will make bad decisions. However, our experience tells us when people are well-informed of the facts and work together in a safe environment, the collective knowledge and co-operation of the group leads to better decisions. As a result, staff are motivated to implement these decisions more quickly and effectively.

Knowledge Café Workshops

We’ve run Knowledge Cafes for the NHS in Central London bringing together patients, clinicians, charities, public health professionals and politicians. Our clients have used Knowledge Cafes for strategic planning and developing new projects. Rainmaker Knowledge Cafes focus on building creative plans and achieving successful solutions. Find out more about Rainmaker Knowledge Café can help your business.

Rainmaker Training ; A Cross-Selling Workshop?

Can the people across your company describe what you do for your customers?  

Can they really describe it to your satisfaction?
Could their descriptions motivate a client to ask for more information on the service?

Try these workshops with your team as a test.

It helps if your cross-selling workshop facilitator has had some exposure to Sales and Marketing concepts and References /Case Studies.
If you need help You can email us on  info@rainmaker-coaching.co.uk

Conversational Elevator Pitch and Value Propositions

This workshop is designed to get your teams to articulate what benefits you and your people deliver to your clients.
First you go around the room explaining that you are the Chief Executive of one of your major clients.
Shake people’s hand and say ” Hi I’m John Smith. I’m Chief Executive here. Who are you and what do you do around here?”

We suggest that you try this now (go on stand up from your desk now! )
Go and see what your team actually say!!

Common things we hear are….

  • I’m a Q.S (that’s a Quantity Surveyor for the uninitiated)
  • I’m an Enterprise Solutions Architect…  ? Well if we ever need one we’ll ask!
  • A few use technical jargon loaded statements that are unintelligible to the non expert
  • Others give a detailed description of the project that they are working on and the people they work with
  • Or One Wag just said …”Do you know where the loos are here?”

If your people give you sensible short and succinct answers then stop now.
There’s really little to be gained by continuing ..
HOWEVER if they can’t deliver that kind of message then carry-on

Step 1. What are the long / the medium / the short answers?

  • Introduce the team to the 5 areas of Business Benefits
  • Get them to describe something that you and your team do that delivers …
    1. An ability for your client to increase their revenues
    2. An ability to reduce their costs per transaction
    3. Increases their employee productivity
    4. Allows them to increase their customer satisfaction
    5. Makes the business compliant with one or more laws of the land
  • Have the teams connect what you do to one or more of these benefit areas
  • Get them to come up with a 5 or 6 sentence answer to the above CEO’s question
  • Get them to shorten it and make it punchy
  • Next job is to have a 2 sentence summary that still mentions major benefits

Expect to see people deliver sentences that are full of techno-speak. Disallow those
However you’ll see people come up with benefit connections you hadn’t seen.
You might also see that the team does not know what benefits you bring to your clients at all! 
You might also see that given some of your answers that your marketing collateral does not make benefit statements at all!! ( We did only find that in one case)

You should now have your Elevator Pitch and you should make sure everyone in the company can say it.

Step 2: Describing your Value Propositions to parts of your client decision making unit (DMU)

  • Ask each team to describe the various players in the typical DMU for their customer
  • Ask ”What do these people worry about?
    • Senior Executives  (MD, FD, ITD, Engineering):
    • These??  Courts / Cash / Customers / Competition / Competency
    •  Middle Management (Business, Financial, Technical)
    • Specialists (Business, Financial, Technical)
  • Have them describe your value proposition to each category and segment
  • Capture and share the output with the team
  • Get the team to own sharing stories on clients

If this sounds like something you could see working in your team…

If you’d like us to act as a Cross-Selling workshop facilitator and run this workshop for you

Call us or email us info@rainmaker-coaching.co.uk

 

Sales Training : Be Interested THEN be Interested #2

This is a follow up and taking a different slant from our previous blog …

Be Interested then be Interesting #1

When meeting new people, many people put themselves under pressure to talk.
Their head is filled with fears like “What should I talk about? What shall I say? ”
They enter these initial encounters with themselves at the centre of their mind!
They forget about the other person because they’re too busy thinking of what to say!
They’re not really listening at all..
A conversation with them is merely taking it in turns to talk.

Don’t rack your brains thinking of things to say. Think questions and listen well.
That way you invite the other person to do most of the talking.

We suggest that when you go into a situation where you are meeting someone for the first time, go into that encounter with only one thing on your mind – THEM.
Treat that person like they are the most important person in the world.
Why? Because to that person they are the most important person.

To build rapport you need to find common ground. Yes?
How do you find common ground? You need to discover it.
How do you discover it? Be curious and ask questions about the other person.
You know the possible common ground from your side.
Your challenge is to get the other person talking so that you can discover Their common ground with you.

Let’s get them talking.  What do other people like to talk to about?

1. Themselves
Get them to talk about their favourite subject with questions like

  • “What are YOU up to these days?”
  • ” What’s the job you do for Oracle? and What does that entail?”
  • “What are the top 3 things you do for your business?”
  • “Tell me about yourself “
  • Alternatively you may want to say ” Go on then , give me the two minute elevator pitch on you” .
    • That avoids you standing there for 30 minutes listening to a complete life history
  • * “I hear YOU have been doing this…Is that correct? “

2. Opinions:

Ask questions like

  • “What do you think of the traffic getting here tonight?”
  • “What is your opinion on the Tube strike?”
  • “What do you think of that TV programme last night?”
  • “Does your business have issues with this?”
  • “Lots of our clients are saying they have issues with this. Is that something you’ve dealt with?”

3. People :

Ask questions like

  • “Would you vote for them if they asked you to?”
  • “Do you know anyone who can help me with this isssue?”
  • “I really like John’s sense of humour. Do you?”

4. Things:

Ask questions like

  • “I love YOUR car, how old is it?”
  • “Are you APPLE or Microsoft?”
  • “iphone or Android”

When they ask about you and then it is your turn.
When you do talk however, link it into what the other person has already said and you’ll be on common ground.
They’ll have a great conversation with you.

Try this and let us know how you get on    info@rainmaker-coaching.co.uk
and Do read the other blog too Be Interested then be Interesting #1

Rainmaking Training : Preparing for the initial meeting

Here are my 6 Steps to have a Great First Appointment with a new Prospect:

We do cover this and other topics on our sales training and Rainmaking Training workshops

Your first step is to establish with your prospect that this is what we call an “All Ears” meeting.
In that we will be “All Ears” whist you tell us about , you , your business and your issues.

1. This is a fact finding trip
Explain that you are on a fact finding mission with the prospect.
Yes, you have a service that may improve their business.
However you need to learn more about them and their business in order to know for sure and to make any suggestions or recommendations.

2. Agree an outcome for the meeting with them …
You should have sent an email with an outline agenda to them to cement the meeting in their diary.
Go through that quickly with them if you did.
If not, then agree early on what you want to cover with the prospect and ideally how long it will take.
Say something like “I think this meeting wil take about 45 minutes of your time. Is that ok?
How about we jointly conclude at the end of the meeting whether it’s worth taking a next step together or not?”

3.Get down to business quickly.
Please do talk about the weather and traffic and do accept a drink if it’s offered.
Some small talk can develop a little rapport and start to develop a relationship with the prospect and putting them at ease.
However do keep it to a minimum.
Respect their time and yours.

4.Don’t talk about you and your solution too soon.
(See also the blog on the trap door question)
The purpose of this meeting is to learn more about your prospect’s business.
Then you can determine the best solution for them and if it’s what you do at all.

5. Prepare your questions:
The questions you ask need to yield the answers you need. Poor questions will not do that.
With good questions you can and will control the meeting and get your prospect talking and you listening.
You can use thought provoking questions to challenge the thinking of your prospects.
You can also demonstrate by good questions that you have knowledge and interest in their business.
Over time write down the questions that work for you and build a library for yourself that you refer to before key appointments.

6. Have a conversation:
Having a clear goal and outcome for the meeting is great…
However please have a conversation with a fellow human being.
Don’t make it an interrogation of a robot.
Srike a balance between asking questions and putting your prospect at ease.
Use a conversational tone.

If you can do these 6 steps I think you will have a great first sales appointment

You might also like our appointment Planning guide . It’s FREE to download Simple Rainmaker meeting Planner
T
ry it out the next time you meet a new prospect. See if it helps

Let us know what you think of it. How do you plan your initial meetings. info@rainmaker-caching.co.uk