Wednesday, October 18, 2017

SKO's and "Swipes" - Making Stuff Sticky

Want a terrific way to ensure that SKO participants remember more key ideas?  Try using “Swipes”.

Many sales kickoff meetings consist of a pile of PowerPoint presentations from senior management, sales management, product management, sales operations and enablement, often with additional segments from customer service, legal and other departments.  It’s a mass of information delivered over a few days, typically interspersed with a social event or two.

Basically boring.  And tough to expect that the participants remember much from each day.

Here’s a simple, terrific idea that I first encountered during a SKO meeting at McLeod Software and introduced to me by Rick Halbrooks, McLeod’s head of sales (and long-time Great Demo! senior practitioner):  Swipes.

The idea is very simple.  At the end of each day, Rick goes around the room and has each person state something that he or she took away.  That’s seemingly easy, but he added a twist:  an idea can only be used once!  If someone else verbalizes your take-away, you’d better have a backup.  Or two.  Or three.  Or more…  (You can guess where the name “Swipe” comes from…)

Participants know, ahead of time, that they need to verbally recall at least one idea at the end of the day that hasn’t already been presented by someone else.  To be safe, each person tends to write down several take-aways, often a list.  And participants often tend to pay better attention, since they need to constantly be listening and watching for swipe candidates.

Works wonderfully!

Pragmatic Note:  This doesn’t work for a group of 800 people.  But it does operate delightfully in groups of 50 or less.  Solution for a group of 800?  Do the swipes in breakout sessions or similar smaller venues. 

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