How to keep interest at your sales conference

Posted by Jo Kelly

A sales conference can be the key to making sure your sales force sells your latest company offerings the best way possible. It should give them the information they need to effectively sell new products and services, from understanding market details to product USPs and specific sales techniques.

So, when holding a sales team conference, it’s crucial to keep your audience interested from start to finish. But how can you keep people’s interest at your sales meeting or conference? This blog aims to help list the key ways that can help.

Keep it short, simple and to the point

First to hold your audience’s attention, it’s important to keep your sales conference short and to the point. So make sure you’re aware of the clock, think about being concise and aim to only focus on key details.

A big part of holding people’s interest at a conference is getting the right level of thinking from them, so you should keep your information simple. Try not baffle your sales force with reams of slides, filled with long text and complex bullet points. Instead, include images and use short key points to get information across.

Break up details and don’t rehash

When time is an issue, it can be tempting to cram together all your key information. However, this can be overwhelming and confusing for individuals. It’s better to break up your conference agenda with short breaks. This gives your audience time to take in and digest key information, and discuss it with colleagues.

You should also avoid repeating information you’ve given at a previous sales team event. Rehashing old topics can use up your valuable time and cause your audience to quickly lose interest, as they’ve heard it all before. If you do feel it’s important to bring your audience up to speed, try to avoid going into detail. Instead, pick up from where you left off and keep your information brief.

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Consider and involve your audience

When an audience at a conference has no input they can lose interest, so it’s a good idea to involve them. To do this, you could use audience participation when demonstrating a product, ask the audience questions throughout a session, or include a Q&A at the end. You could ask the audience to discuss a key point with the person sitting next to them, or you could hold a breakout session. For instance, the audience is split into groups to discuss different sales techniques, before reporting back with their ideas.

You should also aim to get into the heads of your audience. Think about their background, the key age groups, and their interests. Also, consider current news that’s relevant to your conference, which attendees will probably find interesting. If you can make this link to your opening session it can be a good way to start your conference.

Use different mediums

People take in information in different ways – some are visual learners, while some are listeners, and others prefer interaction. People also tend to pay more attention when using more of their senses, like sight, sound, and touch. You should bear this in mind when hosting your sales team meeting or conference.

For instance, when demonstrating a new product, you could include a short video. You could also include an audio segment of quotes taken from the product’s market research, such as about problems it will fix. It’s worth noting using audio or video can be a good way to open a sales conference and get everyone’s attention right from the start. You could also pass around a prototype of the product, so the audience get a real feel of what they’re selling.

Change format, technique and delivery

From the change of location in a TV drama to a bridge in a song, change, such as of format, technique and style, can be used to hold people’s interest. You can change things to hold your audience’s attention in your sales team conference. When presenting details about a new service, you could change the visual medium you use, from product slides to a flip chart to bullet points and back to slides.

You could also change presenters, so one talks about the product’s production process and another about its target market.

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Making smaller changes in the delivery of your presentations can also be effective. You could add short silences after making critical statements. You could stand still for key sections and move around for others. Or you could speak quicker and be chatty when telling a story, and speak slower and louder to highlight a product’s USPs.

Tell a good story

Telling stories can be a powerful tool in holding people’s interest at a conference. A good story can also reinforce the points you’re trying to make. When introducing a new product, for instance, you could tell an inspiring story about how it came to be developed. This would help a sales force immediately understand that product’s relevance and importance.

Storytelling can also be an engaging way to end a sales conference, especially when demonstrating new products. When doing this, you don’t just hold your audience’s attention. You help them to buy into those products, inspiring them to sell them the best way they can.

How we can help you with sales conferences

At CR Events, we specialise in a whole range of conferences. With our ideas, planning and expertise, we can help you hold an effective sales conference, which will successfully hold the interest of your sales force, and inspire employees to meet the sales goals you’ve set.

We’d love to help you engage, motivate and inspire your team with our innovative conference and meeting services. To speak to a member of our award-winning team:

Jo has worked at CR Worldwide as Events Operations Director since 2004. She is responsible for scoping and delivering all types of events, for clients of all sizes, globally. She manages the division’s team who organise and execute award-winning events – ranging from one-off sales floor days, corporate hospitality events and incentive travel trips, to annual conferences and partner summits.