Building Team Spirit



If you are interested in selling to large corporate groups, whether you are delivering team building or team bonding, here are some of our best tips for success.

1. Define what you are offering. The clearer you can be in setting expectations, the more likely clients are to walk away feeling satisfied. If you are able to offer a facilitated team building experience and have someone on staff with expertise on areas like trust, communication, or leadership, then be sure to mention that. If you don’t have that kind of staff power, but you do have a great course that allows people to disconnect from their electronics and connect with each other in a new way, be sure that your clients know this, too. Just make sure that you only sell what you know you can deliver.

2. Sell to the outcomes, not to the goals. This is true of all marketing, not just large group events, but is a particular point with team building and team bonding programs. Is your group coming because they think they need some team building? Or is your group coming because they want everyone to leave
with a unique, shared experience that they can talk about back at the office? The more you can describe what they will be walking away with, the more likely they will be to want to experience it. If you cannot offer them what they need, you may risk losing the business. But you won’t risk the negative reviews that would accompany an unhappy client.

3. Partner with the pros. If you’re determined to sell team building programs but don’t have anyone on staff that is qualified, reach out to third-party vendors. There are plenty of team building providers who are more than willing to partner with local recreation professionals to develop and facilitate their curriculum. You’ll still be operating the course, but bringing in an expert to shape the experience and debrief it on the other side.

If you partner with other vendors, conduct due diligence to make sure that they are reputable. This could include a reference check, a trial run where they run a sample activity for your staff, or video of their work with past clients.

4. Don’t be afraid of buzzwords. “Team building” is popular corporate jargon, which is why it’s such a tempting thing to sell. If you don’t have the resources to offer team building at the moment, there are other hot buttons you can push. Tell them about the great “networking opportunities” your course provides, the “turnkey event services” that you can deliver, and the chance for people to “connect with their colleagues in a new way.” Truth is, many people who are searching for team building don’t really know what they are looking for. The more you can talk to them in the language they speak—networking, bonding, connecting to colleagues—the more likely they are to listen.

5. Promise only what you can guarantee. If you guarantee that the group will walk away with increased trust in one another, say, and one person fails to have that experience, your promise has been broken. Instead, guarantee that your team of skilled facilitators will design a program tailored to capture the moments where trust is needed most on your course. Or that your top-of-the-line staff will create a positive and exciting experience while upholding the highest professional standards. Whatever you promise your group, whether it’s a fun and adventurous afternoon away from the office or a full-blown organizational change, make sure it is something you can deliver.

If you are transparent with what you offer, manage client expectations, and continue to sell to the outcome, you can create happy, satisfied customers—and the head counts, budgets, and weekday visits that come with them.

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