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Team building activities are a great way to improve your team’s performance. Fun activities can encourage collaboration and connectivity in the workplace.
Team building activities can work to improve your team’s competitive advantage. In sales negotiations, how well your team works together usually plays a crucial role in your company’s success and profitability. The best sales negotiation training programs include aspects of team building. Three crucial team building activities for successful sales negotiations are:
Games for Encouraging Divergent Opinions
Most teams perform better when there’s collaborative thinking that considers nonconventional options.
Divergent opinions encourage team members to contribute and take collective responsibility. Neglecting different opinions may sideline more creative team members.
Sales negotiation training works to inspire people to think outside of the box. Unconventional thinking thrives by encouraging unusual ideas in team building activities. Promoting an unrestricted flow of ideas provides your sales team with more options. Divergent thinking can lead to creative solutions for stubborn problems or pain points.
A great game that encourages collaboration yet promotes divergent thinking is "If you build it.”
The “If you build it” game involves giving each team member equal amounts of a certain material. The material may be cereal boxes, office stationery, marshmallows, or even a tray of eggs. Task your team with building something—a fort, for example. Challenge teams with a variable such as which team can build the highest structure, the most structurally sound building, or work the fastest.
“If you build it” encourages team members to work together to solve problems. The game also encourages creative ideas. Solutions that come from creative thinking can set your team apart and drive more sales in a competitive market.
Activities to Identify Unique Qualities
The best teams are usually made up of members with complementary skills. A team made up of individual strengths, perspectives, and expertise, coming together to work for a common purpose, is more likely to cover the bases during negotiations.
Games can help your team identify an individual’s hidden qualities. When you have a team that’s diverse and inclusive, members bring their own diverse perspectives that can lead to better decision-making.
A well-prepared sales negotiation training program should bring out the best in each individual to strengthen their team. Some areas of diversity may include:
- Personality types
- Skills and experience levels
- Work styles
- Individual positions, e.g. manager, subordinate, etc.
- Gender and age
Team diversity and inclusivity adds strength and widens the pool of talent. Diversity can spark creativity, boost innovation, and encourage fresh thinking.
There's an inclusion game suggested by MIT known as “I am, but I am not.” The game offers a great way to appreciate diversity and harness the power of inclusion. The team building game goes like this:
- Give each team member a piece of paper.
- Members divide the paper into two columns. The “I am” column and the “I am not” column.
- On each row, divide the two columns with the word “but.”
- Each row will then read “I am ___, but I am not ___.”
- Team members write down a common identifier on each row on the “I am” column. Members then write a common stereotype on the “I am not” column.
- Common identifiers may include religion, race, age group, gender, etc.
- The entry in the “I am not” column should be a widely held stereotype that doesn't apply as true for that individual.
- Each team member should write five statements and share them with the whole team.
- An example would be, “I am a millennial, but I am not lazy.”
The “I am, but I am not” team building activity works for training members about diversity. It can be a fun way to bring bias to the forefront without causing offense. Members get to discover each other's backgrounds and unique talents without coming off as condescending.
Taking our previous example, telling a millennial “your generation is lazy” could be condescending. When the millennial opens up a discussion by saying: “I am a millennial, but I am not lazy,” this makes way for a more positive conversation.
With unique skill sets, your sales team can act on their strengths to create better sales offers. Your team can better prepare a negotiation strategy that builds on each individual’s strengths.
Fun Games to Promote Nuanced Understanding
Negotiations are usually forums for creating win-win solutions. Effective reading of subtle expressions and body language can offer nuanced understanding without the need for relying on words.
An effective sales team can use this understanding to increase their sales success rates. Having a deeper understanding of what a buyer might really be saying enables your team to be better equipped to create win-win solutions.
Team building can work to promote a team's ability to detect the kinds of subtle expressions seen in negotiations. Your team can learn to attach accurate meaning to the expressions. Importantly, nuanced understanding often unlocks dramatic results where negotiations are at a deadlock.
Fun games can equip your team to practice their understanding of nonverbal cues. A quick activity to develop this skill is the “Game of Possibilities.” Here are the steps for setting up this creative game:
- Give each team member a random object, anything from a pencil to a basketball.
- Let each team member take turns to demonstrate, nonverbally, how they would use the item.
- The player is encouraged to demonstrate a nonconventional use of the item. The crazier it is, the better.
- The other team members have to guess what the player is demonstrating. Exactly like they were playing a game of charades.
The Game of Possibilities enhances the players’ ability to read signals. The game promotes deeper understanding while encouraging individual innovation.
Another favorite game is telling two truths and a lie. This game hones a team’s ability to notice subtle cues that others pick up on. After the three short stories or statements have been made, it’s best to allow observers to ask many questions. Questioning and observing are key skills sales negotiators need to develop, yet seldom receive feedback on.
With practice, nuanced understanding can support your team in identifying buyers’ and other stakeholders’ subtle signals. Your team can identify controversial cues and make better counteroffers based on buyers’ spoken and unspoken reactions.
Team building can work to strengthen bonds between members of a sales team. Team building activities can work as great tools to overcome biases and encourage inclusion. Use some or all of these activities as fun ways to boost your sales team’s negotiation success rates.