Include Your Customers in Your Team Building Activities

The whole idea behind producing team building events is to get your teams to work together more effectively while having a good time. Most firms large and small use corporate team building activities to build closer relationships among staff. Few use this team bonding effort to include customers. Why?

Your customers are perhaps the most important part of your team. Why not bring them into your corporate events. We produce culinary team building (cooking) programs so I will use this concept as an example.

Imagine breaking your sales executives into teams and assigning one or more customers to cook alongside them as team members. Our programs are designed to foster effective communication among team members as they all push in the same direction working towards the same outcome. Isn’t this what your sales efforts are really all about?

Our Team Cuisine program begins by playing a short icebreaker game to, of course, “break the Ice” and get the participants comfortable in their new roles as chefs. We ask the teams to make many team decisions along the way providing many opportunities for enhanced dialog.

The teams cook a seven-course international meal (no recipes are provided) which they all eat together as another bonding opportunity. You have heard the adage that “breaking bread” together brings people closer. Well, imagine actually making the bread together. It’s a powerful metaphor indeed. Just to keep the team juices flowing we include competition in the mix.

Our clients consistently tell us that their staff that has participated in one of our programs talk about it for weeks after the event. Wouldn’t you love to open this kind of dialog with your customers?

Including buyers in your team building activities will create a new paradigm in your sales relationships. I know for sure that this works. Since most of our team events are produced in hotels, we receive a good portion of our business through hotel partnerships and recommendations. To foster these relationships, we will produce our programs for the hotel sales staff alongside our sales staff and facilitators. Once the hotel sales people experience our programs, they are more apt to recommend our offerings to their meeting clients.

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