Out Of the Blue
 
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CLIENT:
ROCHE DIAGNOSTICS

PROBLEM:
Customer Service – Overcoming Objections.

Roche Diagnostics Executive Leadership was looking for a way to help their sales staff overcome customer objections, build a positive communication environment and drive sales in a fiercely competitive market.

SOLUTION:
We used a two-pronged approach to help the Roche sales force develop unique ways to deal with customer objections. In Phase One, we initiated a “Yes… and” environment, one where attendees were asked to restructure their view of customer objections, truly seeing them as opportunities to build stronger customer relationships instead of as a negative wedge that drives both sides apart. Creating a “Yes… and” environment also addresses how people listen without judgment, allowing them to set aside result based thinking.

Phase Two (we call it Shoulda Said) involved the use of a simple desk bell while role-playing customer service scenarios. This Out of the Blue method playfully forces participants to exhaust all pre-planned or “textbook” responses, leaving the sales person “empty” and in a place where true creativity begins.

RESULT:
The salespeople embraced the challenge and quickly recognized the potential of this exercise. They became more actively involved in the communication process, their listening skills became markedly heightened and their responses were more direct to the concern. They exhibited an attitude focused on true problem solving and not problem deflection.

CLIENT FEEDBACK:
Based on post convention attendee evaluations, Roche Diagnostics highlighted these exercises as of great value to their staff.

 

CLIENT:
KAISER PERMANENTE HEALTH PLAN & HOSPITALS - CALIFORNIA

PROBLEM:
Kaiser Permanente, health care provider for over 6 million Californians needed a series of programs to re-energize their top 300 leaders.

SOLUTION:
Out of the Blue researched the specific challenges of health industry leaders and developed a custom full day Keynote and workshop program entitled “Spontaneous Combustion” – Igniting the Spirit of Leadership.” The highly interactive presentation included a custom comedy sketch, which illuminated “over seriousness,” and “linear” thinking. Out of the Blue then conducted exercises with the leaders based on improvisation theater principles, which focused on play/work balance, saying “Yes…And!” to create enthusiastic and positive professional and personal relationships, and developing “in the moment” interactive listening skills.

RESULT:
The Kaiser Permanente leaders reacted positively to the message and engaged fully in the workshop exercises. According to client feedback, the presentation “…Ignited numerous positive changes in team interactions. These messages have a strong impact in improving the work environment at the same time our members are the recipients of improved service delivery.”

Out of the Blue was brought back for presentations to Kaiser Permanente’s Northern & Southern California’s senior nurse manager teams.

 

CLIENT:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION –
FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION

PROBLEM:
The Federal Highway Administration needed an energizing keynote that focused on new leadership practices for 250 of their leaders from across the country. They wanted their group, largely made up of people with an engineering background, to be able to think on their feet, approach problems more creatively and have more fun! Enter: Out of the Blue

SOLUTION:
Out of the Blue opened their keynote program with a custom sketch utilizing a mock speaker to outline radical (and ridiculous) changes in the highway department. They were instantly hooked, nodding in agreement and laughing throughout the entire opening.

Through improvisation exercises, stories, improvisation performances and a customized game show, we involved each participant in the learning and the fun. The goals were to show the FHWA leaders that success in business demands strong connections with people, and relies on building strong, in the moment relationships. In addition, by using the principles of improvisation they could greatly enhance their communication and creativity skills.

RESULT: We immediately received a letter from the Department of Transportation, which said; “…to see the concepts in use so quickly speaks volumes to the effectiveness of your presentation…your extensive efforts to customize your presentation and incorporate FHWA lingo in your exercises was very impressive.”

We were requested back for an encore presentation this year.

 

Out of the Blue
2414 West 65 ½ Street
Minneapolis, MN 55423
Phone: 612-384-9448
e-mail: JamesDetmar[at]outofthebluecreative.com
MarkBergren[at]outofthebluecreative.com
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