- Think about the message. It's great to have an engaging speaker, but make sure you book someone whose presentation will reinforce your overall goals for the year, says Sam Reese, CEO of Miller Heiman, a sales training company in Reno, Nevada.
- Schedule strategically. If the presentation is nuts-and-bolts in nature, schedule your guest speaker at the start of Day Two of your meeting. If it has philosophical or big-picture content, schedule the speech during a dinner.
- If you're going to hire a pro, book in advance. People who conduct motivational sales training for a living often raise their prices for companies that try to book them only a few weeks before a scheduled meeting.
- Ask customers to speak.Their feedback is almost always helpful, and their presence at a sales meeting can help keep any party animals on your staff on their best behavior. Ask two or three clients to speak for 15 minutes each. But you should tactfully request to review their remarks in advance, Reese says, to make sure they don't contradict you.