If you’re planning a corporate national or international sales meeting for 100 or 1000 account executives, factory reps, or distributors, this page is for YOU! Below you will find information about what Christopher can do to make your meeting memorable and entertaining. You may also be interested in visiting the Company Parties and Game Shows pages for more ideas.
This page is specifically about large sales meetings…if you’re planning a weekly department meeting for 12 people, or, perhaps a company dinner for 300 or more, visit the the Company Parties page.
If you’re hosting a private party for fewer than 50 people in your home and will be paying on-site with cash or a personal check and don’t need a receipt for tax purposes, check out the Private Parties Page.
Corporate Clients might also like to visit the Game Shows for more ideas.
What follows is a detailed description of one typical national sales meeting Christopher did in May of 1998, followed by descriptions of individual programs suited to corporate audiences. It will give you an idea of the sorts of things Christopher could do for YOUR meeting.
So…what CAN Christopher do for YOUR
firm’s next national sales meeting?
“Thanks so much for your excellent performance. The entire meeting got excellent reviews from the sales representatives who attended. We’re even getting thank you notes from them which is great. Again, Chris, thanks so much for your time and effort!”
— Stacey Leggett Marketing Communications Graham Drives (http://www.grahamdrives.com) 5/98
This was more than just a single meeting…it was a national sales meeting and product kick-off for some 300 independent sales reps and distributors and their spouses at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, at which Christopher performed 20 separate fully-costumed characterizations over the course of 3 days and evenings of workshops, meetings, dinners, and parties, and for which he provided consultation, scripting, staging, and presentation of the opening and closing sessions, as well as two songs, a laptop computer Powerpoint Presentation, and a game show. In order to provide these services, Christopher spent 5 months learning about Graham, and its staff, products, market, and reps and distributors. Details of this Graham meeting follow.
Graham learned about Christopher because a year earlier he had done a similar sales meeting for Graham’s sister division, Danfoss Drives, at the Downtown Chicago Marriott Hotel on 4/16-4/18/97. The parent company, Danfoss of Denmark, was so pleased with Christopher’s work, it facilitated the referral.
(The Danfoss meeting included an opening session starring Christopher as Elwood Blues…events in other venues included Christopher’s Senator Bob Dole singing the blues with the Blues Brothers band at the House of Blues restaurant, and Christopher’s 8-1/2-foot-tall stiltwalking basketball player at Niketown, among many other characterizations. Along with writing the opening and closing sessions and songs, Christopher also did all the research, writing, and photography for a “history of Danfoss Drives” slide presentation for the opening, complete with narration done as a Paul Harvey radio program, which included spoofs of Paul Harvey’s characteristically staccato live commercials. Featured were multiple on-location self-portraits of Christopher as Laurel & Hardy for True Value Hardware stores and as Crocodile Dundee for Nutragena hand creme.)
Graham’s opening session, on May 13th in 1998 at 8:00 a.m., featured a mystery keynote speaker whom Graham staff had built-up to their reps and distributors as a very exciting celebrity.
With the lights dimmed, and the Graham logo on the screen, an off-stage announcer dramatically introduced (“…a Second Lieutenant who was injured in World War II…Senate Majority Leader for 28 years….etc, etc”)
“Senator Bob Dole.”
Acccording to a number of the reps and distributors, those in the audience believed for the first few seconds that it was Senator Bob Dole taking the podium. While a digital slide show flashed on behind his head, he sternly talked about what a bum Bill Clinton is…
…and about the “Dole in 2000” campaign,
…and then, eventually, he did get around to introducing Graham’s exciting new product, the VLT6000. He finally interrupted his own speech, though, by saying that this was no way to introduce a product in Las Vegas, Nevada! “You gotta do this Vegas-style!”
He abruptly left the stage, and the thumping intro to Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas” fired up. Two beautiful showgirls scantily clad in feathers and sarongs escoted the Senator back onto the stage, but he was now wearing a huge silver belt buckle and a sequined, polyester cape.
Senator Bob Dole sang the following words to the song “Viva Las Vegas”:
BRIGHT CITY LIGHTS GONNA SET YOUR SOUL, GONNA SET YOUR SOUL ON FIRE. A NICE KANSAS BOY SEES THEM DESERT LIGHTS, KNOWS HE’S GONNA FIND SOME BUYERS!
THERE’S A THOUSAND PRETTY DRIVERS A WAITIN’ OUT THERE, BUT THEY’RE SLOPPY AND ERRATIC, AND YOU NEED A SPARE. BUT STARTING TODAY YOU JUST DON’T GIVE THAT A CARE… ‘CAUSE BOB DOLE DOES VEGAS, BOB DOLE DOES VEGAS!
NOW, THE DESERT SUN IS MIGHTY HOT, AND SO’S THE M-G-M GRAND. YOU’RE ALL HERE TO FIND A BETTER A.F.D., AND YOU’RE SURE TO FIND THAT WITH GRAHAM!
OH, THERE’S GRAHAM’S NEWEST PRODUCT, IT’S A BIG AFD (adjustable frequency drive), AND, BROTHER, IT’S MADE FOR HVAC (heating, vacuum, air conditioning)! IT’S CALLED THE SIX THOUSAND…IT’S A VLT… VLT 6000, VLT 6000!
IF YOUR APPLICATION IS AN H-V-A-C, THE “REAL DRIVE” IS THE VLT! TALK ABOUT PRECISION CONTROL! VLT 6000 IS THE “REAL DRIVE”, IT GIVES THE OTHER GUYS THE HIVES… THE ONLY CANDIDATE…JUST LIKE GOOD OL’ BOB DOLE!
YOU’RE DOIN’ H-V-A-C YA’ NEED THE NEW VLT, YOU WANT SOMETHIN’ GOOD IN THE HOUSIN’, THERE’S ONLY ONE DRIVE FROM GRAHAM THE “REAL DRIVE”, IT’S THE VLT 6000!
SO, IT’S BOB DOLE STANDIN’ HERE TELLIN’ YOU, IF YOU WANT A HAPPY CLIENT, DON’T PLAY THE FOOL, SELL ‘EM THE “REAL DRIVE”, WATCH THE COMPETITION DROOL! BOB DOLE DOES VEGAS, GRAHAM DOES VEGAS, BOB DOLE DOES VEGAS, GRAHAM, BOB DOLE DOES VEGAS!
Needless to say, the audience was on the floor, and the rest of the 90 minute opening session was punctuated by other appearances by Senator Bob Dole, as well as Christopher as four other characters during the “Evolution of the Drives” address detailing the history of Graham, delivered by Graham Marketing Director Roger Maves.
At 9:30 a.m. the distributors and reps walked off to their scheduled workshops and they chatted-on about how uniquely memorable and entertaining Graham had made its new product introduction.
But, of course, the fun was not over! During workshop breaks, parties, and banquets over the course of the three-day meeting, Christopher provided Walkaround impersonations of such celebrities as Richard Simmons, Lt. Columbo, Kermit the Frog, Sheriff Buford T. Justice, Jack Nicholson, Floyd the Barber of “The Andy Griffith Show”, Forrest Gump, and a memorable 8 1/2-foot-tall stiltwalking western bad-guy named Black Bart III.
The closing session was similarly entertaining, with Senator Dole closing things out with a song that announced and feted Graham’s Top 20 reps and distributors (the Top 10 based upon market share followed by the Top 10 based upon shipments) which attended the meeting, all to the tune of the song “If I Only Had A Brain” from the movie “The Wizard of Oz”:
(scroll down…following this lengthy song is much more information)
I COULD WILE AWAY THE HOURS,
SINGING PRAISES WITH SPEECH THAT FLOWERS,
BUT I’M NOT THAT KIND OF GUY!
I DON’T GIVE PRAISES FREELY,
OR MAKE COMMENDATIONS JUST GENTEELLY,
BUT I ALSO CANNOT LIE!
THE FOLKS AT GRAHAM KEEP REPEATING,
THAT GOOD BUSINESS ISN’T FLEETING…
IT’S SOMETHING YOU PURSUE.
TO FIND GREAT REPS IS QUITE IMPORTANT,
IT’S A STEP YOU JUST CAN’T SHORTEN!
THAT MEANS THAT GRAHAM OWES THANKS TO YOU!
-NOW I WILL RECOGNIZE,
-GRAHAM’S TOP 20 REPS RIGHT NOW.
-PLEASE DON’T THINK THAT WE HAVE JUST FORGOT THE REST…
-THESE ARE THE BEST, BUT OF THE BEST!
FIRST BY MARKET SHARE WE LIST ‘EM,
BUT THAT’S BECAUSE WE COULDN’T’VE KISSED ‘EM,
NUMBER 10 TO INTRODUCE:
TRIGON ENGINEERING’S HAPPY,
NOT CUZ OUR MEETINGS WENT BY SO SNAPPY,
BUT CUZ NO PICKPOCKET WAS ON THE LOOSE!
NUMBER 9’S FROM IND-I-UNA,
AC EQUIPMENT REPS, THEY RUN A
DAILY GRAHAM WEB GRAPHICS DOWNLOAD.
NUMBER 8 IS BACK IN DENVER,
CFM’S ZELLAR AIN’T NO TENOR,
MIKE, THE “DRIVE STUD”, AS HE’S KNOWN!
NEAL AND ASSOCIATES FROM TEXAS,
AIN’T EXACTLY GONNA WRECK US,
THOUGH THEY’RE RUN BY JOHN NEAL 2!
NUMBER 6 IS THE CHUDMEISTER, (a nickname for Climate Sales),
NUMBER 5 IS A REAL GOOD FIGHTER,
F/M SALES’ HELLER HATES CLINTON, TOO! (GOOD FOR YOU!)
-NOW HERB & CON, FROM O-H-I-O (Herbert & Conway),
-HAVE GOT THEIR VERY OWN WEB PAGE UP!
-AND E.E.S. IS NUMBER 3, (Engineered Equipment and Systems)
-THEY’RE DRIVING M.G.M.’s H.V. A.C.!
NUMBER 2 AIN’T NO PARTY POOPER,
THEY’RE ROCKFORD’S BURDEN COOPER…
THEY’RE GRAHAM EVEN IN THAT TOWN!
AND THE NUMBER ONE REP BY MARKET SHARE,
IS MULCAHY WITH A DISTINCTION QUITE RARE…
THEY GAVE GRAHAM THE METRODOME!
(THAT’S RIGHT, A GRAHAM DRIVE, HOLDS THAT PUPPY UP!) NOW WE MOVE ON TO TOP TEN REPS BY SHIPMENT.
REP 10’S UNITED ENGINEERING,
HEADED BY VESTER WHO LOVES STEERING
HIS FANCY 4-DOUR BENZ!
KIL-DON-AN’S HERB SURE MISSES CEX NOW,
THAT THEY RENAMED THE SHOW C-M-X, NOW…
BIANNUAL C.E.X. WILL BE MISSED BY MEN!
WALLACE EANNACE IS REP 8er,
AND A REAL INNOVATOR…
NO CUSTOMER BUYS IT OFF THE RACK!
7’S AIR PRODUCTS, THEY’RE BEAR LOVERS…
AND 6 IS NEAL, WHOM I’VE ALREADY COVERED.
WE’RE DOWN TO TOP FIVE REPS, IN FACT!
-AIR FILTER/CONTROL IS NUMBER 5,
-THEY STOLE A.S.H.R.A.E. FOR JUST ONE YEAR!
-CHUDECKE’S CLIMATE SALES AGAIN IS #4…
-LIKE ME, D-M-R’S IN WASHINGTON EVERMORE!
NUMBER 2’S B.J. MULCHAY,
THE METRODOME FOLKS…THEY AIN’T FLAKY!
AND THAT BRINGS US TO NUMBER ONE!
LAST YEAR’S BEST REP JUDGED BY SHIPMENTS,
IS STRUCKE-McGOWAN… AT SELLING GRAHAM’S EQUIPMENT,
YOU’RE THE BEST…YOU’VE SOLD A TON!
Christopher has provided similar services for the national and international sales meetings of these other fine firms, whose web sites can also be found at my Links Page:
IDC-Industrial Devices Corporation, of Novato, California;
Danfoss Drives, of Rockford, Illinois;
STI-Scientific Technologies Incorporated, of Fremont, California;
Parker/Hanifin-Computmotor Division, of Rohnert Park, California;
and SOLA Optical USA, of Petaluma, California;
Christopher has also provided simple corporate meeting, trade show, and party entertainment and walkaround characterization services to the many other corporations, public agencies, media corporations, and fairs and festivals you’ll find listed on the Clients Page.)
Christopher & Co. Celebrity Impersonations
POB 2927 Petaluma CA 94953-2927
All content, graphics, and images contained throughout are Copyright © 2002-2011 by Christopher D. Linnell and are protected by United States and International copyright laws. No text, graphic, or image may be used, in whole or in part, individually, or as part of a derivative work, without express written permission.