Toyota Industries:
Driving Sales Performance

Forklift manufacturer and leading global brand Toyota Industries operates over 60 business units on 5 continents. The business group Toyota Material Handling International (TMHI) focuses on smaller markets in South America, the Middle East, and Africa, coordinating sales and service with dozens of local distributors.

In fall 2011, TMHI launched a new initiative, Vision 2020, that reinvested in distributor capacity and skills in order to grow market share and engage new customers. With the 2016 distributor conference coming up, TMHI president Toshifumi Onishi wanted to inspire participants with a strong keynote presentation. TMHI needed to make a real connection with the attendees, one that would set the tone for a year of successful communication with headquarters.

Solution Design

Mission People Systems consultant Karl Pisor was engaged through FranklinCovey Japan. He met with TMHI planning leader Takahiro Kondo to first understand background, context and goals. TMHI global headquarters was already working hard to provide tools and resources to distributors; now, at the upcoming annual conference, they had an opportunity to communicate their planning and their passion. Over the next few weeks, Karl worked with the Toyota Industries team to design a customized keynote presentation, complete with visuals, that drew on FranklinCovey's highly-acclaimed content from "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and "Helping Clients Succeed."

Results

Attendee engagement. As sales professionals, most of the conference attendees had little patience for grand ideals: instead, they wanted clear, actionable advice. Karl kept the presentation relevant by using personal, real-world experiences to illustrate paradigms from "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." Attendees could see how they could apply the concepts to their home markets and personal circumstances. Later, Karl used content from "Helping Clients Succeed" to highlight the role of listening in developing strong customer relationships. Salespeople want and need practical ideas. The keynote presentation never wavered from that aim, and attendees were engaged from start to finish.

Value-based communication. FranklinCovey's deep expertise in personal effectiveness programs provided the content that anchored the keynote presentation. "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" inspires leaders from all walks of life to develop character, to act with integrity, and to invest in trust relationships both personally and in business. The TMHI management team strongly supported this approach, and was excited to see keynote content that focused on these values.

A new opening to key business partners. The successful keynote delivery did more than just fire up attendees for the length of a speech. It also opened up the conference atmosphere, encouraging attendees to connect with each other and with TMHI representatives. The tone of caring for each other and working to succeed together seeded many subsequent conversations over the course of the conference.

Throughout the event planning, you were patient enough to understand our message clearly. I was especially impressed at your flexibility in customizing your speech to address all of our concerns. And we couldn't be happier with your wonderful seminar presentation. Many attendees went out of their way to say how much they enjoyed it. I thought it was a huge success, and I hope we have the opportunity to work with you again.

Takahiro Kondo
Senior Manager
Toyota Industries Corp.

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