Empowering Young Minds Through the Power of Innovation

September 10, 2018

by Michael Lewandowski

This month InsideOut was pleased to welcome the St. Petersburg PAL (Police Athletic League) on Wednesday, July 11 to learn what sales innovation is all about!

The mission of the Police Athletics League of Saint Petersburg, Inc. is to prevent crime among our youth through recreation, education, and athletics. Their programs are based on the conviction that young people, if they are reached early enough, can develop strong positive attitudes towards police officers in their journey through life toward the goal of maturity and good citizenship. Thus, PAL programs foster relationships between our youth and local police officers.

Earlier this year, Chad Nuss (InsideOut’s CRO) was approached by PAL Board member, and fellow local business leader, Audrey McGucken about hosting an event. Chad immediately agreed, seeing it as an exceptional opportunity to not only give back to our community in St. Pete but also to inspire InsideOut team members and hopefully we could all grow together.

“If you’re not giving back, you’re not a leader”, said Chad regarding his attitude towards the community.

InsideOut has a history of giving back including contributions to The Kind Mouse whose mission is to assist families going through hard times and their chronically hungry children by providing career services and supplies including housewares and food to families between careers.

The Shark Tank for Kids

After a welcome speech from Chad in which he stressed the importance of a ‘sales mentality’ in all aspects of their life, the kids were split into groups of 3, each with at least one mentor from the InsideOut Sales team (with two mentors coming from the Paychexclient team who were in town attending our sales academy) to ‘create’ not only a product but a sales pitch for their product.

Some things they were asked to consider when creating their sales pitch were: Who are their customers? How will their product help people? What are their first-year sales goals? How will it be marketed to reach those goals? How much will it cost?

After spending some time working through their ideas with their teammates and InsideOut mentors each team ‘pitched’ their ideas to the impromptu InsideOut shark tank:

  1. The first product presented was a Do-Everything Robot. As you might guess this robot can do anything! It’s list price of $1,000,000 though, is not for the faint of heart or shallow pocketed.
  2. Presented next was the Pointmaster basketball trainer. Coming in at a more reasonable $49.99, the Pointmaster promises to get you shooting like Lebron, or Kobe, or Steph Curry in no-time. Not a bad ROI when you think about it.
  3. Third up was the SpinPuter, a combination of handheld computer and fidget spinner with a holographic display that’s activated by the rotation of the spinner, pretty cool! Base entry is $99.99 with add-ons coming to market soon including a spin-assist arm to make it less labor intensive.
  4. Last but not least to anyone who’s ever needed a charge on their phone stat was the 0-100 charger for ultra-quick, wireless phone charging. For only $60 this product has a definite niche in the marketplace that’s only going to grow.

It was obvious to see how much the PAL participants had thought about their product and in the end, everyone was a winner for participating in the brainstorming activity. Each participant walked away with InsideOut branded pens and notebooks only after promising Chad they would use them to write down all their ideas.

PAL Operations Director, Heather Robb, commented that “(she) often thinks the organizations get more out of PAL visits than the kids.”

One member of the InsideOut team who contributed her time as a mentor, Sharin Noble, can understand that sentiment.

“I could see the way they loved to think about their ideas and develop them into a product! It was such an amazing thing to be a part of and it makes me so happy to work for a company that believes in giving back to the community in this way and allows me to have experiences like this at work!”