Selling Exercise: How to (Almost) Sell Anything

Selling Exercise: How to (Almost) Sell Anything


This exercise helps delegates to practice selling an object to an audience. It covers several key concepts:

  • How to highlight USP (Unique Selling Points) in any given object
  • How to increase the value of an object by giving it history
  • How to convince a crowd that a product is worth the price you demand


Sell a randomly assigned object to an audience as in an auction.

What You Need

  • Several random objects that can be brought to the training course. The choice of these objects is significant. Use the following guidelines:
  • Choose objects that delegates don’t sell on a daily basis.
  • Choose objects that are relatively complex and have many features
  • Choose unusual or old objects that are no longer in circulation or were old-fashioned luxury.
  • As a rule of thumb, the best objects are those that are classed as “strange”.
  • You need 3 objects per each round. The number of rounds is your choice.


  • Ask a volunteer to come forward and face the audience.
  • Stand behind the volunteer and reveal the three objects to the audience in a way so that the volunteer cannot see them. The volunteer should not turn back to look and the audience should not state the name of the objects.
  • Name the objects A, B and C.
  • Ask the audience to select one of the objects that the volunteer must sell.
  • Once chosen, put the other objects aside and pass the chosen object to the volunteer.
  • Ask the volunteer to sell the item to the audience as if they are in an auction. Here are the tasks:
    • The volunteer should first describe the object and present its features within 5 minutes.
    • The starting bid for this object is £50,000.
    • The delegates in the audience can bid higher for the object.
    • Audience can ask questions to better understand the product.
    • Those who bid, must support their bid by stating why they think the object is worth the money they are willing to pay for.
  • Allow 5 minutes for the auction.
  • Encourage a quick discussion on how the selling and buying went and then move to another round by asking for a new volunteer.
  • Show three new objects to the audience as before and let them select one. Optionally, you can use the two objects from the previous round that were not used before as part of this set.
  • Continue for as many rounds as you have time for or you think is enough to deliver the point across.
  • Follow with a general discussion.


Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes

Activity: (5 min selling + 10 min auction) * 2 rounds = 30 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes


How hard was it to sell? What is the secret in increasing the worth of any random object? What does this suggest when it comes to selling? What selling techniques did you rely on and did they work? Which volunteer had the best selling performance and why?


  • You can let the audience start with their own initial bid.
  • You can let the audience to randomly select a starting bid from a set of numbers that you show them.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The Most Similar Exercises & Articles to this in Order of Similarity Are:

Freeform Creativity Exercise
Team Building Exercise: Leaky Pipes
Chocolate Packaging Design Competition Exercise
Emotional Intelligence Exercise: Making Eye Contact
Energiser: Wake Them Up
Mobile Phone Team Building Exercises and Icebreakers

Training Resources for You

Course Design Strategy

Course Design Strategy

Available as paperback and ebook

Training Resources

Free Training Resources

Download a free comprehensive training package including training guidelines, soft skills training activities, assessment forms and useful training resources that you can use to enhance your courses.

Body Language Guide

Our Comprehensive Guide to Body Language

Train the Trainer Guides

Train the Trainer Resources

Get Insights - Read Guides and Books - Attend Courses

Training Materials

Get downloadable training materials on: Management Training, Personal Development, Interpersonal Development, Human Resources, and Sales & Marketing

Browse Full Product Catalogue About Training Materials