In my last post, I provided few thoughts on structuring an effective sales meeting. Whether designed as a stand-alone meeting or incorporated into an existing operations meeting, a good sales meeting is essential to maintaining a high-performing sales team. Here are some additional tips for getting the most out of the time spent with your team.
Vary the topics discussed. If you bring up the same subjects week after week, you’ll become too predictable and your staff will tune out. Potential meeting ideas include:
o Review your latest scorecard or campaign results.
o Lead the group in sharing sales success stories.
o Select a particular product or service and provide in-depth training.
o Perform some service mapping.
o Engage the team in strategy brainstorming.
o Share an article or video and discuss how it relates to your team’s mission.
o Invite a guest speaker to educate, inspire or challenge the team.
• Be yourself. You may find it useful to take advantage of pre-written meeting guides or other source material as the foundation of your meeting. If you decide to use such a guide, I encourage you to use your own words rather than those provided. You will be much more effective as a leader if your personality comes through. Add your own thoughts and questions. The precise words are less important than the concepts being discussed and the actions that come after.
• Make sure everyone joins in the meeting. Some employees are more eager to participate than others and can easily overpower their teammates. If you see this happening, you may need to specifically call on the quieter ones to encourage their input. Everyone’s point of view is valuable, so everyone should be heard.
• Use follow-up techniques to make sure the topics are fully discussed. Ask the initial question and follow each response with a statement/question such as “Tell me more,” or “Why do you think that is?” Ask the initial question again of someone else to hear a different train of thought. Write some follow-up ideas down so you’ll be ready when the time comes.
• Pay attention to time. If you have only scheduled 15 minutes for your sales meeting, you may find that you’re unable to ask all of the planned discussion questions. If this happens, you may decide to schedule a follow-up meeting to continue the discussion. Or you may find that you’re proceeding more quickly than expected and your 45 minute meeting will be over too soon. If this happens, make sure the group is fully exploring each topic. Ultimately, the amount of time taken for your meeting is not important. The key is to make sure that the time spent together provides value to the team and that everyone walks away with specific next steps.
Sales meetings can be a great way to bring your team together. Used effectively, they’ll help you keep everyone engaged and on track.