The purpose of a sales meeting is to prepare your sales staff to sell. Yet all too often sales meetings turn into boring lectures and redundant wastes of time.
Meetings without an apparent purpose or agenda are tedious and often fruitless for everyone involved. When no new information is shared, valuable time is squandered. It’s important that you don't waste your salespeoples' time, but you also need to avoid overloading them with information. Create a balance between planned productivity and comfortable flow. The key to almost any successful meeting is to make it interesting, useful, and positive.
Before you rally the troops for another sales meeting, consider some of the following ways to get the most out of your sales meetings:
Get the meeting off to a good start: If your salespeople come in at 7:30 a.m. specifically for a meeting, these people appreciate and deserve fresh coffee, orange juice, and warm bagels. Good food sets the tone for a great meeting.
Recognize your sales team's efforts: Take a few minutes every meeting to congratulate and thank your salespeople for any and all completed goals, closed deals, and profits. Praise reinforces positive behavior and encourages everyone to do well.
Share stories from the trenches: At least one positive war story should be shared in every meeting. These stories are engaging and fun, and they reinforce your goals.
Prepare: Give your salespeople some general guidelines in order to prepare for the meeting in advance. Ask members of the team to share with the group:
- How they made initial contact
- With what companies they had to compete for the sale
- What the competitors did or did not do well
- What worked and what didn't
- Which other team members helped with the sale
Encourage people to share: Directly involve your sales team by having them present product demonstrations or to disclose sales tips at each meeting. Part of the sharing process can include acknowledgement or review of the common mistakes that salespeople make. Find a natural way to bring up the Top 10 Sales Mistakes and invite discussion as to how to avoid them. Sharing information and ideas will help everyone to close more sales and to earn more money.
Open up your circle: Bring in people from the real world. Invite one of your customers to a meeting and ask him to explain why he buys from you. This is a powerful and constructive dose of reality.
Remain positive and constructive: Sales meetings are a good time to focus on group concerns, not individual problems. Keep the discussion relevant and don't allow people to present problems unless they also have potential solutions.
When your weekly sales meetings help your salespeople make more money, you'll probably find that the once dreaded sales meeting is a welcome respite from the next sales call.