by Sean McPheat
Republished from MTD, November 23, 2015
Why is it that many salespeople hate internal sales meetings?
You know, the ones where everyone sits round a desk and covers off the trivia and very quickly get bored with the whole process because the only result is that the manager gets to criticise and moan about the current sales figures again?
Meetings where everyone gets together should be vigorous, exciting affairs that get everyone buzzing and ready for the next sales call, not a dreaded amalgam of dry, stale and flat minutia.
How can you ensure your meetings are those that people look forward to rather than trying their hardest to find excuses to miss?
Here are seven ways that would make everyone feel it’s a worthwhile use of their time:
1) Plan and prepare effectively and don’t do boring things that would bore the pants off Mr Bore of Boredomville. If you have to go over company policy, updated sales forms, reasons for why targets weren’t achieved, etc, etc. then don’t use the morning meeting for this. Send the forms out and have a different way of discussing them. These meetings are for up-building, encouraging and supporting the sales team, not making them feel like death warmed up.
2) Get different people to lead them on different occasions. This will mix up the sessions and make the manager aware of people who have potential leadership credentials to show others. Yes, it means more time spent in preparing, but this is what makes salespeople take responsibility for progress. If they don’t want to lead the meeting, don’t force them, but make sure they understand it’s a great way of developing problem-solving, decision-making and critical thinking skills.
3) Do things that help people make more money. This will get people talking and identifying changes they may have to adopt. Discuss what objections prospects are coming up with. Role play scenarios that might make sense in the real world. Build credible alternatives to what you’re doing at the moment so that everyone is enthused and ready to try something different.
4) Bring in customers for an early breakfast and a discussion. This helps you identify the ‘buying’ process and starts you moving away from your ‘selling’ process. Buyers’ information on how they go about making decisions is gold-dust to any sales team. It helps everyone to recognise how they should structure their approach to prospects. Of course, you would need to make the time your customers are giving worthwhile to them. Imaging the value of the information you might get. Well, you need to ensure customers feel they are a valuable asset to the whole team.
5) Start and end on time. Reward those who are early (top quality coffee?) and fine latecomers (money raised goes towards donuts for the next meeting!). By starting and ending on time, the team realises how important the meeting is and that you are serious about the ideas being discussed.
6) Find some quality films or videos that encourage and motivate the team to achieve. They can downloaded or simply shown straight from YouTube. By getting the team to suggest their favourite parts of films or most motivating short sketches, everyone gets to be involved and shares what makes them feel good.
7) End with a positive. Discuss successes, improvements, goals and awards. Highlight the wins and the gains, rather than being on a downer with negative input. When you send the whole team away feeling good about themselves and ready to start the week on a high, everyone wins: the team, the prospects they are contacting and the customers who will benefit from the enthusiasm and zeal that will be evident.
Try some or all of these seven ways and I’m sure you’ll see the benefits of your regular meetings and actually start looking forward to them.