Top 7 Suggestions For More Dynamic Sales Meetings
By Jonathan Farrington
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Sales meetings offer regular opportunities to benchmark performance against plan, provide additional skills development, update the team on new product development and "pump them up" to go out and exceed next week's/month's/quarter's targets. However, the responsibility for the success of the meeting, lies entirely with the manager. Here then are seven suggestions for more dynamic sessions.
- Insist on punctuality, for there is nothing which detracts from a meeting so much as people coming in late with lame excuses or returning late from a coffee break. Not only is this disruptive for the meeting but it is bad for group discipline as well and each time a manager allows this, they relinquish a little leadership capacity. Start the meeting on time to the minute. Do not wait for late arrivals and whatever you do, do not be late yourself.
- Explain the objectives and always ‘sell’ the objectives by providing the team with good reasons why each item has been placed on the agenda. It is likely that you will want to discuss performance(s) since the last meeting and it is essential that you highlight success. Whatever you do never, ever, hand out criticism en bloc because that is the most morale sapping thing you can ever do. Rather deal with sub-standard performance one to one. However, do feel free to deliver collective praise in copious amounts whenever appropriate.
- Make quite sure that you achieve full agreement at the close of each session. You should aim to get full commitment from all present at the meeting, that they will definitely do what you have asked them to do. At the end of the meeting an action plan should be prepared and circulated to everyone present at the meeting. The previous meeting’s action plan should always be progressed at the meeting.
- Plan the amount of time you can afford to allocate to each session well before the meeting and be sure to stick to your schedule. One tip I always pass on, is to avoid the dreaded “Any other business” at the end of the meeting. In reality, if an item is worth discussing it should be a full agenda item, allowing for proper preparation.In addition make sure that at least fifty per cent of the meeting is taken up with some kind of sales training. You can deliver this yourself or you might consider using specialists from outside of the company.
- Do not do all the talking yourself. Salespeople (and most other people) hate to be lectured at. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Ask for opinions, and always question the reason for a particular opinion. Do remember generally people comprehend:
11% of what they hear.
32% of what they see.
73% of what they see & hear.
90% of what they see, hear & discuss.
- Encourage everyone to participate by asking for their views and opinions or by giving them presentation projects to prepare in advance of the meeting date.
- Finally, do set an example as the meeting leader. The manner in which you package yourself, your cheerfulness, your positive attitude and the way in which you have planned and conducted the meeting - all these things will be noticed by even the least perceptive of your team. Do all these things well and you will strengthen your position as the leader of the group. Do them badly and you can forget about training and developing your people, for they will take not the slightest notice of anyone who does not practice what they preach.
Jonathan Farrington is the Managing Partner of The jfa Group [http://www.thejfagroup.com] To find out more about the author, read his latest articles or to subscribe to his newsletter for dedicated sales professionals, visit:http://www.jonathanfarrington.com
You can also now visit Jonathan's Blog at: http://www.thejfblogit.co.uk
Article Submitted On: October 14, 2006