7 Secrets of a GREAT Sales Meeting
By Ted Ings, Executive Director
In the retail automotive business, successful sales managers determine a specific reason for every sales meeting based on a need or expressed desire
While informational meetings explain the latest incentives, set weekend goals and gather for a big cheer are important, they don’t provide your sales team with the knowledge and skills needed to maintain a selling edge.
Delivering a great meeting requires performance improvement.
Here are a few secrets to success …
Secret #1 — Make your sales and staff meetings a priority
When you call a meeting, do you:
- Have a plan?
- Strive to make the meeting fun and interactive?
- Allow some to attend while others deal with clients?
- Allow phone calls to be accepted during meetings?
- Allow team members to respond to distractions?
- Show up late or allow others to show up late?
- Regularly cancel meetings?
If you allow any of these to take place, your team will never take your meetings seriously
While you may argue that “Clients always take priority”, there are ways to overcome that concern by having your meetings on days and times when customer traffic is rare. You can also have other departments cover during the meeting.
Secret #2 — Start on time
There’s nothing worse than sitting around waiting for a meeting to begin. You’ll also get others to realize the importance of being on time if you don’t wait for them to get there. And you set a standard that says, “My time is important!”
On the other hand, beginning late will suggest that punctuality is not a priority.
Secret #3 — Do you utilize your people?
True leaders understand that they can’t do it all on their own. They must rely on the gifts, talents and strengths of their people if they are going to succeed. There’s nothing written in the “Manager’s Book of Training” that says the manager must be the primary speaker in the meeting.
If you have others on your team who are better at facilitating than you are, let them take the ball and run with it. Your meetings will be better and your team will have great respect for you. Not to mention the fact that the message you’re trying to deliver will have a better chance of getting through.
Secret #4 — Make a powerful opening
You have about 30 seconds to capture the crowd once you open your mouth. If you begin slowly, with low energy, or in a way that doesn’t immediately involve the group, your meeting will make less of an impact.
Example of a poor opening:
“Okay everyone. Let’s get started. Uh, today we’re going to talk about improving our greetings…”
Example of successful opening:
“How many of you had at least one difficult client this week?” (Allow for hands) “Let’s talk about them! Scott, tell us about yours.”
Secret #5 — Provide a meeting objective and benefit
After a successful opening, provide the group with the objective of the meeting and the benefit they will get from being there and paying attention. For example:
“The reason we’ve listed these difficult greetings is because today we’re going to learn how to handle tough greetings. By the end of this hour, each of you will be better prepared to address these customers the next time they walk on the lot. And that means you’ll have better success at moving them into the process and selling them your product.”
Secret #6 — Mix it up
The average attention span of an audience is about 6 minutes. That means you should have a strategy that changes up the meeting about every 5 to 10 minutes. For example:
Opening activity — Chart answers to question “Challenging Greetings”
Objectives and Agenda — From chart, handout or PowerPoint
Video clip — Feature a relevant speaker, coach or expert (i.e. YouTube)
Role Play — Work in groups of three (Manager, Client, Coach)
Group Discussion — What went well? What needs improvement?
Other ideas and activities
Secret #7 — Recap, keep it simple — and close
Conclude every meeting with a review of what you accomplished and do something with high energy. Have a contest. Or simply get together for a team cheer. Some managers use the sales goal number for the weekend, month or quarter as their focus to cheer for.
Bottom line — it’s up to you! Keep your sales meetings fun, interactive and high-energy. Your team will be glad you did!
Let us help your organization develop GREAT meetings, content and strategies!