Sales Meetings are an important, yet fear-inducing part of almost every business. If there is a way to get out of them, sales reps will try. It’s not that they don’t get anything out of them. It’s that they often focus on the negative and can feel like a waste of time.
With that said, when done the right way, they can generate impressive results and a sense of success. How you go about planning and putting on the meeting plays a huge role in this.
To help you get the most out of your next sales meeting, here are five tips and meeting ideas to consider to help things go with a bang.
The first and most important sales meeting tip is to follow your schedule to the second. As the leader of the meeting, you need to make sure everyone arrives on time. After all, team members wouldn’t dream of showing up late to client meetings; so there’s no excuse for them to be late to your sales meeting.
As soon as the set time arrives, begin. Asking attendees to wait a few more minutes can be seen as being disrespectful to their time commitments. An effective meeting should run like clockwork, with all team members knowing what to expect, how long they need to set aside and what is going to be covered.
As a gesture of appreciation, it’s always a nice idea to give attendees five or ten minutes at the end of the meeting to wind down. This rewards them for their cooperation and can improve their timekeeping. Timing is key to success, which leads us on nicely to the next sales meeting tip – the rule of five.
Sales Meeting Top Tip Take-home:
Don’t tolerate tardiness. If you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile. If they haven’t arrived by kickoff time, bar them from the meeting and follow up with them afterwards
Sales reps are notorious for having extremely short attention spans. Spending 20 minutes rambling on with tales of woe and struggle will do nothing but cause them to disengage. However, there is a way to keep their attention and focus without needing to overwork yourself – the rule of five.
Break every section down into five-minute power-slots and keep the pace running hard. Use the time to drive home key points, vital data and desired goals. It’s important that you don’t take any questions at this moment. Allot five minutes at the end of each section for team input, covering ideas, questions and answers.
The optimal length for the average sales meeting is 60 minutes. This gives you 5 x 5-minute power-slots, 5 x 5-minute Q&A sections and 10 minutes wind down at the end. Remember, unlike traditional meetings, sales meetings are designed to drive positivity and ambition. Short segments make information digestible and easier to engage with.
Top Tip to Take Home:
Compress everything and be straight to the point. Focusing on useless data and facts can make you look ill-prepared.
No matter how long the meeting is going to be, it’s important to get everyone involved. The easiest way to do this is to have everyone prepare something relevant to the topic. This could be a possible sales lead, fresh news or ideas of how to resolve the issue.
The main thing to remember is that participation should be positive. Don’t let complaints creep in. If they have problems with particular clients that they would like to discuss, guide the conversation back to the main topic. If things began at turning into a debate instead of a discussion, wrap things up and move onto the next point.
Sales Reps Take Home Tip:
When reps feel involved in the conversation, you’re much more likely to get the results you’re after. Give them a chance to feel included and they will most likely surprise you with positive input.
One of the biggest motivators for driving sales is the recognition of achievements. Try to find something positive about each attendees performance and congratulate them. Pay special attention to big sales and new leads won. This shows that you pay close attention to their work and appreciate their loyalty.
Make a point of heaping extra praise on one or two top performers. Sales reps are competitive by nature. So giving them someone to try and beat can up the ante.
Of course, any praise and compliments should be strictly related to related performance. If you’re particularly impressed with the way that certain team members excel, you could award small bonuses as an incentive to drive the rest of the team upwards. Best of all, recognising input and achievements is free.
Top Tip to Take Home:
Positive shout outs can boost both self-esteem and team cohesion. Pointing out how each rep supports the other can solidify working relations for the better.
When times are tough and sales are down, it’s all too easy to cast a negative shadow on everything that you say and do. Negativity breeds negativity, so finding ways to put a positive spin on bad news is something to work on. Making sales because of fear-mongering will never produce the results of sales from motivation.
With every negative, balance things out with a positive. As an example:
“Sales this quarter have dropped by 23%. However, this is happening industry-wide and on a brighter note, we have retained our leading client.”
Top Tip to Take Home:
When salespeople leave a meeting on a high, they are much more likely to perform better than leaving with a bad taste in their mouth.
Making sure that you meet expectations is imperative. If you’ve told your attendees to expect a 50-minute meeting covering the given points – deliver on it. Working in the sales industry, one thing you’ll be more than aware of is that reps don’t like to waste their time.
Before wrapping up, spend a couple of minutes gathering feedback. This information indicates where improvements need to be made and what is already working. Ultimately, being able to lead and listen at the same time will go a long way with holding sales meetings that work.