Would your manager pass this easy 5-point test?

Are you excited about going to sales meetings?  Do you feel energized and eager to put into practice what you learned after them?  If not, maybe your sales manager has fallen into a rut in leading your team’s sales meetings.

Gregory at Medtronic 10-2010 CroppedHere’s a five-part checklist of good practices and what can go wrong if they’re not followed:

1)       The manager sends out an email before the meeting with an agenda. It’s good practice to set expectations for the content of any meeting and since a sales meeting should be an important one, it’s most necessary here. Let the team know what to expect.

2)      The manager facilitates the meeting so that the team does most of the talking and practice.  It’s poor technique if your manager uses this time to make a presentation.  Even worse if there’s PowerPoint. No one learns anything from listening to a long harangue about sales goals.

3)      Attendees leave the meeting feeling that they have learned something important that they did not know before. Quite often the sales meetings are redundant.  “He’s going to put up a slide of the numbers to date and tell us how important it is that we hit our goals this quarter.”  You didn’t know that?  See point 4.

4)      The manager has the team practice a small, discrete (but important) skill.  I’ll give you an easy one from banking.  The front line is tasked with making referrals to other lines of business, Wealth for example, but they’re not doing it.  Why not have them practice how they would bring up the topic with a prospect?  “Let’s go around the room and I want each of you to role play how you would transition into this topic. I’ll go first.” Takes 5 minutes, and one person will do it very well, modeling it for others to use. It’s crazy not to use the sales meeting for one short skill practice opportunity.

5)      The manager gets a verbal commitment from everyone in the meeting about what’s going to happen on the job as a result of the meeting.  “To close up today, I’d like each of you to tell me what you’re going to put into practice or do differently as a result of today’s meeting. Give me specifics and numbers, and I’ll debrief how you did in our next meeting.  Paul, I’ll start with you….”

Some teams don’t have frequent sales meetings because of travel, geography or size, so there’s no need to remind you that meetings should be frequent and short, in order to keep the team energized and positive.  But the above five guidelines will help your team succeed more effectively than the redundant lecture approach.

And finally, if your sales manager would have flunked this test, for goodness sake don’t forward it to him!

Instead, see it as an opportunity for you to take a leadership role with your fellow sales team members and take greater ownership of the content and agenda. After all, these meetings are for you and the team.  It might be, “(Manager), Phil and I came up with some good ideas on how to encourage existing customers to consolidate their business with us.  We’d like a chance to go over it at our next meeting.”  Bang!  You’re a hero.

Think like your customer!

 

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About Gregory LaMothe
I teach people how to sell things. I own the company ActionSystems. Visit my website at www.actionsystemstraining.com.

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