The regularly scheduled meeting that takes place with a sales manager and a salesperson (usually weekly) is uber critical. Yet, sometimes it is nothing more than an item on the to-do list of both the salesperson and the manager. In many sales organizations, this focused meeting between the manager and salesperson happens because it's the way it has always been done—not because it is highly productive.
The facts: Salespeople don't want this meeting because they know they can get their manager's attention when they need him or her. Sales managers don't want this meeting because they feel as though the salesperson is not prepared... and doesn't really want to be there. And, the sales manager has so much on his or her to-do list that this meeting is just in the way.
One of the ways to quickly improve sales performance is to improve this mediocre meeting. Make it the most important meeting of the week (IT SHOULD BE). Great sales managers set the stage for great weekly individual focused meetings. Their formula involves the following 3 steps which ensure the meeting is productive for both the seller and the manager.
Try these 3 steps this week and see if you can improve your own individual focus meetings:
1. Be a resource. Let the salesperson run the meeting. You should hand over the reins during this face-to-face. Remember to spend this time focusing only on accounts and account development--talk about their best clients and prospects. Coaching the seller to improve their skills should be done when you are in the field together.
2. Show your salesperson this meeting is important to you. Eliminate distractions and interruptions: shut the door, turn off your phone, rotate your computer screen, and turn down the volume on your computer.
3. Identify action steps. Use this time to help the salesperson build a plan that moves things forward. After you discuss each account, make sure you ask these two easy questions:
What is your next step with this account?
What is your projection date to this get accomplished?
This is the key to making sure this is a working meeting with clear action steps rather than simply a recap of what was done last week or last month. Take notes and send them out with the detailed next steps and the timelines thatwere discussed.
Follow these 3 critical steps and I am sure you will find that your individual focus meetings will be more productive.