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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Not Only are Meetings Expensive, They Can Be a Waste of Time

NOT_ONLY_ARE_MEETINGS_ARE_EXPENSIVEIn August, my colleague, Emily Estey, wrote about how expensive meetings can be. I am in complete and total agreement with her. I have wasted decades of my life in sales meetings, department head meetings, and promotion meetings. OK, maybe not decades, but you get the point. 

But let’s focus on sales meetings today. Sales meetings can be a useful tool for managers, if you follow these simple do’s and don'ts:

The Do's and Don'ts

DO use sales meetings to motivate your sellers. DON’T ever use sales meetings to browbeat, beat up, chastise, or any other word you can think of, to tell your entire staff how much they suck. First of all, probably more than one person on your staff isn’t performing. If they are doing what you want them to do and performing, then you have completely wasted their time. Second of all, the people you really need to address don’t even think you are talking about them!  They think they are doing well and tune you out.  Finally the ones you want to hear your message KNOW they are doing poorly. The moral of the story:  speak in private to those who are under performing, not in a public forum.

DO use sales meetings for training. In fact, I recommend that at least half of your sales meetings be for training only. DON’T use sales meetings to get reports from sellers about pending business. You know what I am talking about. The infamous: “So, how much are you going to bring in this week? Let’s go around the table.”  Really? How accurate have those been for you? DO talk about pending business but do it in your focus meetings when you can actually get a real number and COACH someone before they call on a prospect or client. This is a way to maybe get even more money!

DO disseminate information in sales meetings. But make sure the information you disseminate is positive, worthwhile, and creates healthy discussion. DON’T disseminate information you can communicate in an email.  You can tell them about sales numbers for the team and individually via email. You can talk about pacing via email. You can talk about company performance via email. If these are items that are positive and you can use them to motivate, see above. If not, see above. Remember when you talk about poor pacing reports to a group, sellers at budget don’t care. They care about their paycheck.  

Are They Listening?

I had one sales manager who said if we think they are reading their email, we are kidding ourselves. However, if you think they are hanging on every word you speak in a sales meeting, especially negative ones, you are kidding yourself!

Finally, if you have something good to say that advances your strategy, brings recognition on those who like public recognition, etc., then by all means DO so. However, DON’T pontificate to hear yourself talk when your sellers want to be seeing or preparing to see clients and prospects.  

Your salespeople will love you for it. 

The relationship that managers have with their sellers is very important. Download our 30 Ways to Develop Powerful Relationships with Your Salespeople today.       

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