By Greta Schulz
How do sales meetings go on Monday mornings? You gather all of the numbers in preparation. You tediously write down where each salesperson is in comparison to their weekly, monthly and annual goals. You are ready to present these findings like you do every Monday. You start at 9 a.m., but there are still one or two people who arrive late, apologizing for the traffic.
One by one, each salesperson reluctantly drones on about what he or she is working on, what’s in the sales funnel and what will close this week. The team listens to excuses disguised as stories of why they haven’t closed. After they’re off the hot seat, they settle in, discreetly peeking at their phones and zoning out for the rest of the meeting.
Productive? Motivational? No. It’s a snoozefest at best.
OK, so maybe your meetings aren’t quite this bad, but are they some version of this? Admitting it is the first step.
Why does this happen? Why do we go through this weekly exercise with no real value? Probably, it’s because we do what we have always done. Change is hard. Whether it is right or wrong, this is what we do.
Let’s change that paradigm.
Start by identifying the goals of the sales meeting. There should be three: to educate, to congratulate and to motivate.
What is it that your salespeople would benefit from knowing or knowing more about? Is it a new product? Is it information about their market changes and trends? Is it practicing a short roleplay of a better way to approach a prospect or to close?
Choose different subjects and have one shared weekly. By the way, you shouldn’t always be the one sharing. Assign someone who might be good at it – or someone who needs additional help with a particular issue. Tell them what you would like them to teach to the group. Give them a timeframe and some basic parameters that you want to make sure are covered and tell them to be as creative and interesting as they wish.
Use this opportunity to give someone recognition for something they have done well. This does not have to be limited to a sale, but it certainly can be. Have someone share things, such as getting a tough appointment, or turning a networking opportunity into a new business meeting or a closed sale and the steps they took to close it.
Find something done well and share the news. This could even be about someone in the organization outside of sales. There is nothing more motivational than sharing good news. There are also things such as a great book to read or a motivational quote. Use your imagination, but keep it light and upbeat.
So how do we discuss tough things, such as not making enough calls, missing goals or having a bad attitude? Do that in person. Weekly one-on-ones should be no more than 30 minutes long, and an agenda should be sent ahead of time and followed.
Sound like a lot of work? Maybe. But if your meetings are anything like I described above, ask yourself how’s that working. ↵
Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business, a sales consulting and training firm. She is the best-selling author of “To Sell is NOT to Sell” and works with Fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurs. For more information or free sales tips, go to schulzbusiness.com and sign up for “GretaNomics,” a weekly video tip series, or email sales questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.