I spent about 16 years in corporate sales and I loved it. I had wonderful clients, worked for a great company that let me do what I love. My way. I was evaluated and measured by my results at the end of each month. It was perfect for me. As the company grew, so did the structure and sales meetings that had been quarterly events were now weekly.
Conventional thinking is no one schedules Monday AM appointments and it is a good way to start the week. Right? It’s still done in all kinds of sales organizations so it’s kind of the chicken and the egg thing now. No appointments because of the meeting or the meeting time is set when clients aren’t available? I think it’s the former. If you want to know the best time for your meetings, how about 4ish on Fridays? No one has a legit appointment then,(oh, I know you’re the exception) plus it’ll curb the long winded tendencies of those people who just can’t stop talking. I’d try to never attend one of those meetings – I’d have a 2:00 that ran really, really long! But I’m getting off track a bit.
Hold Non-Sucky Meetings
I’m not saying meetings aren’t helpful or worthwhile - because they can be, but getting everyone together should yield results – not just be a place where everyone gives their progress reports. That can be done in an email that the micromanaging types can read whenever they want. Plus it’ll be in writing. Proof that something was done or will be done or might happen. If it already happened, then yay you but move on already. Last week’s sales don’t mean diddly this week.
If you are the lucky person responsible for meetings then make it worth your time and at least go for interesting and even a bit edgy. If nothing else, you’re likley to see progress because you’ll snap everyone out of sleepwalking mode. (Disclaimer: I did have to run these meetings when managing a group of sales folks and I wasn’t always good at it. Most times, I just wanted to get it overwith like everyone else and then, you know, actually get something done!)
Here’s What I’d Do Now
Talk Big Picture – Lots of companies do this once a year when the bank requires a business plan – and it gets shoved in a drawer never to be seen until it’s time to update it. Dust that thing off – or if it was crap - talk about Q4. And remember, this should be interactive – have a real brainstorming session.
- List 10 big accounts you want to land by year end. Then develop a plan to actually DO it!
Discuss how you can add value to a current service. And add it.
List ideas for engaging with current clients in a better way. You can start by asking them.
Figure out a better way to say ThanksMerryChristmasHappyHolidaysHappyHanukkahHappyNewYear than the usual card and calendar you’ve done lately. I’m thinking brownies from Sugardaddies.
Update your sales literature. If this sounds overwhelming, start small with one piece.
Seriously in this day of print on demand, having anything that is out of date in any way just screams lazy and/or cheap. If your company is pretty traditional – shake things up with a top 10 list, or a clever twist on your FAQ’s. (Great sales copy is an art, so if your team has good ideas, but no one with sharp writing skills, get an outline together and let me know - I can help – doing it badly is worse than not doing it at all)
If you are in the middle Tennessee area, and would like me to lead a sales meeting, I’m available. If you’re somewhere near a beach I can work something out! If you’d like to have a planning session so you can amaze and enlighten your salesforce, email me!
I’d love to know how your meetings go – or if you even do such a thing – let’s get more ideas going in the comments. If you work at home or don’t have a team yet, sign up here for weekly updates. If you have a big team, you can sign up too!