Written by Sean McPheat |
In the recent post, “The 3 Worst Practices For Conducting A Successful Sales Meeting,” I highlighted the three main DON’Ts for a successful sales meeting:
Now let us look into three BEST practices to help you structure your sales meetings to raise people up, increase sales and elevate your sales team to the next level!
#1. DO Educate
While this important “DO” seems obvious and easy, it’s usually not the case in most sales meetings. You need to coach or train during every meeting. Sales people need to learn more and such continuing education is everlasting and is an investment.
The problem is that many managers have difficulty in figuring out exactly what to train/coach/teach. The sales team has already gone through the company sales training. You went over objections a dozen times and there seems to be nothing left to talk about when it comes to prospecting. In fact, the sales team feels that they know everything.
So where do you get educational topics that are not only informative, but also useful and timely solutions?
Uncover Problems and Pain
Just as when dealing with prospects, with your sales team, you need to unearth their problems even when they are unaware that they have any.
You then need to use those problems as the basis for your sales meetings.
You should have a personal one to one meeting with each sales person at the end of every day or month, depending on the logistics and your sales cycle, even if it is by telephone. During that individual meeting, you want to make note of the problem areas the sales person has. However, do not correct those issues then.
If your correct the sales person at that time, it will come across as a de-motivator. Instead, make note of the issues, and uplift the sales person. Then, in the sales meeting, do not single out that sales person. Simply use that issue as a training topic.
Here’s an example:
In your one to one meeting with Steve, you noted that at least twice, he lost sales you think he should have closed. You ask some questions of Steve and find that he is not correctly demonstrating how to run the Profit & Loss Reports of the accounting software.
There are three ways you can handle this situation.
a) You can inform Steve of the problem right then…
“Oh Steve! I can see exactly what you’re doing wrong. You are not showing the P & L report the right way. It’s in your manual! As soon as possible, come in and I will go over it again with you…”
While this appears to be an innocent approach, what really happened is that Steve went home depressed. He knows he lost a few sales he should have closed and that he is probably doing something wrong. His self-esteem is at an all-time low. Then his wife hammers on him that money is tight and he should forget that sales thing and get a real job. Then he calls his sales manager, who confirms the fact, “Yep, Steve! You blew it!” Not good.
b) You can bring up Steve’s problem during the sales meeting and completely embarrass and berate Steve. Not good.
c) You can bring up the problem as a general training topic for the group.
You can bet that if Steve is having the problem others are as well. Also, it cannot hurt to reiterate something that is apparently so crucial that it can mean the difference in closing the sale or not.
With this method, you single out or berate no-one, and the sales teams always receive just-in-time training topics that are always relevant.
Ask questions to uncover the problems and then offer the solutions as educational topics in your sales meetings.
By illustrate, I’m referring to demonstrating, or proving what you say. This relates to such things as in the above example. Demonstrate the method of how to show the P & L report. If you have sales people who may be experts with that part of the sales interaction, then have them illustrate to the group. In this way, you not only keep the older pros interested, but you also help ensure they stay on track.
Illustrate other topics as well. When you speak of goals and milestones that are possible, exemplify such with someone who has done it. The key is always to back up, show and prove what you say.
As you can see, with this structural process, there is already a certain amount of motivation embedded into the sales meeting. In fact, the very structure itself leads to motivation.
Now it’s time for the rah-rah, pep rally. Now is the time for the cheering, congratulations and new sales incentives. Now when you talk about reaching new heights, the sales team can believe it because you demonstrated exactly how. You illustrated how to do it or showed how someone did it in the past. Also, you gave them the education and the tools they need to reach the next level.
Do this and your sales team’s belief will expand their reach and their reach will always slightly exceed their grasp.
Originally published: 15 December, 2011
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