Rule 28. A sales meeting is your sales presentation. Master the skills that support a great sales meeting.
Here’s the bottom line, we want our sales meetings to be great, and we know they’re not. And sometimes they’re not because we’re running from one meeting, we thought we had about a 30-minute window to get ourselves ready for a sales meeting which turns into a three-minute window and so we show up unprepared.
But no one cares. They expect you to be prepared. Senior execs are watching you run a meeting to say, is he competent? Can she do it? Salespeople are looking at you to make sure that what you’ve told them how to run a sales call, you’re doing the same thing because your sales meeting is their sales call. It’s the same thing.
Here’s some quick tips that will help you become the best you can be at a sales meeting.
Number one, prepare ahead of time. Assume you’re not gonna have any time between meetings for you to prepare, so do it ahead of time. What are you gonna prepare? Number one, have a game plan. Who should be at meetings? What are we gonna cover at the meetings? What should they look at, prepare, get ready for, be ready to discuss at a meeting.
Now, you should have different agendas for different types of meetings. Only call those who should attend a meeting at the meeting. If you took a poll the people who work for us, they’ll always say, “I can’t believe I’m in all these meetings. Half of these don’t even apply to me.” You don’t want your people to say that.
Next thing I want you to do ahead of time is to figure out what your talking points are. What’s your upfront contract? So get yourself ready. During the call, during the meeting itself, during the actual call, here’s what I want you to cover. Upfront contract. Why are we here? The purpose of this meeting is X. We’re gonna spend time, about an hour today doing this meeting. Here’s the agenda for the meeting. Is there anything that you guys would like to add that’s not on the agenda that we talked about last time. Give them a chance to add.
Here’s my outcome statement. At the end of today’s meeting, we should be in a position to do a couple different things. One, an action plan on how to move forward, how we’re gonna attack X, Y, Z problem, and C, we’ll set the agenda up for our next meeting. Let’s get started.
So right there, I’ve taken total control of that meeting. I say it’s an hour. Keep to your time contract. If it’s an hour meeting, don’t go an hour and a half. Stick to the time.
Two, stick to the agenda. You just said what the agenda is. They’ve agreed so you shouldn’t hear things like, “Well I’d like to talk about the upcoming trip that we’re gonna have as a company.” Okay. I would too but it’s not for today’s meeting, right? So you have to stop that as the sales leader and you do your thing.
At the end of the meeting, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to make sure you summarize here are some key things that we got from today. Here’s I think what we’ve agreed to. Here are the action steps that I’ve heard. You repeat them and now I want you to have them validated. Is that what everyone else heard? Did I miss anything? No. Alright. Let’s now attach some roles and responsibilities to some of the things we talked about. Who’s doing what by when? You can attach that right now because again, you’re creating a culture of accountability.
And then finally, after the end of the meeting, I want you to do a couple things. Number one, debrief yourself. What could you have done differently. Did you get off track? Did you lose your patience? Did you not ask those who weren’t participating, my S’s of the group, how they felt? Mary, you haven’t said much today. How do you feel about what was talked about? Using feeling words. So debrief yourself while it’s fresh in your mind.
Number two, do a follow-up. Group, here’s what we talked about. Here are the key findings, so the key things that we agreed to at the end. Here’s what’s going to happen as a result. Here’s who’s doing it, when is it due and then here’s the agenda for the next meeting. And once you get that done, now it’s easy. You’re creating momentum but more importantly, you have productive meetings and you’re congruent cause if you do that at a sales meeting, they will do that on a sales call.
Upper management looks at you and says, “Well oiled machine.” All fronts are really looking at you to see how you do your sales meeting. If you’re out of control, don’t be upset when your sales people are out of control. But salespeople productive meetings, and I have to tell you, people are watching you during meetings. If you’re productive, if you’re on target, if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, they too will do that and they’ll respect you and they’ll have the confidence and conviction as you for their leader. Good luck.