In my seminars and workshops, one of the most frequent complaints I hear from salespeople is that regular sales meetings are a waste of their time. Unproductive sales meetings not only drain the morale of your sales team, they can actually cost you sales, because your people are sitting in a meeting room rather than actually selling.
I’m not saying you should abandon your regular sales meetings, just make them more valuable to your salespeople. Here are some ideas for turning your sales meetings into can’t-miss events:
1. Prepare Yourselves for Objections
Your salespeople already know the objections that always seem to come up, so deal with them ahead of time. Each meeting, bring up a common objection. Spend ten or fifteen minutes brainstorming answers to it. Choose the best, then role-play the objection and response so everyone can practice in the safety of your meeting room. Have the group critique each person, providing both positive and constructive feedback.
2. Dissect Your Competition
Collect your competitors’ sales and marketing literature. At least a week before your meeting, give a salesperson the information from one of the companies. Have the person deliver a presentation on the strengths and weaknesses of the company or one of its products or services. Then discuss how best to sell against them. Have a different salesperson review another company (or another specific product or service) each meeting.
3. Practice Your Introductions
Discuss ideas for effective fifteen, thirty, and sixty-second introductions. Practice them each meeting, so salespeople can recite them smoothly and easily at networking functions.
4. Tackle Challenges
Allow each person to share some challenge they’re experiencing, whether in general or with a specific situation. Spend a set number of minutes brainstorming ways to overcome it.
5. Share Success Stories
Give everyone an opportunity to share good news, an accomplishment, a discovery, a new tactic, or anything else positive. Celebrate everything with prizes, candy or at the least, wild applause.
6. Make Commitments
Have each person make some kind of commitment. Record them all and follow up on each commitment the following meeting. Again, reward people who follow through on the commitment they made.
7. Bring in an Expert
A professional speaker or sales trainer can help your salespeople dramatically improve their skills at prospecting, qualifying, presenting, overcoming objections, negotiating, closing, asking for referrals, and more. It’s an investment that can pay massive dividends.
8. Hear from a Customer
Invite one of your clients to join you to act as a one-person focus group. Ask them about their experiences with your company and encourage them to be brutally honest. You’ll likely be surprised by what you hear, both negative and positive.
In addition to the above strategies, ask your sales team what they would find valuable. Incorporate as many ideas as possible and you’ll increase your participation rate, your team’s enthusiasm and as a result, your sales!