The problem with so many meetings is that they are poorly managed. The meeting leader fails to provide an agenda in advance (or even at the start of the meeting), attendees don’t respect the importance of timeliness, and people leave with no clear vision or actionable directive.
So, what exactly was accomplished? I believe that actions should be measurable, and that includes sales meetings. Here are some simple rules that will help you make the most of your sales meetings.
Rule #1. Show up 100%.
When you come to a meeting, be prepared to pay attention, listen, and contribute to your fullest. If you’re glancing at your phone, tapping away at your tablet or laptop, or focused on something else, you’re cheating the others because you’re not part of the conversation. You convey the message that you’re more important than the others in the room. Put away your technology for the duration of the meeting. If you’re the meeting leader, instruct others to do the same. There’s no point in meeting halfway.
Rule #2. Start on time.
There is no excuse for tardiness. People who show up late to sales meetings are disrespectful of every person who arrived on time. If you offer to “wait five more minutes for the stragglers”, you cater to them and communicate to the others that tardiness is acceptable. It’s not. Consider a penalty for latecomers—something that will require some of their valuable time to do a task that rewards the rest of the team. This could be research on a topic or buying lunch!
Rule #3. Provide an agenda.
Prepare for the meeting by creating a brief outline of the topics to be covered and the amount of time allowed for each discussion. If individuals are expected to make a presentation, include their names, topics, and time. Distribute the agenda at least two days in advance—or longer, depending on the assignments to be presented.
Rule #4. End on time.
Good meeting management also relies on controlling the discussion to keep to the allotted meeting time. When you let the meeting get away from you, your meeting objectives will not be achieved. Participants are relying on you to deliver effective meetings, and when it slips off track, you appear disorganized and out of control of your team. Since you’ve prepared an agenda, stick to it. Allow your presenters to present, as scheduled.
Rule #5. Wrap it up.
Allow five minutes at the end of your meeting for wrap-up. Provide a summary of what was discussed, remind the participants of their actionable items and timelines that have resulted from the sales meeting. Answer any remaining questions, and thank the attendees for contributing their valuable time, energy, and thoughts.
Don’t waste time with useless meetings. Turn them into power-charged thought sessions, with energy, preparedness, and control. If you treat meetings as an obligation, rather than a gathering for effective thinking, then the others in the room will be equally disengaged.
Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant. For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.