Meetings have been referred to as ‘corporate procrastination’ – a way of making it appear that something is being accomplished, that decisions are being made when in fact they are not.
I surveyed 600 salespeople and asked them, “What activities waste most of your time?” Approximately 1 in 6 salespeople thought that meetings were a huge time waster.
This is understandable when you think about it. If you take salespeople and plonk them into a PROCEDURAL meeting, they will begin looking at their watches within fifteen minutes – at least the good ones will.
Procedural meetings do not lead to results. They discuss things of no concern to salespeople, such as remembering to turn off all lights at night – trivia. Such matters could be addressed by memo and followed up with a quick word ‘on the trot’.
Sales meetings should not dwell on procedure, unless it is procedure essential to making sales.
Good sales meetings should be:
They focus only on results, and if results are poor, how to fix the problem.
They should have a simple, set agenda that is followed from start to finish. Although they start on time, they finish when they are finished, which is when every avenue for improving results has been explored.
If a decision needs to be made, it is made, and not deferred to the next meeting. Sometimes you need more information and this is a different matter, but if you have all of the information at hand, MAKE A DECISION.
The purpose of all meetings with salespeople has one focus and one focus only – how to get more listings, how to make more sales. That’s what interests salespeople. It should be what interests the leader.
I read about a company that runs standing meetings – nobody sits. This keeps the meetings short and sharp.
This might be a little over the top for your tastes (it is for mine) but you get the point – meet, discuss what needs to be discussed, make decisions, get back to work.
Meetings like this help salespeople to improve their incomes and never waste time.
We leaders have control over our meetings. We can decide whether to make them results-focused or boring and procedural.
Make your meetings interesting, dynamic and results-focused, and no smart salesperson will ever say they are a waste of time.