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20 Tips To Create Upbeat Sales Meetings

by Wayne Ens

89% of radio sales reps say sales meetings were "usually a waste of time". The irony is that properly planned and focused sales meetings can be one of the most productive, unifying and motivating uses of everyone’s time. The sales meeting is also the ideal place to consistently reinforce and promote the company’s mission statement or battle cry.

1. Do plan and prepare meetings from a sales person’s perspective. With every item on the agenda, answer the question "what's in it for me?" from a sales person's point of view.
2. Do not use the meetings for a forum to discuss individual accounts receivable problems or other "downers".
3. Do start and finish the meeting with positive, upbeat topics. Have the salespeople each share a "good news" story about your station, your market, a sale or a client’s success.
4. Do not dwell on topics which do not pertain to the majority in attendance.  Such topics should be dealt with one-on-one.
5. Do have an agenda, and circulate it to the staff ahead of time. This forces you to prepare for the meeting, and gives the staff a chance to prepare for it as well.
6. Do not be the only speaker on the agenda . . . bring in other staff  members, suppliers, experts department heads or even clients to answer  questions or help train the staff.
7. Do take minutes of every meeting. Minutes document answers to questions, and can keep other non-attending department heads and team members in the loop. (Try having last person in take the minutes each week!)
8. Do not circulate the minutes until you have approved them to avoid  misinterpretations or publicizing confidential information.
9. Do recognize any group or individual staff accomplishments.
10. Do not reprimand anyone at a meeting.
11. Do encourage participation.   Ask questions.   Get staff members to present or chair certain segments.
12. Do not let the participation evolve into "mutiny sessions". Don't ignore  complaints, but answer them quickly, and move on.
13. Do have them on the same day and time consistently. This way the staff can plan around them and you avoid the old "I thought the meeting was next week" excuse. (By the way, if you are getting excuses for non-attendance, chances are your staff feels your meetings are a waste of their time.)
14 Do not change the meeting day or time for ANY reason. Changing the  meeting sends a signal that sales meetings are not important, and shows a lack of respect for your staff's time.
15. Do keep meetings as short as possible.
16. Do not try to cover too many topics at one meeting.
17. Do hold morning meetings.  Research has proven the human mind is much more receptive, and retention levels are higher, in the morning.
18. Do not (if possible) always hold meetings on premises. Off-site meetings  can add excitement and impetus to special meetings.
19.Do lighten up. Have surprise visits by Santa at a Christmas sales meeting, or have coffee and birthday cake if a member is celebrating a birthday.
20. Do not limit attendance to "sales" people. Everyone who has customer  contact, from the receptionist to the accounts receivable clerk should be  invited when the agenda covers ground of interest to them.

The litmus test is to ask your staff how they feel about sales meetings.  If they say you have too many, they are too long, or they are in the 89% that think meeting are “usually a waste of time”, yours probably are!

Wayne Ens is President of ENS Media Inc and can be reached via e-mail Wayne Ens

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