Sales meetings form the culture of your organization, so get creative today.
Written by Larry Kendall, Author of Ninja Selling
One of the questions brokerage owners and managers often ask me is, “How do I create great sales meetings?” Great sales meetings not only motivate, educate and increase productivity, but they also form the culture of the organization. At their best, they become the glue that holds everyone together. Because great sales meetings are so unusual today, if you have them, you are differentiated, and your meetings can become a recruiting tool as well.
Over the years, I’ve done thousands of sales meetings and trainings. Creating great sales meetings follows a predictable formula. Here it is:
- Connection. The meeting needs to be relevant and speak to the salespeople. Before you can answer their prayers, you need to know for what they are praying. What are they going through in the trenches? Too often, owners and managers are looking at their business (and their sales associates) from 30,000 feet and don’t have this connection. Most of the ideas for our great sales meetings came from observing and being connected to our troops on the ground. If they feel that the meeting is relevant and answering their prayers, they’ll be back for the next meeting.
- Outcome. What do you want your people to be feeling when they walk out of the room after the meeting? Our goal is that they are in the high positive energy quadrant and feel they have received value for their time spent. Our definition of value is that the meeting solved a problem for them, shared excellence and new ideas with them, and/or made them feel good. If we do these three things, their productivity will go up, which is the ultimate outcome we are after.
- Message and Messenger. Figure out the message (the prayer) for the meeting as well as who is going to deliver it. It matters who says it. Often your sales associates can deliver the message better than you can. You don’t always have to carry the meeting. Draw on your people. We have found great success in using a technique called “Conversations With,” where we simply interview our sales associates at the front of the room about how they run their business and how they got successful. The other associates get the message that, “Wow! If they can do it, I can do it!” We tend to spend more time pulling ideas for success from our people than we do pushing ideas on them. We have them share the best deal in the market or the transaction of the week. As a result, they are more engaged.
- Four Personalities. The meeting needs to appeal to the four personality types. They each come to the meeting with different expectations and needs:
Power People want take-a-ways. There better be something they can implement right away.
Party People will want to have fun and be able to talk. Have music, food, and discussion.
Peace People want to know everything is OK and that the company is stable. They don’t like change.
Perfection People require you to start on time, and they usually want to see some numbers.
- Music and Videos. We like to use music to liven up a meeting and selected videos that either demonstrate mastery or are inspirational. We have a lot of millennials in our company, and they love sight and sound. A good way to start a meeting is with a two- to five-minute video. It allows you to start the meeting on time (perfection people love it), yet the party people don’t feel embarrassed by slipping in five minutes late while the video is still playing. In fact, when everybody knows the video starts at a set time, they want to get there to see it.
- Church Service Format. Our meetings are about an hour and follow a church service format. We start with music (and/or video); then announcements; property pitches; and finish with the sermon or message. At the end of the meeting, everyone walks out of the room to music—smiling, focused and on a mission to make the next week count.
Follow this simple formula, and you will have great sales meeting.