I've never met a sales professional who actually enjoyed sales meetings. Most sellers would rather be engaged in customer-facing activities, and most feel that internal sales meetings are a waste of time.
But sales meetings are a necessary evil. While there may be room for improvement in your sales meeting, chances are good there is also room for your improvement during sales meetings, too.
Observe your fellow team members the next time you have a meeting. If your team is like most, you'll see three classic approaches within your group. At least one seller will consistently be surly in meetings, demonstrating a preference for being anywhere but here.
Another seller will be checked out, daydreaming, doodling or engaged in business on the cell phone.
Like most teams, your team probably has one seller who is attention-seeking in these meetings, too. You know, the one person who asks a lot of questions and speaks up first no matter what the subject.
The majority of people in your meeting will be tolerating the meeting and eager for it to end.
Here are five tips to make the most of your sales meetings, no matter which type you may be or may be surrounded by.
1. Check your attitude. Try to go into meetings with the objectives to learn from, connect with and support other members of your team.
2. Adjust your activity level. Be sure that you are contributing without dominating the meeting. Ask questions to get new information or clarity that you need to be effective.
3. Be assertive, not passive aggressive. If there's something you don't understand or don't agree with, use your words. Don't resort to eye rolling and other body language cues that only serve to make you look childish. Instead of grousing about the problems you see, suggest alternatives and articulate your concerns.
4. The best sales meetings generally follow a pre-determined agenda. That agenda is distributed well before the meeting so each participant can prepare for the discussion and be fully engaged. If this is not happening in your meetings and you think it would be useful, step up. Offer to help your sales manager prepare for these meetings. Make suggestions and requests that you think would serve the team well.
5. Remember that full group sales meetings are intended for the full group. Don't go on tangents, especially if they are relevant only to you or to a select group within the full team.
Finally, if you truly do not understand the purpose of your sales meetings, it is fair to ask that question. Sometimes even the best managers get caught up in having meetings for the sake of meetings. Routines replace meaningful purpose. Ask with a constructive intent and offer to help get the meetings back on track.
By making the most of sales meetings, you will be spending your time wisely, both during the meeting and because of the meeting. Strive for outcomes of the meeting that help you do your job better.
This blog post appears as the CONNECT! Community's emphasis on Connecting In the Workplace. As a seller, your job is easier when your internal partners are working with you to satisfy customers and increase sales. For our regular features on connecting with buyers, check out CONNECT! Online Radio for Selling Professionals, read DISCOVER Questions™ Get You Connected or participate in CONNECT2Sell Training programs. Be sure to subscribe to the CONNECT2Sell Blog for weekly tips and techniques that will help you become the one seller buyers actually want to talk to. To God be the glory!