Make it about THEM by including your sellers.
When you include your sellers and make it about them, they will pay closer attention, participate at higher levels, see a higher perceived value and will be recharged to go out and sell more!
Many sellers put up with sales meetings rather than participate in them.
Because they aren’t included. Salespeople have social needs. Most spend a lot of time on their own as they call on prospects and complete paperwork (hopefully lots of orders and proposals!).
When sales meetings are done right, it gives them opportunities to connect with each other and have attention paid to them. It recharges their batteries AND does wonders for their commitment and sales after the meeting.
To engage your sellers at the highest level, make sure your meeting includes healthy doses of interaction and inclusion. Use these easy tips to include your VIS’s (very important sellers) and make it about them:
1. Ask for input, ideas, energy or help!
Think of the experiences your sellers have with your customers, with former employers or from life. Why not tap into all of that expertise to solve problems, plan for an opportunity or just to help each other out?
Sometimes managers are afraid that discussions might go negative or that ideas will be unrealistic. One way to get in front of that is to give guidelines or parameters first.
For example: “We are introducing xyz product next month. The pricing has been determined to be $$$. Let’s put our heads together about how we’re going to approach our customers with this. And like any challenge, there are parameters or boundaries within which we need to find a solution. The timing for launch is Month/Date. The resources we have available are xxx. The non-negotiables are xxx. Marketing is going to provide xxx. So, what can we do to be successful within those boundaries?”
Just think of the challenge – and the potential solutions – this conversation can provide!
2. Invite participation Personalities, style differences and not wanting to sound stupid are just some of the reasons that prevent people from jumping right in.
Combat this by breaking your larger group into smaller teams or partners to debate, discuss, share or brainstorm specific topics. To ensure they stay on track, let them know someone in their group will need to report the highlights of their discussion. Once they get started, you will feel the energy explode in the room!
3. Share best practices Identify areas your team is struggling with, such as gaining referrals, closing or lead generation.
Then use a round robin approach, with sellers sharing what DOES work for them in those areas. Ask for a scribe to take notes and then have the notes typed and distributed after the fact.
4. Help them continue to learn and develop Find (or ask them for suggestions of) blog posts, articles, books, etc. that speak to a specific, relevant topic. Share it with your team and then prepare 3-5 questions about the information for the sellers to debate and discuss. Ramp it up by asking them to commit to one action they will take based on the information.
5. Ask your sellers to plan, prepare and deliver an interactive lesson or topic to the rest of the team Which sellers have been asking for more responsibility or shown an interest in promotion opportunities?
Have them be the first presenters. Give guidelines on length of time they can use, dollars they can spend, etc.
You may even want them to run their plan by you for final approval. This takes the pressure off you for a meeting and gives them an opportunity to hone some new skills.
For example, a client of ours, Kalmbach Publishing, sets an annual schedule with sellers individually responsible for planning and facilitating a sales meeting for the rest of their team.
For quality control they run the format and concept through a leader, but they have flexibility in how they plan to work with the team. Engaging your sellers pays such high dividends that the investment is worth it. Want to increase sales, retention and teamwork? Give your sellers more value by INCLUDING them! Have you been including your sellers?
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