Successful Sales Meetings

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 2, 2007

By DIANA PRIVETT / Guest Columnist

Chambers of Commerce are generally made up of business members and community leaders. That is certainly true of the Calera Chamber, so when we have our monthly meetings, the emphasis is upon improving our member businesses through networking, fellowship and education. The best way to distribute information is through interaction between invited speakers and attendees.

The process is similar to a sales meeting that one of our members might have with his or her staff.

In fact, I have learned from top business leaders that sales meetings are critical to the mix in a successful company. I have learned that there are several important steps in executing a successful meeting.

Here are the most important:

1. Don’t have a meeting unless you have important or exciting new information to give. Weekly meetings are not necessary unless you can come up with 52 really good reasons to have them. Too many meetings lead to lost productivity.

2. Give your employees plenty of notice. Some will have to schedule the meeting between sales calls, family commitments or Monday Night Football.

3. Feed attendees breakfast, lunch or dinner. It makes it worth their while. They will look more favorably toward the event if you mix up the menu.

4. Invite an interesting soul to speak occasionally. We all get tired of hearing the boss attempt to do all the entertaining.

5. Cover at least three new items; products, personnel steps, benefits, sales techniques etc. It just gives everyone a chance to adopt at least one idea as their own.

6. Show your salespeople how to make money. When they make more money, so do you. Make everyone winners. Salespeople embrace anything that improves their economic condition.

7. Be interesting, upbeat, friendly, knowledgeable and mainly entertaining. Read a poem, pass out coupons from vendors, relate a personal story that shows how much you appreciate the employees.

8. Give out awards or accolades. Everyone has something to celebrate.

If you don’t, don’t have a meeting. Single out top performers and as many people as you can for some aspects of their jobs done well.

Recognition is always appreciated.

9. Limit the meeting to 90 minutes, tops. End with questions and answers, and thank everyone for the success they create