Category Archives: Sales Meetings

Five Keys to More Powerful Sales Meetings

Plan Conclusions that Get Action
To achieve maximum value from your next sales meeting, prepare the ending first.

Throughout history, great leaders have inspired others to action by preparing, then delivering carefully constructed conclusions to speeches. Lincoln’s, "Government of the people, by the people, for the people . . . ," Patrick Henry’s, "Give me liberty or give me death," and John Kennedy’s, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" are a few examples.

Great speakers have a clear understanding about specifically what they want the audience to do as a result. So, when you sit down to prepare your sales meeting, write the ending first. What should your salespeople be able to do after the meeting? What will they need to do different in the future? What does your top salesperson do that your other salespeople don’t? When you write the ending first, it will be much easier to plan the introduction and body of your meeting.

Here is a step-by-step method to plan your next sales meeting:

Be very specific about what you want your salespeople to do. Avoid vague words like "understand" and "appreciate." List no more than two or three actions, anymore will be difficult to remember. Tell them what you want them to do and when. For instance:

• Schedule five practice walkaround presentations with a partner next week.
• Ask each prospect what he likes best and least about his current vehicle.
• Develop an action plan for increasing your repeat and referral business.

Make at least one of the actions something simple your salespeople can do immediately. As the saying goes, "well begun is half done." If your salespeople leave with something simple to do they are more likely to do it. When they take action and achieve results they will be more likely to act on the other things you asked them to do.

Outline your conclusion as follows:

• Summarize key points into short, but memorable, sentences.
• Restate the main benefit and appeal to salespeople’s emotion as well as logic. Emotional appeals include financial freedom, health vitality, safety, romance, piece of mind, and personal fulfillment.
• Tell your salespeople specifically what you want them to do.

Save your best "Ah ha!" points for last.
Too many sales meetings flow like a bell curve, up at the beginning and down at the end. This brings your audience down just before the most important part – your conclusion. Pull out a pad of Post-it notes and right just one topic on each note. Arrange your topics to ensure that you build up to a conclusion and not down.

Follow-up to measure the action taken.
Great speakers know that their success is measured by the action that the audience takes as a result. Be specific in your follow-up. For instance, in the example cited earlier you might ask, "How many walkaround presentations did you do last week? What did you learn from your practice sessions? What results will you try to attain?"

What you say last in your sales meeting is what your salespeople will remember most. A well- planned and presented conclusion can inspire your team to action. When you follow these simple steps your meetings will be more effective. Plus, you’ll feel great sense of accomplishment when you see your ideas actually being implemented by your salespeople.

Sales Meetings that Motivate

The purpose of a sales meeting is to motivate your people and get them prepared to focus on selling. All too often sales meetings become boring lectures, repetitive messages that really have nothing to do with selling your products, and then becomes a source of de-motivation rather than motivation and increased sales. Sales meetings that are unplanned are punishment for those that have to attend.

Sales meetings should be delivered every day and provide the team with information that gives them new hope and new solutions that will help them in increasing business. Most companies agree with daily sales meetings but then don’t have them because they lack fresh and compelling content and soon find the meetings to be a waste of time. For sales meetings to be effective you must invest time and energy in making them interesting over and over again.

The purposes of the meeting is not for the sake of a sales meeting but to:

[list:31wx26xs](1) Bring the team together and get cohesiveness as a selling team.

(2) To motivate and provide the sales and management with hope of what is possible.

(3) Prepare individual sales people with new techniques and solutions that will actually increase sales.[/list:u:31wx26xs]
These meetings must be kept fresh, motivating, engage the audience and be upbeat. It’s important that you don’t waste your salespeoples’ time, but also avoid overloading them with information that is just information. The meeting should be short, inspiring, provoking, positive and focused on SOLUTIONS! The key to almost any successful meeting is to make it interesting, useful, positive and short. Short means under twenty minutes.

Before you rally the troops for another sales meeting, consider some of the following ways to get the most out of your sales meetings:

[list:31wx26xs]a) Get the meeting off to a jump start and surprise your team with visual content that sets the stage and grabs their full attention. Use high impact video to make points, something that can really wake them up and get your team thinking. Here is an example of a wake up video called, You Can’t Handle the Truth Sales Meeting. Don’t just talk to people get their senses engaged, get them focused, and wakes them up! The major goal of the sales meeting is to offset the massive amounts of negative information your team has received in the last 24 hours from mass media.

b) Once you have their full attention then next focus on ‘saving’ business that was worked over the last days or weeks. The goal here is to get them thinking how we as a team can piece a transaction together and get the day started on a fast track.

c) Focus on the ‘wins not the losses! Take a few minutes at every meeting to congratulate salespeople for any and all completed goals, closed deals, and successes. Praise reinforces positive behavior and encourages everyone to do well. Keep the discussion relevant and don’t allow people to present problems unless they also have potential solutions.[/list:u:31wx26xs]
Sales meetings should be daily, short, engaging, entertaining and interesting and focused on solutions and the positive not the negative. Your people are being trained whether you train them or not. The question is will you provide them with sales training daily or will you let the media train them. An effective sales meeting will motivate, entertain, engage and get your people focused on how to conquer sales. An effective sales meeting done on a daily basis will prove a great investment of time and energy when done correctly.

Grant Cardone, Author, Sales Expert and Creator of Virtual Sales Training

This is Only a Test

Had I been a real customer I would have wanted to know a lot more!

Do your salespeople know what they are talking about? Present company excluded, I would say more of them think they know more than they do. Ah, everybody’s an expert!

But what I want to review this month is product knowledge, the great equalizer. What’s the horsepower of the 2003 Cavalier? Can you really get a 500 HP Camry Hybrid like I saw at the auto show? What’s the payload of a 2005 K1500 with heavy-duty shocks (which do not help payload buy the way, and LT225/75R-16 tires? Where is the 2003 Audi A4 we took in trade yesterday? How many … wait, what was that last one?

Yes, you heard me right. And more importantly you’ve heard that question in the sales meeting this morning and you will hear it again today, tomorrow and everyday you’re open for business. That question is by far the toughest to answer. That’s because it involves work. It means going outside and finding that car. It means asking the service manager what repairs were done on it. And a lot more.

And the sad part is your sales managers and their staff did such a good job, the salesperson never has to go outside! Your sales manager takes the vehicle in trade, fills out an internal to get the safety and set-up done. The office manager and staff type all the information into the computer. Then prints out an inventory sheet where that A4 magically appears: in print.

Then you hand out the inventory sheet at the sales meeting, the salespeople go to their desk with it in hand and, God willing, start follow up. They send out thank you cards. They mail letters. Then they follow up on a delivery. Then maybe they call back the people who stopped in yesterday or the day before. But where is that other elusive step? You know, the step that involves the salesperson trudging through the snow to find and actually touch and drive that A4. And the A4 is just one example. Where is the step where the salesperson researches physically all the cars that came in yesterday when they were off?

There isn’t a step like that because you did the work for them. You just gave them that updated computer printout. Then they call a customer who was looking for a dependable good-looking second car. The conversation goes something like this:

[list:b4ea2g6h]“Mr. Pumpernickel, Jack Bennett calling from Main Street Auto Sales. Did I catch you at a bad time? Great, I just wanted to see if you were still looking for that second car? You are? Great! Well, we took in a beautiful Audi A4 that I think might be perfect. Miles? I think it‘s got about 28,000. Color? Um, well it says on my list here (salesperson fumbles through the list) that it’s blue. Oh, your wife hates blue…oh, I’m sorry but maybe you ought to take a look at it. It’s a perfect car. Is there any body damage or rust? Um, I don’t think so. The car just came in so I actually haven’t had a chance to look at it real closely.” (That’s a lie; they haven’t looked at it at all) “I think they are taking it to do the service check.” (Another lie because the salesperson has no clue where that car is. It could be in the body shop getting the bumper painted for all he knows.) “How much? Well, I’m not sure. We don’t even have it priced yet; I just wanted to get back with you right away. When can you come in? Sure, I can check out your questions and call you back.”[/list:u:b4ea2g6h]
And that’s how the conversation goes. If the salesperson knew everything about that car, he could have controlled the conversation better, answered just enough questions to get the customer interested and then set an appointment.

And it would have all happened because the salesperson knew the car.

And we’re back to that question, “Where is that Corolla?”

This is not an article on phone use. This is a follow up to last month’s article on how to run a sales meeting. These are specifically what product knowledge questions to ask on a test. Questions better prepare salespeople.

[list:b4ea2g6h]• How many cars are advertised in the paper last Saturday? Name five.

• Name two cars in stock closest in style and price to the 1999 Camry we have advertised.

• How many cars did we take in trade yesterday?

• How many of those have less than 25,000 miles?

• How many trucks did we deliver last month?

• How many new Camrys do we have in stock?

• How many miles are on the Big Dually pick-up we’ve had for 45 days?

• How much can that Big Dually carry and or tow?

• How do you open the hood on the Suzuki Samurai we took in trade Monday? (It’s in the glove box, I think.)[/list:u:b4ea2g6h]
I will tell you that the salesperson that gets 100 percent on this test will be the first one to sell something today. Oh, and as a former salesperson I would say to make sure and spiff them for doing well. Maybe first, second and third best scores and I’ll bet that the $200 you dole out will be returned before noon that day.

Product knowledge: ya’ gotta’ have it. Good luck and great selling.

Jack Bennett is the author of “You Can And Should Sell Cars,” He has been in the business for over 30 years and has trained thousands of salespeople across the country. He is now the owner of Main Street Auto Sales in Fond du Lac, WI.

An Effective Sales Meeting Begins with a Real Agenda

Everyone knows that an agenda is the key to an effective sales meeting. But an agenda that consists of a list of nouns, such as sales, demos, and schedules, is useless. Here’s how to prepare a real agenda that puts you in control of the meeting.

1) Goal
Every real agenda begins with a goal that describes the result wanted at the end of the sales meeting, such as: find a way to increase sales this month by 10%. Ideally, this goal should be stated so clearly that someone else could use it to design a meeting that achieved the result.

2) Outcome
This describes the benefit of achieving the goal, and thus tells why you are holding the meeting. For example, the benefits of increasing sales by 10% is increased income, and award recognition.

3) Activities
This provides a blueprint (or set of instructions) for the sales meeting. Ideally, this contains descriptions of the activities that will help you and your salespeople achieve your goal for the meeting.

4) Assignments
Tell the participants how to prepare for the meeting (e.g. everyone bring one suggestion on how we can achieve our goal of a 10% increase in sales). Also, tell them what they need to bring (e.g., bring a copy of your previous months numbers). Prepared salespeople make a meeting more efficient and more effective.

The small amount of time required to prepare a real agenda will help you hold shorter, more effective meetings.