Killing Sales Productivity One Bad Meeting at a Time
Meetings are an important part of business and team communication. Agreed?
So why don’t we do a better job of them?
Start With Answering Two Questions
Here’s an easy question: What makes for a bad meeting?
This next question is a little more difficult to answer: What makes for a good meeting?
Actually, this second question shouldn’t be that tough to answer, but for some reason lots of leaders struggle with it.
At some level, we all realize that ineffective meetings are painful and costly. Unfortunately, the usual reaction is to try to bludgeon the problem to death by having tons of meetings. I guess the hope is that if we meet enough, we’ll actually figure out what to talk about and then hopefully get some business done.
No, the real answer isn’t that we need more meetings…we just need better meetings.
Bad Meetings Waste Time
Consider this – everybody spends at least some amount of time preparing for a meeting. Then they sit in the meeting and then they spend time reacting to the meeting after it’s over. It isn’t too crazy to suggest that a 1-hour meeting can cost a person a total of 3 hours.
Multiply that across your whole team and you can see how expensive a non-productive meeting can be.
When sales people are in meetings, they aren’t selling. So why not make the most of the time we’re in the meeting?
10 Simple Recommendations to Help Drive Value from Meetings:
- Have an Agenda – Seems like a no-brainer doesn’t it? Have a plan and stick to it. Stay focused on defined and clearly-communicated objectives. If you get into a rat hole, pop out of it and table the issue for a more appropriate time and audience.
- Handle the Most Important Items First – and have to skip something, skip the low-value topics. Keep ‘House Keeping’ as the last topic and give it 5 minutes.
- Start On Time, End On Time – This allows people to plan properly and it doesn’t kill everybody’s schedule. Make it a habit; everybody will appreciate it.
- Ensure Every Meeting Brings Real Value – Time is valuable, so make the most of it. Have solid reasons for meeting. When we get our teams together in one room, we have an opportunity to effectively communicate, set priorities, take action, share, learn and team-build.
- Conduct at least Some Skills Development (training, coaching…) in Every Meeting – Why not take the opportunity to sharpen the blade? This can be as simple as a 10-minute coaching session.
- Bring in Speakers – They can even be people from your own company. Use it as an opportunity to build synergy between the groups in the company.
- No Excuses – Everybody be there and be prepared (and turn your phones off; be present).
- Spend 1/3 of Your Meeting Looking Back, and 2/3 Looking Forward – What has transpired since our last meeting? What are we looking ahead to now?
- Take Minutes – Confirm what happened from one meeting to the next. Did things pan out as we thought they would? Were commitments kept? What changed? Are we still on track?
- Be Action-Oriented – Have you ever left a meeting with a whole bunch of new meetings now scheduled? Make your meetings effective and action-oriented; get stuff done and move on.
Take the opportunity to leverage your team meetings. Poor meetings can kill you. Effective meetings build synergy and results.
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