Salespeople are expected to respect their customer’s time, so you should too.
The number of sales meetings I’ve attended that do not start on time is appalling.
When I’ve asked sales managers why their sales meeting is starting late, I usually get a lame excuse about how that’s the way we’ve always done things. The question that immediately comes to my mind is, “Do the salespeople exhibit that same behavior with their customers?”
Sales meetings are to the sales manager what a sales call is to a salesperson – they’re important and not to be taken lightly.
Salespeople base a large part of their feelings and attitude on how they see their sales manager behaving. That means if we expect salespeople to be on time for sales calls, then we need to be on time with our sales meetings.
The same thing applies to ending a sales meeting.
A big part of why I push this is because it forces people to be organized and ready. Again, I see too many salespeople showing up for their own sales meetings completely disorganized.
If necessary, put specific times by each major item you’re going to cover in a meeting. I do this with any meeting I’m conducting. It allows me to stay focused and it also helps to keep everyone else focused.
Modeling the behavior you want your salespeople to show toward their customers is one of the easiest ways for your people to learn from you.
Being a stickler for starting and finishing on time does not mean the meetings are going to be a bore and they don’t mean they’re not going to be engaging and spontaneous when necessary. Both of these are still possible, and by being able to do both of these and still remain within the allocated time is a strong demonstration of leadership.
If you’re wondering if a meeting can ever go beyond it’s scheduled ending time, the answer is yes – but not on a regular basis and only with the permission of those in attendance. Again, this is no different than what we would expect a salesperson to do on a sales call. If the presentation is scheduled for 30 minutes and it’s going to run long due to the level of discussion, that’s fine, but only if the salesperson has the permission of the customer.
Demonstrate leadership with your next sales meeting by starting and ending on time.
If this is a new trait for you, do it for 3 or 4 meetings and I can assure you that your sales team will start to model the same behavior.
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.