I was thinking today that it might be time for a sales meeting. I know a lot of managers have forgotten the lost art of the sales meeting. And I think that in this quick video, I want to tell you why I felt that, not only as a new loan originator, but why I feel as a thought leader today that the art of the sales meeting needs to be rebirthed.
Why are Sales Meetings Important?
When I was a mortgage professional, every seven days we gathered as a team of producers with leadership and in some cases, operations, and we were able to use an hour of our time to learn, grow, and get better. And I think the art of the sales meeting has become a lost art. There are managers that simply don’t do them. There are loan originators that need guidance.
There are realtors that need guidance. There are people in business that need guidance. Sales meetings are not to be something ever thought of as a waste of time. They should never, and if they are, by the way, thought of that way by the population you serve, then it is even more important then that you listen to this video and read this blog post, because your team needs you to lead because as a leader, that’s your responsibility. And the best way to lead need is to inspire, influence, and impact. And really, that’s what a sales meeting should be. It is a meeting on how to sell. It is a meeting on how to get better. It’s a meeting on skill development. It’s a meeting on best practices. It’s eating on fears and challenges and objections. And it’s all of those things wrapped into one, but it’s got to be artful, it’s got to be done well, it’s got to keep the spotlight on the team and it’s got to involve the team.
My First Sales Meeting
So I’m going to go all the way back to when I was a brand new loan originator. And I remember starting on a Tuesday, and I remember my first sales meeting was the following Tuesday. Our meetings were at 8:00. They ended at 9:00. You cannot be late. If you were late a minute, okay, you got a warning. If you were late again, you had to pay a fee. And if you were late again, then you couldn’t come for a month. Now, some people might say, “Finally, I got out of sales meetings for a month.” Well, that is a bad, bad deal for you because, you as the leader, if somebody ever thinks that your sales meeting is a waste of time, that’s on you. You might have everybody showing up late and then you’re going to find yourself with an empty room.
The Three Categories of Sales Meetings
So, first thing I would tell you is make the meetings matter. When you think about inspiration, influence and impact, the meeting comes down to three categories:
- Inspiration and motivation.
- Education and development.
- Action and accountability.
So let’s break those three apart. If I took a one hour meeting and I broke it into a 20 minute segment on inspiration, a 20 minute segment on education and a 20 minute segment on action and accountability and everybody left with a seven day charge to hold themselves accountable and action oriented around what they learned in the meeting, and every seven days you did that and you did it every single week, you would be blown away how confident, how calm and how effective and persuasive and forward thinking your sales team would become.
So inspiration is something that I think every meeting should start with and it should be led by you because you are supposed to be an inspirational leader. So if I’m going to inspire and influence an impact, what am I going to inspire around? I found two things as a sales professional that were valuable to me. And I would say these two things would matter most today. One is the inspiration that other people on the team can share in the meeting because they’ve achieved something that is worth sharing. Usually this is reserved for the top 20% of sales people in the group to continue to lead, guide and develop under your leadership the rest of the team. If I’m in the middle of the sales pack and I want to get over the hump and I’ve got somebody who’s number one in the branch or the company sharing ideas, I’m going to pay close attention to that person.
This is called modeling and modeling is, let me watch and then let me go do. And in between modeling and let me go do is coaching and development. So there’s a whole different video that I want to do on coaching and development. But when your top producers can share the responsibility of helping you create a tight 20 minute segment on inspiration, then you’ll find that your team responds most of the time super positively.
And if they don’t, it might be that they have a problem with their “Why,” maybe their attitude, their focus, and even their commitment to becoming their best version of themselves. Another thing you can do, which I still do today in presentations is I use vignettes, video vignettes to teach. And I typically find these from TV shows, from movies, from plays even that I want to maybe as inspiration in a teaching moment. And all the way back to when I was a loan originator, we were using VHS, which predates almost everything that most of you even rely on today and makes the DVD seem futuristic. And even in this recording, the DVD is history. Right? So we look at all this and we look at maybe a five minute clip.
So I’ll give you an example. I’ve got a group called Masterclass Elite. There’s 33 people in this group. They are all high performing mortgage professionals and leaders. And they last year were responsible for about $100 million in personal income. And we always try to give them something to have them think at a different level and then we unpack it and talk about it. So recently I found a documentary called Jiro: Dreams of Sushi. And I watched the entire documentary with my wife and the story’s a profound story of about a gentleman who today is 97 years old, one of the most prolific sushi chefs in the world.
He owns the most sushi restaurant in the world, and he’s still at the age of 97, practicing his craft. And I’m not going to get into the video, but I took my video team and we have licensed rights for downloads and things like that we use. And I had him chop up the video into a 10 minute teaching segment. And I played that 10 minutes teaching segment for our elite people at one of our retreats. And we spent two and a half hours talking about that particular video clip. So the first part always needs to be about inspiration. And you can do that with people on the team, your top producers, and you can do it with video vignettes.
Now we get to get into education. The first part of education is updating spotlights on anything that has changed in the last seven days.
Any policies changed, any product disclaimers changed, any product descriptions changed, new product introduction, education around anything having to do with customer SAT scores, compliance, anything that is predominantly needed to make sure that your sales team stays within the lines. And we can color within the lines, but generally we can’t go too far out of the lines when it comes to compliance and fraud and obviously doing the things that are right.
So educating is really, really important. People that have knowledge around products and services, and they are updating that data bank every single week, that’s a very good way to spend part of the sales meeting. And then when you’re educating, you don’t want to use the whole 20 minutes to educate, you want to use about half the 20 minutes to educate, maybe even less, and then the balance of the time to discuss and dialogue to make sure everybody’s crystal clear on whatever it was that you were teaching.
Action and Accountability in Meetings
And then what is really cool is we take the last 20 minutes of a sales meeting and we convert them into action and accountability.
I have found that at the very least, everybody on your team should have an accountability partner. If you have 10 people on your team you can have five teams two. If you have 20 people on your team, you can have 10 teams of two. Whatever it is, it’s a buddy system. Right? And the buddy system works because the buddy system works. It’s hard to explain why it works, but when you know you have to report your results to a buddy, or you have to post and show up because of a commitment you made to a buddy and a buddy has to do the same thing with you. We learn this in coaching, we learn this in scuba diving, we learn this in cycling and Pelotons. We learn it all the time. Almost everything has some level of accountability. What’s really cool though, is to go around the room and ask your team, “Based on today’s meeting, what is one thing you want to do differently in the next week?” And you need to jot this down.
You need journal and you need to jot it down. And if you can ask everybody, “What is the one thing based on today’s meeting that you want to begin to do in the next seven days differently, you keep track of those.” Now watch what happens. As the weeks go on what they commit to do the following week becomes maybe an active share session the week later. So if we’re managing action and accountability, then we’re managing expectation and we actually feed the future agenda of the sales meeting.
Okay. So that’s it in a nutshell. And if you haven’t done this, I just want to bring your attention at the end of the video. High Trust Selling is now in its 20th year of publication. There’s not very many business books that last 20 years and keep on selling. And the reason why I bring this up is this is a great template for a 12 week sales meeting. You could actually begin and use the book for 12 weeks, and you could use the chapter by week as an education assignment so that you go through the whole book in a quarter. And at the end of every chapter is an executive summary on what to do as a leader to get that implemented.
So maybe it’s time for a sales meeting, maybe it’s time to reinvigorate your sales team, but whatever you do, remember, you must inspire, you must influence and you must impact.
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