Nine Ways Retail Leaders Create Unproductive Sales Meetings

Cure Boring Sales MeetingsAs retail sales training consultants, we have never come across anyone who can honestly say that they love going to a sales meeting.  Virtually everyone would greatly prefer to be engaging with their customers and building their business.

But sales meetings are an important tool for keeping your sales team informed and on-track so that your store can achieve its targets.  So with that in mind, here are 9 mistakes retail sales managers should avoid when conducting meetings with their teams:

  1. Calling out an under performing sales representative in public – Instead, focus on positive examples or practice selling skills to reinforce great selling and customer service behavior.
  2. Allowing one team member to humiliate another – Everyone likes to have the spotlight shown on them and fostering competition is a big part of retail sales management but this should never make create a situation where a team member is embarrassed.
  3. Starting your meeting without an agenda – If a retail sales manager fails to have a plan they will waste time and create disengagement with the sales team and that is the exact opposite of what a sales meeting is all about!
  4. Failing to teach – Understanding the targets and what is helping or inhibiting your team from achieving them is important, but the real benefit of a sales meeting is that you can provide retail sales training, product training and other forms of reinforcement to help your team beat their targets!
  5. Concentrating on policies and procedures – The purpose of having a retail sales meeting is to help your employees to change their behavior and activities in a way that will positively build the business.  Policies and procedures help us to achieve that, but are not an end in themselves.
  6. Failing to create team involvement – The best retail sales representatives are outgoing and want to share their knowledge and insights.  They also want to let their retail leaders know about issues that are inhibiting results.  So get them involved versus forcing them to sit still and just listen to you as you hold the floor.
  7. Allowing one team member to dominate the meeting – Of course, the other side of getting your team members involved is that one of them can decide to hold court.  You can deal with this by having a tight agenda, a “parking lot” and giving each team member an assignment.
  8. Allowing an outsider to criticize the team – As retail trainers we often encourage sales managers to bring in outside resources to help their team to learn new skills or practice new procedures.  But remember… the goal of a sales meeting it to positively change behavior, not to make sales reps feel bad about themselves.
  9. Letting the meeting degenerate into a complaint session – Everyone has a bad day and everyone likes to complain, but if a sales leader allows it to get out of hand, the result is that everyone will have a bad day!

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-          David Goodwin is a 30-year veteran of the retail industry.  He has hired, trained, and managed thousands of retail sales representatives and retail managers.  You can learn more about instructor-led, e-learning, and other training solutions for retailers at www.retailertrainingservices.com.