Everyone needs a sales meeting! Whether you manage dozens of decorators or you’re the sole owner of your own business, you need a sales meeting. Whether you are a single employee, or a team of two or three, you need a sales meeting.
Everyone in sales needs a sales meeting to achieve his or her best potential.
Why? That’s the question we’ll answer this month.
WHAT’S THE BENEFIT?
The most disciplined, most successful manager needs a sales meeting to grow professionally.
We all know the sage remark, “I got so busy fighting off the alligators
I forgot the original purpose was to drain the swamp.” The decorating/window
treatment specialty profession is no different.
Only sales meetings give us the chance to reflect, the edge and benefits of learning
and the choice to change. If you are a sales manager, here is your chance to
sharpen your leadership. If you are a sole owner or single employee decorator
you’ll need an extra measure of discipline, but read on and you are sure
TYPES OF SALES MEETINGS
There are several types of Sales Meetings, and some that really should be named
Operations Meetings. The time between meetings tells the content that is most
Weekly Meetings—There are two types of weekly meetings. One is to review
customers sold and appointments completed but not sold. A second kind of meeting
is to review mistakes, wrong measurements, back orders and operational issues.
But, please don’t call this a sales meeting.
It may be a learning experience. It may reduce errors in the future. You may
need to do it for yourself or your decorators weekly, but it is not about growing
sales. So, let’s talk about the first kind of meeting—the kind where
you review your face-to-face customer appointments.
Usually you’ll have from two to 10 customers. Weekly is a perfect time
to reflect, “What could I have done better to close a sale I did not close,
or to sell more to a sale I did close?”
The manager’s job (even if you are your own manager) is not to criticize,
but to educate and give insight. The subject of a weekly sales meeting should
be about customers you met last week. It is not a time to learn decorating, to
study new products, to go over pricing or any form of operations.
If you want an operations meeting, do it on a different day. This is the time
to think about customers, people, interactions, what she said and what you said—all
while your memory is fresh, but after time to digest and reflect.
Monthly Meetings—Monthly meetings are for education and motivation. Nothing
motivates a professional like seeing another professional get a big sale and
to realize, “I can do that!”
Monthly meetings should be with groups of 5 to 20 others and should cover attitude,
selling techniques, decorating ideas in detail, product presentations and review
of numbers. If you are a sales manager, write for our Ten Tips to Conduct a Monthly
Sales Meeting. (Sales.Meeting@custEmers.com)
If you are independent, join the Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA)
and attend a local chapter meeting. If there isn’t one, get one started.
You all will benefit. Chapter presidents: View yourself as a sales manager for
your group. Try the Ten Tips for ideas.
Monthly Conference—A conference is a one-on-one meeting, not a group meeting.
Each month meet individually with each decorator (or yourself, if you are your
only decorator). Review sales numbers. Summarize how many appointments were completed,
how many sold and total sales.
Now you can calculate closing ratio and average customer sale. (For the significance
of these numbers see a previous column: “Is It Time to Manage Sales Performance?” D&WC,
December 2002, page 64.) One appointment per working day can mean from $150,000
to more than $700,000 in sales.
If you are the sales manager, identify and focus on your decorator’s needs
for growth. Help your decorator develop technique. Be sure to set numeric goals
to review at future meetings.
If you are “meeting with yourself,” do the same. You will be surprised
at the difference it makes just addressing each issue in order by actual numbers.
To be really effective in a monthly group meeting or individual conference where
closing ratios and average sale are topics, you really need a planned sales system.
This is an advanced topic we will cover in the future.
Quarterly Meetings—Quarterly meetings and conferences are for serious review
of the numbers. This is where you look at goals set, actual results and how to
achieve future goals if your decorator is behind.
Semi-Annual and Annual Meetings—These are meetings that should be away
from home. Meet new people and old friends at an annual conference. Attend training
sessions, view new product introductions, rap with other decorators, exchange
If you have more than three years experience, you may learn more networking with
other decorators, learning the way they do things, than by attending a training
session listening to an instructor. Always find out who the winners are and ask
them how they did it. They will be flattered to tell you, and you will learn
ideas you never would think of at home.
This is a time to get away from the rat race of everyday business and discover
new options. As you attend the event think more in terms of strategic issues
for your business: the right things to do, more than to do things right. Breakthroughs
in business growth usually happen after attending a major regional or national
Whether you are managing yourself or 50 decorators, meetings are vital to your
professional growth. They are essential if you manage others. If you are the
leader, you carry a greater burden of responsibility. After all, who is your
Leader or sole operator, your sales results and professional growth will accelerate
when a planned meeting schedule is a core part of your development plan.
Steven C. Bursten is the retired founder of Decorating Den Interiors and
of a how to book on new business start up, “Bootstrap Entrepreneur”.
He is president of custEmers.com, specializing in affordable Internet marketing
tools along with tried and true techniques. Bursten welcomes questions about
marketing, sales and customer relationships. Request a free report: How to Improve
Sales Performance for Yourself and Your Decorators. E-mail: performance@custEmers.com.
Whether you are the sole manager who aspires to higher sales, or you manage 50
window fashion decorators in a multi-million dollar business, this series will
help you manage sales better and increase your profitability. The series is based
on Steven C. Bursten’s actual experience studying sales and financial information
with hundreds of window fashions businesses.