How much would you pay to attend your weekly sales meetings or your one on one with your manager?
At first glance you may be wondering if I’ve gone crazy. You may be thinking that I just asked you if you would pay money to do something you generally despise. C’mon, admit it, the days you wake up and realize you have your sales meeting or your one on one are not your favorite days. I’m guessing this is the case for most of you.
While many of you probably think that managers sit around and think to themselves “how can I waste more of my team’s time today,” the truth is that these meetings can and should be very helpful to you and some of the secret in making that so is YOUR participation and preparedness. If you work for someone who is really good at what they do, yes, you should absolutely be willing to pay to attend those meetings, because the return on investment should be high.
Our customers often judge us, or the campaign they purchased from us, by return on investment, or ROI, so why shouldn’t you do the same with your meetings. Even if you don’t pay cash money to attend those meetings, you do pay with your time and time is money, right? So, are you getting a return on that investment of time?
The relationship between a good sales manager and a good account executive should be a solid give and take. In a weekly sales meeting, it is reasonable for you to expect that your manager is going to provide information, materials and training that will help you become a better sales person and it is reasonable of your manager to expect you will participate in the conversation and not just sit and nod (or play on your phone!).
In a one on one, it’s commonplace for the manager to be prepared by having looked over your business on the books, understand your prospect list or funnel and be able to help with any challenges you might be facing. However, these meetings can get off track fast if the account executive is not prepared with the right information or is unable to answer certain questions about their accounts.
As someone who has done thousands of one on one meetings as a Market Manager or Sales Manager, it is always amazing to me how some sellers know very little about their business, which is how you should always be looking at things, your list is your very own small business. To be a great small business owner, you need to be intimately aware of everything about your business and the same goes for the account executive in charge of a book of business.
Ask yourself right now, do you know how much revenue you have accounted for this year? Is that more or less than what you did last year? Do you know your closing ratio? Do you know your attrition rate? If you are a typical veteran salesperson and have twenty to thirty accounts on the air, isn’t it reasonable to expect you know a lot of this information about your own book of business?
I have mentioned this before but it bears repeating: you have to worry about you and your manager has to worry about the group, so in the give-and-take world of the manager-rep relationship it is very helpful when you not only participate in discussions and know what’s expected of you, but also that whenever you bring a problem up, you offer what you think can be a solution.
“I have a problem and need you to help me fix it” is not nearly as appreciated as “I have a problem, here is what I think might be a good solution, what do you think?” Same goes for ideas for a client. “I have a new client I want to pitch, this is what I learned about them in the CNA, and this is what I was thinking” is so much better than “I have a new client I want to pitch, do you have any ideas for me?”
We are in sports so we all know about expectations. As an on-air host I used to always say that’s what keeps the phone ringing (yes, I was on the air before texting when we took phone calls), are expectations. If we didn’t expect our teams to win we wouldn’t be disappointed when they lose and therefore would have nothing to call in and complain about.
Same goes for our sales careers. It is reasonable to expect as managers that our reps know their business and will be prepared to discuss when needed. As the account executive, it is more than reasonable to expect that when your time is taken up by a sales meeting or a one on one that you’re going to get valuable information that will help you sell more and make more money. It should be so valuable, you’d even be willing to pay for it.