Have you ever fished for catfish? I guess it’s an Ozark’s thing, but many people in my area love to fish for catfish. The most disgusting thing about this sport (if you want to classify it as a sport) is that the bait you normally use is called “stink bait,” and gosh does it STINK! L Maybe that’s why I prefer golf. As I ponder the whole idea behind fishing for catfish, stink bait, and fishing in general, it dawned on me as to what good fisherman do regularly. They monitor their bait. If the fish don’t bite, they use a different bait to see if the fish will bite, and if different baits don’t work, they will move to another pond. It was an “AH HA” moment for me as I thought about this strategy, and so I developed this week’s meeting around this concept. Helping your team members know when to switch baits, what baits work, and quite frankly, when to move to another pond.
I think it’s a “GREAT” meeting that your team will appreciate and hopefully have an “AH HA” moment like me, and realize that sometimes it’s all in the bait we’re using. If you’re not a member of EasySalesMeetings you can join today. We would love to have you as a member, and we know you will save time, look professional in front of your team as well as adding value to each and every meeting you deliver. More about EasySalesMeetings
For the manager who meets with the team on a regular basis, understanding sales meeting pitfalls is essential if you want to create excitement, motivation and results for your sales force. Below you will find my top five sales meeting blunders to avoid if you’re in charge of delivering sales meetings for your organization:
- Planning and attending your meeting without a map! Think about it, you wouldn’t head out on vacation without a road map, nor would you begin a long hike through the woods on an unknown trail unless you could visually see where you would end up at the conclusion of your walk, so why should your sales meetings be any different? Each sales meeting should be carefully thought out and planned with an outline (map) and your goals and objectives for the team gathering. Your map will help provide you direction for your meeting and allow you too quickly and easily make changes during the meeting if you should get off track. For example, if I wanted to talk about “Top Sales Blunders” with my team, I need to know how and where to begin the meeting, and where I wanted to end the meeting. By knowing these two principals (beginning and ending destinations) I can begin to formulate my meeting content and where and how we can get there.
- Predictability! Probably the most often overlooked blunder that sales managers make regularly is that their meetings are so predictable. It’s almost like a church service where you can go down the order of events and everything must fall into its proper place to be considered perfect. Don’t get me wrong, structure and organization are needed in any program, church service and sales meeting, but doing things exactly the same way each and every time you meet can get old after awhile. Have fun with your meetings and strive to keep things different and fresh. Change the order in which you cover key points and allow others to participate or help. Don’t become predictable to your team, and always inject a new flavor or twist to keep your group wondering what’s new this week.
- You’re a Hog! Well, not figuratively speaking, but when it comes to running the meeting you don’t let anyone else participate. I realize this is a double-edge sword, as there are those who if allowed to participate would ruin your meeting or take over the conversation, yet there are many good team players who have great ideas that need to participate and help with the meeting content. Believe it or not, I hear a lot of complaints from sales associates who want to participate but never allowed an opportunity from the manager or team leader. One key point to remember about adults and how they like to learn is that assisting in the problem solving process is critical. Adults love to participate and be a part of the learning process, and not allowing group participation can hinder the sales meeting and teaching environment. Encourage group participation and learn to deal with the “Chatty Cathy’s” so everyone has an opportunity to contribute.
Subscribe to my feed to receive Part II of my “7 Biggest Sales Meeting Blunders to Avoid.” If you need sales meeting help, visit www.GoToSalesMeeting.com for more information. Watch for our new sales meeting site to launch soon!
This week I produced a new Sales Meeting for my www.RealEstateSalesMeetings.com Members entitled, “Stress Management.” The Meeting Objective is to help agents learn effective ways to deal with stress on a daily basis.
Did You Know?
•Over 1 Million Americans have heart attacks each year
•Some 13 billion dozes of tranquilizers, barbiturates, and amphetamines are prescribed yearly
•8 Million Americans have stomach ulcers
•There are estimates of 50,000 attempted suicides each year. Only one in eight are successful
•There are over 12 Million alcoholics in the United States
Finally, 80% of all people treated for some type of sickness is caused by Emotionally Induced Illnesses,” (EII). Learning to deal with stress is important for everyone, especially real estate professionals. If you’re a broker and need help with your weekly sales meetings, check out www.RealEstateSalesMeetings.com. I’d love to have you as a member. You’ll receive this meeting and nearly 100 more in our database of meetings to choose from.
Remember what Leo Buscaglia said: “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a know, hang on, and swing.”
It seems like the more people I talk to, the more I hear about the lack of weekly sales meetings. I guess the economy can even begin to take its toll on our coming together on a regular basis to share ideas and information. My belief is that sales meetings are beginning to diminish because of three things:
- Brokers and managers are having difficulty staying motivated through these challenging times. Let’s face it, when you’re the one who has to try and get everyone else motivated, and you yourself are struggling to keep your head above water, it’s a tough job to do.
- Positive becomes negative. Many brokers and managers are avoiding sales meetings because what is supposed to be a motivational and uplifting experience is now becoming a knit picking negative gripe session.
- The Same Ole’ Thing Syndrome. Most companies have forsaken sales meetings because they feel like it’s just the same ole’ items rehashed week after week.
If you’re struggling with any of those three issues, yes, you’re probably better off to not hold a sales meeting, however, you are running the risk of a disconnect with your team. The fact of the matter is, your agents and staff need to hear from you regularly! As tough as times may be, hearing from the leader that the company will get through this market, providing new ideas and concepts and offering a different twist or take on a concept can be a rewarding and refreshing experience. Yes times are tough, your team can get behind by a few points, but your weekly sales meeting is your time to stand in front of your group in the locker room at half-time and encourage them to go back out in the game and retake the lead. It’s not a gripe session or a blame game, but a chance to compliment, reward and offer new ideas and concepts. Your sales meetings should provide positive communication and value from you the manager/broker/leader.
Here are a few ideas to try at your next sales meeting to change the way you meet:
- Do something you’ve never done. Be different!
- Strive for creativity
- Let your agents solve problems. Use groups and dyads for exercises
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions
- Use a flip chart to record answers
- Follow-up on key ideas and suggestions
- Have fun
Are sales meetings dead? They shouldn’t be. Sales meetings should be a time of enjoyment and excitement by you and your team members. If you’re having difficulty finding that niche, check us out at www.GoToSalesMeetings.com.
Yesterday while leaving my farm, I witnessed a cow eating grass on the other side of the fence. I did not have my camera with me, so I was not able to take a photo, but when I got home, I did a quick Google search and found a similar photograph on the World Wide Web. I thought about this cow extending its neck through the fence to eat grass on the other side. To me, there was no difference on the grass where the cow was placed to feed or the grass on the other side. It’s funny, that’s how life seems to be with you and I. Many people always believe the “grass is greener” on the other side. Unfortunately, the grass looks and tastes the same once they reach their intended destination.
The moral of the story? Don’t keep thinking things are better over on the other side of the hill, doing something else or moving in a different direction with your life. Sometimes we need to realize that what we have right now is just as good (if not better) than what the other side has to offer.
I have prepared a short sales meeting entitled “Where is the Greener Grass?” This meeting is part of our “5-Minute Series” of real estate meetings for my members at www.RealEstateSalesMeetings.com. If you would like a copy of this meeting, send me an e-mail to John@RealEstateSalesMeetings.com and ask for the “GREENER GRASS” in the subject line. I would love to send you a copy.
Although most of my seminars for real estate companies and board associations on sales meeting effectiveness deal with more than seven keys to holding a successful sales meeting, I have prepared a short e-book on what I believe are the essential keys to holding an effective meeting each time your team comes together. If you would like to read the e-book, click here.
If you ever needed to make certain your sales meetings were providing the right content, motivation and direction, now is the time! Real estate agents are hungry for information and in need of encouragement and leadership. I hope you’ll take the time to read my e-book, “7 Keys to Unlock Your Next Sales Meeting.” Download the e-book for free! Click here!
Yesterday my real estate company decided to have a roundtable discussion on ways to generate more sales. We talked about everything from lease/purchase transactions to selling bonuses to price reductions along with many other marketing gimmicks and ideas. Wow, what a refreshing and needed experience! The agents who did take time out to participate shared their troubles and issues facing them in today’s real estate business. The ironic part to all of this is that everyone struggles with the same trials and tribulations, and we all need help discovering new ideas on what can jumpstart our real estate careers. As a real estate survivor from the 1980′s, it brought back a vivid memory for me called “creativity.” No, I’m not talking about the creativity in financing that I believe contributed to this mess a few years ago, but rather our approach to selling real estate in the early 80′s when interest rates were near (if not at) 20%, and millions of people were without work. During that time era real estate professionals had to get creative in many ways to sell property. Back then, buyers did not want to participate in buying real estate because interest rates were too high and most people were fearful of losing their jobs. Owner financing and loan assumptions became popular avenues to help sell properties. Sellers offered extra incentives to the selling agents hoping their real estate would stand out among the crowd, and holding a buyers seminar was as common as holding an open house. The bottom line back then (and is applicable today) is that you had to become creative and you had to stay focused and work hard to get business. If you failed at either of those areas, you left the business.
Our meeting yesterday put a shot of fresh air in all of our team members who participated and it generated several “great” ideas on how we can sell more properties during this economic storm. We identified our current problems with how buyers and sellers were facing the real estate market and then put possible solutions to solve those barriers. The exciting part for me, was the reminder it brought to my life in how this was the secret to survival in the 1980′s, working together as a team, becoming creative, and discovering new ways to help buyers and sellers with their real estate needs.
If your team has not spent an hour or two brainstorming ideas on what might work for your marketplace I encourage you to do so today. For some excellent ideas on brainstorming with your group, visit http://www.thiagi.com/ I love his 35 Game. Best of luck! John Mayfield – RealEstateSalesMeetings.com.
In the past two years I have been teaching a continuing education course entitled “Understanding Credit Scores,” which has received a lot of positive feedback. My goal for the class is to help real estate professionals understand credit scoring and the importance of sharing ways consumers can improve their credit scores. As we hear about financial bailouts, record bankruptcies and foreclosures, and the need to create more cash and credit for banks, our industry is simply walking past another crisis, consumers struggling with “bad” credit. Every day that we neglect this problem we are in essence that pedestrian walking past a homeless person on the sidewalk never offering a needed hand. I believe as real estate professionals we have a moral obligation to begin teaching and helping our local customers and clients ways to improve their credit and how they can begin the road back to financial freedom. I understand that our roles should not be financial planners or counselors; however, we can be the person who points them in that direction and to get the ball rolling. In the old days, we would offer a home-buyer’s seminar or a first-time buyer’s educational class, and today we have opportunities to invite banks and other financial professionals to help train and provide credit help seminars, or ways to improve your credit scores. True, many of these buyers will not be able to purchase for a few years but our business is about relationships and building a referral base, not about a quick onetime transaction. As I reminisced a few lines ago, in the old days, it was nothing for real estate professionals to encourage buyers to wait awhile before buying a home, because of a lack of down payment, credit issues or other red flags. And because of our honesty and willingness to help those same buyers would visit six months or a year later able to buy a home. Easy financing, no-down payment loans and other subprime lending over the last few years have created a glut of problems for our industry, and bad credit is at the top of that list. In fact, perhaps our industry should have been doing a better job of training and teaching the basics and importance of having good credit a few years ago before this financial debacle. Regardless of who is right or wrong, one thing is for sure, many (millions) of consumers need help in understanding credit and how to get their lives back on the right road. As a REALTOR®, I’m willing to begin that crusade. Are you?
We have a great opportunity to help our agents understand a valuable tool that can aid in helping thousands of consumers today who need help repairing and improving their credit scores. I have a “free” sales meeting I have developed for my real estate members at www.RealEstateSalesMeetings.com I would love to share with you to use at a future sales meeting. The meeting comes complete with a Power Point slide show, (not required to run the meeting) detailed talking points outline and a handout for your agents to use with prospecting for new business. Yes it’s free, and all you need to do is write to: John@RealEstateSalesMeeting.com.