A View from Here

Bill's Sisson's weekly Trade Only blog

Meeting maniac or meeting starved?

I received an email from someone who works at a boat dealership in a southeastern state.  He lamented that he never knows what the dealership manager is thinking or what priorities are for the business because his manager rarely holds meetings and seldom communicates with the team.  As an employee, he is meeting starved! 

On the other hand, I previously worked for a company that was overrun with meeting maniacs!  It seemed we were attending meetings on nearly every issue that came up.  Two extremes; neither produces the right formula for effective meeting and information management. 

How about you?  Share your best meeting experiences with me.  Let me know what your best group meeting experience was in the last six months at the boating dealership where you work and why it was so effective!  What did the manager do well?  What could have been done better?  How does a manager avoid turning his team into meeting maniacs or, conversely, leaving them starved for information? 

Learn more on how often meetings should be held and how to easily make meetings worthwhile — every time they take place — in my management column in Soundings Trade Only, December edition.

Mary Elston


2 comments on “Meeting maniac or meeting starved?

  1. Roger Herd

    We can never make them all happy. Especially sales people who by nature are ego-maniacs and if they are not in control (read the Sales Manager holding the meeting) then they are challenged. Involve them in the meeting and give each one a weekly assignment that brings something to the table.

    An adroit Sale Manager has to know the strengths and limitations of each of person on their team. Meetings need to be concise and have a specific agenda. It might adress the dealerships short and long term goals, where they are YTD and MTD and comping against last year, upcoming shows and also manufacturers ongoing programs.

    The sales meeting should also include some form of training such as tasking a salesperson to feature and benefit a specific boat each week. It keeps them involved and forces them to hone their skills against their greatest critics, their peers.

    Most salespeople know how to take orders, a relative few actually know how to sell. Involve your people in sales training and you will sell more boats.

  2. Mary Elston

    I like the interactive sales training that was shared in Roger’s comment. Meetings that enable active participation and learning are definitely more engaging — it changes the tone; it helps migrate the meeting from mundane to motivational! The comment that each sales person has an assignment for the meeting was also spot on. Of course, this approach must be well managed by the sales leader and it sounds like that is definitely the case here. All of this great sharing and learning would not be happening if group meetings were not being held. Kudos to Roger for holding team meetings and making them time well spent.

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