InTents April/May 2023 - 37

members suggested that he would look
for an interesting article or abstract (short
version of a business book) and distribute
it to the meeting participants. During the
meeting, they would discuss the piece and
look for any opportunity to incorporate
some new technique. A friend of mine,
Paul Reilly, hosts a podcast called " The
Q&A Sales Podcast " where he discusses
questions sent in from his listeners. I
could envision the team sitting down, listening
to one of his short-form episodes
and discussing the technique presented.
Obviously, having four different formats
is just a suggestion, but what else could
you try? Some companies are separated
into different divisions or customer
segments. Would it be beneficial to focus
on one of these segments for a week?
Sales managers struggle to get their
people to sell the whole basket of goods
available. Most salespeople become
comfortable with a particular product
group or customer segment, and they
rarely step outside their lane. By mixing
up the focus of the meeting each time,
salespeople will be exposed to areas
where they might not be as comfortable.
Roles and Attendees
During our group discussion, one of the
members suggested that he was having
trouble with team members holding back
because the president of the company
attended all sales meetings. I get it. The
leader of this sales organization wants to
know what the sales team is doing to drive
revenue. Unfortunately, it has led to very
reserved conversation and a reluctance
to discuss real challenges. So how do you
tell the boss that their presence is having
a negative effect on the meetings? Not an
easy one. In this example, the president
liked to talk about the numbers-revenue,
margin, pricing, etc. This is how the leader's
mind functioned. Taking notes from
an earlier paragraph, one group member
suggested that the president attend the
first meeting of the month. In this meeting,
they would focus on financials and sales
performance. The president's involvement
would not be necessary in the other three
meetings that month. Obviously, the sales
manager would have to do a little soft selling
of the idea to the president; but most
presidents I have worked with can recognize
the issue and see where their presence
might become a barrier.
Another great way to get team members
more involved is to assign leadership
roles in the meeting. In other words,
let others do the leading for a while. A
good manager is willing to let others have
the spotlight. This can be particularly effective
in those meetings where you are
trying to highlight a product group or customer
segment. Let others share their experience
and expertise. If someone wants
to take the lead on new prospects or projects,
allow it. The less the manager talks,
the more the team engages.
These are just a few suggestions to
break up the monotony of the sales meeting.
Gatherings are supposed to be productive
and, dare I say, fun. This is a time
to swap wins and losses. It can be a time
to vent about customers who annoy us to
no end. It is a galvanizing time, but don't
let the banter get you too far off track.
Sales meetings should take no longer than
55 minutes. I will leave you with a quip
from one of my former mentors, Dr. Rick
Johnson: " If you really want to keep meetings
short, take away the chairs. " Good luck
and know that I am always here to help.
Jason Bader is the principal of The Distribution
Team. He is a holistic distribution advisor who
is passionate about helping business owners
solve challenges, generate wealth and achieve
personal goals. Last year, he launched his first
podcast, " Distribution Talk. " Episodes can be
found at distributiontalk.com and most podcast
applications. He can be reached at (503) 2822333
or via email at jason@distributionteam.com.
You can find additional resources on his website:
thedistributionteam.com.
InTentsMag.com 37
Most salespeople
become comfortable
with a particular
product group or
customer segment,
and they rarely step
outside their lane.
http://www.distributiontalk.com http://www.thedistributionteam.com http://www.InTentsMag.com

InTents April/May 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents April/May 2023

InTents April/May 2023 - Cover1
InTents April/May 2023 - Cover2
InTents April/May 2023 - 1
InTents April/May 2023 - 2
InTents April/May 2023 - 3
InTents April/May 2023 - 4
InTents April/May 2023 - 5
InTents April/May 2023 - 6
InTents April/May 2023 - 7
InTents April/May 2023 - 8
InTents April/May 2023 - 9
InTents April/May 2023 - 10
InTents April/May 2023 - 11
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InTents April/May 2023 - Cover3
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