Logic Prevails At Well-Structured Weekly Meetings

Jul 25, 2008

Like salespeople, one of the biggest challenges a recruiter faces is getting enough “outbound activity” (sourcing candidates, building relationships, etc.) while dealing with a steady stream of “inbound” interruptions (emails, status calls, etc.).

To compound this situation, we do this in an environment of constant change (shifting priorities, new requisitions, etc.).

If not managed properly, it is easy to lose focus, get de-motivated, and become non-productive.

To avoid this situation, most top sales organizations have a weekly “sales” meeting. Objectives of these meetings include:

  • Make sure each salesperson has a focused plan of action for the week.
  • Make sure each salesperson’s plan includes an adequate amount of measurable “outbound” activity.
  • Set team/individual priorities.
  • Discuss any administrative loose ends.

If, for some reason, you are not having a weekly “recruiting” meeting, start now. Based on the challenges outlined above, I can’t think of a logical reason why you wouldn’t.

In our research efforts, we have learned that the best sales organizations not only have meetings, but the salespeople enjoy attending them!

While the clear intent of these meetings is to get focused for a productive week, unfortunately, the majority of companies’ sales meetings are mundane, boring, and unproductive.

Most sales professionals view these meetings as a “necessary evil” to provide management with a status on progress toward their goals.

Indeed, during my 19 years in recruiting, I have attended my fair share of boring, mundane meetings!

To avoid falling into this trap, try the following meeting agenda/format. It provides structure and sets the tone for a productive, positive week:

Meeting particulars:

  • Hold this meeting first thing Monday morning starting at 7 or 8 a.m. (depending on company culture, attendee’s personal schedules, etc.)
  • Limit the meeting to no more than 15 participants. If you have a larger team, I assume there is some logical way to break the team into groups of 10-15 people based on line of business you support, geography, etc. There is no minimum required. If you have two people on your team — meet. If it is only you, meet with yourself.
  • With today’s technology (conferencing, web meetings, video meetings), you can’t use “geography” as an excuse for not getting together.
  • Keep the meeting to one hour. To keep the meeting on schedule, remember these tips:
  1. The moderator is responsible for keeping the meeting positive and lively, but also on time! Every minute the meeting runs over, the moderator owes $1 (or some other form of motivation).
  2. In addition, all late participants must donate $1 for each minute they are late (it is amazing how people become respectful of being on time when you adopt this policy).
  3. This money can be used for a teambuilding event, given to charity, etc.

Meeting agenda:

Let’s start the week off right!

  • Share a great, positive story from last week/weekend. Stories don’t have to be work-related. Personal, positive stories are the best.
  • Business review. Review your current open positions. Discuss status, pending action items, next steps, etc.
  • Discuss last week’s achievements. Each week, we recommend each person develop a Perfect Week. This is a list of billable/non-billable activities you would like to get done during the week. These action items can then get scheduled into your Perfect Day routine. At this time, have each person discuss the past week, including:
  1. Overall week; how did things go based on what they set out to get done?
  2. Top two or three most critical things they accomplished last week.
  3. Maybe the two or three things that did not get done last week that will either become this week’s priorities, or, possibly removed from this week’s “to-do” list.
  • Biggest frustration(s) last week. Let it out! We all have had weeks when things don’t go the way they were supposed to go. If your frustration is dragging into this week, ask your teammates for solutions to make it better/solve the problem.
  • Visualize this week’s “Perfect Week” and post goals in a public location. Discuss the critical things you have to get done (billable/non-billable) to make this week a “Perfect Week.” If possible, have each team member post them in a central location (whiteboard in your office?) so everyone can see. As you go through the week, cross off the activities as they get accomplished. Crossing off tasks on a to-do list feels good and can motivate others around you.
  • Visualize your “Perfect Monday.” Discuss the critical activities you have to get done today (Monday) to have a “Perfect Monday.” Being motivated and productive early on Monday can set the tone for the rest of the week.
  • Education. Each week, have a person on the team (rotate this duty each week) discuss something we didn’t know about our clients, recruiting, and our industry. Make sure this discussion is no more than five minutes. Providing a “short” handout (don’t pass out War & Peace) people can take away and read is great.
  • End with a positive thought (or two or three) for the day.

In order to accomplish these agenda items (on time), everyone must embrace and practice the Milo Frank habits about getting your point across in 30 seconds or less.

Have fun with this process. Each week, have a different person moderate the meeting. This is a chance for us all to come together and get motivated, focused, and ready for the week.

Your thoughts/comments on this subject are welcome. I hope your next weekly meeting is a great one.

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