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Archive for sales meetings

Face it! Most office meetings are not well attended. In fact, they may be thought of as boring to the office’s agents! Here’s a method to put zip in that meeting and ‘up’ your attendance!

Here’s one easy way to add pizzazz to your next office meeting.

As owners and managers, you’re a meeting planner when it comes to your sales meetings. Interestingly, you have dozens of experts right in your midst that you can spotlight to bring insights and excitement to your next event. Yes, those are the great agents and leaders you work with. So, how can you use that expertise right? Hold a successful panel discussion.

But, too many panel discussions go off the tracks because of these five fatal mistakes. I’ve seen these mistakes and have developed a system and the experience as a facilitator to assure that your panel discussion goes spectacularly well.

(Note: At the end of this blog, be sure to grab my one-page panel discussion rules of the road, too. Use these to prepare your participants and create an event they’ll rave about).

The Five Fatal Mistakes–And How to avoid Them

  1. Too few or too many panelists

The Rule: No fewer than 3; no more than 6. Why? If someone doesn’t show up and you have scheduled only 3 people,   you won’t have a panel! And, if you have more than 5-6 people, you won’t have time to drill down with any of them.

  1. Too general a topic

Choose a topic that’s specific enough that you encourage real action steps and advice that the audience can take. Example: Not ‘How to sell Real Estate’ but “Best Marketing Ideas from the Experts’.

  1. Not getting the written bios/introductions from the panelists prior to the discussion

One of the facilitator’s jobs is to concisely introduce each panelist. Facilitators need a written introduction to do that properly. Don’t try to wing it! If you do, you may inadvertently make mistakes and a panelist may correct them in front of everyone!

  1. Not providing enough time for each panelist to talk.

You want a combination of panelist ‘lecturette’ (about 5-10 minutes each) and Q and A between the facilitator and panelists and the audience.

Note: The panel should last about one hour.

  1. Facilitator talks too much!

It’s not the facilitator’s show! It should shine a spotlight on the panelists.  Facilitators should prepare 5-10 questions in advance and share those questions with the panelists, so they know what to expect. You can also ask panelists what they want to be asked.

Avoiding these 5 fatal mistakes will assure you create an exceptional panel discussion, and reap accolades for your event.

Click here to grab my one-page panel discussion guide.

How can Carla help you with your presenters and instructors?  She applies the principles she learned as a performing musician to the stage to help presenters and trainers create great presentations, get enthusiastic audience participation, and reduce presentation  anxiety. See more at www.carlacross.com or contact her at carla@carlacross.com

Have you asked someone to present at your meeting, and they droned on…and on…and your attendees lost interest? Here’s a method with my planner to assure your presenters stay on point.

Do you arrange and/or lead sales meetings? If you do, you’ve probably seen this happen: 

Your presenter rambles into the presentation, wanders around in a vast wasteland of information during the presentation, and then kind of dribbles out of the presentation–no call to action, no close. After that happens a couple of times, your agents don’t want to hear from any more guests or affiliates! 

Don’t Assume the Presenter Knows How to Structure his/her Presentation! 

I’ve led or attended hundreds of real estate sales meetings. Usually, I find the guest presenter (an affiliate or vendor) is anxious to get up in front of our wonderful team and present.

He/she doesn’t know what interests or challenges the audience. He/she doesn’t know how to begin the presentation to get the audience’s attention, how to build a motivating story, and how to create a call to action.

This Presentation Planner Will Help Presenters Organize

After an especially painful group of presentations (5 all in one meeting!), I decided to create a presentation planner for affiliates/guests to use to prepare their presentations. It is based on the concepts and skills I teach in my Instructor Development Workshops and my distance learning version, Train the Trainer. 

Note: I just returned from giving my presentation Knock Their Socks Off: Tips to Make Your Best Presentation Ever, to a national home warranty company. I was so impressed because they wanted to learn the skill of crafting persuasive presentations AND they had set aside time to practice the skill and de-brief. Great skill building and team building session. 

Three Big Questions to Ask your Would-Be Presenters

  1. What’s the challenge agents (or your audience) are facing that your product/service will solve?
  2. Why should the agents (or your audience) listen to your presentation?
  3. What outcomes will agents (or your audience) have as a result from taking the actions you suggest?

Screen Your Presenters BEFORE You Let Them in Front of your Audience!

Here are three things you’ll want to do to screen would-be presenters:

  1. Have them complete the presentation planner here
  2. Ask for a bio from them with testimonials of those who have used their service or product
  3. If the presenter is going to do a course for you, get the course outline (and not just a PowerPoint presentation!) prior to engaging the presenter, along with at least 10 testimonials of those who have attended his/her session (I learned this the hard way after letting an affiliate teach a ‘class’ to my agents and found the course had no outline and the instructor had no real idea of what he was presenting…..)

Following these guidelines and using my presentation planner will assure your sales meetings are a ‘hit’ and your audience walks away with exceptional value.

Grab your Presentation Planner here.

 

Here are 4 ways your meetings go wrong, and a planner to assure they go right.

This month, I’m focusing on the main responsibilities of a real estate manager. If you’re going into management, how are you going to make your meetings exciting, interesting, and participative?

Death By Meeting…….

If you haven’t been in a meeting that went sideways, you probably haven’t attended enough meetings! I just attended a meeting that was almost painful to experience. It went on and on, with little organization. The speakers had no rhyme nor reason to their presentations. And, finally, I wasn’t even sure what we were to do as a result of this meeting!

As I sat there, I thought, “How can I help meeting planners/managers/presenters avoid the mistakes I’m experiencing and plan a meeting that works every time?” I came up with this Presentation Planner and Promotion form. Using it with your presenters will assure that you avoid these four big mistakes:

1. No promotion to your target audience for the meeting
2. No focus to the meeting–no theme, no stated benefits to the target audience
3. Presenters do not have a format from which to create their presentations–so they just wander around in a vast wasteland of facts and figures
4. There’s no call to action as a result of the speaker or of the meeting

Promoting Your Event

So, my Presentation Planner includes a section on promotion. After all, as you plan your presentation, you’ll naturally think:

  • Who is the event targeted to?
  • What are the 3 major benefits to this target audience?
  • What will they walk away with?
  • Where will I promote it?

The planner I created will help you avoid the 4 common mistakes listed above. It not only assures a persuasive presentation, it helps you promote the event, too!

Click here to grab your Presentation/Promotion Planner.

I’m Here to Help You Become a Great Leader!

If you’re new to management, or you’re being challenged in management, I can help. My Leadership Mastery individual, custom coaching program will help you master the major activities of management–stepping you from ‘maintenance management’ to true leadership. Check out my program here. Contact me for a complimentary consultation.

audience sleepingHave you ever been at a meeting that was absolutely painful to sit through? I just experienced that, and I could hardly wait until it was over. But, with a few guidelines, no meeting need be pain-provoking!

Tip: These guidelines work, too, for any presentation.

Ia��m Only Giving My Reporta��I Dona��t Have to Have any Presentation Skillsa��.

Why should you read this? You arena��t a professional speaker. You dona��t even do presentations. You just give reports. You dona��t need any public speaking skills. Thata��s what you think! A�There are presentation strategies for giving reports, and, when you dona��t know them or use them, the example is a painful experience for the attendees. So, whether youa��re an agent, a manager, an assistant, it doesna��t matter. When you get up in front of peoplea��even for a reporta��you owe it to your audience to be professional.

Why Prepare to Make a Report?

As with many meetings, this painful meeting consisted of reports from 8 different people. Now, I know most people regard giving a report as getting up and reading the 3-10 items on their report. Not! You need to prepare for that meetinga��whether or not you are a professional speaker.

The 3 Deadly Sins in Giving those Reportsa��and the Remedies

1.A�A�A�A�A� 1. A deadly start

In this meeting, two of the 5 reporters started with a�?soa��. In fact, I counted 25 a�?sosa�� in one of the reports! A�One of the reporters kept saying that she was not prepared because she didna��t know she didna��t have another meeting to lead after this one. Who cares?

The remedies:

Start your report without the a�?soa��, the a�?uha��, or any of the filler words. Practice your first few words. Make sure they lay out what youa��re going to report in a concise, friendly manner.

Stop the excuses; the audience doesna��t care! Avoid a�?we got a lot to covera��, a�?I havena��t much timea��, or a�?Ia��m not prepareda��.

2.A�A�A�A� 2.A� Taking too much time

The remedy:

Practice your report and a�?timea�� it. Then, add A? more time. Why? Because you have to get set up and ready, you may have audience questions or interruptions, etc. No one ever shot the speaker for finishing earlya��..

3.A�A�A�A�A� 3. Wandering around in a vast wasteland of information

The remedy:

Write out your major points. There should be no more than 3-5. Practice not wandering off your point. Speak in concise sentences, with commas, not periods! A�

Ask yourself: What do you want the audience to remember? Make these points memorable. Leave out the rest!

If you have more to say and no more time, make a handout with all the information.

Train Everyone to Make Better Reports

If youa��re in management or in charge of any meeting of any time, your attendees will love you a lot more if you coaching your meeting participants in the 3 areas above. Youa��ll get better attendance, a more attentive audience, and will create a much more pleasurable meeting!

What are your pet peeves in meetings?

Managers: Are your sales meetings knocking their socks off? If not, help is here! Organize your presentation with the three steps here, and watch your agent count go way up for your sales meetings and training presentations.

Who Is a Presenter?

Wea��re all presenters: Any time wea��re in front of two or two thousand, our goal is to persuade the audience to our point of view. However, most of the time, we just get in front of people and say whatever we think of first. That lack of attention to presentation organization leads to some big presentation mistakes, and costs us a�?salesa��. Instead of stumbling through a presentation, why not organize it to grab their attention, persuade them to your way of thinking, and motivate them to action?

Grab Their Attention in the Opening

Have you thought about your opening?A� Are you hiding in your office because you dread doing that sales meeting? When we havena��t organized our presentation, we come up with some really boring, off-putting openings, like:

I wona��t take much of your time, but

We have a lot to cover today

We wona��t get through the outline

I know you dona��t want to listen, but

Ia��m not really prepared

You just open your presentation book, point to the pretty pages, and say, a�?herea��s a keyboxa�?A� (Ia��m not kidding. Ia��ve seen ita��.)

Great openings, yes? Yet, wea��ve heard them dozens of times. You dona��t have to settle for whatever comes a�?naturallya��. Instead, make your openings

Provocative

Interesting

Different

Engaging

A Middle that Educates your a�?Audiencea�� to your Point of View

In the middle of your presentation, add those stories, statistics, and visuals that support your point of view.A� By the way, as you create that presentation, jot down your point of view.A� What do you want to persuade your agents to do?

Why use Visuals?

There are two reasons to use visuals in your presentation:

We believe what we see

We retain the information much longer

As you organize your presentation, ask yourself:

What are the main, and frequently, unspoken objections my a�?audiencea�� will have? How do I educate them to show them the reasoning behind my point of view?

The Ending: Back to the Beginning

Have you thought about your wrap-up? Or, like many presenters, does your ending sound like this?

Well, thata��s all. What do you think?

Wea��re out of time. Thank you. I hope youa��ll list with me

I dona��t have time to close.

I couldna��t get to much of the material, but you can read it

In fact, even the most professional presenters frequently have trouble with their endings. One of the main reasons is that they run out of time. Another is that they havena��t thought the ending through.

How to Do a Stunning Ending

Crafting an effecting ending is the second most important part of your presentation. (The first is the opening). To craft a great ending,

Go back to your beginning opening theme

Summarize the benefits of going ahead with you/take action

Motivate your a�?audiencea�� to take action

A Great Presentation is Crafted like a Pop Song

As a musician, I know that all pop tunes are constructed with this format:

themea��variationa��theme

This is known in the music business as the ABA format. Think of your favorite pop tune: Hum the beginning. Think of the end. Theya��re alike, right? Ita��s the middlea��known as the a�?bridgea��a��that is the humdinger. It wanders all around. Your persuasive presentation should be crafted like that pop tune:

AA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� A compelling start (think Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, etc.)

BA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� An interesting, developed middle, with stories, statistics

AA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Back to that theme, with a motivating ending

Now, youa��re all set to craft a great listing or buyer presentation, great recruiting meeting or sales meeting, or awesome product/service presentation to any audience.

P. S. Practice!

Many more tips on presentations and presentation skills are in my new resource, Knock Their Socks Off: Tips to Make your Best Presentation Ever.