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It’s summertime and the living is easy for small business… and a bit slower paced than usual too. In between employees taking time off for vacations and a lighter workload overall, coaxing your sales team into mustering up enthusiasm to head into the same old, routine meetings requires a little extra panache. If you think that your sales meetings are getting stale, it’s time to turn up the heat and strategize how you can reboot them for your team. Here are my tried and true tips on switching up how these meetings are conducted and trading in the blah for the buzzworthy.  

Establish a 30 minutes or less policy.

We’ve all been there. The quick 15-minute meeting that turned into 45+ minutes of unrelated tangents, delays if not all team members were present and disorganized agenda points, especially if everything wasn’t outlined in advance. (“Oh! And one more thing…”)

What’s the best way to remedy this from happening? Keep the meeting short, sweet, and prep all of your main points. Here’s a little more insight into what I’m talking about.

  • Hold meetings that are 30 minutes or less in length for time management purposes. Keep everything to the point and allow for questions to be asked at the end in case anyone is unclear about what their role is or what they need to do. For meetings that run significantly over the time limit, you can meet with your sales team member to discuss more afterward or encourage them to email you.

  • Stick to an agenda. One great way managers can implement this kind of behavior is to email their team the meeting agenda before the meeting begins. This will give everyone a glimpse at what will be discussed and allow them to better prepare their own talking points.

  • Encourage your team to take notes and come prepared to the meeting. If necessary, do some research on the meeting’s agenda beforehand so that you can ask questions that might not be addressed otherwise.

Let your team do the talking.

One way to shake up a meeting is to switch up the structure. Rather than have management take the lead, let your sales team take over and share their best practices. As I mentioned earlier, each member will likely have their own talking points prepped and ready to go which will allow them to run the meeting smoothly and with confidence. Additionally, it’s great for management to watch their executives take the lead and see how each approaches the role. Even if it’s just for a 30-minute meeting, you might discover some of your sales team happen to be naturals at leading, which will position them for greatness as managers later on.

Inspire and incentivize.

Having a sales meeting at 9 AM sharp? Take everyone’s Starbucks order and bring in coffee for the team. Last-minute meeting request at 4 PM? Bring along some snacks to perk everyone up. Treats, especially unexpected ones, are always a welcome incentive for everyone and get the team excited to attend any meeting — just think back to all of the college events you attended simply because there was free food!

Food aside, remember that these are also the dog days of summer and that they require a little extra incentive. Initiate sales contests within your department with big prizes (like gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, and even gas cards) for the team members with the highest numbers. Hold these contests weekly and monthly to keep everyone motivated and determined to go above and beyond too!

Finally, don’t forget once your meeting has wrapped up to follow up with your team afterward. Send your update within the same day so that the meeting is still fresh in everyone’s minds and they’re ready to bring on the sales this summer.

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Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.