Harness the Power of Successful Meetings

We’ve all attended a bad meeting. There’s no agenda, the speaker never makes his or her point, random topics derail the conversation, and there’s no end in sight. Time is wasted, nothing of value is communicated, and you often leave the meeting feeling frustrated and certainly not inspired. I’d like to change all that.

A good meeting can leave you and your attendees feeling energized, motivated and inspired. And it’s easy to do once you know how. As someone who strives to be an effective leader, you likely understand how important it is to communicate effectively and consistently to your team.

But what about the smaller family-owned business? Do you really need to plan structured meetings? The answer is a resounding YES. Not only will your sales associates and other staff appreciate receiving information in a dependable format, you’ll ultimately save time and imbue your workplace with a culture of professionalism and efficiency.

In fact, all flooring businesses, regardless of size, can expect to see the results of well-conducted meetings where it matters most. On the bottom line. We conducted a survey over a three-year period that looked at the effectiveness of monthly management meetings. Independent flooring stores that held these meetings exhibited the following:

  • Had a higher gross profit of 36% vs. 35.1%
  • Owners earned $12,228 more in annual income (that’s more than $1000 per meeting!)
  • Sales productivity or average sales per associate was nearly $60,000 greater
  • Were, on average, 48% larger at $3.9 million vs. $2.6 million (hey, they must be doing something right!)

So how do you go about creating inspiring and effective meetings? Glad you asked.

A good meeting requires structure and order. As you plan your meeting, create an agenda that shows the topics to be covered and who is sharing that information. An agenda prevents off-topic conversations from taking up valuable time and helps ensure everyone gets the information they need in the most efficient manner possible.

Have a solid objective for your meeting. Is it to communicate a new policy or procedure? Is it to motivate sales staff to generate more revenue? When your meeting has a clear goal, it enables you to more accurately plan the agenda and evaluate the meeting’s effectiveness in the days and weeks to come.

Involve participants in the planning of the meeting. When you involve others in the planning stage, it sends a message that you value their input and view them as key members of the team. It also opens the door to other valid points of view, which a successful manager will want to take into consideration.

Start and end your meeting on time. By modeling a mindset of discipline, you convey the message that meetings are an important part of your business. An effective meeting should last no longer than 90 minutes.

Set objectives for the near future. Shift from “meeting” mode to “doing” mode by creating task lists and completion dates. Be sure to hold individuals and teams accountable for reaching these milestones to ensure momentum is maintained.

Discuss real results. Your meeting space should feature more than a few chairs and stale donuts. Showcase results of recent promotions and initiatives. Look at traffic, close rates, average transaction, margins by customer type and so on. By tracking critical data, your team always knows how they are performing and can set goals to keep the trend moving in the right direction.

Embrace the notion of continual improvement. A great leader inspires people. One great way for managers to gain experience in this area is to read a book or attend a seminar and present the information to the group. Not only does this give your manager ownership of an important aspect of the business, it creates an environment of leaders who are always looking for ways to improve.

Now that I’ve got you fired up to start planning and implementing excellent meetings, I invite you to brainstorm a few ideas for meeting topics. I think you’ll see that the opportunities are endless and that this valuable tool will make a considerable impact on your business. Go forth and communicate!