The best organizations use one-on-one meetings as a tool to develop employee talent. Whether it’s reviewing how a sales rep did on the last client call, or discussing the next set of goals to work on, these regular touchpoints help employees focus on the future. Other organizational meetings can also help employees feel that someone has their best interests in mind.
Mike Hintz, in his Forbes.com post, talks about the importance of various kinds of meetings when it comes to employee development and retention. As a manager, you can make team meetings work as key tools in your talent development arsenal. Regardless of how many training modules your sales rep sits through, he’ll always encounter the unexpected. His interactions with prospects and clients will result in situations where he may stall out. If he couldn’t answer a question on the spot, he hopefully told the client he’ll get back to them with an answer.
For example, a long-standing client may ask about a side deal the previous rep set up for him. Your team meeting can accomplish a few goals in this situation. First, the original rep should be able to spell out the details of the ‘deal’ he made with this client. Second, you may learn something about what is going on out in the field and be able to weigh in on whether setting up these kinds of deals is appropriate. Third, your rep can learn how other reps think on their feet when they are face to face with clients or prospects.
In the team setting, your rep will learn about new ways to handle problems or tough clients as you work through the agenda and the account list. What your rep learns before and after the meeting may be even more important. Those few minutes of informal chitchat about how a peer was about to reach the real decision maker at a key prospect’s office or what the trick is to scoring a parking place at a highly controlled building can make your rep feel like he’s part of the team. He’ll likely use the information to work more effectively as he reaches out to new accounts.
If you want to make maximum use of meeting time, arrive a few minutes late to allow your team members to share their knowledge and to build rapport. You don't always have to be the source of information for all of your reps. When you facilitate information sharing, everyone wins.