If you want better results, have better conversations

Recently, I was wrapping up a Zoom call with a business owner when he asked me for some advice about a next-day sales team meeting.

He said he was looking for a way to jazz things up a little at the top of the meeting, to get his team’s brains warmed up and moving. I told him to grab a pen and I started firing off some of my favourite exercises and questions (which, as a reminder, you can find in Chapter 5 of this book!)

As I watched him frantically scribble on the other end of the call, however, I paused.

“What time is your meeting tomorrow?” I asked, to which he replied, “9:30.”

I said, “Okay, I have a client at 10, but do you want me to join the Zoom for the first 15 minutes and run through these questions I just gave you?”

He sighed a big sigh of relief, and said: “That would be awesome.”

So, that’s what I did. The next day at 9:30, I showed up to their virtual sales meeting. To kick things off – and by way of an introduction – I said the following: “I don’t know anything about your industry, but I’ve worked with sales teams for 20 years, and those who play at the highest level leave clues.”

I continued: “One of the things they do best is they are deeply focused on their weekly work. To help them achieve that focus, they answer very similar questions every single week.”

At this, I got everyone to take out a pen and paper. I explained that I would ask them a series of questions, and give them one minute to answer each one.

“Some will be questions you’ve never thought about before”, I added, “but try not to overthink it.”

“What does winning look like in the next three days?” I asked.

“How do you need to act differently to achieve those results?” I asked.

“What do you need to stop doing? What do you need to start doing?” I asked.

And so on and so forth.

When the 15 minutes were up and the pens stopped moving, I prepared to take my leave.

“Great, you’ve got all your answers,” I said. “I’m done for today, but you aren’t. Your next mission is to have a conversation with everybody in this room, including your head honcho (my client), and you’re going to take up each question.”

Then I logged off.

About three hours later, I got a call from my client. He told me it was their best meeting ever. When I asked why, he said the focus, sharing, and conversation were off the charts. He asked if I would be willing to come in and do these kinds of “meeting boosters” more often.

Before that day, I didn’t have a name for this service. It wasn’t even on my menu of services. It was born out of a need, which came out of a conversation, and an openness to respond to the need that was expressed during that conversation.

It’s been several months since I started offering these “meeting boosters”, and the changes in my client’s team – their outlook, their energy, and yes, their sales – have been phenomenal.

None of this would have been possible without the conversation that started it all, and the many extraordinary conversations that followed.

So, what conversation do you need to be having?