Turning Bad Meetings Into Good Ones

a group having a meeting is smiling from having turned a bad meeting into a good one

Comedian Fred Allen once quipped, “A committee is a group of men, who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.”

President Ronald Reagan had his own quip about meetings: “I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I’m in a cabinet meeting.”

Few things cause sales professionals to roll their eyes in disapproval more than an unnecessary meeting. In today’s business world, there are simply too many meetings. A significant portion of the meetings we attend are simply unnecessary. Even if a meeting is needed, much of the time during that meeting is likely filled with unnecessary content.

The first step in escaping the meeting trap is to avoid meetings whenever possible. If you’re in charge, try to find ways that your people can be empowered to make individual decisions at the lowest level possible. Good organizations should expect professional team members to keep each other informed, but for the most part, they should be encouraged to behave as confident individuals.

If your presence is not essential, try to get out of going. Don’t go to meetings just for the sake of making your calendar look more impressive. If you don’t have an active role in the meeting, and assuming your boss isn’t ordering you to attend, try to get out of it. Sales success is measured by results, not by the number of meetings you attend each week.

If you must go, there are ways of making it more efficient. If you’re leading the meeting, create an agenda in advance. Stick to the agenda and don’t allow participants to stray too far from it. Use good meeting facilitation techniques to keep it moving. You will have to periodically bring people back when they go off on verbal tangents.

This is not to say all meetings are bad. In an era of business when collaboration is important, we need face-to-face time. The key is to make meetings valuable.

Jeff Beals helps you find better prospects, close more deals and capture greater market share. He is an international award-winning author, sought-after keynote speaker, and accomplished sales consultant. He delivers compelling speeches and sales-training workshops worldwide. He has spoken in 5 countries and 41 states. A frequent media guest, Jeff has been featured in Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, Men’s Health, Chicago Tribune and The New York Times.

To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or send an email to info@jeffbeals.com.

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