I was looking through some archived blog posts last week and came across this one. Since I've been getting lots of questions lately about meetings, I thought I'd repost it. The original post was written in response to a question I received through Facebook from one of my original clients (Jane was with me even before I started the company).
Here's Jane's letter:
Julie, I can't stress to you enough about how much I love your blogs!! I'm not a blogger, nor do I read anyone else's – but have so enjoyed keeping up with you!! I appreciate your sharing your tips- and ideas – you're amazing!!! I have a question for you - for the longest time, my company called our monthly sales meetings, "Cluster Meetings"… I've gotten away from that, by calling them TEAM Training… thinking that a meeting is where they talk AT YOU – and training is just that – you walk out the door w/3-5 new ideas you can implement IMMEDIATELY! My attendance is up somewhat – my team is very spread out.. however, I'm wondering your thoughts, experiences and suggestions – what should I call this event? Meeting sounds dreadful, training might sound boring to some…. what words/title would you recommend to call my Monthly Sales Meeting??? I think it might change the dynamic of people who attend, and encourage others to join us, as well! I'm wide open to ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!! Jane Barton, The Pampered Chef
Great question, Jane. And I'm so glad I get to share my ideas on this. It will probably come as no surprise to any of you who have listened to or read any of my training, that I believe it's all about the experience. And for all of us, that equates to FUN! If you call them "meetings" or even "trainings," that sounds about as fun as having a root canal to most of us, myself (and probably you, too, if you're being honest) included. So when I was doing meetings, we always called them "exclusive, invitation-only, special events." Here were my reasons for this:
- I used every single team meeting as a sponsoring opportunity event as well. My downline learned to invite guests from their parties to our "exclusive event" and we had a great, non-pushy formula for recruiting them at the end of the meeting. Essentially, if someone on my team could get them to an event, chances were good I could recruit them for them.
- I encouraged my team member to invite at least three people to each event, and I shared themed invitations (which looked fun) that they could personalize and language to use at the end of their opportunity commercials and at their parties to encourage guests to come with them.
- I love the idea of an event instead of a meeting or training. It gives you the option to have a theme, have some fun, and weave in the training through that format. Plus, people are much more likely to get excited about attending.
I'd love to hear your feedback on how you encourage attendance. Also, you might want to check out my "The Smart Leader's Meeting Planning System" that essentially gives you a complete meeting system, with training notes, agendas, worksheets for your team, and team ice breakers and activities. You can learn more about that program here.
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Julie Anne Jones is direct sales corporate consultant, coach, and trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in direct sales. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read her weekly blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.