Create a Sales 'Mastermind Group'
Create a sales 'Mastermind Group'
Here are 10 tips for maintaining a successful Mastermind Group:
1. Schedule early morning monthly meetings.
2. Communicate via e-mail between meetings.
3. Prepare for meetings and ask for help.
4. Be generous and offer help regularly.
5. Follow through on all promises.
6. Write personal business plans.
7. Review expectations twice a year.
8. Change the location periodically.
9. Take field trips often.
10. Question the status quo.
You may have heard of "Master-mind Groups," they're a popular business
concept. It's a gathering of people who support each other in various
ways. This concept can be extremely useful to you.
It's a way to keep sharp in sales and learn from other top producers.
Belonging to a group can be a way to generate leads and referrals - a
well-designed Mastermind Group can quickly evolve into a more powerful
The WHO. Members of the top
performing group act more like a board of advisors or a board of
directors to you in sales. Each member has a deep commitment to one
another - they support, push, coach and listen. This al-lows members to
grow personally and professionally.
The RESULTS. Outcomes can be profound. When orchestrated with the "right" mix of
people, you're likely to see great increases in sales results,
innovation, business practices and overall satisfaction. The
Master-mind Group helps you see options from many perspectives. It
helps you get out of your own way and get on with the busi-ness of
The HOW. As you look to create your own Mastermind Group, consider these four steps to ensure a team that works well together.
Select your Mastermind members.
you think of creating a Mastermind Group you must define the common
ground of the participants. If this is a group of internal sales reps
from your company, then you need to decide the criteria of
participation. It's best to start at the top - define a sales volume
which shows the sales rep is already doing a lot right.
study. There are eight top-producing sales reps from a printing company
that hold monthly Mastermind meetings. The criteria for membership of
these reps are to be on target for $3 million per year in sales volume,
a very aggressive number for the industry. It means they're already at
a certain level of excellence to join the Mastermind Group. Therefore,
the energy of the group will stay at a high level rather than focus on
basics and fundamentals needed by less experienced reps.
you're putting together a group of sales reps from different companies,
take the principle of criteria and apply a measuring stick to each
business. Are they top producers at their various companies? Check. Do
you respect them, their work and their work ethics? Only invite them if
you get a loud and clear "Yes."
Look at the various reps you
invite. Make sure you include a healthy mix of reps from
non-competitive companies who work in compatible industries. Be
concerned with quality rather than quantity when constructing your
When you extend an invitation to join the Mastermind
Group, make sure you articulate the "Board of Director" philosophy to
attract mem-ers who will understand the essence of the group.
study. A group of five consultants in the manufacturing industry all
service medium- to large- sized organizations. It's very easy for them
to help each other with accurate insights because they're work-ing in
the same league.
First 6 months
you identify your members - usually five to eight - it's time to hold
your first meet kick-off meeting is likely to go longer than subsequent
meetings. Here are four critical things to do:
With the logistics out of the way, a good starting
point is for each person to give a timed 10- to I5-minute overview of
his or her sales career and current position. The kick-off provides an
initial get--to-know-you meeting, an opportunity to build some
excitement and a chance to get a glimpse of what's to come.
next five meetings ought to focus on educating each other about your
various businesses, learning your styles and beginning to discuss sales
approaches. Agenda items to include:
Sections on member spotlights
Mini sales presentations
Question and answer sessions on products or services
Statements of what each member needs help with from the group
Discussion of best practices in sales
Opportunities for brainstorming
The objective of the first six months is to build the
trust factor and the confidence in each other's sales abilities and
6 to 24 months
Create results together.
of the best ways for you to stretch your sales knowledge is to analyze
and advise others. Your Mastermind Group should provide you with many
opportunities to coach each other for sales results. The satisfaction
is tremendous for both the coach and the sales rep, making everyone a
Besides coaching, your Mastermind Group should help
you question how you sell. A great way is to compile a list of topics
from the group and then devote a specific amount of time each month for
discussion. Here are some important topics to touch on:
Technology in sales
Large account management
Gaining referrals from existing accounts
Sales presentation skills
Best account and worst account comparisons
The agenda during this time period is likely to be a
mix of updates combined with new information. A healthy mix would be a
90-minute meeting with 45 minutes devoted to updates by each person and
then 45 minutes devoted to topical discussion. The objective in this
phase of the Mastermind Group is to raise the bar of the sales skills
and results of each participant.
24 months and beyond
Use an innovative formula.
you hit the second year as a group, you're well-connected, respect each
other, are truly committed for the long haul and need help to avoid
getting stale. This is a wonderful time for an off-site, full-day
retreat for the whole group. Pick a spot that works for a real change
of scenery. This is a day to invest in yourselves, both from a time and
Start the day off with each person
describing how the Mastermind Group has benefited them over the past
two years, both personally and professionally. You'll be surprised how
many ideas have been followed through on and what outstanding results
have been achieved.
Next, take a pile of index cards and for
10 minutes, silently have members write down everything they wish the
group could explore, cover or discuss over the course of the next few
years. Put the pile aside for later in the day.
For the next three
or four hours, hire a facilitator and let your group be the active
audience for a change. Select a topic that is interesting,
thought-provoking and one that offers a great deal of inter-action for
best results. Have the leader jolt members to question where they are
in their lives and to define the "what next." When the formal session
ends, again change the mode.
Before you wrap up for the day
make sure some-one takes all the index cards for the next meeting and
establish future meeting dates. Reflect on what the members have
accomplished to date – you’ll feel a new sense of rededication to the
group. The innovation factor is the challenge to keep you and your
View Attachment >