4 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Running a Pre-Shift Sales Meeting

Getting employees energized and aligned to your products and messaging is nearly impossible without a pre-shift sales meeting. Here’s how to run one effectively.
The Ultimate Guide to Running a Pre-Shift Sales Meeting

In most, if not all, businesses with a customer facing workforce one area of opportunity to grow sales lies in increasing volume through improved selling skills when engaging with customers.

There are hundreds of tactical ideas to assist employees in selling more to customers but to really make a difference, today's small business owner or manager must focus on selling strategies that unfold within each customer interaction.

From the time that a customer arrives until the time they leave (it can even be extended before and after these periods), you must train staff to take every opportunity to nail your intended message. The pre-shift sales meeting is one powerful tool you can use to achieve this goal.

What is a Pre-Shift Sales Meeting?

A pre-shift meeting occurs before your standard operating hours start. The manager on duty presents to the entire team to relay important updates, coach them, give advice, and get the team excited for the upcoming shift.

The meetings are generally anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes long and can cover topics like product and service changes, pricing changes, sales updates, shift changes, and upcoming events that your team needs to be aligned on. They also serve as a place to offer short training sessions for new practices, road test new products and connect the team together.

Why are Pre-Shift Sales Meetings important?

It’s simple, repetition is a key learning aid because it helps transition a skill from the conscious to the subconscious. The pre-shift sales meeting is a chance to quickly get a team with many things on their minds, laser-focused on your businesses key messages and goals. The pre-shift sales meeting drives:

  • Increased focus
  • Improved alignment
  • Savings in time and effort
  • Enhanced training opportunities
  • Improved customer service

They are a must-have for most businesses, not a nice-to-have.

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Tips to run effective Pre-Shift Sales Meetings

The aim is to equip your employees to better serve customers.

Another worthwhile goal is to improve communication between the owners and management, the operations or delivery team, and the salespeople who are actually talking to the customers.

Here’s how to improve using pre-shift sales meetings.

Knowledge is power

The better equipped employees are to explain, position and promote your products, the more they will sell. They will make add-on sales and you’ll make more profit.

The approach is to create an environment conducive to selling by providing all the information and data they need. This can be accomplished by developing an effective pre-shift sales briefing. Most owners and managers have a short meeting with staff before each shift to relay the product changes, specials and discounts. No big deal.

But it is a big deal, because to compete effectively, you must make a material investment, not in a short meeting to share information, but rather in a strategic selling session.

The tip: Determine what information your employees need to better inform customers of their options, and potential upsell opportunities.

Structure of the meeting

This is a “horses for courses” consideration. The longest a session should run is probably 15 minutes as you will lose people's attention, and any longer will make them boring and monotonous.

The meeting should occur just before operating hours start, with a well-organized agenda. Sometimes they happen over a shared staff meal.

Each key area is thoroughly discussed, with points of emphasis arranged logically. Having a clear format for the shift supervisor or floor manager to follow will help assure that all the attendees will listen attentively.

It is imperative that the pre-shift briefing become a major priority. It permits the communication that is so crucial to success and it can increase the average order size, introduce new products and inject interest, adventure and excitement into the customer and employee experience.

The tip: The meeting should be tailored to your business and goals, with a view to getting and keeping your employees engaged.

Get your staff involved

Orient the meeting to the different parts of your business. Have people from each part of the business present every time there is something new or exciting to announce.

  • Have the product lead announce a new product.
  • Have the marketing manager introduce a new campaign.
  • Have the warehouse team talk about a new logistics innovation.

Make the staff feel special and important by getting them involved.

The tip: Use the pre-shift sales meeting to introduce staff and engage them in their work.

Prepare to succeed

The meeting should cover how each item should be described to the customer and delivered to them. Customer-facing employees need to know what questions the customer is likely to have and the right answers.

The tip: Think of all the possible angles (product, pricing, customer) and make sure employees are prepared for everything that might be thrown at them.

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Key takeaway

The point is to use the meeting to educate your staff so that they can educate your customers. If you are willing to make the extra effort, you will be rewarded with higher sales and greater value perception. Most importantly, customers will have a better perception of your business.

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