All this makes us more effective communicators! Every day, your team is watching you and how you communicate. And effective teams share information.
So, exercise time! Ask yourself if you’ve been fostering communication with your team. For most, the answer isn’t always yes.
To start open lines of communication, do this:
Set a weekly or bi-weekly meeting where you work together to outline sales or services focuses for the next month, quarter or year. The first meeting should be setting these priorities. Then, give your team some time to self-reflect and think.
At the second meeting, start by sharing new ways you think you can get there—what are ways you think you can get there? If people can give their feedback, they will have the buy-in.
The following bi-weekly meetings should be about measuring progress and re-evaluating with creative ideas if things aren’t going to plan.
Channeling new inspiration
Are you motivated by the same thing you were before the pandemic? Probably not. On that note, when was the last time you asked your team what motivates them?
Cue the next exercise.
Distribute the below worksheet among your team and have them return it to their manager. Then, compile the list of motivations. Use this as a tool to determine what your team needs to feel inspired and engaged to go out there and serve your clients well.
Brower shared an example of this exercise done previously with a team she worked with. She was working with a remote team to try and determine why morale was low. The motivation sheets came back, and teamwork was a motivator for every employee. So now, the company fosters teamwork and collaboration as a top priority, and they’ve seen positive growth.
Meet employees where they’re at and you’ll succeed.
Be proactive about knowledge sharing
Perhaps the most important thing is proactive training and knowledge sharing. Oftentimes, training in catering sales is situational or as things arise throughout specific contracts.
How many times have you had an employee ask, “What do I do about this situation?” In many cases, we are trained throughout our journey by the situations that arose.
So, how do you shift that? Here’s an exercise to try:
Keep a little notebook on the advice you give each day so you can share tips, tricks and lessons in sales meetings. Whether it’s a physical note if you prefer pen and paper or a note document on your phone where you can also record voice notes, just get those thoughts down and share them weekly.
This proactive sharing of knowledge will avoid questions and empower people. Another exercise you could try is:
Two days before your sales meeting, email your team specified leads in their pipeline or a difficult piece of business they closed and let them know they will discuss it at the meeting. This way, your team can learn from one another.
This sort of ongoing catering education is one of the principles the ICA is founded on. Allow your team to join organizations like this for continued education and engagement that will only spark growth in the long run!
For more information on how to join the ICA and to be notified of future catering industry webinars, events and education opportunities, visit internationalcaterers.org. Keep this momentum going with ICA membership for your team!