Weekly Feedback & Reporting Meetings:
Why do some employees dread them while others make sure they benefit from them?
A telesales agent is constantly on the phone, making calls, reaching out to new prospects, doing follow up calls, searching for new contact details, sending proposals and… once a week there will be a weekly review meeting with their manager or client to discuss how things are going and what progress has been achieved during the previous week.
Some agents use these meetings completely to their benefit: they will showcase their knowhow, initiative, progress and will ask in return for further support, info or suggestions, to improve their performance and results; while other agents dread these meetings, and get nervous as much as one day ahead, and try to silence their way through these meetings.
There is a clear behavioural distinction between agents who benefit from these meetings and those who end up getting more insecure each time they have them.
- Often, when giving feedback, agents will begin by summarizing all the things they did NOT do, did NOT achieve and that did NOT go well…
- They will explain that they could not work due to a public holiday or a medical leave, and that there was a fire drill, alongside some other issues with their pc as well
- They will start by sharing who they could not reach, which prospects are not interested and which other issues they came across, to explain the results
- Then, they may be asking questions they can answer themselves, such as: “Has the website been updated?” This only shows that someone is not making an effort to find out for themselves
All this does not mean that an agent did not work hard or does not have anything positive to share. However, it puts the agent in a very defensive position at the start of the meeting.
After this, there is usually no more time or interest to listen to the actual achievements of the agent, which may well be very positive and promising. The remainder of the meeting will focus on all these negative issues that were raised, and the agent will not leave the meeting with a positive feeling, and probably start dreading the next upcoming session.
A feedback session will be totally different if the same agent had started giving relevant feedback of their achievements first, to build some confidence in their abilities and their handling of the account.
- Start by saying what you did (sounds obvious, but believe me, it’s not)!
- Share what you managed to achieve (even if it’s not the result of what you were expecting, it’s good to share some progress made)
- Show your knowledge by mentioning additional information you have picked up (from your discussions or from your own research)
- Share a challenge you came across and then how YOU dealt with it (this will show you are solution focused and determined to succeed (It will build confidence with your ability)
- Share feedback from the calls (both positive and negative is equally important)
- Have questions prepared (what can your manager or client do to help you progress)
- Most important, make sure to come to the feedback sessions PREPARED! (no preparation will usually show and will get you into defensive mode)
Especially when results are not what the agent was hoping for, or had forecasted previously, it’s important to focus on what DID happen and WAS achieved. There is always some progress or activities that can be highlighted.
Besides, it’s important to remember that review sessions are as important for the manager or client to hear about the agent’s progress, as they are for the employee to get some additional support or suggestions that will help them to be successful on the campaign.