Here’s a fact, business meetings are one of those things that people tend to unanimously hate. And it’s not that those people’s intentions are bad, or that they don’t care about the issues at hand, which meetings are supposed to discuss. Companies that liquidate other businesses slow moving inventory and closeouts must discuss things in an open forum. In order to be able to sell excess inventory, products and a liquidation process must be discussed among managers and salespeople. The true problem lies in the structure of the meetings themselves.
Obviously, meetings are inevitable to the smooth functioning of a closeout organization because they help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working collaboratively towards the same goal. Overstock liquidators are faced with so many moving parts to each transaction, they must have meetings. Discussions can range from how to sell excess inventory to what is the best way to get rid of old inventory. But there are effective meetings and ineffective meetings, with the latter, unfortunately, being far more prevalent than the former. Companies that liquidate inventory often have large sales teams selling closeouts. This leads to a need for more meetings targeting new markets where they can sell excess inventory and discussion of new ways to attract customers and leads from closeout websites or other overstock liquidators. Yes, meetings might seem a waste of time, especially as matters are only getting worse in the age of the ubiquitous online meeting. But they are a necessary evil.
For one thing, time is zero-sum. Every minute spent in a wasteful meeting eats into time for solo work that’s equally essential for creativity and efficiency. One good example is cold calling new customers or spending time online researching closeout websites and online overstock liquidators. Salespeople have a habit of going back to the same old well for business and they need to spend time at their desks – on their phones and computers – looking for new business. Companies that liquidate excess inventory must have a top-down approach to promoting creative time for employees. Too many meetings eats into this valuable time of cultivating new buyers for closeouts and creative ways to sell excess inventory. Schedules riddled with meetings interrupt “deep work”—a term that Georgetown computer science professor Cal Newport uses to describe the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. As a consequence, people tend to come to work early, stay late, or use weekends for quiet time to concentrate.
Everyone who has been to a few long meetings already knows that most of what's discussed will never materialize. This creates the problem of overstock liquidators having too much conversation about changes to the closeout process that never happen. And, truth be told, most of it probably shouldn't. Nevertheless, your brain wants an achievement target--a sense that this labor will not be in vain. If the subtext going in is that the meeting probably won't yield any significant achievements, it becomes nearly impossible to see meaningful change.
Before you hold a closeout and liquidation meeting, force yourself to make deliberate choices. First, know exactly why you’re convening and define your goals to set the stage for achieving them. If you plan to discuss finding better closeout websites on which to advertise, publish this. If you want input from team members about finding other companies that liquidate inventory, ask for it. If you plan to examine ways in which to be a better surplus liquidator, make it known. This process may include asking others to suggest agenda items, which not only promotes relevance but also increases ownership and engagement. If you don’t have a clear mission or a list of agenda items, you should probably cancel.
Closeout companies specialize in working with organizations to reduce their excess inventory and help them get rid of liquidation stock. By nature, this type of company has to discuss what they are doing – often – and in the form of in person meetings. If one closeout buyer is working on a toy closeout and another liquidation buyer is making a deal for overstock housewares, it is essential the sales team knows what is coming in. Closeout websites often post buys in advance of receiving them, so meetings are helpful to co-workers understanding what is in the supply chain.
Merchandise USA specializes in closeout merchandise and wholesale liquidations for importers and companies shutting down 3PL warehouses. Closeouts don’t have to be a problem and we can help.