These steps are the basics for setting a sales agenda when holding 1-on-1 meetings.
Do this: Schedule meetings at the same time (weekly, biweekly, monthly, and so on) depending on how often you deem necessary.
Why: One, it’s easier to manage your time (see my four tips for time management article), and, two, this creates routine and provides consistency for expectations and follow-through.
Do this: Set your meetings on Mondays and Tuesdays. (If you have more than seven direct reports, meet on Wednesdays, too, if needed.).
Why: This sets you up for a productive week:
Your employee can think through obstacles in advance of the week
Your manager gets a report on what your team is working on
You can take the time needed to be thoughtful and present for each session
Do this: Block 60 minutes on your calendar for a 45-minute 1-to-1.
Why: Give yourself 15 minutes after the meeting to reflect on the interaction, and to document the next steps your employees need to take to reach their goals and address any upcoming challenges.
Do this: Never cancel. Just move and reschedule your 1-to-1 when conflicts arise.
Why: Consistency builds trust. Show how important the meetings are. Find the right balance of prioritizing customer meetings and employee 1-to-1s.
Do this: Be present in the meeting. Put your phone away, take notes if you want, but only use your laptop if truly needed or if entering information into your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Err on the side of direct eye-to-eye contact. Give your employee the gift of focused attention and deep listening.
Why: Presence builds trust. You don’t realize how much an employee appreciates your presence until someone bestows the same level of attentiveness on you.
Do this: Come prepared with your questions.
Why: Preparation shows you care.