Transform That One-on-One with Your Media Sales Manager into a Win-Win

Mar 20, 2013 8:22:53 AM / by Chris Crawford

Sit across the desk and talk. Sit across the desk and talk!
Two Treasury Department employees, c.1884. Frances Benjamin Johnston, photographer. Library of Congress.

Do you dread those weekly meetings with your direct report? Do you hate the time it takes you to get prepared, because it means you are not out selling? Do your one-on-ones feel like interrogations?

Many media salespeople do not like one-on-ones for various reasons, but with the right preparation and outlook, it can be one of the best meetings of your week.

The one-on-one is a great opportunity to communicate clearly to your direct report and to agree on activities, processes, and outcomes you both want to happen in the next week. It’s a relief to know that when you leave the meeting, you and your boss will have agreed on what is important for you to focus on to be able to move the ball down field for the week. You know exactly what and how you need to proceed over the next week to be viewed as a valuable member of the sales organization. Not a lot of guesswork here.

A good friend of mine, Gerry Tabio of the sales consultancy Creative Resources, always describes a great one-on-one meeting as a recipe. He defines it as a cup of assistance with a cup of accountability. I always thought that was an easy “picture” to remember when I was in a meeting with one of my sales reps. It helped me offer coaching and guidance to members of my sales team, while making sure we accomplished the assignments we had agreed to the week before.

This “recipe” can also be used by a sales person to set their agenda for the meeting. The weekly get -together should be your meeting as much as it is your manager’s meeting. A good one-on-one is an opportunity for you as the sales rep to display a great attitude, to show that you are focused and prepared, that you are working your current accounts to the fullest, that you are investigating and analyzing new opportunities, and that you are willing to be transparent about what you have done since the last meeting and how you are ready to move your accounts through the sales funnel this week.

Here are ingredients for a great one-on-one:

  • Be prepared to communicate what you accomplished on the assignments you agreed to during your last meeting.
  • Be ready to review your budgets, both primary and secondary budgets, such as digital and NTR that you may have been assigned.
  • Will you over or under achieve, and what factors may be effecting your budget achievement potential?
  • Discuss activities, although really focus on outcomes and next steps generated by your actions.
  • Discuss your top accounts and where you are in understanding client needs and generating solutions for those needs.
  • Discuss the new prospects that you are investigating, and if a relationship is established because of the right fit, station capabilities, and expertise, what type of billing would it bring to the table?
  • Make sure to address and discuss any other pending business or aging/billing issues that may be in play. This way, you are accomplishing your agenda of communicating with your boss and, you can be accountable for your behaviors and take advantage of any assistance your boss may be able to provide to help you maximize your business.
  • This is a great recipe for turning the dreaded one-on-one into one of the most productive meetings of the week. Give it a try! You will like the outcome of this easy recipe, especially when it makes you more money.

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Tags: managing up, media sales, Managing Up, Blog

Chris Crawford

Written by Chris Crawford

Sales Manager