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🎵 Mastering 1:1 Meetings, our Sales Success Soundtrack & Honoring Juneteenth

IGNITE your summer with these tips


The Billion Dollar Sales Secret to Make Meetings with the Boss Matter

🔝 Top Takeaways:

  • Empowerment over Enforcement: Encourage your team to be accountable to themselves rather than imposing strict expectations.

  •  Open Communication: Don't script the agenda too rigidly. Ask open-ended questions, and embrace the silence.

  • Clear Goals and Accountability: Set clear goals, support progress, and encourage updates on progress.

💡 Make it Actionable:

  • For Your Next 1:1: Come prepared with a clear goal for the meeting, a list of questions to guide the discussion, and something valuable to share.

  • For Your Team: Encourage them to do the same. Foster an environment where they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, ideas, and progress.

Today, I want to share some insights on a topic close to my heart: The art of an effective 1:1 meeting. I interviewed hundreds when writing "Billion Dollar Sales Secrets," and I've learned a thing or two about the importance of these meetings from a salesperson IC (individual contributor) and a sales leader’s point of view.

In my book, I have a chapter called “Sales Manager’s Suck.” I wrote it as a sales manager, so it was designed to speak to a prevailing feeling of salespeople for their bosses.

Salespeople are sharp as a tack for customer meetings, but we rarely have the same prep and discipline when it comes to internal meetings with the boss.

How often do you create an agenda or consider what you want from the meeting?

Maybe it’s fear of being misunderstood, self-doubt, or apprehension in sharing – especially if you’ve been shut down in the past.

-top reasons why your 1:1 meetings are not performing at peak potential

POLL: What's your biggest challenge when preparing for a 1:1 meeting with your boss?" 🤔

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What I learned - the hard way - made my 1:1’s better

Before I joined Microsoft, I'll admit, my sales 1:1s were just about the numbers and deals. No one ever asked me about my career.

I’ll never forget my manager John’s words when I was about 3 months new to Microsoft. He said, “It’s OK to have a plan for our time together.”

John’s comments were a major Ah-ha to how I changed my approach (partly what made me write that chapter). Up until then, I was squandering valuable time that could move me forward in new areas.

If you are a sales rep or any employee – how do you maximize the value of your time with your boss? Do you have a goal for the meeting? Have you planned some questions to ask? Do you have value to share?

Leaders - are you too rigid in your expectations that you miss all the great things your team is doing?

Unconventional wisdom

If your team is struggling, your instinct might be to get more involved, to "get in their grille" and inspect what you expect. 🧐 While it seems like the right thing to do, it will often backfire.

Empowering your team members to be accountable to themselves is a more productive and insightful approach. You can’t force accountability. Your direct must enroll.

Tips for Leaders

I’ve made many mistakes I’ve learned from here (and frankly – I’m still learning). Here are a few gems I've picked up along the way for leaders:

  1. 📝Don't script the agenda. An overly scripted approach can rob you of the chance for a bidirectional interaction. You'd be surprised at what you can learn from them when you ask open-ended questions.

  2. 🤔Ask the right questions. Michael Bungay Stanier’s book “The Coaching Habit” provides a great framework for coaching conversations. I've added a few of my own, such as "What's your ideal outcome here?", "What progress did you make since last time?", "What do you think about how you're doing?" and "Why?".

  3. 🤫Embrace the silence. Give your team time to slow down, think, and reflect. Count to 5 before you fill the silence.

  4. 🎯Set clear goals. Agree on a clear goal, commit it to writing, and open it for review.

  5. 🚀Support their progress. Maybe they need to break down the goal into actionable steps or team up with someone else. Helping them get to where you’ve both agreed is important.

  6. 📊Encourage accountability. Expect updates on their progress and acknowledge their journey with praise and support.

Tips for Employees

Now when you are meeting with your boss, here are a few tips:

  1. Start with an outcome. In sales meetings, I need to craft EXACTLY what I want to have to happen for the meeting to be a success. Why is that a different thing when meeting with your boss? It shouldn’t be. One outcome might be “I’d like to learn and brainstorm new approaches for the company XYZ problem.”

  2. Prepare. Write a few questions to guide the discussion. What will you do if the meeting gets off track? What’s one thing you can give of value in the meeting? How do you know it’s valuable?

  3. Start with gratitude. If you know me, this is my #1 starting secret for any meeting. Gratitude is always in style. However, if you don’t believe it – don’t do this until you do. Otherwise, it will make you sound like a pandering-wise ass.

  4. Follow up. Do what you committed to do and share your progress along the way.

  5. Unlock what matters. Do you know your boss’s scorecard, KPIs, or metrics? Better yet, how do they get paid? If you don’t know, ask. And if you do know, ask yourself, “Am I helping them exceed their goals and make money, or am I weighing them down?”

  6. Get real: about what matters to the business and your boss personally and professionally. Never hide the elephant. If you have bad news - share it fast.

Remember, better 1:1 lead to greater accountability. If you've done your job right, they will.

Closing thoughts

Do you have some insights you want to share with the group? Go to igniterev.beehiiv.com. You can leave comments and insights to help others learn from our previous posts. Or share them at [email protected] . We will post your insights in future editions.

Until next week, keep selling and keep leading! 🚀

Remember, preparation, communication, and accountability are key to a successful week. Let's make this week a great one!


12 years ago on Father’s Day

I hope all the Dad’s out there had a great weekend with the ones you love, or at least you reached out to those influential in your life.

Time truly flies, as evidenced by the photo taken back in 2017. It's unbelievable how quickly things change. My youngest daughter is driving now, and my oldest is about to graduate college.

As luck would have it, a destructive hailstorm wreaked havoc on my oldest daughter's car, causing such extensive damage that it was deemed totaled. We were faced with the mission of finding her a new car. Buying is sometimes as exhausting as selling.

Interestingly, during one of our test drives, the salesperson had been using the car as his daily commuter, evidenced by the booming stereo blaring his favorite high–tempo, speed metal tunes, causing everyone to jump when the engine was turned on.

At least the stereo works!

He was embarrassed and explained that he uses music to get in the zone for selling.

I get it. I do it too. Before any big meeting, I have my playlist. Believe it or not, music can fire you up and elevate your selling game. I've been there myself, feeling the nerves and pressure before a crucial meeting.

What about you? Share your sales jam with me, and together we will create the ultimate Spotify/Apple music jam, and I’ll post it here. Just email me at [email protected] or go here https://igniterev.beehiiv.com/c/ask

To get you in the mood - I created a playlist for my book that I am sharing for the first time ever. Each song corresponds to a Chapter. Don’t judge - enjoy!



Happy Juneteenth!

Living in Texas for the last 30 years, Juneteenth is a welcome to summer and a historical celebration. It’s a great Texas holiday that’s now a federal holiday.

Slaves in Texas didn’t hear about Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation until Union General Gordan Granger arrived in Galveston and read the order that all slaves were free.

A massive Texas party erupted from this news, which continues today.

A Juneteenth parade in Texas

My first Juneteenth celebration was in Ft. Worth, TX, 1997. People from all walks came to the park to hear speakers, unite, and celebrate. The food is as Texas as it gets: BBQ, watermelon, and Big Red or other red drinks. These colors are an act of remembrance of slavery, and lives lost.

If honoring Juneteenth is new, start summer by learning about its history, creating community, and celebrating.


By popular demand, I am hosting a webinar for you next Wednesday at 7 pm. Sign up if you can’t make it, and I’ll share the recording.

In our ever-evolving digital world, technology has become our greatest ally. AI, in particular, is revolutionizing how we approach sales and marketing. This transformation offers unlimited opportunities for those ready to harness its power. That's where our next event comes in...

Discover AI Secrets in Sales - Exclusive Webinar
for Success-Driven Innovators

You don’t want to miss it

Wednesday, June 28th - 7PM CST


Have a great week. Grow and be brilliant!



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