Networking is a highly effective tool for growing and building your business. But, it is only effective when you use all the tools and features available to you and you know how to use them properly. One of the most overlooked and avoided features/tools of networking is 1 to 1 meetings. This is mostly due to people using the tool incorrectly or not knowing how to do it all…Let’s change that!
There are many reasons why people avoid 1 to 1 meetings.
Make sure your approach isn’t one of them!
Schedule With Intent
Your intention with a 1 to 1 meeting will change everything about your experience! As a member of a networking group or chapter, your primary goal should be to want to get to know everyone in the room at a deeper level. Why? Because this gives you the opportunity to refer and to be referred. The 1 to 1 meeting is an effective way to get to know your referral partners. If done correctly, you will begin to build a relationship where you learn things like:
- Who their target market is
- What type of business they are looking for
- How you can refer them
As you are learning these things about your referral partner, they are doing the same. This deeper connection begins to build the “know, like, trust” factor with your referrals partners. Let’s be realistic, people are not going to refer your business out just because you show up to a meeting. They will refer you if they know who you are, how you approach business, if you are trustworthy, and if you are likable. Once somebody refers you out, their personal brand is attached to the referral. People will only refer when they feel comfortable that their personal brand will not be tarnished as a result of the referral.
Take Selling Out Of The Equation
One of the most common reasons people avoid 1 to 1’s is that many people use the 1 to 1 meeting to sell the other person. No one wants to be stuck in an hour-long meeting which results in being sold. It’s a waste of time. Avoid selling altogether. Instead, focus on helping. You will be amazed at what comes back to you the more you help.
Don’t Be A Brain Picker
Many will see a 1 to 1 meeting as the opportunity to get free advice. This is another surefire way to build walls instead of networks and relationships. Instead, steer the conversation towards things like how you can work together to build a referral partnership. Explore things like how to identify meaningful introductions, co-marketing opportunities, and other ways to expand a collaborative network.
Networking is one of the most effective and cost-efficient forms of by-word-of-mouth marketing. Make it work for you.
Curious about getting involved in networking? Explore the Chapters available through Keep It Local.
© Lora Shipman, Keep It Local, LLC, March 11, 2018, All rights reserved