There are two types of networkers, those that LOVE 1 to 1 meetings and those who would rather get a root canal. Which category do you fall into?
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If you checked the box that says “I’d rather get a root canal,” my guess is, your experience with 1 to 1 meetings have been:
- Rambling with no clear agenda
- A waste of time
- All of the above
One to one meetings don’t have to be that way. In fact, one to one meetings can be extremely effective when it comes to growing your network and building your business. Grab some paper and a pen and let’s put together a plan so that your next one to one meeting is a success rather than a situation that puts you in distress!
Ensuring Your Next One to One Meeting is a Success
STEP 1: Know why one to one meetings are important
There are 4 main reasons why one to one meetings are important to you and your business. They help you:
- Build and strengthen your network by knowing the members of your network through a deeper relationship
- Create trust with your fellow networking or referral partners
- Help your referral partner meet and connect with others who can help grow their business
- Help your referral partner understand what types of leads are best for you and your business
Now that you know why one to one meetings are important to the networking process, you can set up a plan that will make the one to one meeting a success for both you and the person you are meeting.
STEP 2: Plan
When you have a good plan in place, success tends to follow. Below is a list of things that should go into your one to one meeting plan:
- Determine how much time you will spend in your meeting together – anywhere from a half hour to 60 minutes should be sufficient
- Set a topic or tone for the meeting. Setting a topic for the meeting will help to squash the meeting into becoming a sales pitch. Examples of meeting themes are:
- Getting to know you and your business
- Brainstorming session focusing on who can we introduce each other to?
- How can I help you and your business
- Strategy session for determining how to refer each other out
STEP 3: Set an agenda
Once you have a theme selected for the meeting. Take the time to set an agenda and send it to the person you are meeting. A well thought out and planned meeting will ensure that the meeting has a point, will stay on time, and remain productive.
Items to include in the agenda should be:
- Meeting Duration
- Discussion Topics
Pro-tip: schedule time for each person to speak and listen, this way the one to one meeting doesn’t become “one-sided.”
STEP 4: Follow up
After the meeting, send a follow-up email or phone call making sure you provide any information you promised during the meeting.
STEP 5: Rinse and Repeat
One to one meetings are not “one and done” meetings. The point of the one to one is to build a relationship with the person you are meeting. This means scheduling future meetings so that you get to know your referral partner on a deeper level.
When done correctly, networking can be one of the most effective and efficient ways to market your business and reach more customers.