Effective One To One Meetings
One to one meetings are all part of the business to business networking process and here’s how to get the most out of this essential relationship building technique.
In a roomful of people your goal is most likely to make contact with a number of people and to make an assessment as to whether it is worth developing a relationship further. If this is the case then you will most likely want to schedule time in private at a later date, to find out more about each other in more detail
But think carefully before you agree to meetings with everyone you meet…you could end up spending an awful lot of time unproductively.
Some tips to think about:
Establish a clear purpose for your 1 to 1
To be useful both you and the other party need to understand why you are spending time together and what you will talk about.
If you have only just met someone, a one on one is likely to be a further exploration of each other’s business and how you can help each other. Don’t dive straight in with a full sales pitch…remember the value in building relationships first.
Schedule in a specific time slot
Agree how long you will need to achieve your objectives – perhaps one hour will be enough to explore each others businesses, however two hours may be more appropriate if you have already spotted a number of areas to discuss. Ether way make sure that you are both in agreement.
Prepare an agenda
Depending on how formal you want your one to one to be will determine whether you want a written agenda. If it seems too formal for a chat over a cup of coffee at least verbally agree what you want to cover.
A typical format may be:
- discuss them and their business
- discuss you and your business
- explore areas of mutual interest
- agree action
Ask about their business first
Take the initiative and find out about the other person and their business first. Ask questions and listen carefully. This not only will make the other person feel good it will arm you with invaluable information to help you to tailor what you say about your business.
Establish how you can help the other person
Remember one to ones are an extension of the networking process and networking is about relationship building. If you show a genuine interest in the other person’s needs and how you can help them, this is a great way of building up your relationship with them
At the end of your business to business meeting agree if any action is to be taken by either of you.
Now this is where so many business relationships fail before they even get started. Do ensure you follow up on any action you have agreed and particularly seek to help the other person.