Conducting a one on one with another business professional or prospect is a great way to build business relationships and add to your professional network.
This entails meeting somewhere and finding out more about each other's business. These meetings can be extremely productive, but often end up being a one way sales pitch. The key is to make sure there is a structure to the one on one and there is enough back and forth to make the meeting valuable to both parties.
Below is a simple set of tips designed to help make your next one on one as productive as possible:
Doing a little research before your one on one is a great way to not only make sure the time is used well, but to show the other party that you are serious. Google the person you are meeting with, ask some friends and associates about their business, and look up their website online. This will help to set the foundation for a quality meeting.
Set agenda/expectations from the start
Before you begin, it is a good idea to state what you expect to get from this meeting AND what you plan to offer. This will help to make sure the meeting stays productive and on track.
Always put the focus on the other person
A one on one is for give and take…NOT for you to spend the time selling yourself or your business. Make sure to ask the other person info about THEM, what they are looking for, how you can help them. Only answer when they ask about you or your business. If they DO NOT ask anything about your business, ask if you could give them some information about you and what you do.
Give clear, specific wants/needs
So many people leave these meetings without having established a clear agenda of what to do to move forward with business and referrals. They find themselves back in their offices with no real idea of what value they gained from the meeting. Don't let this be you. Make sure to tell the other party exactly what you are looking for. If it is referrals, tell them what kind you are looking for. If you can help their business in some way, spell it out. Don't ever make the mistake of thinking someone else will figure out the intent of your words unless you speak them clearly.
Take the time to explain your business in an informative yet entertaining way
When it is your time to describe what you do, do it in a way that is interesting. For instance, if you sell insurance, don't just say "I am an insurance agent." That is not bound to capture the imagination of anyone. Try to give real life examples of how you have helped clients in the past so that the person you are speaking with can get a picture in their head of what you do every time they see or hear your name. It can take a bit of creativity, but if you can explain what you do in a way that captivates others, you WILL be remembered.
Remember the tips above the next time you have a one on one and you will walk away knowing that your time was productive and will probably lead to greater things to come.