Beth Boen has more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and customer service. She is an award-winning marketer. She is also a professional trainer and customer experience consultant. Beth loves helping people build long-term, loyal relationships that produce quality connections in their business that lead to lifetime customers and endless referrals. Beth helps people do this through her thoughtful blogs and training curriculum. Members of SHE Leads Group have access to more in-depth business development training through presentations at meetings from Beth, her curriculum, and guest trainers. In addition to being the Founder of SHE Leads Group, Beth has had a training and consulting business, The Voice Customer Experience, that she started in 2005.
How to have a successful one-on-one networking meeting
So many leads groups require members to meet weekly and there are very strict attendance policies that are unforgiving and don't allow for when life happens. In some cases these weekly meetings take up so much time that members have trouble then finding the time to have a quality one-on-one networking meeting with fellow members.
Having regular, quality one-on-one meetings is essential for several reasons:
- Helps you stay top of mind with each other
- Gives you both an opportunity to share new things happening in your business that you might not be able to otherwise share at your leads meeting in the short amount of time you get for your commercial
- Reminds each other as to specific leads and connections that would be beneficial
- Provides the opportunity to know, like and trust each other
- Allows you to dive deeper into each other's business to better understand what each of you offers and how it is beneficial and valuable
So, how do you ensure these one-on-one meetings are successful?
- Set up the meeting and send a calendar invite. In your invitation email tell the other person that you will look at their website to be prepared with questions and provide them with your website in case they want to do the same. This might sound like, "[Name of person, I am really looking forward to meeting with you. I will send you a calendar invite. To prepare I will review your website and be prepared with questions. If you want to take a look at my website it is [your website URL]."
- Prepare in advance of the meeting - take 5-10 minutes to study the other business's website.
- Make a list of questions, such as who is your favorite kind of client to work with and who are good referral partners for you. Ask them fun questions - like how did you get started in this line of work? What made you want to start your own business. Did someone inspire you along the way in your career? Ask some personal questions, too. Do you have children, pets, significant other, hobbies, interests, etc. Most people love talking about their personal life.
- Connect before or after your one-on-one meeting on LinkedIn. Connecting ahead of time allows you to get a little more insight into their professional past and might prompt some interesting questions you could ask them.
- When you get to the meeting set it up that you have an hour scheduled and you would enjoy hearing about their business for the first half hour. This puts the thought in their mind that they will need to reciprocate for the second half hour.
You may still have those one-off meetings where it still doesn't go well and the other person still monopolizes the conversation. However, using these tactics will greatly reduce the unproductive one-on-one meetings. Of course as you get to know each other better as the potential referral relationship continues, the one-on-one meeting starts to be less formal. For your first one-on-one meeting with a prospective referral partner or leads group member this is a good recipe for a successful and productive meeting.
At SHE Leads Group, we only meet twice a month so that members have the time on off weeks to meet and have these quality one-on-ones. This is just one of many ways SHE Leads Group is different. We welcomes guests to experience the SHE difference. Please feel free to visit a chapter near you, where your business category is not already occupied. Contact SHE Leads Group is you have any questions.