What makes a great 1 to 1 networking meeting

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Where to meet?

Picking the right place is one of the most important things to a great 1 to 1. You do not want to be in a loud congested place no matter how trendy it may be. Finding a place that is convenient for both of you as well as quiet enough where you can hear each other talk. Sounds obvious but how many times have you met at a crowded loud Starbucks?

What to talk about?

For me, it depends on the relationship. How many times have I seen this person out and about? If we share a few networking groups or is this my first time ever really talking with the person.

If it is one of our first real conversations I like to keep it light and get to know the person and find out more about what makes them tick. I try to find that common bond. You probably heard it a million times but people buy from or refer people they know, like and trust. So, before I get into the meat and potatoes of my business or theirs I get to know them better and find that bond. Depending on how long that takes I usually schedule a follow up a few weeks later to talk more in-depth about our businesses.

If I know them well enough, I try to cut the small talk and go right into the heart of the meeting, how can we help each other grow? Before the 1 to 1, I go down my pipeline and closed business and pick out a handful of names that I think would benefit them.

I read some people open up their LinkedIn ™ profile and start sharing names back and forth and I think that is great if you both have strong accounts. I have a lot of people I follow and that follow me but the strength of my profile is weak when it comes time to sharing those with people in a local 1 to 1 situation.

That brings me to another point is this person you’re meeting, do they have only a local sales area like HVAC companies or can they sell to anyone anywhere. Do the research about your guest before you meet them because if I gave them a few referrals in Charleston SC when they only do the Charlotte NC area I am wasting their time.

Being a Matchmaker!

During the 1 to 1 as I am talking with them more and finding out about their business, I am constantly thinking about who would be a perfect fit for this person. It is not only business related I created a few friendships that mutually benefited them both. That is one of the coolest things you can do during a 1 to 1. Yeah finding them a client is awesome but after that transaction that relationship is done but finding them someone that can become a friend is something that will last with them for a long time. You’ll definitely be remembered and rewarded for doing that as well.

 Do I even need to mention stuff…

Don’t try to make a sale or close a deal or be greedy of their time. Make sure the flow of the conversation is even and natural. I’ve had my share of interview 1 on 1’s where it seemed like the person only wanted to talk about me and every time I tried to sneak in well what about you and your business it was a quick response and back to me. It happens, stay focused and remember at the end to try to schedule another 1 to 1 and say next time I want to learn more about you.

The bottom line is, be genuine and do what you say you’re going to do. Be consistent at doing 1 to 1’s the more you do the better you will be at being a matchmaker and the better you are at that the more rewarding and profitable 1 on 1’s will be for you.

John Walko

John Walko

John Walko is an award winning sales person. He prides himself on educating prospective clients and not having them feel pressured into the sale. He loves helping both business owners and sales people reach their business and life goals by truly investing in themselves. John enjoys facilitating the Get Clients Workshop because of the quality time he gets to spend with unique business owners. Watching them grow over the 28 days is such a rewarding experience. John sits on the board of the Rowan – Cabarrus Small Business Administration and is an Ambassador for BNI (Business Network International). He also serves as the Education coordinator for his local BNI chapter. With his free time John loves traveling with his wife Rachel and his 3 fun creative daughters.

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