In previous blogs we’ve discussed:

  • How networking can extend your Marketing Reach on a scale of hundreds or even thousands
  • How the QUALITY of your networking depends on how many people in your network have you Top of Mind and as their First Choice
  • How being Surprisingly Helpful to people can earn you a lot of good will

Today, we’re going to discuss the most important event that happens in the entire networking process– the One-on-One Meeting.

The One-on-One meeting, more than any other meeting, is where you can earn your way to Top of Mind and First Choice with someone.

You don’t automatically become Top of Mind and First Choice for someone merely because you’re in the same networking group. You must do more.

The One-on-One meeting is the ideal opportunity to do more.

Here are some ways you can have a truly memorable One-on-One:

Pre-Meeting

  • Look at the other person’s LinkedIn profile and/or Facebook page. Understand their background and their interests, with an eye to being helpful.
  • Know, or find out, who their ideal customer is. Don’t be afraid to ask them before the meeting. You might even say that you’re clarifying so you can bring some ideas for warm introductions with you to the meeting.
  • Spend time thinking deeply about people and resources to which you can introduce the other person. Be creative. This is much more meaningful if done before, rather than during, your meeting.

During the Meeting

  • Spend significant time asking them all about them – their “story” (everyone has one), their business, the hardest thing … and most enjoyable thing … about running their business, who they’re really like to get to know, etc. Take notes! Ask them to repeat things so you get them.
  • Relax. Be genuine. Laugh.
  • Share your story when the time is right. Don’t take too much time, but take enough time. Don’t be canned. Be real.
  • Tell them the ways you’d like to help them. Ask permission to make specific introductions.

After the Meeting

  • More important than anything else: Do what you promised to do as fast as humanly possible. It is incredibly impressive when someone follows through quickly and thoroughly. A follow up within 30 minutes of your meeting is 10x more impressive than a next-day follow-up. NOT following up on the things you promise is a sure way to ensure you are NOT Top of Mind or First Choice.
  • Stay Top of Mind with strategic reminders. DO NOT simply add them to a spam list for your newsletter. If you’d like to have them receive your newsletter, ask permission first. (More on strategic reminders in a future blog)

If you do the above, you will earn your way to the Top of a lot of Minds and be many people’s First Choice.

What are some best practices you’ve seen for One-on-One meetings?