Tips For Great Meetings!
Set a Location
- A central location is typically the best method, make sure to allow for drive time.
- If your office is a constant distraction, find a good cup of coffee somewhere. (Sometimes, it works out that you have an opportunity to introduce the person to someone if you think strategically)
Set a time frame and keep to it.
- In the life of a business person time is money. So, be responsible with it. If you set an appointment BE ON TIME! Things happen, but if the sky didn’t fall, you don’t have a great excuse.
- Agree to a set time frame ahead of time whether it is 30 minutes to one hour. Longer than one hour better include a check.
Set an agreed upon understanding for the meeting
- I want to get to know you a little better so that I can understand how to refer business to you more effectively.
- I want to sell you my services (be prepared to be avoided)
Set a standard list of questions that systemize your one on ones
- Are you originally from Oklahoma, OKC, etc? (If not, what brought you here?)
- Do you have family? (Anything that means something to them)
- What do you love to do outside of work?
- What is it about your business that you love the most?
- What is your favorite business achievement?
- What would I look for in order to recognize a good referral?
- What would a power partner be for you?
With these questions, you are not only trying to get the answers, you are aiming for the why. Why they do what they do. Most people don’t know how to verbalize their why, so asking them point blank will get you the surface level answer. You also want to allow half the time for one person to ask questions and vice versa. We are also operating from the idea that you will be more likely to recognize good referrals when you care about the person you are referring. Know, like and trust!
Set a system for follow up and referral
- When asking all the questions, take notes. But not like you are checking things off your list. Make sure you are fully engaged, and make minor notes so that you can fill in the details at a later time.
- Send a thank you email, letter or facebook message after the fact. (Gratitude goes a long way)
- Post on your facebook or other social media publicly about your interaction and something you learned about them. (You want the person to feel good about the time they spent with you. They are also likely to return the recommendation)
- See who you have in your existing circle that would fit the power partner role
- Look for opportunities to connect them with referrals. This does not mean, “hey call so and so”, and especially not “Hey, I told someone they should call you.” It means, if possible, jumping on the phone, “Saying, hey Sally I have John on the other line, I think he could help you with such and such, is now a good time? Let me connect you” Never leave it in the hands of the referral to make contact, that is like waiting on the tooth fairy to leave a coin under your pillow.