Why One-on-Ones Matter & How to Make Them Payoff

Effective one-on-one meetingsDoing one-on-one meetings consistently with others in your referral and marketing group is a key element to your success. There are 3 main reasons for this.

  1. Referral Confidence, Comfort & Awareness. The truth is most people won’t refer someone they don’t know; and they are far less likely to refer someone they rarely see or communicate with. As a professional your first responsibility is to your clients and contacts. When you refer someone, you want to know they will make a positive impression. One-on-one meetings allow members to really get to know one another, gain referral confidence and create ongoing referral awareness. You won’t want, or think to refer someone (and visa-versa), that you don’t really know, or communicate with.
  2. Finding Referral & Co-Op Marketing Opportunities. One-on-ones are frequently the impetus for referrals. When you meet with your partners, you’ll learn about each other and discover referral opportunities you hadn’t thought of previously. Most of the time, you’ll walk away from a one-on-one with a referral, or with an opportunity to give one. Without one-on-ones, you wont see, give, or get referrals!
  3. Creating Good Networking Habits. Finally, one-on-ones are about developing good networking habits. If you want to generate more business via referral, you have to get in the habit of meeting with and getting to know people on a personal level. Many great networkers commit themselves to having lunch or coffee twice-a-week with people they have never met. Books talk about never eating alone. Your one-on-ones get you into the habit of meeting people for lunch or coffee on regular basis.

Tips for One-on-Ones that Lead to Success

Now you get why one-on-ones are important. But what can you do to optimize the value and benefit of your one-on-ones? Here are 5 things you should do with your one-on-ones…

  1. Commit to consistency. First get in the habit doing a one-on-one every week, between each regular group meeting. Yes this requires effort on your part; but remember it’s the key to giving and getting referrals in the group, and it will train you to become a networker One-on-ones will become a good habit. Don’t be the hare in your approach to doing one-on-ones—doing four one-on-ones per week, and then going dormant for a month. Take the tortoise approach. Task yourself with one one-on-one coffee or lunch meeting each week, and you’ll see success.
  2. Focus first & most on your ideal group partners. Eighty percent of the referrals from your group will come from your ideal referral partners, so in planning your one-on-ones, start with your ideal referral partners. After you’ve met one-on-one with everyone in the group, continue to meet with your ideal referral partner on an ongoing basis. The more you do this, the more you and your partners will integrate referral of one another into your routines.
  3. Get to know each other when meeting. When you meet with a partner, really try to learn about them on a personal level, as well as a professional level. Find out their interests, what you have in common, and what makes them unique or special. These things often lead to uncovering referrals, or become valuable knowledge points that support referral. For instance, if you’re a Realtor and I find out you’re a mother of two, it helps me when I meet a new mom thinking about moving. People often do business with those they like, or feel they have things in common with. If I know more about you, I’m better equipped to find referrals and help make useful introductions.
  4. Be a matchmaker. When you meet with a partner and learn about what they do, start thinking about who you know who would be a good introduction for them. For instance, if I’m meeting with a chiropractor in the group, I would think about others I know that might be good strategic intros for them. Do I know a personal trainer, physical therapist, nutritionist, dietician or holistic practitioner? While I’m meeting I’m thinking about my connections, and who might be a valuable or beneficial intro for them. These are good referrals, because these types of professionals can be a good source of future referral for the chiropractor. Your goal at a one-on-one is to come up with a referral for your partner.
  5. Discuss Pro-Active introduction. As discussed, 80% of your referrals will come from your ideal referral partners (probably 2-5 partners in the group). When you meet with your ideal referral partners discuss how you can both PRO-ACTIVELY introduce each other. Pro-actively introducing each other means coming up with a simple phrase you can each use to introduce each other, without a client or contact asking. For instance if I’m a CPA and my partner’s a Property & Casualty insurance agent, we might discuss a simple phrase we can each use to work to introduce each other to our clients on an ongoing basis. We offer complimentary services and are both trying to help our clients optimize or manage their financial situations. Pro-active intro is easy when we think about it, and make a conscious effort. Try to walk away from meetings with your ideal referral partners with an action plan and phrase you can use to introduce one another.
  6. Discuss Co-Op Marketing. Finally, look for co-op marketing opportunities. Ask your ideal partners what they do to market their business, and share what you do. Look for opportunities to market each other. Do you both send email campaigns, do seminars, run ads? If you are ideal partners, and provide complimentary services, pool your marketing resources and efforts, and look to promote each other. You might both do an email campaign promoting one another, or do a co-op seminar, or simply promote each other via your social networks. You can multiply your circulation and exposure through coop marketing.