Networking Tips


7 Ways to Get the Most out of Your One-to-Ones

By: Eden Creamer-Hurdle
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    Networking Tips

  • Author

    Eden Creamer-Hurdle

  • Post Date

The greatest key to a healthy referral-generating relationships with someone in your network is staying up-to-date on the latest with their business and their core services, and vice versa. If you want to keep relationships strong and know the best referrals to share with your network, having regular One-to-One meetings is paramount.

Perhaps more important than actually having the One-to-Ones, though, is ensuring that you are using time wisely to best keep your business top of mind for connections and have the best One-to-One possible. From timing and location to the actual conversation, check out these suggestions for making your One-to-One count.

  1. Schedule your One-to-One at a time that will not leave you or your partner stressed. Where possible, always schedule One-to-Ones at a time when you know you will be on time and won’t have to rush to get to a following meeting. Nothing can be more distracting during an impactful conversation than you or your connection thinking about how long it will take to get to your next appointment, and stressing about being late. When many people plan meetings, they factor in the time it will take them to get there, but rarely buffer time after.
  2. Meet somewhere that won’t be distracting or is likely to cause interruptions. It is easy to plan to meet at a restaurant for lunch. While convenient to do so, this may not be the best plan. How many interruptions can you expect at a restaurant, with ordering, drink refills and paying the tab? And, to top it off, the most convenient time to meet for lunch is during peak lunch hour – consider how the hustle and bustle of a busy restaurant at lunch may make it difficult to hear your connection, or impact how well they can hear you.
  3. Can you go to them? An easy way to make sure you are getting the most information about your partner’s business is to meet them at their office. This is somewhere they are comfortable, is extremely convenient for them, and keeps their business top-of-mind to help them get as specific as possible when sharing about their services.
  4. You have two ears and one mouth – use them proportionally. Your primary goal during a One-to-One is to learn what is new and upcoming with your connection’s business. This means putting their business first, asking questions, listening and absorbing what they say. Take notes, and if you think of a potential referral for them but are unsure, ask. This is your opportunity to learn how to best help them and invest in the relationship.
  5. If your connection is looking for ways to refer you to the others in their network, share specific services you offer and the specific type of referral you are looking for. Asking for a married person with an anniversary coming up is going to get your floral business more bouquet referrals than asking for anyone who would be interested in ordering flowers.
  6. Follow up with a sincere thank you, and maybe a referral. You should always follow up a One-to-One with a thank you, share what was a key takeaway for you, and if you’re able, a referral. In general, you want to follow up within 24 hours, but if you can provide a referral in the next 3 to 5 days, you’ll truly set yourself apart and show your connection that their time spent with you paid off.
  7. Schedule another One-to-One. Meeting once is not enough for a lasting referral-generating relationship. You want to regularly meet so that you can continue learning how their business is evolving, so your partner can learn more about you and your business, and so you both can continue building trust in one-another. Optimal frequency for most relationships tends to be once every financial quarter, but some relationships in their early stages may require more.

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