This is the blog transcript of our video “How to Get Leads From a 1 on 1 Meeting”. If you’d like to see more of our videos, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here.
Ok so you’re out there networking and ready to build your business. But your business isn’t growing at these networking events.
What are you missing? Well, the answer is pretty simple – it’s the follow up.
Hey everyone, I’m Ian Campbell, CEO of Mission Suite. Before we jump into today’s video, do me a favor and hit the subscribe button and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos.
Once you start going to networking events regularly, you’re probably going to start hearing the phrase “the fortune is in the follow up” – or some variation of it – on more than one occasion.
In fact, I’m willing to bet you’ll hear some variation of that phrase so often that it’s going to start getting a bit annoying – cliches always are.
Here’s the thing, though – it’s true.
You’re not going to get business from the networking event itself, so don’t expect it. Of course, there’s the caveat to that statement that you might get lucky on an INCREDIBLY rare occasion, but it’s just not something that happens anymore.
Networking events are for making connections. They’re for developing your referral network. They’re for getting to know more people. And yes, they are also for prospecting.
But if you want those networking events to be successful, then the key really is making sure that you’re following up with the people that you meet at the event with a 1 on 1 meeting.
It’s during those 1 on 1s that the magic – and business – really happens.
So how to you go about managing those 1 on 1 meetings so that you can actually get leads from the meeting?
First, you need to make sure that you prepare for the meeting.
If you’ve properly followed up from the event that you met this person at, then you’ve hopefully connected with them on LinkedIn. And if that’s not something you’re doing already, make sure that you add it to your follow up process.
Once you’ve connected with that person, you can check out their profile and get a bit of background on them.
Don’t be creepy about it, but take a glance to see if there’s anything that you two have in common.
Are they a yoga instructor? Did you go to the same college or pledge the same fraternity or sorority? Were you both singers?
These types of things can really warm up a relationship much more quickly than going in cold. Take some time to learn about the person.
Once you’ve done that, take a few minutes to check out anyone you have in common. You can use your connection with that other person as a sort of borrowed credibility if you know them well.
Be careful with this, though, because if they’re connected to that person but they think that they’re scum you’ll want to feel that out before you hitch your wagon to them.
And finally, do some referral mining in their LinkedIn connections and see if there are four or five people that you might like to meet as prospects or referral partners.
Don’t just drop a list in front of them at the end of your first meeting, but if it’s going well and it’s clear they want to be helpful, mention a few names that you saw on their profile who might be good connections. It can help them connect the dots to see what types of people you’re looking to meet.
If you’re going to do this, though, don’t expect a bunch of introductions after that first meeting. They’re probably still trying to feel you out so the purpose of this is mostly just to illustrate the types of people you want to mee.
Next, make sure that you focus primarily on them
Everyone likes to talk about themselves. And that tends to be true for ourselves as well.
It’s really easy to get swept up explaining what you do and who you work with and why people do business with you, all the while forgetting that the purpose of the meeting is for the both of you to get to know one another.
I always like to try and be the first person to speak up and ask the questions.
So tell me a little about your business?
What types of clients do you work with?
Who usually refers business to you?
If I can be the first one to ask those questions, then as far as I’m concerned I’ve won the little game that I play with myself at 1 on 1 meetings.
My goal is to get them talking more than I’m talking because that’s typically when they walk away thinking to themselves “man, that was a great meeting!”. And when they feel like they’ve had a great meeting with you, they’re significantly more likely to make connections for you.
Don’t get me wrong, if they start asking the questions I’m still able to get them talking and keep the focus on them, it just takes a bit more finesse.
Do you have a goal for 1 on 1 meetings? I’d be interested in hearing how you go about measuring the success of those meetings so let me know down in the comments. And, if you’re getting something out of this video, be sure to give us a like as well!
Next, make sure that you identify who your ideal client is, and who your ideal referral partner is.
Just because the goal is to get (and keep) the other person talking as much as you can, it doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility to make sure that they walk away with a clear understanding of who you want to meet as well.
In order to do that, you need to make sure that you’re clear on who your ideal client is and who your ideal referral partner is.
And whatever you do, never, EVER, say “well anybody!”
If you want a sure fire way to kill a burgeoning networking relationship, that’s it.
If you can’t identify the type of individual that you want to meet, then take the time to figure that out BEFORE you go to the meeting. And be specific about it too.
Dean Isaacs and I did a Community Table session a while ago that talks about how to create your ideal client profile. If you don’t have an ideal client profile, watch it and build one out. The link to the video is here in the info card on the screen.
Be as specific as possible with the people that you want to work with. Are you trying to work with manufacturers? Lawyers? Restaurants?
Or maybe industry doesn’t matter but you need to be talking to someone with a specific role in a company. Maybe the CEO, or the business owner, or the marketing director, or the facilities manager.
Whoever you need to meet as a prospect, it’s your job to make it clear to the person you’re meeting with so that they can start thinking about who matches up with that profile.
And the same goes for referral partners.
If you tell me that “anyone” can refer you business, then I’m not going to think of specific names. If I don’t think of specific names, I have no way to follow up. And if I have no way to follow up, I’m going to forget you when the time comes.
On the other hand, if I can tell you that business coaches, sales consultants, and marketing consultants are great referral partners for me, that gets the wheels turning and, even if you don’t know anyone specific in those roles, you might come up with other ideas.
Be specific in who you want to meet – both on the referral side and the prospect side. That’s how you’re going to get introductions to people who can be of value to you and your business.
Next, test the “intro waters”
Now I’m assuming that your meeting went well, and that you’ve both stated that you’d be willing to continue to grow the relationship and help one another grow.
If that’s not the case, it’s time to pull the ripcord and just say “nice to meet you” and move on.
If that IS the case, though, and you think there’s an opportunity to make and get some introductions, test the water a bit.
Think about a couple people you know who you think might be good introductions for them and offer them up. And make sure to follow through with those introductions.
Then you can drop a couple names that you found on their LinkedIn profile and let them know that you’d love to meet them as well.
And then give it some time.
Remember that the first meeting is typically not meant to be a “prospecting” meeting so don’t expect much, but make sure that you at least give it a shot.
Don’t make it a hard sell or a major question. Just mention the names and see how they react. If they’re willing to make the introductions, or at least explore the potential of making the introductions, there’s probably a path forward for you.
If they clearly have no interest in making an introduction for you, but are more than happy to take the introductions, you’ve probably found a networking dud.
And finally, ask the person you’re meeting with if they would be a prospect
This is something that people miss all the time in networking meetings because they don’t want to come across as being too “salesy”.
And, in a lot of cases, they’re right to avoid it. Again, this meeting isn’t supposed to be a pitch, but there’s no reason that you can’t ask them a little about what they’re doing and if your solution is something that they’ve ever considered.
Again, don’t make this a sales pitch. That’ll kill the relationship before it gets started.
But using a script like:
“So what do you use for a CRM? How do you like it, is it working for you? Well if you’ve ever thought about making a change and working with a different system, I’d be happy to have that conversation with you.”
And then move on in the conversation. If they bring you back to it, that’s fine, but make it clear you didn’t intend to start this as a sales conversation.
You don’t have to be high pressure or “pitchy” – in fact you should absolutely NOT be those things. But there’s nothing wrong with reminding someone that if they ever want to talk about working together you’d be open to the conversation.
Mission Suite has some great tools built into it to help you land more of those 1 on 1 meetings and manage your referral network. We have a quick three minute demo that you can check out to learn more about our system and how it can help you build your business through networking and referrals.
The link to that video demo is here on the info card on the screen and in the description of this video so definitely check it out!
Hey I hope you got something out of this video. And if you did, go ahead and give it a thumbs up and maybe a share so that others can see it too. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos and while you’re at it, check out these videos too!
We’ll see you next time around!