In the business world, one thing we have to get used to in order to be successful are one-on-ones! One-on-ones are the best way to get to know a prospect or referral partner. They allow you to build a relationship with the person, but if you get started off on the wrong foot, it can blow your opportunity altogether.
In order to a have a great first meeting, there are a couple things that you’ll want to do beforehand. First, you will want to prepare for the meeting. I always like to do a little research on the company/person I am meeting with. Check out their website, LinkedIn, or any other social media outlet. Get to know their character and what they like before you go to the meeting. You want to be careful with this strategy though; It can come off creepy if you ask them how their wife Karen is and if Bobby won his baseball game if they never told you that kind of information. You want to find ways to relate that are appropriate and professional.
Secondly, present yourself professionally. Make sure that you are wearing at minimum, business casual. It’s not appropriate in most situations to show up in holey jeans and an old concert t-shirt. Now, if you were a tattoo artist or a skate shop owner, I can probably see that, but if you are an insurance broker or a real estate agent, then you should be dressing professionally. It sets a standard for you and for your company and shows that you care and are interested in this meeting. Once you arrive at the meeting there are few things that will help make the meeting go smoothly. First and most important: Show up on time! Nobody likes someone who shows up late. It shows that you don’t really care about them or their time.
Make sure you are on time or even better, a couple minutes early. Showing up a few minutes early show that you care about the person and that you respect the time they are taking to spend with you.
When they are speaking to you, be courteous and attentive. Make sure you pay attention and engage with what they are saying. You want the person you are meeting with to know that you are interested in what they have to say. If you find yourself coming to a lull in the conversation, keep a couple topics in mind. Small talk is important. You get to find out more information about a person that you wouldn’t have known without the small talk. You could ask them if they play any sports or if there is a certain non-profit they enjoy working with. Are there any charities that they are passionate about? This kind of information will help you get to know them better and figure out the best way to work with them.
Finally, just be yourself. Be the best you, but never somebody else. If the person you are meeting with doesn’t appreciate it, then they are probably not the best person for you to work with. You are an incredible person with a lot to give so you shouldn’t pretend to be someone you’re not just to impress someone.
What are some of your first meeting tips? Tell us in the comments below!
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