Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What happens next?

At an event last week someone asked if he could have a private mentoring session. He said he was making good connections at networking events and was having a number of One2One meetings, but that was usually as far as it went. He said "I think my One2Ones are a bit woolly".

Meetings with no agenda or agreed outcome can often be woolly! That does not mean you have to always work to a rigid agenda or be too attached to a specific outcome. It is, however, worth taking a minute or so to agree some ground rules and set the right expectations for both parties.

The purpose of a first One2One in a networking context is often to decide whether you will both invest some time in building a relationship. If that is the case then share that with the other person. If you are taking the lead in the meeting you could open with a reminder of how you connected originally and why you thought there may be synergy between you. Then add the time the meeting will take together with what you would like to cover:
* What you would like to find out about the other person and their business.
* What they would like to find out about you and your business.
* Agreement of any continuing fit between your respective businesses.
* The next steps (typically connections to people & information) that you will undertake before meeting again.
* The date of the next meeting or catch up.

As I develop networking advocates with further interactions I always keep this loose agenda structure in mind.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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