By Brandon SoubaA good friend of mine got on a fitness kick a few years ago, and to this day he is very success full at his commitment. I have tried time and time again to be successful with a fitness program and never had such long term success. So I decided to ask what the secret was. Sadly we all know the answer, but I had to hear if from him. “I schedule it in my calendar every day. If it is not scheduled it won’t get done.” That answer was so obvious, but it got me thinking about my early days in BNI.
Have you ever been sitting in your meeting and you realize you need to set up a one to one with a member in the room? You think about it the full meeting until the end when you end up talking to another member about a referral and next thing you know you are in your car driving away only to realize you never did set up that one to one. Well if it has never happened to you that is awesome! Sadly it happened to me often. I had great intentions but for whatever reason another week went by and I did not have a one to one in the books. Once I realized the importance and value of those personal meetings with other members I realized I needed a system; accountability if you will.
My meeting was at 7 am on Thursday, and it only took a few months of getting up early and having a full day to realize I was not in the mood for evening appointments on Thursday. I was mentally done at that point and it was not fair to my clients I was meeting with. I started finishing my day around 4 so I did not end up in a late appointment and I could go home and relax to finish the week out strong. When I decided to add more accountability to my one to ones I decided I need to have a plan in place to make it work. When I looked at my schedule I saw that time blocked out on Thursday and thought, “What if I made that my BNI day? Start the day with my meeting and bookend it with a one to one end of day”.
Here are the steps I followed to have a consistent stream of scheduled one to ones. At the beginning of the week I would send an email out to 2 or 3 members seeing if they had Thursday at 4 pm open for a one to one. The first person to respond would get the first slot. If another member responded and the time worked I would let them know that time filled up, but I would ask for the following week! Sometimes I would get 3 weeks out with one to ones just by sending out 3 emails taking about 5 minutes of my time. Once this was a consistent practice I was able to add a second one to one in a week any time I was asked! Not only did I have it in my schedule but I had a plan in place to go through the roster of members in my chapter a few times a year!
I challenge you to look at your schedule and see if you have a consistent day or time that you could block out for one to ones with your fellow members. Even if you try it for a month, once you see how easy it is to have that pipeline of one to ones, you will find it hard to stop! The best part is each one to one I completed took me closer to that referral I was looking for, or the introduction I was looking for. Also, I found a lot more value in my chapter. So as my friend that had a plan to be successful with his fitness goals, I now had a plan to be successful with my one to one goals.