By Brandon Souba
A while back on a BNI Heartland Podcast I talked about the importance of planning and preparing for your One to Ones. (Listen to it here.) Since then, I have had a few people follow up and ask for the template I use for my One to Ones. For a long time, my answer was simply “I don’t have one,” because I feel it is unique to each person and situation. Your first One to One with a fellow member should be much different than your fourth or fifth. So while this isn't a specific template, I thought it would be helpful to lay out what goes through my brain when I am writing out my agenda for a One to One.
Personal Follow Up
One to Ones are about getting to know each other. I used to get feedback that I focused too much on business and not on the person when I would meet with other members. So now I reflect on conversations I have had with the person I am meeting with, or I look them up on social media, and see what is new in their life.Did they go on vacation or get a pet? Maybe you learned something about them when you set up the One to One. I put that topic first in my agenda! It is a warm way to open the conversation and it helps build credibility and shows you care. But I am also careful to limit the amount of time we spend, so we have plenty of time for business.
Hot Topic / Reason for the One to One
Many times you have a topic or question that sparked your interest in asking for the One to One. Sometimes, this can be more than one topic or question. Get that out in the conversation early because often it will lead to other questions for you. When you put out the hot topic out there, it can truly drive stronger conversation for the rest of the meeting.
Ask "How Can I Help You?"
Dr. Ivan Misner says it again and again, the best way to show Givers Gain is to ask “How can I help?” This will move the conversation to focus on referral opportunities and not just chatting about each other. Remember: the ultimate purpose of a One to One is to drive referrals.
Call to Action
Since the main purpose here is to drive referrals, you need to close with an action plan. “I will reach out to a Specific Person and see if they are looking for help with your service,” or “I will pass that referral info in the app as soon as I have their confirmation.” A call to action is a commitment we both make on the referrals we thought of during the one to one. Write this down, and be sure to follow through.
By using this process to create an outline, you may find you can get more done in less time during a One to One. You can also take this one step further and have your outline filled out ahead of time, and send it to the other member before your meeting. That way both of you will be more prepared and productive in your One to One!