Today, I would like to speak about turning your 121s into business development meetings.
Your first 121 with someone is a chance for you to get to know that person and for you to become comfortable referring them.
It’s your second, third and fourth 121s where you can start proactively generating referrals.
How do you do this?
First, a day prior to my next 121, I email an agenda to the other person.
In that email, I ask my networking partner to spend 5 minutes reviewing my website; and checking their contact file for possible referral partners and direct referrals.
An example of this in my case: good referral partners for me are lawyers that help clients incorporate and good direct referrals for me are start-ups.
I would also advise that you tailor the things you ask for based on whom you will be meeting with.
For example, when I recently met with Scott Behr and Matt Koerner, I asked for other subcontractors they know that don’t have websites since they meet a lot of these people on their jobs.
One additional note, if you are targeting very specific companies. For example, Donna Vilfand can only work with CPAs in a specific area, so I would suggest that she prepare a list of the CPAs in that area, and ask her 121 partners to review it to see if they know anyone there.
The idea here is that the more specific you can be with your “asks”, the easier it will be for people to help you.
Next, I ask the other person, what I can do for them in return to prepare for our meeting.
When the meeting starts, I hand out my cheat sheet which covers the most important things that I want the other person to remember. Notice I said the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS, not everything.
Now here’s the stuff your cheat sheet should cover.
- What you do and the services you provide
- Your bona fides or a short success story
- Ideal referrals
- Ideal referral partners
- Why you are different or better
Finally, once my partner has a few people in mind, I’m happy to write an intro blurb for them.
I do that while keeping the recipient in mind and trying to answer the question of “what’s in it for them to meet with me.” The better my answer is, the higher my success rate is.
By following these simple steps and preparing, you should come away from each 121 with 1 or more referrals.
Download My Examples: