It’s tough to do business in the summer. At least, that’s what they say. It’s prime holiday season, or people simply take the better weather as an opportunity to take a mental break and check out due to all the distractions outside. We get it. Canadian winters are long. Making the most of the gorgeous summer weather is the great Canadian pursuit. But, if we rethink how we do our one-to-one’s, we can leverage this time, enjoy ourselves outdoors and cultivate depth in our business relationships.
BNI trains us to meet members outside of our weekly meetings in a very specific way. We call them one-to-one’s for a reason and we’re encouraged to use the one-to-one as a tool for building great referral partners. When we’re getting to know a new member, or when we’re a new member ourselves, we are taught to treat this time as if it were a mutual interview using four forms: 1) Membership Biography Sheet, 2) Gains Profile, 3) One-to-One Worksheet, and 4) the Contact Sphere Planning Worksheet. When filled out, these forms allow us to have a better perspective about the other member and, thus, help us find and then give good referrals to them.
Once we have all the basics down pat on a member’s offerings, we can get a little more creative in our approach to incorporate all the benefits of one-to-one’s and sunny days! A more relaxed environment can help find shared interests or even promote new activities we might not otherwise participate in. Summertime is in fact, a great time to build meaningful relationships. Here are a few suggestions:
Take your One-to-One to a park
Grab some take-out and find some green space. While we don’t know the mechanism that creates this response, science has uncovered that green spaces do in fact reduce our perceived stress. With lowered anxiety, it can be easier to share information about our businesses without worrying if we’re “doing it right”. Even if stress isn’t your issue, the beautiful outdoors sure is more pleasant than an office or the ubiquitous cafe!
Find a Patio
Perfect for our more urbane members, finding a patio is a great way to enjoy your One-to-One’s. Sharing a mealtime or drinks is culturally a very common social way of interacting and can take the edge of formal interviews or meetings. Enjoy a beverage and a few appies, or take advantage of happy hour while getting to know each other’s business goals better. Most restaurants and bars have free wifi available so you’ll still have access to sources and materials at your fingertips..
A Round of Golf
There are a multitude of reasons so many business people also play golf. Because of its handicap system, it’s great for players of different skill levels, and you since you spend only a short amount of time actually doing physical exercise, there is plenty of time to talk shop.
Sharing in our fellow members’ lives can be a great way to forge friendships. Are you both moms? Take your kids to the local water park. Single and sassy? Side-by-side pedicures might be the answer. Live near each other? Neighbourhood festivals are always fun. Need to get your shopping done? Meet at a Farmers’ Market. We are only limited by our imagination!
One-to-One’s don’t need to be dry. In fact, they can help us deepen our meaningful business relationships while simultaneously building friendships and integrate into our community depending on the activity. Always remember: show genuine interest in the other person and their business. At their core, they need to help us get to VPC (Visibility, Credibility, Profitability). By default, the more we connect with a person on a One-to-One, the more we stay top of mind. The real key is to find a place and activity that is conducive to talking and connecting.
Find a chapter in your area and start your summer One-to-Ones this week!