Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where Should You Meet?

When you survey most networkers they will tell you that the best place to conduct one-on-one meetings is at a neutral location such as your favorite coffee shop or at a new and interesting restaurant.

To understand where to meet you must first understand why you would want to get together with someone one-on-one. The networking purpose of getting together one-on-one is to learn about the other person. So, would getting together at a neutral location be the best place to meet if your goal is to learn as much as is possible about the other person?

When possible, meeting at the other person’s place of business will allow you to learn the most about them. You’ll meet their co-workers and associates. You’ll see examples of their work. You’ll see their awards, diplomas, and certification. You’ll see their facility. More than anything you’ll see many references to the quality and credibility of their work that are not present at Starbucks.

Meeting at their place of business will give you more credible information in 60-minutes than you’ll get in 6 meetings anywhere else. The non-verbal verification and validation will allow you to gain intimate knowledge that will give you great benefit later.

One of the best parts of meeting at your counterpart’s office first is that you have an automatic reason for a second that they can visit you at your place of business.

It is recognized that there are many valuable people to get to know who do not have formal office space or maybe they work out of their home where they don’t feel comfortable having visitors. That’s okay. Simply have them visit you at your office. At least you’ll be at the home court for one of you where greater intimacy will always be built.

Should neither person have an office, certainly a neutral site will work. In this case you’re best to choose a location that is reasonably quiet. Make sure that you are mentally prepared to learn as much as you can about them. Your questioning and listening skills will need to be top notch!

Join us again next week when we’ll discuss why the purpose of one-on-one meeting is to learn as much as you can about the other person.

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