How do you get the outcomes you want from 1on1s?

02 Jun 2017

How much time do you spend in 1on1 conversations with your staff, fee earners or members? And what do you want those 1on1 conversations to do?  Effect change in some way?  Perhaps to encourage them to follow up with a contact?  Perhaps to get more engaged with an upcoming event?


It’s not easy is it?


Where does the problem lie?


To me there are 3 critical factors:


People like consistency which means they are naturally resistant to change, especially if it what you’re suggesting isn’t a natural fit with their goals and/or beliefs


People are creatures of habit and inertia and blindly following others do ‘what we’ve always done’ is always a bigger barrier to success than ability


People fear failure so stick to what they like and what they know


So what can you do to really effect change?


Listening to a tennis coach on the radio talking about ‘the sweet spot’ reminded me of hearing a golfer talk about the same thing in his sport.  This got me thinking about if this concept is applicable to business development and more specifically to 1on1 BD coaching. Well, I think it is so I’m going to share with you a 1on1 ‘sweet spot’ model that we have created at Tenandahalf and use when coaching our own clients.


This will require you, your leaders and third party consultants to adopt a very different approach to coaching. The difference is that the starting point is the individual and his or her interests, personality and personal motivators – not your needs or that of the business.


How does it work?


Every good model has 3 steps, so this one does! 


The first step is to understand what makes your subject ‘tick’. By creating rapport and finding a connection with your subject you need to find out what his or her interests are – personally and professionally. You are trying to build a holistic picture. The answers are clues to what the most appropriate BD approach for each individual will be (not everyone is predisposed to traditional networking, not everyone enjoys writing, not everyone is comfortable with technology or social media and not everyone likes presenting to an audience).


However, everyone has a story and associated personal motivators if you probe deep enough. It is this story that should provide the focus for your coaching as it largely addresses the 3 critical factors I highlighted at the start of this blog.


Let’s look at each critical success factors in turn and I will explain how they relate to the model:


1. People like consistency and are resistant to change


If you belong to a gym don’t you get changed in the same area every time or get annoyed if you can’t because someone else got there before you?  Yes, of course you do!  You can use this insight to get better results from coaching.


Adopt a consistent approach where the advice and support you provide is in tune with the individual’s belief system. Success is about reframing your strategies so that they appear consistent to the individual that you are coaching.


2. People are creatures of habit


If you want to effect change 1on1s need to be regular and sustained over a minimum of 12 months. Repetition of key messages, sound bites and mantras are essential as effectively you are trying to break deeply entrenched views, attitudes and behaviours.


For example, if you’ve worked with Tenandahalf you will be familiar with ‘Stop Selling & Drink Coffee’. Your goal as a coach, trainer or leader is to help the person you are working with to adopt a new habit. Without commitment, patience and repetition this just won’t happen. There are no quick fixes.


3. People fear failure and stick to what they like and know


People do what they want to do. People perform best when they enjoy what they are doing. So, is it really any surprise that the BD activity that works best is activity that it linked to people’s personal preferences and interests? Here is some example s of innovative approaches based around like-mindedness (not inertia or doing what the law firm down the road does) that have generated success for Tenandahalf clients (and note none of these involve traditional networking clubs):


‘Suits & Vinyl’ LinkedIn group ... an online forum for music enthusiasts has proved an effective way to connect likeminded people and create new business. I know one family solicitor who won an instruction on the back of a shared interest in Lloyd Cole & The Commotions album, “Rattlesnakes”


‘Ladies that do lunch’ networking group ... I know another solicitor who is a convert to networking because she has found a group of likeminded business women who has won instruction s because of a shared interest in theatre and amateur dramatics


Getting published in the trade press (i.e. not in the publications your peers read) ... why do people waste time getting published in the professional press when their clients read the trade press? It’s easy to get published for free or for just the cost of a cup of coffee – email and I will share the secret of how to do this.


If you want to explore how you can improve the non-technical skills of your fee earners, staff or members through a structured and more professional approach to personal development using the Tenandahalf ‘sweet spot’ model to guide you, again just email me.


If you do you might just achieve the change that you are looking for, e.g. market dominance, new business and increased effectiveness in BD.

Posted by Douglas  |   0 Comments

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