Perhaps you’re accountants and the other party were solicitors?
Did the meeting go like this?
The most senior person began by introducing him/herself first – “Hello, I am [x] and I joined [y] in [year of joining the firm] and I am a [specialism].”
And then the next most senior person performs the same ritual. And so on. And so on.
When all the accountants on your side of the table have spoken, the solicitors sitting on the opposite side of the table perform the same charade. Then, when the meeting ends, everyone nods making beige comments like “that was very helpful” and “I am sure we can help each other” and (my personal favourite) “that’s given us lots of food for thought”.
And what happens next? Nothing … absolutely nothing!
If that does sound too familiar, why not try one of these 3 more alternative and much more effective approaches?
Facilitate a roundtable conversation centred around a mutually relevant business topic. Better still, organise it so it starts late afternoon so you can continue more informally over drinks.
Skip the roundtable bit and just arrange to meet at a suitable pub! Reserve a space in advance so you are comfortable and have some privacy and limit invites to up to around 10-12 people so everyone can mix.
Create a club for people who share a common (and non-work related) interest. And the more obscure or niche the better as it’ll create closer connections. You can make this accessible to people who can’t attend events after work by organising meet ups around breakfast or lunch.
In my experience the following are critical to your success:
– Informal beats formal
– Small gatherings are preferable to large
– Regular events are miles more effective than one-off (which actually aren’t effective at all!)
– Likeminded delivers longer term results than forced
If you’d like to discuss how to develop a personal BD plan that really works for you, please drop us a line and we can find a convenient time to talk.