Paul, our new Florist, receives his velvet business card holder & badge.
Patty Sterling, our estate planning expert, upgrades her badge color to green.
Can you believe that we're already a month into 2009? It just seemed like last weekend when we were all cursing Llewellyn for winning the trip to Hawaii :-)
Jasmine (www.jasmineguerrero.com) welcomed everybody with her showboat table where she gave away home inventory kits, to help reclaim your stuff in case of theft or fire.
Mikel (www.webflexor.com) got everybody's heart pumping with a few quick yoga poses and then we started off the meeting.
Once again, we had a great turn out from our guests - they always bring fresh new energy and meeting new people is best part of networking. Thank you for visiting our chapter!
- Kathy - Event Planning (thanks for the mints!)
- Daniel - Technology Support
- Chris - Direct Mail Advertising
- Michael - Financial Advisor
- Scott - Loan Officer
- Seth - Realtor
We look forward to seeing you again. We also look forward to seeing Karen, Debbie and Dr. Lawrence who were absent for this meeting (although, I think Karen will still be vacationing in Mexico).
Llewellyn (www.spunlabs.com) with the help of Rich, gave a presentation on one of the practices of Agile: Pair Programming. The two of them demonstrated how when 2 people truly collaborate the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. They did this by first demonstrating how NOT to work together, where one person is truly owning the work and the other person is just watching, and then, when both people are contributing. Not only was this a fantastic presentation, but they raised the bar on how beautiful the presenters should be.
Raffle prizes this week included Candy from Barbara, a iTunes gift card from Dr. Bakur, a Starbucks gift card from Rich, and a haircut gift card from Erin. Thanks to all who participated and congratulations to the winners.
On a special note, our chapter's founder, Julia Orpheus, joined us for one last meeting before she moves to Atlanta, to become a regional director with LeTip. Congratulations, Julia, and thanks so much for creating San Diego's premiere business networking chapter. You will always be a WIN-ner in our book!
We want to remind everyone that we will be voting on Seth, Scott, and Kathy next week.
And the weekly tip report: 17 tips and 4 escrow tips for our guests.
Don't forget, Monday the 1st is February's Board of Director's meeting, 9:00 am at Llewellyn's (1121 Chalcedony Street, 92109).
Llewellyn & Rich
Note to guests: You are allowed to attend two meetings before applying to be a member. On the day you will be voted in, you will still attend the meeting but will be asked to leave 5 minutes early during the voting process. Please put a little thought into your commercials that day as they will reflect on how members vote.
Most small business owners are leery about selling their services to prospective clients for fear of appearing too aggressive or too pushy. Unfortunately, this creates a dilemma since selling is an integral part of building development. Many small business owners have a misperception about selling and associate a sales process with what they might experience if they were to visit a used car lot. Sales techniques are ultimately a process of educating your prospective clients in the benefits of your services, based upon their needs. There is a saying that most people are telling when they should be selling. A successful salesperson spends more time focusing on listening vs. talking.
Questions are a critical part of every sales process and if you can re-program yourself to ask questions to prospective clients about their needs, not only will you show them that you are concerned and interested but this is the best way to gather the information that you need to sell your services. For example, if you were to life coach and you discovered in a conversation with a prospective client that they have relationship issues, you can talk about how coaching can offer the tools and resources to deal with such issues and you can go into detail pertaining to the benefits and the results they can create. This will be much more interesting to them than your spewing random information about the services that you offer.
Here are some steps to take to improve your sales process:
- Come up with 3-10 basic questions to determine a clients needs. If possible, create a needs analysis form and write down their answers.
- Give them as much time to speak about themselves as possible; this will provide you with more information about their needs when you present your services as a solution to their needs.
- Make an effort to follow up with a prospective client at least three times. Very few prospective clients are converted initially. If you do follow up, your conversion rate should increase significantly. If you are speaking to many prospective clients you may want to create some type of prospect follow up system. You could invest in a CRM (client retention management) programs such as www.act.com or www.salesforce.com to help with the process. You can also follow up with your prospective clients via email in an email newsletter. It is recommended to add an email opt-in form to your website to capture email addresses for potential clients so that you can educate them about you and your business as a subscriber to your e-newsletter.
- Get in the practice of closing your prospective clients with a simple question at the end of the needs analysis such as, “Can we set up a meeting for some time next week? I have openings on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.”
Remember; don’t be afraid to promote your services proactively. Most small business owners know that most people need their services, so take it on as a conscious mission to learn more about the sales process and to implement as many techniques as possible into how you present and promote your services so that you can help more people to fill their business needs. Now is not the time to sit back and wait for business to come to you!
As most of you know, our Graphic Artist, Chris Wilson, is the lead singer of his band, Endoxi. He got everybody warmed up with a live performance of his original song, Whiskey On the Wound. (Rich wasn't kidding, it's really available on iTunes ).
A big part of the wonderful energy in our group is the fresh faces of our guests and we would like to thank them for coming:
- Scott – Auto Detail
- Kirk - Electrician
We missed Allen, Shane, and Paul. We look forward to seeing you next week!
We presented Erin, our Hair Stylist (FYI, Llewellyn and I are writing this from her cool down town salon) with the coveted blue velvet business card folder and her lapel pin.
Jasmine, our Property Insurance expert, took the stage today and talked about the different types of Business Owner Policies (BOP's!) that Farmer's Insurance offers. She taught us about the many liabilities unknowingly shouldered by business owners and how to protect themselves against them.
We had 17 Tips, and 4 escrow tips between the electrician and auto detailing categories, highlighting the need for high quality people to fill those slots.
Today's raffle included a gel-based moisturizer from Karen, scrap booking goodies from Jasmine, a Piggy Bank from Sue, coffee from Barbara, and a $25 gift certificate from Carol. Congratulations to all the winners and thanks again to the people that contributed prizes and participated!
Next week, Llewellyn will be in the speaker spotlight, Jasmine will be showboating, and Ana will be greeting everybody with a smile.
For the members that didn't get to meet with their visitation partner this month yet, please remember to do so. Visitation is an important component to deeper connections and better tips.
Llewellyn & Rich
ps - Remember March 12's meeting will be at night, so please save the date.
pps - We thought Rob might like to know, that it just started raining here downtown.
Yesterday’s meeting was a TERRIFIC start to the new year!
We would like to thank all our guests that visited us:
- Sabrina (Financial Planning)
- Ingrid (Hair Stylist)
- Erin (Hair Stylist)
- MaryBeth (Hair Stylist)
- Paul & Ellen (Florist)
There were a lot of escrow tips – 7 for the hair stylist and 4 for the florist, which shows that these categories are in high demand.
Mikel (www.webflexor.com) got all our heartrates going with some quick yoga stretches (For those who don’t know, Mikel used to be a professional yoga instructor).
After the starting ceremonies, we introduced the new board of directors. Mikel will be transitioning from Secretary to Membership chair (GREAT first day!). Anne is taking over the secretary spot. Rich will be moving from the VP spot to the President. Patty will be filling in as the new Vice President. Jasmine will be stepping up as our new Program Director. Also, Ana will be helping out Sue as our Co-Treasurer.
Next, we had a FANTASTIC round table on goal setting. It was a perfect topic for our first meeting of 2009, to help us focus and achieve our goals for the new year. Mikel impressed upon us the importance of not only having goals, but having your top 10 goals written down, visible, and on the tip of your tounge. Writing down your goals is the first step in making it reality. He showed us techniques for prioritizing those goals and ways to make the goals more specific, more measureable, and most importantly, attainable.
Mikel also showed us a beautiful technique of achieving smaller, daily goals with his Awareness Chart. Llewellyn attests that it has already been useful to him over the one day that he’s been using it. The basic idea is by simply going thru what you want to do at the end of the day, it makes you aware of what you didn’t do. That awareness makes it easier to do the next day.
Again, we’d like to give our deep appreciation to Mikel for giving us such a motivating talk.
Being the first of the month, Visitation dance cards were distributed, which is a GREAT way to deepen your connections with other members. Please make sure you setup a time to meet with them, as we’re all looking forward to hearing about your experiences and what you learned on January 22nd.
Congratulations to Dr Bakur for winning a pound of Starbuck’s finest Sumatra blend in our raffle, and to Debbie, who won a much in-demand Mikel Bruce original mug. Thanks to all who participated!
Thank-you’s go to Patty (www.pacificcoasttrust.com) for putting together a great table, showboating the problems of probate and how she can help you avoid it. You can’t avoid death and taxes, but with Patty’s help, you can avoid probate.
Next week our program will feature Allen Stovall as our featured speaker.
And finally, the reason why we’re all here, is for the money: 22 Tips were passed!
Llewellyn & Rich
PS – For the new members who haven’t done it yet, and for the members that are interested in a refresher course, Network Training Seminars are coming up, one Jan 12 in Encinitas and another Jan 26 in El Cajon.
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