Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lessons from the Latina Chamber Lunch

I went to an inspiring lunch on Thursday. The Latina Chamber of Commerce in Denver is an organization whose mission is to promote and advance the personal, professional, and business interests of Latinas, their families, and their communities. Although this organization is merely five years old, already it has accomplished much in the way of educating and empowering members of its community.

This Inspirational Business Luncheon featured dynamic speaker, David Behr of Competitive Edge Seminars. In his high-energy and very entertaining presentation-such an enviable skill- David advised us to take just one idea home with us. But I cheated, and took them all.

Just as teachers use homework to reiterate and reinforce what they teach in class, I’m going to reiterate what I learned and hope that it reinforces those lessons in my own head; who knows, you might benefit too...

#1 change one thing in your business practice (or any other practice for that matter) and it will cause a domino effect. By changing one thing, we can be more, have more, and become more. I like that.

#2 put a number to your goal. If we’re talking about money, how much do we want to earn this year. How many sales will it take to meet that goal. Then how many people do we need to talk to every day? Put it in writing. And if you want to make more, either talk to more people or improve your technique, so that it doesn’t take you 20 meetings to achieve one sale. Makes sense.

#3 the Pareto Principle. 20% of customers lead to 80% of revenue. Since 20% of things we do make 80% of the difference, then we need to know what those 20% of things are and we need to do them really well!

I'm constantly debating the question: who are my customers? Are they our members…or the companies and organizations that we need to serve so that they will advertise on the site? Well, in my mind, the members are my customers…and I have to hope that by serving them well, ultimately, I will serve the organizations that want to reach them. If that is the case, then the things that we need to do very well are: ensure that members feel valued, provide them with information, and enable them to connect with each other.

Back to David.

#4 the value that you provide to customers has to be higher than what it costs them to get it.

#5 “Go for No”. It's a concept that reminds me a bit of the glass that's half full. The idea is to figure out how many nos there are for every yes. Then every time you get a no answer, you feel good because you’re that much closer to getting a yes. Nice.

#6 Or turn a “no” into “know”. By educating a prospective customer (or in our case, member), we can overcome her objections, and turn the no into a yes!

#7 Another way to get to yes is to turn the tables, and ask the questions. (This reiterates what I learned in last week’s self-defense class). The one asking the questions is the one who is in control. Find out what the prospective client (member) is doing now, what they enjoy about it, what they would alter, whether they’re the decision-maker (make sure the person that you’re meeting is a decision-maker, in other words, don’t take NO from someone who can’t say YES), and what solution would address the question of what they would alter. Think the acronym NEADS.

#8 & #9 two more quickies… People are more likely to make a decision that takes away pain, than one that gets pleasure. And help those that want it, not just those who need it.

In closing, I emphasize what David said in opening. If something is easy to do, just do it!

These are not new ideas, but they're all great reminders... and motivators.

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