FABA Blog June 2016
by Jim Stramler, extraordinarywriter.com
Join FABA – Build relationships – Grow your business
If you hang with this to the end, you might find some useful information…
FABA meetings are a great chance for you to do some relationship building, networking, and marketing. We’re all working together to make Fletcher and the area grow and prosper.
The FABA Coffee Club meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 8 – 9 AM at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, 235 Saint John Road, Fletcher. Besides the usual 1-minute self-introduction speech, at each meeting, a representative from one business has the opportunity to present a larger summary or spotlight of what that company does.
June 7th – Shawna Gibbs of US Cellular
June 21st – Mike Wiemers of Dickey’s BBQ – on his home turf
Focus After 5 is a terrific networking/social opportunity after work. It typically meets the second Thursday of each month from 5:30 – 7 PM. The Focus After 5 location varies, and is typically established months in advance.
This month it will be June 9th at the Fletcher YMCA on Hendersonville Rd. in Fletcher.
If you would like to sponsor this activity, see Teona or Glen. Their contact information is on the Contact Us page here on the FABA website.
Saturday, June 11th – Fletcher’s Parks & Recreation Department will be hosting its first summer concert in Fletcher Community Park. The Super 60’s Band will play from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. United Federal Credit Union is sponsoring this event.
I’m putting out an RFI. For those who don’t know, that’s a Request For Information. I’m looking for testimonials. If FABA has been a major part of or crucial to your business success, let me know. http://extraordinarywriter.com
Hopefully Helpful Hint:
Jim Stramler, ExtraordinaryWriter.com
FABA Board Member and Henderson County Chamber South Leads Group Chair Michelle Tracz suggested that some business people have a problem putting together speeches at their meetings. Per her suggestion, I’ve written this blog post.
At the various meetings you may attend in the area – such as the FABA Coffee Club, the Henderson County Chamber Leads groups, the Asheville Area Chamber Professional Networking Groups, or others – you are expected to give some type of presentation about your business.
Several types of these presentations exist, each with a specific intent. They may be called:
– a Center of Attention/Focus/Spotlight
– an Elevator pitch
– a Self-introduction/Icebreaker
Each of these is basically a different type of speech.
Many people don’t feel comfortable giving a speech. They feel it’s another stressor they don’t need.
But it’s part of the game you have to play as a business owner or manager trying to network, develop relationships, and market yourself or your company.
Think of these speeches as opportunities – not as something to be feared – to tell people how great you are or your business is.
Here, I’ll concentrate on the one-minute (60-second) self-introduction, common to most of the meetings here in Western North Carolina and elsewhere. I may cover something on the other types in later blogs.
Essentially this self-introduction speech is to inform the audience about you and your business. How else would you expect to let someone know what you do – or what your company does?
But it’s also a sales pitch.
I’ll present some guidelines or suggestions here to hopefully help you present the best image you can in these speeches. Maybe reading this and thinking about your business will help you put something together.
Take the following sequence of steps as an initial suggestion.
1) give a greeting to the group (a simple “Hi” will do)
2) state your name (“I’m …”)
3) state your business name and your position/relationship with the business
3) state what you or your business do
4) do one (and only one) of these – briefly:
(And when I say briefly, I mean briefly. Some people think a minute is a long time when you’re standing up in front of a group, but it’s not. You only have a minute. People will be turned off if you ramble on and on – like happened at a recent Chamber breakfast.)
A – tell an interesting story – what you have done or something that has happened related to your business,
B – give a testimonial – from one of your customers who provided a glowing report due to the product or service you provided
C – tell what differentiates you from others in the same type of business
D – quote someone on a topic you can relate to your business
E – ask a leading/interesting question. This may throw a little variety and arouse more interest or curiosity to make you more memorable.
– try to make it related to your business
– have the answer backed up by a link or other reference.
5) spout a slogan/tag line/other – something for people to easily remember you by
6) state your name and company name again
7) ask if you can help anyone – and for them to meet with you after the meeting
8) if time permits and if acceptable at that meeting, offer to pass your business cards
That’s a lot of things to cover in one minute. Like I said, it’s not a lot of time.
Now that you have a sequence and the material, you need to practice – both for timing and to get your rhythm down – before you present to the group.
Some final thoughts here.
1 – Humor can be a great attention grabber and memory maker, but you have to be careful. Not everyone’s humor is the same.
2 – Don’t be negative. Keep your speech positive.
3 – Each business can be different, and sometimes variations of the above might be advisable.
4 – Take a deep breath before beginning to speak. It’ll help you relax.
I can’t provide a list of approaches for every business, but some thoughts for different types of businesses to make you stand out:
– HVAC – better materials, more experience, more efficient units, longer guarantee – and why …
– financial – charge lower rates to manage funds, provide better return, more personal service
– food – better quality, more organic/natural, unique types
– insurance – more/better coverage for same or less, more personal service
– computer supplies and/or services – lower prices, more personal service
Remember, you know your company and maybe your competition better than anyone else in the room.
Now GO FOR IT.
You’ll form and maintain relationships with a great group of people who can help you.
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