Being Bruce -: September 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wilmington Tweetup 9/30/09 at WineStyles at The Forum

Wilmington Tweetups just keep getting better. This month's event was held at Richard Miller's WineStyles shop at The Forum in Wilmington.

The comfortable space at WineStyles was a nice venue for this networking event.

Sarah Barbee of Fussbudget Promotions (Sarah organizes the Wilmington Tweetups) and Dawn Bugni, a Certified Professional Resume Writer. Richard Miller is the guy in the white shirt in the background serving wine.

Richard serving and Wilmington Star-News ace Social Media and Breaking News reporter Shannan Bowen (in the middle with the wine glass and the smile) enjoying.

Brooke Foreman of Right Left Studios.

Local artist Niki Hildebrand.

Brooke, Niki, and Lisa Ashby who does marketing for Century 21 Sweyer AND has her own super blog at .

Rebecca Power of Coastal Mail Solutions in Wilmington.

Business and social media writer for hire Katie Elzer-Peters of The Garden of Words.

Nick Kentrolis, President and Exercise Specialist of Crest Fitness of Hampstead and Wrightsville Beach.
The ever-effervescent Jackie Willse of the Wilmington Young Professionals Group (which meets tonight at Bluewater Grill 5-9PM) and Port City Candles.

Sarah and Jackie.

Sarah and Jackie again - two of Wilmington's promotional powerhouses.

Dawn Bugni putting Richard's wines to the test.

Kimberly Ott Brumsey showed up, as always, with a big smile. Kimberly's company is Kimberly Brumsey Organic Skin Care, Waxing and Nutrition.

Jackie, Shannan, and Kimberly.

A big smile from Dawn.

Becca Jones, Special Education Coordinator of Penderlea School and Jennifer Caslin, Development Manager of the Wilmington branch of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

Niki once more.

And a last Kimberly smile.

Next month's Wilmington Tweetup will be on October 21st at Corporate Skirts,1125-J Military Cutoff Rd from 5:30-7:30 PM.

Strictly Business at Midtown Seafood - September 30, 2009

Once again The Big Talker FM held a Strictly Business event at Midtown Seafood on Oleander Drive in Wilmington, NC. This weekly Wilmington area business networking event rotates between several locations, with focus on a specific local charitable cause or area good works organization. This week's organization is Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter.

The event was held in the open lounge at Midtown Seafood.

As usual there were plentiful (free) appetizers.

In case you're looking for it, this sign can be seen from a distance on busy Oleander Drive.

And here's the front of the building.

Barbara Gray (PrePaid Legal) and Erik Gray (United First Financial).

James Arnold, owner of South-Eastern Commercial Services and Elaine Huston of PrePaid Legal.

Reed Wallace, Executive Director of the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra with Amy Besterfeldt and Michael Snyder of Sea-Comm Media.

Donna May of PartyLite Candles and Kimberly Paul, VP of Communications and Outreach for the Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter.

Joe Somersett, who has a Property Maintenance company in Wilmington and Fred Kumpel of Strickland's Window Coverings.

Mark Johnson of Buff Masters Car Wash & Detail Center.

Nick Balding of Balding Brothers .

Steve West of N2 Publishing comes every week to these events and attests to their value for his neighborhood newsletters and magazines.

Sea-Comm photographer Paige Freeman.

Okay, so here's what Paige looks like without the camera.

Crowd shot.

Consumate gentleman Scott Cromartie, Area Director for BNI and loan officer with Stevens Mortgage Consulting.

On the way out I said hello to Mark Evans of Green Cleaning Technicians.

Next week's Strictly Business is at CARRABA’S ITALIAN GRILLE October 7th on Van Campen & Market. See you there Wednesday, from 5-7PM.

Relationship Marketing Tip #31– Abundance in Relationships

This tip or strategy is actually more a philosophy or strategic attitude about business relationships. The message is one of abundance. Share your contacts, be free with suggesting and assisting new relationships, and make a focused effort to introduce your contacts to others.

Don't adopt the attitude or behavior that suggests you want to keep your contacts (clients, customers, prospects, and friends) to yourself. If you have a protective, excluding attitude, neither you nor your business will be attractive to new people - others might very well come to see you and your company, or at least your part of it as a closed group, or at least not a welcoming group, and look elsewhere.

One of the largest networking organizations, BNI (Business Networking International) has the slogan, "Givers gain." BNI succeeds because of its structured networking organization where chapters meet weekly and there can be only one representative per industry - while on the surface that policy may seem exclusive, in reality there are many opportunities within BNI to develop relationships outside the group and the welcoming, open atmosphere and attitude of most chapters demonstrates the members' practice of the organization's credo.

I'm not suggesting you refer all your clients to direct competitors and give away your business, but I do firmly believe that as you are open to make, develop, and share relationships with an ever-expanding circle of contacts, it benefits everyone, most especially you!

Relationship Marketing Tip #30 – Play Together

Here's a classic relationship marketing tip that still works - and for many is their main method of doing business. Seek and play with your significant business contacts.

"Working" on the golf course or tennis courts as a means of solidifying and building relationships isn't a new idea and of course not for everyone, but just because this behavior has been around for a long time doesn't mean it no longer works. Golf and tennis continue to draw 100's of thousands of business people on regular schedules who have fun, get exercise, and do business.

Golf and tennis aren't the only outlets, of course. Adult soccer, rugby, and lacrosse leagues, certainly bowling leagues, running, biking, and swimming clubs, the list goes on and on of active sports activities where adults congregate and do business.

Often there are other events and opportunities before, after, or associated with group athletic pursuits that may involve other activies together or even include other family members.

It is also easy to lose sight of the marketing purpose that might have initially justified the play, however, so watch out for signs that you're actually avoiding work in the name of "marketing". For example, if you play golf with the same three other guys every week, that activity is hardly expanding your customer base. Also, while drinking and gambling are often a side element associated with some sporting pursuits (golf is especially associated with betting), if involvement in any sport is really an excuse to get plastered or if gambling gets out of hand, the effect on your business as well as your life can be the opposite of the original intention (at least the original "stated" intention).

Shared physical pursuits, whether in service projects, charity walks, or active sports participation are a powerful way to contribute to the community and enjoy life while simultaneously building business relationships.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Relationship Marketing Tip #29– Is Your Posse Trainable?

Pass on info about good training events to your friends and contacts. Everyone in business needs training on a regular basis to keep up with trends, to learn new concepts and even for refresher in the basics. But there's a hitch -- many people don't get the training that can help them in their business for a whole raft of reasons: not enough time; didn't know about it; hard to know what's good; don't want to go alone; and so on.

So you be the one who knows about the best training in the area, perhaps for your specific field, but definitely for general business topics (that way you can share the info with more contacts). Have a mechanism, maybe a list on your blog or newsletter, or maybe just jot down good upcoming training events on a 3x5 card and carry it with you.

Even more powerful for you than just telling people about good training, go together. If the experience is a good one, and the stronger the better, a shared positive experience promotes powerful bonding.

Training classes or seminars are also good places to meet new people and broaden your personal sphere, which holds true for the people you attend with as well. Therefore, if you and a few friends do attend training together, balance your attention and time on the people you went with and with the opportunity to meet new people and add new relationships. Make this a conscious effort and be transparent about it, make sure you inform the people you go with and also encourage them, too, to make the most of the training opportunity to meet others.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Our Trip to Salt Lake City to the SendOutCards Convention

This past weekend Marge and I went to Salt Lake City to the SendOutCards convention. The temperature was a lot like our home in Leland, NC but the air was drier. Here's Marge outside the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Obviously, Marge and I were not the only ones at the convention.

This video captures a bit of the feel of the convention prior to the opening session.

We quickly found our friend Maran Banta.

In addition to some energetic and exciting SendOutCards news and presentations, there were three major speakers during the two day event: Stedman Graham; Les Brown; and T. Harv Eker. Their styles are exceedingly different, but their messages overlapped: you can succeed in anything you wish if you focus on finding your personal strength within. We are each of us the source of our own success or failure. The master of ceremonies was Linda Clemons (founder of Sisterpreneurship) who was a powerful speaker and great entertainer herself.

In the photo below are Linda Clemons, Stedman Graham, and SendOutCards founder Kody Bateman.

American Idol finalist Megan Joy, who's also a SendOutCards distributor, appeared at the convention on Saturday morning and sang two original songs.

Here's a still shot of Megan Joy (low light so I boosted it a bit).

One of the cool things about the SendOutCards convention is they always honor the company staff on stage.

One of the cool things about our trip was this goldfish. We stayed at the Hotel Monaco in Salt Lake City. This hotel, one of the Kimpton chain of hotels, was lots of fun. The location was fantastic, in the heart of the restaurant district, right around the corner from the convention center. It's a boutique hotel with charming eclectic decorating, free shoulder massages in the lobby at day's end, and no extra charge for dogs (we didn't bring Pepper - it would be hard to fit her under an airline seat). On request the Hotel Monaco also will deliver a goldfish for your room if you've traveled without a pet. This guy was ours for three days.

We had a great trip. Our flights were on time (thanks Delta), the convention was informative, inspiring, and fun. We even managed to stay fairly rested. We'll be back next year.