September started in fine form with enthusiastic and hungry guests enjoying the superb breakfast at the Hallmark Hotel, Bournemouth and developing new conversations with fellow table members. Despite a number of TBN members being unable to attend due to it being the end of the summer holidays, we had a fantastic attendance and there was a great buzz from the moment people started arriving.
Our first speaker was Aaron Whiffin from Webbed Feet UK Ltd who are a web agency based in Salisbury, and covering Bournemouth, Poole and the surrounding areas. Aaron challenged the room by asking key questions to get us to think about how our businesses are being perceived by potential clients and how we need to value our services and expect to be paid for them.
What do we all have in common? Becky Craig from Blu Lake worked it out to be ‘Living’ and ‘Dying’. Becky’s message is that it is never too late to achieve what we want. We spent 30 seconds per table writing down what retirement means to us – the general consensus was that it meant more opportunities, freedom to choose, more time with family etc. Becky’s aim with Blu Lake services is to encourage us all to think differently about retirement or ‘Bold Age’ and what we want from it.
Frank Marsh put the ‘positive’ into Positive Business Services when he asked ‘What is 60 seconds in your life worth to you?’ He stated that 85% of sales people still can’t describe themselves, their services or why people should buy more from them in 60 seconds at a networking or business meeting. Frank says he has a magic wand and fairy dust to help us understand what makes us special in our client’s eyes – he’s running a workshop in September to address how we can best promote ourselves in a short space of time. Are you in the 85% or 15%?
Finally, I took advantage of my own 2 minutes to remind the members that even if they are unable to attend a meeting, it is a great opportunity to offer a client or other contact the chance to visit experience TBN and represent their own business in our place. Your monthly meeting fee is a commitment and I would rather the seat was filled by another business owner than left empty until the next month there are after all only 12 months in the year.
Of course, thanks to our excellent MC, Jay Rachet, the meeting ended bang on the dot but it was great to see many guests staying on, chatting, following up on business card swapping and arranging further meetings. The essence of good networking!