Startup Edmonton Lunch and Learn—Jan 9, 2013

(oops, don’t want to read my blog? Return to Aspen Gainer Communications.)

Startup Edmonton hosted another session today as part of their Lunch and Learn series directed to entrepreneurs and startup businesses.

Today’s talk was called The Power of Relationships and the speakers were Doug McLean and Marc Carnes of Edmonton’s Incite Marketing. They talked about the power of relationships in business and the importance of building and maintaining them with as much attention and value as you do your personal relationships.

Doug and Marc presented their ideas in a direct and straightforward manner and spoke with an ease that made me jealous.

Here are some highlights in case you missed the lecture (and you did, because I didn’t see anyone I knew there!).

Paraphrased highlights from Doug:

  • find mutual benefit in your business relationships—what can you do for them first?
  • 92% of people buy products or services based on personal referrals from someone they know; about 70% make decisions based on posted online consumer opinions
  • find the centres of influence for your target market and get involved in these groups somehow
  • position yourself as a leader/trusted adviser by offering free, accurate information about your targets’ interests
  • become a trustworthy businessperson by being good at these six habits:
  1. be on time;
  2. keep your word (say it, then do it!);
  3. finish what you start;
  4. give more than you take (even small things like thanks or info);
  5. say thank you to customers, colleagues and other relationships;
  6. stay organized because it shows that you care about others.

Paraphrased highlights from Marc:

  • take a professional fundraiser out for coffee because they do their job by creating and maintaining excellent relationships
  • test your product/service and ask for feedback
  • if you want to host networking events, create small focused groups that have a specific goal for each meeting
  • network!
    • with relevant people
    • with decision makers
    • in small collaborative groups and in your target’s centre of influence
  • keep social media focused and relevant

Recommended reading list:

  • anything by Seth Godin
  • Good to Great, Jim Collins
  • Small Giants, Bo Burlingham
  • Tipping Point, Malcom Gladwell (I love this book!!)
  • Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey
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