Because Small Business is Big Business

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Member Spotlight: Mid-America Expositions, Inc.

Midamlog1964-80Mid-America Expositions, Inc. was launched by the overwhelming success of the Company’s first event, Queen For A Day, which drew over 50,000 women to the Omaha Civic Auditorium in November of 1964. The Event produced by the late Bob Mancuso, Sr., was the beginning of a number of excellent events.

Whether producing a trade show where buyers and sellers in an industry can get together or promoting a special event that offers an opportunity for people to spectate or participate, Mid-America Expositions, Inc. is dedicated to the highest quality of shows and has been bringing business and people together for over 50 years !


Cubicle Etiquette, Prairie Dogging and the Malodourous Lunch!

golf cubeAre the “cube mates” driving you, or someone you know, crazy?? If so, then share this serious (although somewhat humorous when you stop to think about it) advice for not tearing your hair out by the end of the day.

Because those in cubes are so visible, there is a subconscious assumption that the person is always available. Following are some guidelines for our workday life in the cubicle world:

Give Cube Mates a sense of control over their own space Knock on cube walls before speaking, even if they are only the symbolic foam partitions.  Ask permission to enter.  Avoid hovering if they’re on the phone.  “Don, we’re in close quarters, but would you mind giving me privacy when I’m on the phone? Thanks.”

Respect time and space, a.k.a. NO loitering:  Avoid conversation free-floating among people who are trying to make phone calls, read or write important documents and concentrate on their work.  Distractions can cause tremendous frustration to those who need quiet while working.  “Mary, I’m working on something right now that demands my full concentration. Thanks.”

Odors know no boundaries.  What smells good to you can turn someone else’s stomach. If you eat at your desk, take the empty containers to the trash immediately. Other annoyances that can bring on grievances are: shoes (keep them ON, please);  strong perfume (sneeze, wheeze…my sinuses just went shut); or other things that are pleasing to us but not so tolerable for the cube mates.

Be more aware of what you say and how loud you are.  Personal tiffs, weird bodily functions, clipping or tapping nails, gum popping, the radio, and particularly loud phone conversations carry over cubicle walls with a much greater noise level than we think.  Assume everyone within a four-cube radius can hear you so always avoid shouting over walls for any reason.  Take sensitive matters to a closed-door room.  Also, vibrating cell phones on your desk can jump around and be very disturbing (that includes when in meetings and during meals as well). Can you alternate lunch hours with those around you to have some quiet time?

 Avoid “Prairie Dogging”.  Heads popping up over cube walls is greatly frowned upon by those who need the privacy and respect of working in their own space uninterrupted.  “Bob, I know it’s easiest for you to talk over the wall, but would you do me a favor and come around? Thanks”

Home Sweet Home (uh, Cube):  Tastefully “framed” photos, nice plants, and meaningful knickknacks can show class. This does not include the traveling trophy I saw with only the back half of the horse on the stand (use your imagination…smile).  Everything gives an impression to others. What are your thoughts?

Stay tuned for upcoming posts!  By Rita Rocker, Transformation Academy, LLC,


Phone Call Savvy for Everyone Who Uses a Phone!

An important part of building good business relationships is to give the impression of being a confident professional that clients and co-workers will be eager to have on their team. The way you speak over the telephone coveys approximately 85% of your  message. Build a reputation as a highly professional business. Present the best possible company image by keeping staff informed on proper phone coverage .  Below is a sample script you can follow:

Please advise Jake that I must speak with him before Thursday regarding his estimate on the costs associated with getting the Diamond Widget account set up.  What is his schedule like between now and Thursday?

(The assistant informs you that he is only available between 10:45 and 12:00 noon today and is then out of town until Thursday morning.)

Let him know that I’m available at 10:50 and I’ll write him in my calendar.  If I’m away from my office when he calls, please tell him to have me paged because it’s critical that we speak before he leaves on his business trip.

You then inform your office that you’re expecting an important call from Jake and that if he calls, you need to be paged.  You absolutely must talk with him. To convey the utmost in professionalism, follow the tips below:

  • Always say, “May I tell him/her who is calling?” rather than “Who’s calling?”
  • If you need to transfer someone, be sure to say, “I will connect you to Mary Jones, who will be able to help you”. Avoid saying “transfer” which makes people feel like they’re getting the runaround.
  • Always ask permission to put someone on hold.
  • Repeat names, phone numbers and pertinent information slowly and clearly.
  • Important! Watch your opening statements and tone of voice as you immediately set the tone and where the conversation will go.
  • Visualize the person to remind you that you are engaged in a two-way conversation and that this person is your #1 priority.
  • Check your body language and facial expression.  Energy, frustration or any other mindset will be transferred.  Emotions are often irrational while you are focused on a rational solution.
  • Inform the individual as to when you will have an answer or be getting back to them.  Always keep your word to call back at that time, even if you need to let them know that you’re still working on a solution and when you will call back again.

Why Small Business is Big Business

“Great” thought leaders are always willing to help out the next high growth business. But is that the right direction? According to Kelly Edmiston, a senior economist in Community Affairs at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, economic development experts are abandoning traditional approaches to economic development that rely on recruiting large enterprises with tax breaks, financial incentives, and other inducements. Instead, they are relying on building businesses from the ground up and supporting the growth of existing enterprises.

Here are some amazing facts about small businesses.

  • A small business is generally described as an independent company having fewer than 500 employees. (Small Business Administration). For the small business definition by industry used in government programs and contracting, see‐business‐size‐standards. There are an estimated 27 million small businesses in the United States. (Census Bureau)
  • America’s small businesses are the engines of job creation. Small businesses employ about half of all private sector employees and create more than half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product. (Small Business Administration)
  • Generally, 60 to 80 percent of all new jobs come from small businesses. This number fluctuates year‐ by‐year when some small companies grow enough to become classified as large firms, and when new businesses are created. For example, from 1999 to 2000, small businesses accounted for 75 percent of all new jobs created. Small businesses have generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years. (Small Business Administration)
  • The so‐called “gazelle” firms (ages three to five years) comprise less than one percent of all companies, yet generate roughly 10 percent of new jobs in any given year. The “average” firm in the top one percent of all companies contributes 88 jobs per year, and most end up with between 20 and 249 employees. (Kauffman Foundation)
  • Small businesses are innovators. They produce 16.5 times more patents per employee than large firms. (Small Business Administration)
  • From 1992 through 2010, small businesses outperformed large firms in net job creation 75% of the time, according to the latest the SBA Office of Advocacy’s Small Business Economy 2011 report (released March 21, 2012).
  • The U.S. ranks 13th in ease of starting a business in the world according to a World Bank report. In 2007, the U.S. ranked 3rd.
  • Total revenues from non-employers hit $989.6 billion in 2011 Census Bureau, up 4.1% from the year before

7 Traits of Successful Salespeople

I am surrounded by successful salespeople everyday. Because of this, I got to thinking about what makes someone thrive professionally and came up with a list of traits. I decided to share them with you in this Wednesday Sales Blog!

Passion: It’s what gets you up in the morning, makes you work an hour later than planned, or pursue that business deal you know will be hard to land. Passion drives your work, makes it enjoyable, and worthwhile. 

Persistence: We’ve all heard the saying, “If first you don’t succeed, try try again.” Well, we couldn’t agree more! In an increasingly competitive world, it is persistence; the ability to keep going even when it’s difficult, that will make you a successful salesperson.

Honesty: It’s the base of all relationships. Honesty is incredibly important in building a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship with your clients. It takes years to build a strong relationship, yet it can be shattered in a matter of minutes. Honesty is vital and without it, relationship’s crumble. 

Optimism: Defined as hopefulness and confidence about the future, it is clear that successful salespeople possess this trait. There will be times in your career when things go awry. However, with an optimistic outlook and the ability to see past the hard times, you will be that much closer to achieving your dream and being successful.

Approachability: You want your clients, co-workers and anyone you come in contact with to feel comfortable reaching out to you. Being approachable will please current clients and attract new ones. Simply put, it opens endless opportunities. 

Discipline: The most successful salespeople exert discipline everyday. It fosters responsibility, a rigorous work ethic, and results. As American entrepreneur Jim Rohn said, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” 

Adaptability: The ability to adjust to changing circumstances is critical in this day and age. We live in a world that is constantly transforming. Being able to calmly respond to unexpected events will put you on the fast track to being a successful salesperson.

So there you have it! Seven traits of highly successful salespeople. By identifying the strengths you already possess, and practicing the traits you haven’t mastered, you will be even more successful in your professional life. This in turn will improve your sales process and grow your business! In addition, check out this video by Richard St. John, who spent ten years researching traits that make people successful.