Monday, April 10, 2017

Choose People

After more than ten years of social media and mobile, are we really better connected?  Some are confident we have transformed our society for the better, while others do not believe they have any more tangible relationships. Life is a long climb, and it is better when we along our path with others.

A decade ago, when all the online tools appeared, people predicted the end of live meetings.  In 2017 there are more face-to-face events than ever before.  People are hungry to connect with others, and I believe that many of the tools we use are not really allowing us to have deeper friendships. And it is not just formal conferences and events that are booming: Every corner has a Starbucks and those are filled with people meeting in person.  People need to convene. 

Because of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc... we know more people on the surface, but few are saying they have deeper personal connections and better business relationships. I think has become harder to get noticed in the sea of noise, and buyers are often more confused than ever when it comes to finding the right providers of products or services.

The noise will not go away, so people who want more connectivity in their lives and careers must take strategic action when it comes to cultivating long-term and mutually beneficial relationships. If you want to connect better with people, you have to make it a priority.  There are no shortcuts.

I am having more fun than at anytime in my career. I have been teaching networking skills for years, and suddenly people are hungry for more on this topic. The millennials in my audiences are the most energetic about the message of "Choosing People". In conjunction with my new material on "The Paradox of Potential", there is unprecedented interest on how to do more in a career and why there is power in making meaningful connections.  

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Friday, April 07, 2017

Global Meetings Industry Day

Yesterday (April 6, 2017) was Global Meetings Industry Day and I had the pleasure of attending a large celebration in Austin, TX.

Thirteen different meetings industry organizations hosted this informative and fun gathering. (Sadly the National Speakers Association Austin Chapter was not among the organizing sponsors - and in the future we need to make sure NSA participates!).

Many friends and clients were present, and the food was amazing.  Plus the open bar started at 3:00 PM ("day drinking" is very Austin).  Similar events took place in major cities around the country promoting how meetings mean business.

The two panel discussions were very informative.  The first one covered the economic impact of meetings on the Austin economy and the Texas economy while the second dove into issues around security.

Many probably do not realize that the meeting industry is the 3rd largest industry in the region in regards to the economic impact.  It has a $7 billion impact and over 120,000 people are employed directly and indirectly because of meetings and hospitality. With over 1900 associations based in Texas, these groups employ 21,000 people. Since a major component of the association business being meetings, they are directly contribute $1.2 billion to the state's economy. 

In the dangerous world we live in there are many places that terrorists can attack.  Large meeting venues are having to address the same issues that other public arenas are facing in regards to protecting the crowds that convene.  The conversation was a bit frightening, but also eye opening to the realities of the times we live in.  As a speaker I took notes on the topic, as everyone who is part of the meeting industry must be educated on how to handle incidents that could happen without warning.

I am proud to be part of the meetings industry.  Speakers are often absent from industry meetings like this, and yesterday was no different.  I looked around and did not see any of my other local professional speaker friends in the audience.  It is a shame that speakers do not see themselves as connected to the industry in the same manner as hoteliers, caterers, transportation companies, etc...  Speakers are meeting professionals.  I recently wrote and article for MPI's Meeting Professional Magazine called "More Than A Speaker", that covered how planners should be hiring engaged partners that do more than deliver a keynote.  

(Read the article here:

Happy Global Meetings Day to all the Event and Meeting Professionals.  We are lucky to work in a cool business that has a real impact on people. 

Have A Great Day

thom singer 

Monday, April 03, 2017

The ABCs of Sales - T is for Trust

The old saying goes "people do business with those they know, like and trust".  While some may accuse these words of being an overused corporate cliche, they remains relevant.  Getting to know someone used to be a process, and liking them and trust followed (or didn't) after a series of shared experiences.  However, our online connected world has mistakenly brought everyone to getting to "know" each other through search, likes, links, and follows.  As knowing about others has now become easy, arriving at like and trust have become more difficult.

Every action you take contributes to your personal brand, and if you are viewed as someone with impeccable integrity who can be trusted, then more opportunities will come your way over the long run.  Clients and prospects will want to work with you and will happily refer you to others.

According to David Horsager, the world's leading expert on "trust" and the author of The Trust Edge, people pay more, come back, and tell others when there is trust. The trusted leader is followed and from the trusted salesperson, people buy.  Meanwhile, a lack of trust can be your biggest expense.

Companies spend a lot of time teaching sales professionals how to create elevator pitches, cold-call, handle objections, network, and close - yet there is little time invested in the conversation about how to be trustworthy.  A reputation of trust for the individual and the company can take years to create, but a single wrong action can undermine the foundation.

Tactics to manipulate a prospect or push them to buy a product or service that is not the right fit for them will make you and your company money in the short run, but over the long haul of a career will hurt your success.  To build trust you must always be honest, even if you will not win the sale.  Those who are known to be a trusted advisor will win more business in the long run. Character counts if you want to have a long-term career in sales.

Twenty-five years ago those who were not trustworthy could hide their reputation, but in the day of the internet and peer reviews there are too many ways for people to uncover how you have treated others. Trust is key to your success in sales and there are no shortcuts.  You have to have a win/win attitude and never deviate.

Are you making trust a key part of who you are and how you serve your clients, prospects, and others?  If not, you are leaving money on the table, as when the client trusts your competitor more than they trust you, they will get the contract every time. 

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

*Thom Singer is a keynote speaker and professional master of ceremonies.  He talks regularly to corporate audiences in competitive industries that are sales focused and whose people are seeking greater success.