A big thank you to the Bungalow Alehouse and Uno’s Chicago Grill for hosting the Business After Hours organized by the Prince William Chamber and sponsored by Freeman & Sherburne, Inc. As I understand it Bob Oveissi came through at the last minute to sponsor the event due to some unforeseen challenges for the previous sponsor who could not make it. Way to go Bob! His give-a-way was a huge success – he had folks from the restaurants coming up to him asking for the DentUDoc package.
All and all it was a great event, great food and great networking. The set up was a little different as we spanned two restaurants. So the big news of the night was that you could not take your drinks across the patio between the establishments. Having it separated kept the crowds down on both sides and made it easier to network and move around.
The only drawback to the split I saw is it was hard to carry out the program part of the evening, but it came off well.
It had been awhile since I had been to an after-hours and I am glad I went. I ran into several friends and customers and it was good to catch up. Of course I also met a few new folks who I did not know before – which is the point right?
One such person was Jim DiModica of APT Impact and former Chairman of the PW Chamber. We had a great conversation about sales and sales training. He had some great insights and I picked up a few secrets. The biggest one is LISTEN. Which all sales people know in their head – but I would say less than 1% actually do. Most go on and on about themselves, their company and the products they sell, never really finding a specific need or problem that they can help someone solve. It was a great conversation – Thanks Jim.
It was also good to run into Robin Cyrtmus, who is now at SERVPRO. She will be a great asset to them – I always loved talking with Robin at the chamber. She was always very helpful. I wish you much success Robin on your new job.
And something cool happened as well: Jeanine Lawson, who is running for Brentsville Supervisor, was introduced to me and she remembered me from 9 years ago when I lived in Bridlewood a neighborhood in Gainesville, where she still lives. I was totally amazed.
After getting to know a little about her (She has the right vertical connection) I am in complete support for her campaign. Although I no longer live in Gainesville, I do I have an office in Gainesville, and the job the current BOS has done in taking a proactive growth strategy is, well – pitiful! I wish you much success in your bid Jeanine.
Check out her website here
A little Opinion
To wrap up, I want to give you one thing I observed while at the event and one suggestion that may help you get better at networking. Warning: I will tell it like I saw it – my good friend Jamie Gorman of Sigma College is always telling I should be a little less forward, but I just cannot help myself sometimes. I have to say, though, I do think more about it thanks to Jamie.
Most people sat and only talked with folks they knew. Humm – let’s see – we are trying to meet new people and grow business – but most of us sit around and talk to friendly faces. It reminds me of high school. If our goal is to meet no one new and pick up no possible new leads or referral sources then I guess this is good. But if your goal is to grow business – then we are missing the whole point.
Not only are we missing the point – but when we huddle tight with friends then it makes it very intimidating for the new people to try and break in.
Let’s open up – introduce people to each other and make some new connections – that is what chambers are for in the first place.
Please leave any comments or additions about the event. Share it with others. Recommend it. Let’s Engage and help each other grow.