The LA-OC chapter of MCAI was held in the main studio at our semi-permanent home, WILD WEST MEDIA in Irvine. Visitors had a chance to tour the facility before the meeting, courtesy of BERNARD SAMRA. If you're not familiar with it visit them at www.wildwestmedia.com
After informally networking over chicken and some side fixins', President DENNIS BACKER called the meeting to order. He introduced members of the board then had everyone present introduce themselves. It was a very diverse group with many visitors—some for the first time! We love newcomers and hope they will become regulars.
LARRY GOLDSMITH announced that the AUDIO-VIDEO SWAP MEET scheduled for the 21st was being cancelled at the last minute. It is going to be rescheduled for sometime in 2005. Vice President JOHN COLEMAN reminded us of the MCAI Holiday party on December 14 and to make reservations ASAP. He also mentioned our participation in the 4th ANNUAL OC INTER-ORGANIZATION HOLIDAY BASH on December 16. It's an important networking event that raises money for various OC CHARITIES. This year it's being held at the GALAXY THEATER in Santa Ana. Prior to introducing the guest speaker he also teased guests and topics of future meetings.
Guest speaker, MARIA PISCOPO, is an author and lecturer as well as sought-after business and creative services consultant. Her presentation, SALES STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS, was filled with practical, how-to advice for creative people. She explained that FOCUSING AND POSITIONING yourself are part of the key to selling yourself or your service. Counter to most creative people's instincts, (we don't like to be pigeonholed) Maria suggested that clients are easier to sell if you focus your image for them. They are looking for a specialist to solve their problem not a jack-of-all-trades. Position yourself by selling not what you have been doing but what you want to do in the next 18 months.
The body of Maria's talk covered 4 can't-miss steps to making the sale — including specific scripts and language for each situation. She has redefined the goal of each step so you can be guaranteed of success and thus feel confident to move to the next step, eventually making the sale. For instance, she suggests that the goal of Step 2 The Approach, traditionally, is to get an appointment. That's a win or lose situation according to Ms. Piscopo. Instead, she has a multi-goal approach. If you don't get a meeting (which as we all know happens quite a bit) at least get information—such as who else to call or when to call again. This important information leaves the door open and turns a potential NO into a simple NOT NOW. In doing so, you've accomplished a successful step 2! It eliminates rejection and forces you to followup, which is an important key to an eventual sale! Another tip is to never use "can I; could you; would you" or other such phrases, but the more powerful, "who does; what is; when is," etc.
Of course, there was lots more. It's available in Maria Piscopo's books and tapes which you can find on her website www.mpiscopo.com
Dennis Backer had Maria draw business card to raffle off DOOR PRIZES including four of her tapes, a copy of her book as well as other prizes submitted by TRAVIS www.announcing.biz and
BONNIE SCHACHTER www.pocketreferencejournals.com
The evening ended as usual with more networking and everyone pitching in to clean up.
A BIG THANKS TO JOHN COLEMAN FOR WRITING THIS MEETING RECAP!