A lively group of 350 small business owners and managers settled into the Radisson Hotel Downtown Salt Lake City on Wednesday for a day of informative keynotes and breakout sessions planned specifically to help their bottom lines.
The Utah Small Business Summit, hosted by the Utah Small Business Coalition, is in its first year, and already hundreds of people were able to come and learn ways to improve their businesses. This was also a great opportunity for small businesses to grow their network as well.
Larry Chatterton kicked off the summit with an engaging keynote on building relationships for successful business. One of the keys to building those relationships–remembering names.
“One of the strongest non-biological cravings we have as human beings is to feel important,” said Chatterton. “One way we make others feel important is by remembering their name. “
Chatterton then got the crowd chuckling and interacting while trying to learn each other’s names using what he calls the Name Memory Dance.
Trust – Trust yourself to remember
Forget – Forget yourself. Don’t clutter your brain with other things during an introduction. Focus on the other person.
Visualize – Take what someone looks like into consideration. Perhaps they have a distinguished trait that makes them unique to help you remember them.
Listen – Don’t just hear someone say their name, but listen and understand them. Make sure you hear them correctly.
Repeat – Repeat the name back to them. “Nice to meet you, John Doe.”
Associate – Put action in your mind that somehow ties to this name you’ve just learned. Get a feel for it.
And here’s a tip for you so someone can better understand and learn your name easier: when introducing yourself, pause before and after your first and last name. Enunciate and give your last name a little more punch.
For the lunch keynote, Mike Brian from Penna Powers Brian Haynes rocked the group with a presentation on branding businesses. Perhaps these definitions of branding Brian shared may make you stop and think about what your brand is doing:
- To burn a unique mark using a hot metal iron image to indicate ownership
- To cultivate an emotional relationship with an existing or potential audience
Brian then outlined a Branding Process much like the “Circle of Life”:
- Where are we and why are we there?
- Where do we want to be?
- How do we get there?
- Are we getting there?
- Should we change direction?
“The more you know, the less you guess, and guessing is expensive!” was Brian’s motto. And what you have to know is your target audience–what do they want and what does that market need. You also have to be aware of the alignment between the company and employees as well as the company and customers. A communication strategy is needed to bridge those gaps.
The First Annual Small Business Summit also offered a variety of informative breakout sessions for participants to choose from, including how to incorporate branding, social media and networking into your business plan, how to drive sales, international trade and exports, and customer service. Attendants found the different breakout offerings highly useful, and a few even admitted to taking a lot of notes.
A big thank you goes to the generous event sponsors for making this event possible, and also to everyone that attended who helped make the first Utah Small Business Summit a success.