Review of AIM's Gold Coast Open House – Top marks!
When a business mentor put me onto the fact that AIM (Australian Institute of Management) was hosting an “open-house” on the Gold Coast I was quick to register. After all, the last event I attended was very enjoyable & useful.
I attended for the best part of a day but missed 2.5 sessions due to other commitments. Without stealing all AIM’s thunder I wanted to share with you what I ‘took home’ from the 3 sessions I found most relevant.
“WHY PEOPLE BUY” by Catherine Day (Executive Coach and mentor)
For the record, this presentation was actually called ‘Business Development and Effective Networking for Professionals‘ but when I wrote this blog post I realised what I had learnt from Cath was “why people buy”.
Cath shared several of her corporate experiences with us to help highlight why people choose to buy. Quite simply there are two reasons:
1. To increase pleasure
2. To reduce pain
And further to that you need to allow someone to fix, accomplish or avoid something in order to win their business.
Cath explained that trust is ultimately why someone makes their purchase decision and that trust is made up of 3 equally important components:
1. Capability (how competent someone is)
2. Reliability (how confident you are that they’ll do what they promise)
3. Sincerity, Character, Integrity (aka gut feeling and often how much you like them)
One quote of Cath’s which I really liked was that people buy from you (& vice versa) when you “mirror values, and complement skills.”
“IMPRESSION MANANGEMENT & BRAND YOU” by Carolyn Barker (CEO – AIM)
She made the important point that the world can be cruel and yes, people will judge you by how you look, what you say and what you do. So it’s worth taking the time to consider how to manage that and make the most of what you’ve got! Her presentation addressed many things including how to develop “brand YOU”.
Her definition for a personal branding statement was (something like):
An authentic description of who you are and a description of the skills you’ve developed along the way that people understand is unique and it says what you bring to the industry.
The real key is BE AUTHENTIC. Part of this is actually “figuring yourself out” which can be half the challenge! As an example Carolyn shared her personal story of how she achieved this for herself.
Carolyn addressed the painful term “networking” & broke it down to a less cringe-inducing definition of:
Connecting with someone without the need for personal gain
We all had a go at coming up with a 30 second personal branding statement that followed a who, what, where framework & I shared mine with the audience:
Hi I’m Adam Franklin. I co-own and run a digital agency in Brisbane and I love seeing people making the most of the Internet. However my real passion is business and the BHAG, or the big hairy audacious goal for my company – Bluewire Media – is to be the Google of web design.
Carolyn was kind enough to say encouraging things but she suggested that if I was in a networking situation, I should finish with a leading question to allow the other person to talk.
It was exciting when Carolyn’s presentation turned to social media‘s role in personal branding. She suggested buying your own domain name (in .com and .com.au) & also setting up a website or blog on that domain, so that:
1. you can begin to position yourself as an expert in whatever it is you do
2. you show up when someone googles you!
Carolyn shared many more great tips & I really enjoyed her engaging presenting style.
“EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE” by Vivienne Anthon (GM – AIM, QLD & NT)
In a past life Vivienne was a lawyer so she jokingly refers to the fact that she’s witnessed the very worst in customer service…! This also means she is in a position to suggest to people how to do it better.
An important distinction Vivienne made early on was that the term “customer service” applies both internally (to staff) and externally (to clients). Vivienne broke her presentation down into four parts.
Part 1: Consistency
‘Beware the rare’ is a notion Vivienne has said she’s based on Scott Ginsberg’s idea that consistency is much better than rare moments of brilliance. It is crucial to pass the baton in terms of communication so that customers experience this consistency.
Part 2: Phrases
We did a group activity based on picking out our favourite customer service phrases from Ginsberg’s “Phrases That Payses” which highlighted how arming front-line staff with useful phrases can defuse situations and allow for some memorable customer service.
Part 3: Normal
Nobody notices normal and it’s better if people hear about you rather than from you.
Part 4: Connected
Remember you never know who is connected to who so treat information elegantly. Gossip is bad but chatter is good!
Vivienne delivered a very cheeky, funny & entertaining workshop which I thoroughly enjoyed.
In conclusion, I hope haven’t given too many of their secrets away. Instead, I hope what I’ve done is share enough to prompt you to go along to an AIM Open House as it is worth the day you’ll spend away from your desk. In fact all three presenters I’ve reviewed here exceeded my expectations and I recommend you see them if they run another open house!
Before you ask, the open house was free and they provided lunch! To find out more visit, www.AIMQLD.com.au or call 1300 882 895.