2021 Q1 Entrepreneur Meeting

Written by:

Rhoda Shapiro

It was so great to see everyone at our first Entrepreneur Council meeting of the year.

As ALLY CEO Katie Mehnert mentioned, it’s an exciting time in the world. Although we’re obviously dealing with challenges, we have opportunities to innovate, create, and bring about major change.

The work we do matters. Our businesses -- fueled by all of our drive, passion, and love — matter. We have the ability to make a huge impact. Coming together during meetings like these will make us even stronger, even more informed, and even more ready to tackle all that lies ahead.


The Lowdown on the EC Meeting

At our 2/4 Entrepreneur Council meeting, the ALLY team introduced themselves, and we also got a chance to hear from all the members about what they do and what they hoped to get out of the meeting.

Lisbeth Taylor, from Zently Workplace, spoke of her company’s mission to bring more mindfulness to the workplace. "We can’t create change unless we can teach people to be in the present moment,” said Lisbeth.

Deanna Centurion, whose company Cyera Strategies provides operational expertise and consulting services, spoke of how she hopes to listen, learn, and share what she can with the group. She spoke of the need for everyone to reach out to one another and stay top of mind; to “be sticky.”

Fabiawari Ero, CEO of Forthserve, which provides services to energy companies in Africa, spoke of the value of working together to understand ways in which renewable energy and oil/gas can coexist.

“It’s the best time ever to be an entrepreneur. It’s a hard time because we have to be lean and innovative. But I hope this will be a resource for you."

Katie Mehnert

Selling and Prospecting in a Downturn

Wesleyne Greer presented a refreshing, no-nonsense talk on Selling and Prospecting in a Downturn. Wesleyne, who is a member of the Entrepreneur Council, is a Sales Leadership Coach and B2B Sales Strategy Expert. She mentioned that the hardest things are telling ourselves that we can sell, negotiate, and ask for money.

“The number one thing I hear all the time is sales sucks and it’s too hard,” said Wesleyne. “You have to get that out of your head."

She spoke on the necessity of doing away with those blocks that are holding us back.

The need for approval is something many of us grapple with when going to meetings with potential clients/customers. However, Wesleyne posits that our focus should not be on getting the person on the other side of the table to like us.

“…We have enough friends. We just need the money,”

Wesleyne Greer

She also stressed the importance of letting go of fear of rejection, call/meeting anxiety, perfectionism, and negative self-talk, in order to move forward and close the deal. Another common mistake that she feels we should let go of: having a big ego. Some people feel that they’re the best and that everyone will just come to them and find them, without them putting in the work.

"If you think this way, you will only tap a small microcosm of the world,” said Wesleyne. "So remove your ego and understand you have to get out there."

She also spoke about how prospecting is a numbers game, where we cast a wide net in the hopes that some people will come back to us. She encouraged everyone to think about how many deals we need to close in a given month in order to hit our sales target. Once we’ve determined that, we have to always ensure that we’re calling the right person and speaking directly to the decision maker.

Key Ways to Prospect

Some keys parts of prospecting that Wesleyne mentioned:

Networking ~ One of the best ways to prospect and grow our businesses is by going out to trade shows, industry events, and networking groups. But before we go network, we have to understand exactly what our intention is. She also challenged us to find a networking group that we can meet with 2 to 3 times a month.

Teaching ~ Do educational based prospecting (webinars, blog posts, being on a panel) to interact with people. She mentioned trying out PitchDB.com for some opportunities to speak and teach. (We can join and receive 20 free pitches through her referral code: WG.)

Direct ~ Wesleyne recommended being direct in our content and doing it with intention through warm calling, showing up, warm emails, and social network prospecting.

"Prospecting is a sport and something you need to do every day.”

Wesleyne Greer

Conducting a Successful First Meeting

Finally, she spoke on how to conduct a successful first meeting...

A powerful piece of advice: It’s not about you. Your meeting needs to be client central.

In your first meeting, Wesleyne mentioned not to provide references, prepare a slide deck, or do a demo. She also said not to talk about yourself.

Don’t be product-centric; be problem-centric. 

It’s about their pain. We need to access the problems that they’re having by asking open-ended, tough questions. We must build relationships and rapport, and allow them to do most of the talking. We should only be speaking 25% of the time, and leaving the rest of the meeting to listening and asking questions.

"Be fully engaged and listen to what they’re saying,” said Wesleyne. She also added to keep the following in mind: "If you’re talking too much, you’re probably being more product-focused and not problem-focused.”

At the end of the Meeting...

After Wesleyne’s insightful presentation, Katie spoke on some updates, informing everyone about the importance of publishing posts and events, and engaging with the community in the newsfeed of the ALLY website.

When asked about how often they wanted to meet, members stated that they felt once a month would be really helpful.

“Together we as entrepreneurs can make change happen,” said Katie at the end of the meeting. “We can go out and make a difference. We just have to work together and have a community.”

We’re looking forward to connecting with everyone at the next meeting. Thank you all so much for your energy and presence. In the meantime, please reach out to us anytime and let us know if there’s any way we can support you.

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