Big Bands with distorted sound: Choosing a rite-fit group
I am both conventional and modern at the same time. I take business serious and I set very high standards for seamless customer service and functional marketing. I pride myself on building relationships with my “clients” more than making sales (fortunate for me this was my natural ability and never picked up a book or listened to audio that sold me “tips” on how to do so) and my career has spoken for itself when telling the story of such. In short, I tend to strive towards being a true professional in all areas of my life but what exactly does that mean? I say besides adopting best practices its knowing when to when.
In today’s time of evolving technology there seem to be tons of books to read, groups to join and functions, workshops and sessions to attend to help you step up your business game. While I will admit that I have attended a few, it wasn’t until the last several years that I made the choice to limit these events and learn the better way; the hands getting dirty way. I have summerized what I have learned about these alliances and how to get and give for desired results.
Here are some pertinent and impending thoughts I visit when considering an organization that promises to make beautiful music for all to enjoy.
1. What is the purpose and mission of this group? Most all groups proudly display their mission and purpose on their “home page” and lure potential patrons in with ideals of how they can indeed evolve with the groups help. Check out the events page and see if their mission and purpose align with the events. Missing events or holes in the calendar might raise a red flag.
2. What is the membership? This is a two-fold question. If this group is national, how many national members belong? If the group is local, how many members belong there? While not always true, your local chapter should have at least a few dozen if not more. This is keeping in mind someone started the local presence and knew at least 10 others that could benefit. After they drew those in, any viable group should have the power to draw more if its sound.
3. What is the value? This one, of course, is a doozie. I have also learned in my seasoned salesmanship that price in no means compares to value. Studies show people will pay far more for what they believe is valuable and irreplaceable serving real purpose in their lives as opposed to something that it chintzy and may only do the job a few times. Ask yourself if the membership dues are going to give you value where other groups or books can’t. That just may be the question of the day and many other days.
4. What is the commitment?- The most pressing and resonating thing I heard group after group say was “In this group, we expect a commitment” and rightfully so. Most all we do today requires some sort of commitment so before joining be clear on what you can look to gain as well as what the group can. If you are already buying time throughout the day for your day to day ventures you may not have the time or energy to physically and mentally join. One may opt to pay for quarterly sessions at the non member price. Another is volunteering at a function the group hosts. All in all, be realistic about how much you can give and take.
5. Who can one talk to, candidly?-Recently I reached out to a chapter leader for a writers group I wanted to join. Honestly, I expected the same old cookie cutter response to my questions but was delighted at her answers. First off, she emailed me right back and confirmed that she was in fact the person to speak to about ANY questions and concerns I may have. When I emailed her one specific question she emailed me back with not only her rebuttal but several other titbits I had not thought to ask at that moment. Clearly she is a woman of particulars and I hold that high in my world. So Yep, you guessed it make sure that when evaluating a group that one of the attributes is how thorough they are…at least in the beginning.
6. Who else does the group align with?-Often times smart groups favor other smart groups. What are those partnerships and what specific events benefit the community as a whole? I don’t know about you but capatalizing on sound business practice includes bouts of networking and what better way to network but be affiliated with a group who has other key affiliations?
6. Who else can attest to this group?- This is not just true for the group that you are ready to join but others that you may not know about. If there is someone you respect and value, like a long-time mentor, chances are they can give you the skinny about that organization or others that they have benefited from. If they can’t they very often may have a story or two about a one time event or session where they got their light-bulb from. Make it a point to add talking to someone unbiased about joining a group, you never know what you may discover.
To cite wisdom we are encouraged to remember that good things come in different packages. I didn’t include location in the post because we never know where we are going and where it will lead us. Ultimately, however, with the right questions of ourselves and others we are bound to go where we truly desire.
Happy Big Band Hunting!