Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Executive Roundtable: A Sounding Board for Your Success

Like most small business owners, it is often times difficult to share some of your challenges with your staff for a variety of reasons. If you look outside your business, how do you know who to trust and who doesn't have a hidden agenda? You need a sounding board, a place where you can talk with non-competing firms who have "been there, done that."

The Gwinnett Chamber's Metro Atlanta Council for Entrepreneurship offers a unique sounding board, the Executive Roundtable, for business owners. The Roundtables serve as an exclusive association of dynamic business leaders designed to build business knowledge and increase productivity and profitability. Roundtables are peer group forums for entrepreneurs, executives, and business owners that directly impact an organization's bottom line. The groups offer a confidential sounding board for up-and-coming and small-to-medium sized companies.

"Executive Roundtables are the perfect sounding boards for up-and-coming and small-to-medium sized companies," commented Melissa Britt, program manager, Gwinnett Chamber. "As an added benefit to the Executive Roundtable, membership to the Metro Atlanta Council for Entrepreneurship is also included when you join."

On March 31, Gwinnett Chamber small business owners will have the opportunity to get to experience the Executive Roundtables at one of four open Roundtable meetings. The special presentation and roundtable discussion will feature Al Simon of Sandler Training. The presentation, "The Curveball Approach to Managing Salespeople," will give business owners insight on how to get productivity out of your sales team who are up against an anti-selling environment.

"The economy has thrown everyone a curveball," said Simon. "The Executive Roundtable meeting will help you teach your salespeople how to hit a homerun off of what the economy has thrown at them."

Many may ask why focus on the sales people, and not the customer or products. Simon explains that it is important to focus on the sales people in anti-selling environment because people who are managing sales people today have at least one, if not both, of the following situations: 1) if adversely affected by the economy, the sales people are getting 'beat up' on price over and over, and 2) with technology like email and voicemail, prospects hide from open and frank conversations with salespeople so that they can stay in control of the deal. This causes a problem to arise, says Simon, where the sales people have a tough time staying motivated.

"It is very difficult to perform well when you feel you can't gain proactive control. The boss tells them to 'do this and do that,' the prospect won't answer their calls, and they get frustrated," says Simon.

At the meeting Simon will discuss best practices for motivating sales people, how to coach them effectively, and how to understand them in a way that makes it easier and more effective to get them to be productive. After the presentation, attendees will split into different roundtables and discuss best business practices and different issues they will be facing in the year to come.

Join us for the first Executive Roundtable Quarterly event of 2010 by registering at

To officially join an Executive Roundtable, an application and a confidentiality statement must be submitted. After the application is received, it is reviewed by the facilitators for group placement. The program application fee is $150, which includes membership to the Executive Roundtable and the Council for Entrepreneurship. This is not a leads generating group. For more information on the Executive Roundtable, visit

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