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  • July 11, 2024 8:13 AM | Anonymous

    by Addie Rainbolt, GVCC intern


    Fairbank Equipment of Grain Valley is prepared to serve and become part of the local agricultural community.

    Fairbank Equipment started in Wichita, Kansas, “as a supplier of propane equipment to the oilfield and agricultural industries,” according to the official Fairbank Equipment website. 

    “Like a generational farmer who learns the lay of the land, [Fairbank Equipment has] grown and adapted over the years into the fertilizer application parts and equipment business we are today,” the official Fairbank Equipment website states.

    Justin Moore, branch manager of Fairbank Equipment of Grain Valley, said this Fairbank Equipment location has only been open for less than three months. “We’re trying to get our name out there and let people know we’re here.”

    Moore said Fairbank Equipment services and sells applications and equipment for the agricultural world.

    From sprayers, inductors and fertilizer spreaders to nurse trailers, hydrous gas equipment and custom-made tanks, Moore said, no matter what you are looking for, “you should be able to walk in and get an answer.”

    Moore acknowledged that “the [agricultural] world is not a Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. world.” So, Fairbank Equipment of Grain Valley is not held to this structure either. If a customer needs assistance outside of regular business hours, Moore stated, staff members will do whatever they can to help.

    Additionally, even if customers have an “off the wall” request or a service or product only they need to buy, Fairbank Equipment of Grain Valley staff will still do whatever is necessary to get these customers what they need.

    Moore described Fairbank Equipment of Grain Valley’s dedication to its customers; staff members will “do whatever is necessary to take care of the customer” and “listen to customer needs.”

    According to Moore, at least two staff members are always in the store to help find products and answer questions.

    This staff is experienced and knowledgeable, Moore said. “Our average tenure in the company is 17 years, so most of the [employees] here have been doing it for a long time.”

    Additionally, the official Fairbank Equipment website states the company has “over 75 years of industry expertise.”

    While the Grain Valley location mainly serves local farmers, they also ship products nationwide, Moore said.

    Fairbank Equipment has 14 stores in the United States, Moore said, so if customers need a product the Grain Valley location does not have, staff members can most likely order it from another location.

    The official Fairbank Equipment website states, “This network allows us to serve our customers across the entire country from any of our branches.”

    The Grain Valley location allows easy access for local farmers and easy access for quick shipping from the city, Moore said.

    Fairbank Equipment of Grain Valley is set apart from competitors, Moore said, because it is “not tied up with corporate regulations and rules.”

    “We have a lot more autonomy to do what we need to do in the store to take care of [customers],” Moore said.

    Fairbank Equipment of Grain Valley wants to be part of the community, not just a business in it, Moore said. So, they are purposefully and actively working to serve the community and become a staple in it.

    “Our business is one that relies a lot on relationships,” Moore said, and Fairbank Equipment of Grain Valley looks forward to forming relationships with the local community as their business grows.

    Fairbank Equipment of Grain Valley is located at 615 NW Valley Ridge Ct. Its normal operating hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

    Website: https://www.fairbankequipment.com/our-locations/grain-valley-missouri/

      

  • June 27, 2024 6:55 AM | Anonymous


    Feature article and photos by Addie Rainbolt, intern, Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce


    Mindful Evolutions has brought the trending art of Pilates to Grain Valley, MO, allowing its citizens to experience this fun way to exercise alongside fellow community members.

    Christy Cater, owner of Mindful Evolutions, said Pilates is a unique way to move your body that is beneficial for everyone, regardless of age or skill level.

    Nevertheless, beginning a new fitness journey may be intimidating, so Cater offers her expertise to guide clients through this journey.

    Because many people do not know what Pilates is, Cater tells beginners that some of the moves are similar to those involved in gymnastics and martial arts.

    “Pilates targets the core and spine,” Cater added, which supports overall body strength.

    Cater quoted a common saying that after one Pilates session, you feel a change and after ten Pilates sessions, you see a change.

    While this may not be accurate for all clients, Cater said that after one Pilates session, clients begin to carry themselves differently because they feel muscles working that they did not even know they had.

    People who practice Pilates “train our body to work the small muscles that support the big ones,” Cater said. In other words, people who practice Pilates are creating a support system within their bodies. This support system makes even the little, daily tasks easier, Cater explained.

    Noticing these daily tasks getting easier “makes [people] feel like they're turning back time,” Cater said.

    At Mindful Evolutions, each new client begins with two 55-minute introductory solo sessions for $98 total, Cater said..

    These introductory sessions allow clients to get familiar and comfortable with Pilates while allowing Cater to see what each client needs physically and mentally on their Pilates journey.

    According to Cater, after these two introductory sessions, clients can either continue with solo sessions for $90 per session or join a group session for $28 per session. Duet sessions are also available; two duet sessions cost $84 for each client. All sessions are 55 minutes long. Clients have a 12-hour cancellation window.

    Group sessions are capped at six people, so Cater can maintain an intimate and personalized Pilates experience for each client. This small class size allows clients to “feel like they matter,” Cater said.

    This intimate Pilates experience also sets Mindful Evolutions apart from other Pilates studios or gyms, Cater said, because she intentionally prioritizes each individual’s story. Through this story, Cater is guiding, supporting and keeping her clients accountable.

    Cater likes to begin every class with a transitional stretch sequence to get her clients’ minds in the right place, ready to move their bodies intentionally and further their physical and mental fitness.

    Cater said she enjoys being “an impactful piece of the healing journey for people of all different ages through Pilates.”

    “Whether you are 18 or 80,” Cater said, Pilates is beneficial because it targets form, breath and core connection.

    Cater recalled her own discovery of Pilates, “When I found Pilates, there were women that were twice my age doing things I couldn't do.”

    Cater said she not only wanted to be able to do those things, but she also enjoyed the “quiet and intimate” nature of Pilates.

    After practicing Pilates, “I started to see my core change and I started to feel stronger,” Cater said. “I just fell in love with it.”

    Considering her own story, Cater said she strives to lead Pilates sessions that she would want to take.

    Cater also recollected one of her clients saying, “this is not exercise, this is fun.”

    Pilates “is hard and you do sweat; you do get sore,” Cater said, “but it's just a different way of moving and it is fun.”

    Mindful Evolutions is located at 117 SW Eagles Pkwy in Grain Valley. Hours are by appointment.


    Website: https://mindfulevolutions.com/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mindfulevolutionspilates

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mindfulevolutions/



  • June 19, 2024 8:53 AM | Anonymous

    AI is certainly the “Belle of the Ball” these days but it’s also coming under scrutiny. It can save businesses a lot of time, but many professionals are afraid of what the adoption might mean. Is it right for you and your business?

    First, unless you are off the grid, you’re likely already using AI for your business. If you use a grammar check, you’re using AI. If you’re employing a voice assistant or navigational assist, you’re using AI.

    “AI” is a catch-all term for a host of business tools and capabilities. There are platforms like Bard and ChatGPT that can perform anything from parlor tricks of asking it fun questions and enjoying its answers, to much more complex analysis through enterprise systems. Asking whether you should use AI is a bit like asking, “should I take transportation to get to my destination” when you’re already on a scooter. The answer depends on where you’re going and what method (of transportation) you are asking about. For instance, if you want some new website copy, you don’t need an enterprise AI system. The free version of ChatGPT is fine (with your guidance, of course).

    Whether you should use AI depends on various factors, including the nature of your business, your specific goals, budget, and the resources you have available. Here are some considerations to help you decide:

    Considerations in Using AI for Business

    Business Objectives

    First and foremost, consider how AI will align with your business objectives. AI can be used for improving efficiency, automating tasks, enhancing customer experiences, making data-driven decisions, and helping you do more with your limited resources.

    Competitive Advantage

    Evaluate whether AI can give you a competitive edge. In some industries, AI can be a game-changer, enabling you to offer better products or services, optimize processes, or gain insights that your competitors may not have. In other industries, it might be best used as a search engine or preliminary content creator.

    Data Availability

    AI relies on data. If you’re going to have it analyze anything for you, then you need to have access to relevant, high-quality data to train and deploy AI models. If you lack the necessary data, you may need to invest in data collection and management first.

    Budget

    AI development and implementation can be costly. Consider whether your business has the budget to invest in AI, which includes expenses for software, hardware, talent, and ongoing maintenance.

    Skill and Expertise

    Building and deploying advanced AI solutions require expertise in machine learning, data science, and software development. You can hire AI professionals, outsource the work, or seek AI platforms and tools that require less technical expertise. Your ultimate desired results will shape the forms of AI (the scale and complexity) that you require.

    Regulatory and Ethical Considerations

    Depending on your industry and location, there may be regulations and ethical considerations related to AI usage. Some countries have banned it or regulated its usage. The Biden administration has voiced some concerns over ensuring digital safety.

    Return on Investment (ROI)

    Some AI is free while some requires a minimal investment ($20 per month). Other types of AI require major company initiatives. There’s an entry point for every business and budget. Evaluate the potential ROI of implementing AI. How will it impact your revenue, cost savings, or customer satisfaction?

    Risks

    AI is not always right. If it doesn’t know the answer to your question, it won’t reply that it doesn’t know. It will find the closest answer it can. That means using this tool comes with uncertainties and risks. Question responses, edit copy generated by AI. Speaking of risks, let’s talk about a few cons before you decide on adoption.

    The Cons Behind AI

    These are all solid points and questions you can ask yourself when deciding to implement AI on a beginning or more robust scale. However, it’s important to note that AI is not without its cons. Content generated by AI is not protected by the US Copyright Office. The creators of platforms like ChatGPT are also quick to point out that mistakes (or hallucinations as many industry people call them) can happen when asking it questions or having it create content. It’s not great at stats or dates, sometimes even quotes (sort of like that best friend who knows a little bit about everything and occasionally says something where you question their source).

    Some large companies have blocked internal ChatGPT use (for instance), including JPMorgan Chase, Apple, Verizon, Spotify and Accenture, according to AI content detector Originality.AI, with several citing privacy and security concerns. Additionally, Italy was the first western nation to ban ChatGPT citing that it was easier to ban it than regulate it. Business leaders have also expressed worries about employees keying proprietary information into ChatGPT and their sensitive information emerging as an output by the tool elsewhere.

    Should you use AI in your business? Unless you’re making a conscious decision to avoid it, you probably already are. But how much of your operations are machine driven is a choice. While you may not be ready to jump on the AI bandwagon fully, there are a lot of business efficiencies it can help you with. Creating copy and written communications is one of these areas. But just as you wouldn’t place a plank of wood in front of a circular saw and expect a house from it, you need to guide the process to create exactly what you’re looking for.

    Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and believes the world would be a better place if we all had our own theme song that played when we entered the room. What would yours be?

    _______________________________________

    Twitter: @christinagsmith

    Facebook: @tellyourstorygetemtalking

    LinkedIn: @christinagsmith


  • June 11, 2024 12:34 PM | Anonymous

    We would like to introduce Addie Rainbolt. Addie will be joining us this summer as a marketing and special events intern. One of Addie's initial projects will be to create member profiles incorporating video, photos, and print stories for use on our website and social media. If you are interested in having Addie profile your business, please email us at info@growgrainvalley.org


  • June 11, 2024 12:19 PM | Anonymous

    Social media is a Hulk-size time suck, but it is also one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience. That’s also why it’s so dicey to freelance that kind of thing out. But there are a lot of really talented folks out there who can help you expand your reach and connect. You just have to find the right ones. And since everyone thinks they can post to social, there are a lot of ineffective people posing as social media superheroes. Here’s how you can separate the talent from the try-hards:

    Ways to Tell a Social Media Trixter from a Superhero

    It’s tempting to hand your social media over to an intern or the nearest teenager in your life. After all, they’re on the platforms all the time. But they’re connecting in a social way, amassing followers and likes and not concentrating on conversions. You need someone who understands how to nurture a relationship to end in a sale. That’s not to say a teen can’t do that. But you need to have a conversation with them to make sure you are on the same page about your ultimate goals behind social media. Additionally, you’ll want to talk about the following things:

           Stats and KPIs. If you’re working with someone to help you reach more people and increase your sales, you’ll want to know they have a track record of doing so already. If you’re their first client, make sure they can show you how they will gather the analytics and tell what’s working and what isn’t. Identify KPIs. If they tell you “Let’s try this and see.” That’s not enough. How will you “see”? If they guarantee 100 new followers before the end of the month, ensure you know what kind of followers they are. Speaking of…

           Know the target. Make sure your social media person understands audiences and the value of a like as it equates to your business goals. My TikTok is beginning to finally amass some likes. But guess what? They’re all from my teenage sons’ friends who enjoy making fun of my videos. They may “like” my stuff, but they will never buy from me. These are bogus numbers from a business perspective. Make sure your guru understands who you’re trying to target.

           Understand the offerings. Social media is not a science. What works for your ideal audience may not work for others. That’s why social media packages vary as much as restaurant food prices. Some people do retainers, some monthly and some hourly fees. Know what you’re paying for.

     

    After you’ve narrowed down your list of social media people who seem capable, dig deeper into understanding how you would work together. Ask them to draw up a proposal or editorial calendar. Pay them for their time. Examine their ideas on how they plan to reach a larger audience. You’re looking for creativity here as well as things you may have already tried that didn’t work. No reason to work with someone who’s doing exactly what you’ve already done.

    If They’re Going to Be You, They Must Know You

    Finally, communication is key when looking for someone who will be representing you on social media. While a good social media person should ask you the following things about your business, if they don’t, make sure you communicate these important details.

    1. Give specifics on your ideal audience.
    2. Share past triumphs and trials.
    3. Communicate the tone you want on your posts.
    4. Agree upon the posting review process. Will you see posts before they go out?
    5. Understand who oversees responses. If you do, will they call them to your attention, or will you need to monitor each day?
    6. How far out will they schedule? Communicate how you want holidays to be handled and if there are any topics you don’t want to mention.
    7. Will you supply content ideas and important dates to your business? This should be a partnership. If you’re running a sale, for instance, you should give your social media superhero notification of it and look for best ways to leverage this information.
    8. Be clear about how you feel about content curation versus creation. Your social guru should have a strong understanding of how to leverage curated content for a larger audience without getting into permission problems.

    The hardest part of handing your social media over to someone else is making sure their efforts fit your goals and remain authentically “you.” Don’t expect that putting someone else in charge means that they will take it off your hands in a “set it and forget it” kind of way. You want to remain a part of the social side of your business. After all, the success in that area is about building relationships and you don’t want to pay someone to do that for you. They can assist with the day-to-day posting, but the relationship should remain yours.

    Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and talks to her dog like she can understand every word.

    _______________________________________

    Instagram: @christinametcalfauthor

    Facebook: @tellyourstorygetemtalking

    Medium: @christinametcalf

    LinkedIn: @christinagsmith


  • May 19, 2024 9:37 AM | Anonymous

    Legislation that offers a financial boost for Missouri small businesses and farmers was signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson on May 9.

    The Missouri legislature passed HB 1803, sponsored by Rep. Terry Thompson (R-Lexington), to increase the cap on the popular MOBUCK$ program. Thompson's bill garnered broad bipartisan support, passing the House in February with only 10 no votes and the Senate in April with no opposition. The legislation was handled in the Senate by Sen. Sandy Crawford (R-Buffalo).

    The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry supported the effort to raise the cap on the program from $800 million to $1.2 billion. A record of nearly $539 million was loaned during the 2023 program year. When the program’s application portal reopened on January 2 of this year, the entirety of the available $120 million was exhausted after only six hours.

    Missouri State Treasurer Vivek Malek noted that “the demand for the program is huge, and we definitely would like to help as many small businesses and farmers as possible.” 

    The treasurer’s office works with qualified lenders throughout the state to offer loans at lower interest rates to Missouri small businesses, farmers and local governments. Malek indicated a loan with a regular interest rate of 9% could be reduced to around 6% under the program.

    Malek said volatile economic conditions and increased demand from applicants made the expansion of the program a much-needed relief valve for Missouri businesses.

    Heidi Geisbuhler Sutherland, director of legislative affairs for the Missouri Chamber, said the MOBUCK$ program “is a great economic driver for the state and helps small businesses grow and improve.”


  • May 06, 2024 5:58 PM | Anonymous

    GVCC is now accepting applications for our summer 2024 marketing special projects internship. 

    Marketing Special Projects Intern: Summer 2024

    Do you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment? Are you considering an educational career in marketing or business management? The Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based nonprofit representing 100+ businesses and thousands of local employees. With a mission to be a leader in the growth of Grain Valley, the Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce offers a program of work that includes legislative advocacy, educational training, and networking opportunities.

    Our ideal candidate will be a motivated individual who enjoys meeting new people and is not afraid of a challenge. As an intern you will be working with a variety of staff and volunteer leaders to assist in achieving the goals of the organization. You will interact with business owners, business professionals, and elected officials.

    What you will learn:

    • ·         The ins and outs of how a successful nonprofit organization operates.
    • ·         How to analyze data in order to develop solutions.
    • ·         The necessary steps for successful short-term project management.
    • ·         How to develop and implement plans for social media, marketing and communications, technology, advocacy, and other key areas within an organization.
    • ·         What great companies exist in Grain Valley and what opportunities exist for young professionals.
    • ·         How to effectively plan, budget for, and execute an event (some social, some educational).
    • ·         The importance of community involvement.

    What we require:

    • ·         A desire to learn from this amazing opportunity!
    • ·         Strong communication skills – verbal and written.
    • ·         Positive attitude and an ability to work with some amazing, smart professionals!
    • ·         Proficient in Microsoft Office and Google Suite applications. Experience with Canva helpful.
    • ·         Organized, with an ability to prioritize time-sensitive assignments.
    • ·         Creative and flexible when it comes to responsibilities, scheduling, etc.
    • ·         Interest in nonprofit management, marketing and/ or business management.
    • ·         5 hours per week for 8 weeks (final schedule will be determined on students’ needs and office hours).

    Compensation: The intern will be paid $250/month upon successful completion of hours and project for the month. Payment will be made by the 10th of the month for work completed the month prior. The internship is an independent contractor position.

    We promise to provide a positive, rewarding experience that will help you to achieve your goals in participating in the program. This position will report directly to the Director of Business Development.

    Submit a cover letter and resume to info@growgrainvalley.org. 

  • May 01, 2024 7:37 AM | Anonymous

    Even with costs escalating, consumers are increasingly making purchasing decisions based on a company's values. Sustainability and transparency are no longer just buzzwords – they're key factors influencing brand loyalty and attracting a new generation of eco-conscious customers.

    According to recent research, consumers sustainability demands are rising and customers are willing to pay more for it.

    Now is the ideal time to embrace going green for more green.

    It’s More Than Just Saving the Planet

    While environmental responsibility is a noble goal (after all, who wants to destroy the planet?), there are strong business benefits to embracing sustainability.

    In the past, the fact that embracing sustainability practices in business was expensive halted a lot of forward movement in that area. However, things have changed.

    Research shows customers are willing to pay more for products that are sustainably produced and services that are greener, making it beneficial for businesses to embrace the green movement.

    Here's are some of the benefits your business may experience:

    • ·         Attract New Customers. Studies show that over half of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services from sustainable brands. Showcase your commitment to the environment to capture this growing market segment. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, talk to your customers about what makes you different as they browse. Understanding your commitment to the environment may drive sales.
    • ·         Boost Employee Morale.  Employees who feel their company is making a positive impact on the planet tend to be more engaged and productive. Implementing sustainable practices can foster a sense of purpose within your team and make recruiting easier.
    • ·         Reduce Costs. Going green can lead to savings by reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste, or optimizing supply chains. You may also be rewarded for your efforts through tax incentives or grants.  
    • ·         Enhance Brand Reputation. Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability builds trust with customers and strengthens your brand image. It positions you as a responsible and forward-thinking company.

    Show, Don't Just Tell

    Consumers are savvy and can see through “greenwashing” – empty claims of sustainability that don’t bear up under scrutiny like saying you recycle to save resources but then you leave all your lights on every night. Sustainability is a commitment that impacts every area of your business—front office and back.

    Transparency is also crucial.

    Here are some ways to showcase your commitment:

    Clearly Communicate Your Sustainability Processes

    Explain the steps you're taking to be environmentally responsible. This could include using recycled materials, sourcing local ingredients, or implementing energy-saving practices.

    Partner with Eco-Conscious Organizations

    Collaborating with other sustainable businesses or environmental non-profits adds credibility to your efforts and expands your reach. If you don’t know anyone who can help, your chamber may be able to introduce you.

    Be Data-Driven

    Show your environmental impact. Numbers sometimes mean more than words and help paint a clearer picture of the impact or your efforts. Track metrics like waste reduction, energy consumption, or your carbon footprint. Share this data with your audience to show progress and hold yourself accountable.

    Going Green Doesn't Have to Be Overwhelming

    While sustainability is a commitment that impacts all areas of your business, you don’t have to launch with a sweeping initiative that changes every business practice. Start small or in a way you can manage. Identify areas where you can make a positive impact. Then chart how you will expand your efforts over time.

    Here are some practical steps:

    • ·         Reduce Paper Usage. Embrace digital solutions like e-receipts and online communication.
    • ·         Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting.  LED lighting options offer significant energy savings.
    • ·         Offer Reusable Shopping Bags. This simple step reduces plastic waste and promotes your brand. It might even make you a few pennies on every purchase.
    • ·         Partner with Green Suppliers. Choose vendors with sustainable practices throughout their supply chains. It not only shows your commitment, but it also broadens your impact.

    By embracing sustainability and doing so in a transparent way, you're not just making a positive impact on the planet – you're also building a stronger, more resilient business that resonates with today's consumers.

    AND…For those of you old enough to remember it, Kermit the Frog was wrong. It IS easy to be green.

    Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and used to be a Green.

    _______________________________________

    Medium: @christinametcalf

    Facebook: @tellyourstorygetemtalking

    Instagram: @christinametcalfauthor

    LinkedIn: @christinagsmith


  • April 02, 2024 11:52 AM | Anonymous

    Ask yourself a simple question—what’s holding your potential customers back from buying from you?

    You might think cost. Perhaps it’s ease of purchase (online ordering), location, or not knowing about you. But there could be something much easier to fix than cutting your prices, moving, or rebranding/launching a huge marketing campaign. While all these things are important—pricing, location, and top-of-mind recognition—there is something else you could be doing to get more people in your business. You could be setting expectations.

    What does that mean?

    There is likely a need for what you sell or do. Or you wouldn’t have gone into business, right? Maybe your marketing is really great, and you’ve created a desire for your product or service among your audience. But unless you sell something that is an instant emotional purchase, doubt could set it and kill your sale.

    This doubt occurs because the purchaser is unsure of your product or service, worries about the value, or is doing something they wouldn’t normally do/purchase (that includes purchasing from you for the first time).

    To avoid this, you need to ensure they have the confidence to purchase from you. Help them imagine what you (your product or service) can bring them.

    Do this by creating content. But not just any content.

    Content and Sales

    Let’s say you run a Facebook ad for a new service you’re offering or a discount to try your business. Hopefully, you’ve used the targeting features well and you get a lot of clicks on them. Potential customers are reading the info, and signing up for whatever webinar, service, discount, or info session you’re offering (gyms, I’m especially looking at you here).

    Congrats. That’s great. You’re probably ecstatic with those leads. But then they fail to convert to sales. What happened? The leads seemed interested.

    Something made them change their mind. Or did it? 

    First, many people treat Facebook ads and events like a try-before-you-buy situation. Just like people tend to post the life they wish they had on “the Book,” they seem interested in events and services when really, they’re just trying out the idea in their head.

    Moving Potential Leads from Maybe to Gotta Go There

    To help close these leads, you need to send several reminders with the kinds of subject lines that scream “open me.” When they see you in their email inbox often, it will be harder to forget their commitment.

    But more importantly…

    You need to manage expectations. This person is new to your business. They don’t know what to expect from you. They enjoyed your ad, thought this is for me, but then doubt sets in. They start wondering, what will this be like? Can I do it? Is it really for me? And a hundred other concerns. As in Newton’s Law of Motion—an object in motion stays in motion—a potential customer  stays “at rest” until a force is applied to it. In this case, the force you are applying is addressing their questions and concerns ahead of the potential customer voicing them.

    I recently signed up for an exercise class trial. It was a weak moment, a new exciting business in town, and I had a desire to get healthier. This particular exercise looked like fun but I’ve never done it. 

    Then doubt set in. Would I be the oldest person in the class? Would everyone else look like Barbie in Lulu? What do I wear? Can I handle it without throwing up?

    The more questions popped into my mind, the more I thought about canceling. I dodged the business’ reminder phone calls. I didn’t confirm on their texts. I was 90% ready to hit the “unsubscribe to everything button” and then an email arrived.

    It was friendly and upbeat. It answered all my questions and then some. (Minus the Barbie one.) And I’m going to the class. That email got me over my concerns without the embarrassment of having to raise them in the first place.

    In your business content you need to do more than tell who you are and what problem you solve. That’s the beginning of the sales process. If you want to move people down that sales funnel, turning them into loyal customers, you need to address things that might be holding them back. You don’t do that by having a perky employee call and say, “let me know if you have any questions.” They won’t tell you. Instead, you need to anticipate those hesitations, address them ahead of time, and serve up the answers to them. If you do, they’ll not only be more likely to buy from you, but they’ll also see you as a business that “gets” them. And that’s the first step to building a loyal clientele.

    Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and is currently flailing around outside of her comfort zone at a gym for twenty-somethings.

    _______________________________________

    Medium: @christinametcalf

    Facebook: @tellyourstorygetemtalking

    Instagram: @christinametcalfauthor

    LinkedIn: @christinagsmith


  • February 25, 2024 11:33 PM | Anonymous

    The Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2024 Heart of Grain Valley Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 24th at the Grain Valley Community Center. Eighteen nominees in six categories were celebrated, and the following honorees were announced:

    Businessperson of the Year: Jason Fenstermaker, Iron Kettle Brewing

    Business of the Year: Grain Valley Chiropractic

    Emerging Business of the Year: Baking with a Bass

    Nonprofit/Community Group of the Year: Faith United Methodist Church

    Volunteer of the Year: Marcia Napier

    Unsung Hero of the Year: Theresa Osenbaugh

    We will highlight each category throughout the week, but we wanted to share this recap of all of our wonderful nominees.

    https://youtu.be/9myTMXxuPGg


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The Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce is guided by a mission to be the leader of growth in Grain Valley. 

Become a member

Join our network of business and community leaders working together for a stronger, more vibrant business community. 

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