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Published By Specht Newspapers, Inc

The Heartbeat of Northwest Louisiana Growth

January 2013

Making Sense of It All s s e n i Bus

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Social Media. The term conjures up images of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, lost time, lost employee productivity and a host of others.

However, for some local businesses, Social Media is a valuable tool for attracting new customers, while building and maintaining relationships with current ones.

Learn the ins and outs of this marketing tool.


...Starting on Page 5


10 Tourism Local Restaurants Turning to Social Media

13 Business Briefs Find Our Who Was Hired, Who Was Promoted, and Who Was Honored in Local Business


4 6 7 9

14 Find More Online at

The First Word Are You An Evangelist for Your Business?

Un-Commmon Sense Marketing Do You Have A Documented Social Media Piolicy? Marketing B-S Building a Successful Sales Team, Part 1

From the Bossier Chamber Staying Current in a Visual World Win-Win Powertools The Ten Worst Mistakes in Selling

Volume 3, Number 10

ŠCopyright 2013 by Specht Newspapers, Inc. All rights reserved. Business Monthly is published each month by Specht Newspapers, Inc. at 4250 Viking Drive, Bossier City, LA 71111. Telephone (318) 747-7900. Information in this publication is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed. BUSINESS MONTHLY| January 2013 | 3


Are You An Evangelist for Your Business?

It was he who gave some to be the subject of our publications, my apostles, some to be prophets, some to blog, or anything else in our compabe evangelists, and some to be pasny that might apply to the conversators and teachers, to prepare God’s tion. You would be amazed at how people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be DAVID SPECHT JR. built up — Ephesians 4:11-12 NIV When someone uses the term “evangelist,” it conjures up images of a preacher with big hair in a bright suit — usually screaming at the television or audience. This stereotype could not be farther from the truth. In the early days of many people you know have Christianity, an evangelist was a absolutely no idea what you do or person who first brought the gospel why. to a city or region. He had “good news” to tell and he openly shared Blog about it. As the evangelist of your passion, you are rapidly it. becoming an expert in the field. You I once taught a Bible study based naturally read articles and blogs on Bill Hybel’s book, Becoming a that apply to your passion — Contagious Christian. In it, Hybels increasing your knowledge of the teaches that all Christians can and subject. Share that knowledge with should become evangelists — and others, from your own perspective. that it isn’t as difficult as we make it. The same is true for our business- It’s a great way of building a “tribe” of followers who might just share es, services and/or products. your insights with others — like Ask yourself these questions: mini evangelists of their own. n Who has more passion about Become more passionate what you do than you? about it. Look for signs of progress n Who knows more about your and opportunities for improvement product/service/business than you? n Who has more to gain/lose from and embrace them. You will find it fuels your fire for what you do, the success or failure of your prodthereby giving you more spring in uct/service/business? your step and more to talk about. n Who should be the “evangelist” People will see your enthusiasm and for your product/service/business? wonder why. It gives you a great If you are being honest, the opportunity to evangelize. answers to all four questions should Go ahead. Become an evangelist. be “you.” That doesn’t mean you You can even wear the suit if you don’t have help in the evangelistic want (although it’s not mandatory.) process. Here are a few ways you can “spread the gospel of your product/service/business.” DAVID SPECHT JR. is vice president of Specht Talk about it. I have found that Newspapers, Inc. Read his blog about leadership once I get started talking about at He may be reached via something I am passionate about, it email at rubs off on others. While I am cautious not to overdo it, I don’t shy away from opportunities to broach


4 | January 2013 | BUSINESS MONTHLY



Building Your Brand ‘Out There’

Local Businesses Turning to Social Media For Marketing BY SEAN GREEN media allows businesses to

You have to promote yourself because no one is going to do it for you...Unless you’re on Facebook. That old adage when it comes to marketing — self promotion — is being expanded thanks to the explosion in popularity of social media. No longer do you have to promote yourself endlessly, when 15 seconds spent typing a message online can allow others to carry the load. This ease of use, short turnaround time, and wide reach is seeing social media quickly become indespensable in marketing across the web. Still, social media can’t seem to shake the “fad” tag. But in this post-PC, mobile world, businesses need to find all avenues to market themselves and social

get muscle behind their message. “A website is static and people have to come to you, but with social media you can go to the people,” said Robin Williams, Marketing Director for Holiday Lanes in Bossier City. “It’s hyper marketing —you can fill the online world with your presWilliams ence and people will start seeing you.” Williams is a huge believer in social media and has used it to grow her employer’s image across several platforms in the community. “I wake up in the morning thinking about what I’m going to post,” she said. “I try to be fun and always have a

picture with my post to visually stimulate.” Amy Kinnaird, owner of UnCommonSense Marketing, advises businesses on marketing themselves for a living. She said the most important element when diving into social media is to have a strategy. “You have to be the fan you want others to be,” she said. “As an example, I want people to post on my Facebook page, like things, and share my posts. But if I’m not doing for that others, they won’t do it for me.” Williams suggests finding your niche — know your audience and what your product is to use social media effectively. “I don’t want it to be about me, I want it to be about what’s effective for our community,” said Williams. “It’s not always about bowling, it might be about a new business that opened up or an event at the skating rink.” Social media is great when

used to these means as a research tool — you can identify what type of content your audience wants, even to the point of performing queries of targeted keywords describing your product/service/issues to see what people are posting on their respective social media feeds. “I learn from things people post every day about my industry and clients,” said Kinnaird. “Whether it’s using the poll function on Facebook or casting out facts, it’s that interaction that also (has an added benefit of) getting feedback and building your brand and loyalty.” Social media merges your business’ audience — employees, customers, shareholders — allowing everyone to read the same communications instantly. “It’s all about building relationships and that’s where the transparency (on social media sites) comes from,” said Kinnaird. “We like to buy from people we

trust.” Williams suggests keeping your audience broad, but cultivating an appropriate one. “Follow your audience and listen to what they’re saying because it gives you clues about what their needs might be,” said Williams. In her view, businesses who are most effective with their social media create a buzz where people want to see what is coming next. “I watch local people in my industry, follow them and emulate what they’re doing. I try to find things that are fun, and what people are intersted in,” said Williams. But she warns to be careful about how much you post and when. If you get too excited, it can lead to aggravation for your customers. “It’s hard to know that fine line where to limit posts. Some days have so much going on I want to tell everyone about it, but even though

See Social Media, Page 6

BUSINESS MONTHLY| January 2013 | 5

Social Media: Key Is Relationship Building Continued from Page 5

you may be excited about it, you have to be conscious that others may not care so much.” Beyond marketing, social media also gives you the ability to humanize your business. “Social media allows you to connect face to face so people can meet you online and then put a face with your company,” Williams said. This especially comes in handy with crisis communications — when someone criticizes you online or spreads a damaging/slanted rumor — allowing you to respond in real time. “They’re already talking about you and you have reputation management and you have to be in control of

the message,” said Kinnaird. “It gives an opportunity to showcase how you handle problems. It gives you credibility.” However, depending on the amount of time you spend marketing yourself in social media, you might

expect to see a drastic upturn in profits or word of mouth...But don’t get your hopes up. Be forewarned that it’s not about return-on-investment, it’s return-on-influence. That is, it’s about reaching the right audience. “For most businesses it’s not going to be a dollar match. It’s mostly about expanding visibility and expanding expertness and now

When you give everyone a voice and give people power, the system usually ends up in a really good place.

Mark ZuckerbErg, CEO & Founder of Facebook

being seen as the go-to person,” said Kinnaird. So don’t get discouraged if thousands of fans don’t liking your page or following you your first week. “It’s hard to make businesses undestand it’s a necessity to be there and the investment of time. It’s a marketing tool, but it shouldn’t be the only marketing tool,” said Kinnaird. SEAN GREEN is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune and a contributor to Business Monthly.


Do You Have a Documented Social Media Policy?

Originally published November 2012. Reprinted by permission,, December 2012. Copyright© 2012, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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The words you put on the internet have an immediate audience and last forever! It’s not the right place to be caught saying or doing the wrong thing. As a business owner you have a reputation to protect, both online and offline, and you need to be very clear how to handle every kind of communication that concerns your business, including social media. Several years ago when Facebook’s popularity really exploded, there were lots of stories about employees


social media were a-buzz discussing the event, what role social media played in both the individual’s and the business’ actions, and the right or wrong way the company handled the employee. The story even hit the national news! All this pointed to one thing for me: it’s critically important for your business


being fired for saying or doing something on social media that was against their company’s policies. Recently, that story became local. The newspapers, television and

to have a clearly documented social media policy in place. Companies typically have some kind of communication handbook that new employees review and sign. A social media policy is just an extension of this. While attorneys still discuss the legal issues surrounding an individual’s right to post in social media, it’s likely that if an employee signs or initials something with guide-

See Kinnaird, Page 12


Building a Successful Sales Team, Part 1

Over our past few columns, we have an expected standard than a rare occurexplored various types of business pro- rence? motion and advertising strategies, We will be exploring several compoplanning your business advertising nents related to sales rep failure and budget and several other things that what it takes to build a good sales team will help you promote your over the next several monthly columns. business/product. Over our next few columns, RANDY E. BROWN we will explore and expand upon topics related to building your sales team. In particular, we will look into a few reasons for sales rep failure and some action steps that can be taken to prevent such failure. What does it take to build a good sales team? We will also discuss keeping good people as a part of your sales team because once you have your sales team built, almost noth- We will take a look at what is considing is worse than having a member of ered by many in the industry to be the the team leave or jump ship. top five reasons for sales rep failure: Any of us who have been in manage1.) Inadequate Training ment positions for any length of time 2.) Pursuing Unqualified Prospects have been in these situations. As they 3.) Pursuing Only the “Big Elephant” say, “it just goes with the territory.” Accounts As managers/sales managers we 4.) Lack of Time Management, and often and sometimes repeatedly ask 5.) Poor Attitude. ourselves: Why do sales reps fail? This By a simple visual analysis of these is a wide open question. There can be five reasons, it is very obvious that not many reasons. all of the recipe for success lies solely Sometimes, failure is just pure and upon the sales team member. simply imminent no matter what we As managers, we can attempt to do do. In short, there is absolutely nothing something about each and every one of that can be done to prevent it. However these areas. In particular, the training if you are like me, you always feel that portion is almost totally on managers. there is something more that you could However, after a certain point in have done as a manager to correct or training, the sales rep with initiative prevent the situation. can and must learn, train and grow on Sometimes, I ask myself as a manag- their own in order to be successful. er, did I fail in this situation? To me, our Essentially, we must all continuoussales team is just like my family. We cel- ly train, learn and grow as a team (ie: ebrate our successes, we share our chal- seminars, webinars and various other lenges/opportunities and we continually team training/team building exercises). strive to drive ourselves, our team and In addition, we must also do all of the our company forward. things mentioned in the sentence above When complete failure occurs in rela- as individual team members. tion to one of our team members, Each of the five reasons listed above whether the person just cannot do the could be and even possibly will be a coljob, resulting in a change that just has umn on its own which we can discuss in to be made or they jump ship on their the months ahead. I am really looking own, it hurts the team. forward to going further with this disIt hurts your individual sales team cussion. Please continue reading next members and it hurts you as a manag- month! er/sales manager. So, why do sales reps fail? Can anything be done to prevent these situa- RANDY BROWN. is Advertising Manager of the Bossier Press-Tribune and a 11-year veteran of marketing and tions from happening with frequent media in Northwest Louisiana. He may be reached via regularity where they become more of email at


BUSINESS MONTHLY| January 2013 | 7

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Staying Current in a Visual World FROM THE BOSSIER CHAMBER

Communication has changed drastically over the years, and it seems to be picking up the rate at which it’s changing as society heads further into the social media tunnel. Face-to-face contact is rare, and even phone conversations aren’t as prevalent as e-mails and KRISTEN KING text messages. The social media platforms businesses have come to rely on are also evolving; where once blogs were the way of the future, companies are now having to work with less verbiage and more visual aids. A photo on Facebook generates 53% more likes than the average post, according to Socially Sorted, and YouTube passes four billion video views daily. To keep up with consumers, businesses must adapt and adopt the belief that visual content is the way of the future… for now. states that more than 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day. Companies big and small must put a value on video and photography, thinking ahead and visualizing the moments during the work day that will translate to good images on social media. Investing in professional graphic design and learning to use photo editing programs is a smart investment toward creating original visual content. Consumers are screaming “show, not tell,” so it seems a picture really is worth a thousand words. According to, “A 2012 study by ROI Research found that when users engage with friends on social media sites, it’s the pictures they took that are enjoyed the most. Forty-four percent of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media.” Capturing the visual market seems easy for those companies that are selling retail, or create visually appealing products. What about the business that provides a service or intangible product for their clients? They can still capture the attention of users, but may require more creativity to get the job done. The Bossier Chamber of Commerce doesn’t offer a tangible product, but shares pictures from networking events, luncheons and graphics

advertising upcoming events. Chamber members enjoy tagging themselves and sharing pictures on their own wall, which directs their friends back to the chamber’s Facebook page. Companies can easi-


ly share pictures of employees doing business with their customers, upload a photo from the archives while discussing the company’s history, or post a photo from a staff retreat with a tagline that includes information about the brainstorming session. “Pictures have also become a short form way of communicating lots of information quickly and succinctly,” says Detavio Samuels, EVP and Director of Client Services at GlobalHue, a top market advertising agency. “The need for publishers to get to the point quicker than ever came about as humans became more pressed for time and content became more infinite. For publishers, it was evolve or risk losing their audience, and the only thing shorter than a tweet or post is a picture.” To really engage users, businesses have asked their clients to share their own pictures. People love seeing their pictures shared by their favorite brands, and it provides a good platform to receive comments from customers. As the world becomes more social, businesses must invest in photography, video and social media to engage their audience. But a balance must be struck, and personal customer service can’t fall by the wayside as companies try to conquer the social media realm. KRISTEN KING is Communication Director for the Bossier Chamber of Commerce. BUSINESS MONTHLY| January 2013 | 9


Local Restaurants Are Going Social

These days social media isn’t just about reconnecting with former classmates, meeting new people or staying in touch with relatives and friends. DONECIA PEA For some area businesses, it’s a way to connect with consumers and share the most up-to-date information on everything from contests and promotions to the latest dishes, specials, promotions and more. Popular Bossier City restaurants and eateries like 2Johns Steak and Seafood, Sabores Dominican Restaurant, Lilah’s Bakery and Pietro’s Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen can all be found on Facebook and a number of other social media platforms, drawing in everyone from longtime patrons to curious newcomers with daily posts that showcase their menu offerings and daily deals. They’re not the only ones. In a USA Today story last May, twothirds of companies surveyed said they now use social media and blogs, with nearly 90 percent saying they’ve reaped at least one measurable business benefit from using social media. Family-owned restaurant, Sabores, joined the world of social media about six months ago with pages on Facebook, Google Plus, Yelp and Foursquare and so far, they’ve found the experience rewarding. “It’s a big commitment,” co-owner Esther Pichaldo said. “But I can say a lot of customers, when they come here, say they found us on Facebook or that someone made a comment on Facebook about us and they decided to come in and see for themselves.” For them, going social was a nobrainer. “I think people always connect to the media. Everyone is always connected.” One of the ways they’ve found success is through consistency. “We try to update the page every day and even the customers put pictures up

of our food and then we follow them back.” Social networking isn’t the only


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way area businesses and agencies are connecting with clientele. The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau’s blog has provided an instant way to share stories with the world about food, music, arts and culture in Shreveport-Bossier. “Over 60 percent of our readers each month are not from Shreveport-Bossier, which is great,” Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau Public Relations and Social Media Manager Chris Jay said. “Some of the cities where we have a large readership are New York City, Alexandria, Dallas, New Orleans and Houston.” “It’s a way for us to connect directly with readers, as opposed to sending out a press release to hundreds of journalist and hoping one ‘bites,’ we use the blog to tell our own stories, with no middle-man,” Jay said. The key to making it work is using the right media for the right message, Jay said. “For example, if a new restaurant opens in ShreveportBossier, I definitely want to send out a press release about that,” he said. “But if a restaurant launches a new dessert menu, while that may not warrant a press release, it’s definitely the kind of content that blog readers are searching for.” Visit the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau’s

20x49 blog at for the latest on Shreveport-Bossier food, music, arts and culture. Find Sabores Dominican Restaurant on Facebook at

nRestaurant. DONECIA PEA works with media relations at the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau.


Own a Small Business? Consider These Plans

For a variety of reasons, many people, particularly those in the baby boom generation, are considering retiring later than they might have originally planned. If you’re in this group, you’ll want to take full advantage of those WIL ADAMS extra working years by contributing as much as you can to a retirement plan that can help you build resources, defer taxes and, ultimately, maximize income. And if you own a small business, you’ve got some attractive plans from which to choose. Let’s look at two of these retirement plans — the “owner-only” 401(k) and the defined benefit plan. If you have no employees other than your spouse or a partner, you can establish an “owner-only” 401(k), also known as an individual 401(k). This plan offers many of the same advantages of a traditional 401(k): a range of investment options, tax-deductible contributions and the opportunity for tax-deferred earnings growth. You may even be able to choose a Roth option for your 401(k), which allows you to make after-tax contributions that have the opportunity to grow tax free. Your owner-only 401(k) contributions consist of two parts: salary deferral and profit sharing. In 2011, you can defer up to $16,500 of income, or $22,000 if you’re 50 or older. The amount of your profitsharing contribution is based on your earnings. The sum of your employer contribution and your salary deferral contributions can’t exceed $49,000 in 2011 (or $54,500 if you’re 50 or older). Keep in mind that if your spouse is employed by your business, you each can contribute the maximum amount allowed. You’ve got considerable flexibility in funding your owner-only 401(k). Both the salary deferral and the profit-sharing contributions are discretionary, so you can change them at any time based on your business’s profitability. Now, let’s move on to the defined benefit plan, which might be appropriate for you if you are highly com-

pensated and have no other employees. By establishing a defined benefit plan, you’ll be providing yourself with a monthly payment (or “benefit”) for life, beginning at the retire-


ment age specified by your plan. In 2011, the yearly benefit limit is $195,000. The amount you can contribute to your defined benefit plan each year is based on several variables, including your current age, your compensation level and your retirement age. But you’ll certainly be able to contribute large amounts: A defined benefit plan is the only retirement account that allows contributions in excess of the limits placed on 401(k)s and other defined contribution plans. Generally speaking, the closer you get to retirement, the larger your maximum yearly contributions will be. (This is because you’ll have fewer years left in which to fund your defined benefit.) And since your defined benefit contributions are tax-deductible, you are, in effect, getting a big boost from the government to fund a generous retirement plan. Here’s one more benefit to owneronly 401(k) and defined benefit plans: You can contribute to both of them at the same time. But before you choose either or both of them, consult with your tax and financial advisors. After all, you work hard to help provide for a comfortable retirement tomorrow — so you’ll want a retirement plan working hard for you today.



Keep Up with the GBEDF Through a Variety of Ways

Merry Christmas and Happy page so that you can trigger updates Holidays from the GBEDF. It has as they come up. been a great year for our community If you need additional information, with several announcements and please feel free to download our free groundbreakings that will result in app from itunes or the android marseveral thousand jobs created in the ket place.  The app details informavery near future. tion on incentives and demographics Your GBEDF has been a strong with links to local partners that supporter and participant in many of assist us in making things happen in these activities and we thank you for Bossier and Northwest Louisiana.  allowing us to serve you. Of course you can always access Of course you can follow all of our website at to see these activities and what is DAVID ROCKETT going on in the world of local economic development via our facebook page.  Yes, we have a facebook page. We have discovered that at the speed things happen and move in our market place, local,  national and international items that effect local business, it is important to get that message out fast so that our partners can take advantage of the news and events. in great detail what the GBEDF is We update our facebook page doing. nearly daily with items that may Again, it is our pleasure to serve affect the business climate in our our community by growing investcommunity.  Twitter is another animent and job opportunities in our mal all together.  I think I just home. recently discovered my age threshold Here’s to a great 2012 and cheers with twitter.  We will continue to to continued economic growth in the evaluate if that is an effective tool for new year! our information purposes in the new year. In the meanwhile, our facebook DAVID “ROCKY” ROCKETT is Executive Director of the page has great information for you to Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation. take advantage of.  Please “like” our


WIL ADAMS is a financial advisor with Edward Jones. He can be reached at (318) 549-9155. BUSINESS MONTHLY| January 2013 | 11



Jelks named Business Leader of the Year

The Senior Council of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce announced the selection for the 2012 Business Leader of the Year award. The Chamber’s Senior Council, a committee of seven past Chamber Chairmen, presJelks ent a special award each year recognizing an individual who has a proven history as an established business executive, who is a leader and has made significant contributions to the betterment of northwest Louisiana.

This year’s Business Leader of the Year is Bobby E. Jelks, President of Franks Management Company LLC and longstanding community leader in Shreveport-Bossier City. “It is always difficult to choose one recipient for this prestigious award each year,” said Senior Council Chairman Joe Kane, General Manager of the Lamar CompaniesShreveport. “Bobby continues to advance initiatives throughout northwest Louisiana with active participation in many community boards and affiliations while driving continued success at Franks Management Company. We

are proud to honor him as the 2012 Business Leader of the Year. It is well deserved.” Jelks will be honored at the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting luncheon taking place January 17, 2013, at East Ridge Country Club. This meeting will bring together over 400 business professionals from a variety of industry sectors to hear official chamber updates and pertinent community information for 2013. Tickets can be purchased by calling 318-677-2500.


Play the "Reverse Gossip" game and say something kind and edifying behind someone's back.

Bob Burg, Best-Selling Author of “The Go Giver.”

12 | January 2013 | BUSINESS MONTHLY

Kinnaird: Take Time When Creating Handbook

Continued from Page 6

lines spelled out, that signifies the employee understands and plans to abide by the policy, otherwise suffers the penalties. Creating a social media handbook, policy or set of guidelines isn’t hard, but you do need to take some time to thoughtfully go through each scenario. To get started, assemble the appropriate people in your business, and start building a document. While not a complete list, here are a few important things to include: n In which social networks are you going to participate? n Who is responsible for entering the posts? n Who creates the content to be posted? n Provide examples of each type of post, who is to respond to them, and how they are to respond. n negative comments n complaints n threats n praise

n questions n general conversation n What topics are offlimits? n How much personal information are employees allowed to share? n Guidelines for posting photos, videos, and other links n What are the ramifications to inappropriate comments or responses by employees? Finally, how are you going to roll out your new social media policy? How will you make sure that your employees understand your policies and the subsequent consequences for not following them? Take time now to go through this process so you can avoid the public relations nightmare in the future!

AMY KINNARD is the owner of Uncommon Sense Marketing. She is a self-proclaimed Social Media Evangelist. You can reach Amy at



The Community Foundation Return on Investment Award Announcement

The Community Foundation of North Louisiana is currently seeking applications for its annual Return on Investment Award.

Return on investment (ROI) is a ratio derived by dividing return by investment, traditionally used by the business industry. Increasingly, however, this concept is becoming relevant to the nonprofit sector. With private donations to charities shrinking and requests for help growing, leverage, impact and ROI are more important than ever. Measuring ROI helps nonprofits assess their effectiveness and efficiency and demonstrate that they are returning value to the community. In a competitive economy, a strong ROI can help nonprofits communicate their worth and attract additional capital.

To encourage local nonprofits to undertake this type of self-measurement and to reward those who already excel in this area, The Community Foundation presents an annual award to a local nonprofit that has demonstrated an outstanding return on investment. The winner will be recognized at the Foundation’s annual meeting in April 2013. The winner will also receive a $5,000 grant award to start or add to an existing agency endowment fund housed at the Community Foundation.

Visit our website at to download the application. The application deadline is January 31, 2013. Please contact Liz LaBorde at for more information.

SHBA Announces 2013 Board of Directors

The Southern Hills Business Association has elected its 2013 Board of Directors. They are: John Bowman, The Human Resource Department, Inc.; Mara Elliott, Remington College; Marvin Greer, Marvin Greer Insurance; John Lorick, South Park Auto Sales; Harold Sater, Encore Event Rentals; Robert Duvall, Duvall’s Amusement Rentals; Drew Maggio, Barksdale Federal Credit Union; Lola Kendrick, Kendrick Educational Consulting; Barbara Riley, Barbara’s Unique Gifts and Florist; Daniel Lonsberry, Gibsland Bank & Trust; Chuck Stripling, Ayers Business College; Lt. Richard Corbett, Sheriff’s Safety Town; Shawn

Dye, Edward Jones Investments. Officers for 2013 are John Bowman, President; Mara Elliott, Vice President; Marvin Greer, Treasurer. All Board members are owners or managers of businesses in Southern Hills. The first meeting for 2013 will be January, 29th at the Business Center, 9701 Baird Road, with Shreve Memorial Library Director, Dr. Ronald Heezen, as Speaker.

YP of the Year Announced at annual 40 Under 40 Gala

More than 400 guests gathered at Horseshoe Riverdome to celebrate the many accomplishments of young professionals working and living throughout Shreveport-Bossier City. Each year, the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce teams up with C i t y L i f e Magazine and other partners to highlight and recognize the commitment from young professionals in our area.

The awards are merited on career, community involvement and commitment to further professional development in their field of work. Forty individuals are selected to be honored each year from over 200 nominations each year. A special committee from the Chamber and Young Professional Initiative makes the selections each year.

“It is wonderful to see so many outstanding young people making their mark in this city,” said YPI Chair Kezia L. Pigford. Every year the selection committee has a difficult time narrowing the nominees down to only forty.” This program began in 2006 and since then there have been over 200 young professionals honored with this prestigious award. From the forty honorees chosen each year, one is named the Young Professional of the Year.

Dr. Megan Gardner of Ark-La-Tex Children’s Clinic was named the 2012 Young Professional of the Year. “Dr. Gardner stood out from the rest. She has gone above and beyond in her commitment to this region. Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Mr. James “Jim” Gardner—past Shreveport Mayor and pioneer for this region— she will continue his legacy in keeping Shreveport close to her heart.

YPI is an affiliate program of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce that concentrates on providing networking, professional development and community outreach opportunities for young professionals working in the area. To learn more about this program visit




Website Aims to Stop Investment Scams

Better Business Bureau and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation launched a new consumer website, BBB Smart Investing, which is designed to help investors make smarter investing decisions while avoiding fraud, risky investments and unlicensed brokers. The campaign combines the research and expansive knowledge base of the FINRA Foundation with the extensive consumer outreach of BBB’s trusted 100-year-old name and its 104 local operations across the United States. “Our partnership with BBB will help Americans in communities across the country protect their savings from fraudsters,” said FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh. “The FINRA Foundation’s ‘Outsmarting Investment Fraud’ curriculum and resources have been field-tested, and give consumers the tools and information they need to thwart fraudsters touting investment scams.” Consumer financial fraud is a serious problem in North America. According to the Federal Trade Commission and the Canadian AntiFraud Centre, consumers reported losing more than $1.5 billion to all types of scams in 2011. FINRA Foundation research has found that investors are overconfident in their knowledge of financial management, particularly Baby Boomers who are most often the target of investment scams. A telephone survey found that 92% felt “somewhat” or “very confident” about managing their finances, with almost 80% describing themselves as “somewhat” or “very” knowledgeable about investing. But only 44% got a passing grade on a basic financial literacy knowledge test. BBB Smart Investing hopes to help change that. “This is a great partnership,” says Carrie Hurt, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business

Bureaus. “Even though BBB has always investigated investment scams, this gives us a whole new portfolio of prevention tools to offer to consumers. The FINRA Foundation’s basic ‘Ask & Check’ message is exactly what consumers need to hear before they make investment decisions. We think this program will go a long way toward preventing investment scams that have become so much more prevalent in recent years as people more actively manage their own retirement funds.” Nearly half of the BBBs based in the United States have begun rolling out programs and hosting events in their local areas. A wide variety of tools from the FINRA Foundation are being used by trained BBB presenters across the country to introduce smart investing skills and to teach consumers how to detect investment schemes, scams and frauds. A list of upcoming events is available online. For those who are interested in learning more but cannot attend a local event or do not have one scheduled nearby, a free DVD is available from the FINRA Foundation. The program, “Trick$ of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud,” is an hour-long documentary that originally appeared on PBS and was recognized by Kiplinger’s Best of Everything.


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The Ten Worst Mistakes in Selling

I begin my business day with a quick review of articles and quotes from the world of business…especially sales and service. I work to select a few items of interest and post them on my business Facebook page and at my website. I also send them to my clients who I think will find them helpful. One article caught my eye because it was (in your face) quick and straight forward…The 10 Worst Mistakes in Selling by Robert Graham. Here are what Robert considers to be the “worst” mistakes salespeople make along with my comments. #10 - Not being prepared Throughout my career, I have extolled salespeople to not only Prepare but also Plan and Practice BEFORE you are with a prospect or client. Clients lament that most salespeople regularly “waste my time” because they are not prepared. Wasting time is the biggest fear clients have with salespeople. Show your prospects that YOU are different. Do your homework; anticipate questions, research the client’s business and value the client’s time. “If I had 8 hours to cut down a tree, I would spend 6 hours sharpening the saw.” Abraham Lincoln #9 – Poor questioning Early in my 30+ years of selling, a client gave me an excellent lesson. “Jerry, don’t ask me questions that can be answered on my front door or in my yellow pages ad.” Today, it is so easy to do research on prospects

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reports that less than 10% of salespeople invest any money or time in their own training. If your company doesn’t provide training, invest in yourself! “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” Michael Jordan #5 – Not asking for referrals The insurance industry has this down to a science. Once a client has bought from you, the time is perfect to ask for the names of others you could help with the same product. “Ask and you may get. Don’t, and you won’t.” Unknown author #4 – Talking too much “If you listen, the client will tell you how to sell them.” (Jerry) They will also think you care about them and their business. Listening is a learned skill. It’s time to invest in learning to listen. “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” Ernest Hemingway What is “completely”? #3 – Giving up “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up!” Babe Ruth #2 – Not asking for the business Asking for the business is like anything else you want to become good at. You’ve got to Plan, Prepare and Practice. Determine what is comfortable for you and your style and then practice. Become comfortable with your process and remind


and their businesses via the internet. Don’t call on a prospect if you don’t know something about their business. You’ll be surprised what you can easily learn about the prospect. Be creative. “If you had a magic wand, what would you change?” #8 – Selling too soon Be patient. Ask questions! Listen! Show the value! Develop the relationship. Allow the prospect to direct the traffic. The client will tell you what you need to know. #7 – Losing control If you plan, prepare and practice the meeting…no matter how short…you can always bring the conversation back on track. As Yogi Berra once said “You’ve got to know where you’re going or you might not get there”. #6 – No support (training) Most salespeople expect their company to provide training and pay for it. One recent research project

yourself that the prospect expects you to ask. In lots of cases, they want you to ask. #1 – Not making enough sales calls Many wonderful things will come from making sales calls that are well thought out. It’s just like baseball. You want and need to get up to bat and swing. You can’t hit a home run if you are not in the lineup. Keep moving and each contact will help you get better and more successful. Remember, these are what Robert Graham thinks are the worst mistakes. By no means are they the only ones we make in sales. Study your craft and invest in your skills. Become a professional. Study the hits and strike outs. Ask for coaching. Listen and then apply. I constantly shared the following quote with my sales team…. “Knowledge is power!” As I became wiser and older, I discovered that it was not exactly correct. “Knowledge is opportunity and potential. Applied knowledge is power.” Unknown author JERRY FRENTRESS — Speaker & Coach, Win-Win Power(ful) Tools for Sales, Service and Employee Interviewing. Website:

Business Facebook: . 742-0009 / Bossier City

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NWLA Business Monthly - January 2013  

The January 2013 Edition of NWLA Business Monthly Magazine