Sunday, February 28, 2010

4 Life Lessons for an AE - From the Helm

My colleague Susie writes a column, "From the Helm," in her association magazine. A recent issue includes advice that she says sticks in her head ...

1. "You don't even know me" - when visiting a member (at a prior association) he informed her that his company is 15% of the membership, but she didn't spend much time with him or know him well. She did after that. Her message: You need to know where your business comes from too - just like your members do.

2. "When someone is looking for a fight, don't give in to them" - a disgruntled former employee sent retaliatory and accusatory email out. Her response: none. He went away as it's difficult to fight with someone who won't fight you back. Her message: "some things are worth fighting for, but sometimes you just have to let it go."

3. "Wear something befitting your position in the community" - At an association "night" at a large basketball arena, she was selected to shoot a free throw at halftime - and made it! Was very glad she didn't just wear jeans and a t-shirt because 100 members were there, and the picture was in the local newspaper. Her message: You represent your association when you walk out the door.

4. "Put on your lipstick, Susie" - At a chaotic event, a member leaned over to her and said "put on your lipstick, Susie." The message: Even if everything around you is falling apart, it is important to have the appearance of having it together.

Susie says these 4 lessons help "present a good knowledge of members, a calm demeanor, a decent presentation of myself and self-assuredness."

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