Getting to Yes


Consultative Sales: The art of proper preparation, skillful conversation and distinctive service.

Mary Jo Lyons  | Jan. 24, 2011

Approaching the Client Interaction


Business owners, sales consultants and advisors often ask me what is the magic in getting more clients to say yes? The magic is in engaging with your clients on a personal level and discovering their hopes, their dreams, their goals, their families and most importantly their fears. I often refer to this as “The Good Stuff”. It’s the good stuff that gets to the heart of the client and this is where we make the emotional connection with people.  In order to enjoy more MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL conversations that end in yes you need to ask better questions. Questions that will uncover information that you can then use to your benefit to create an awareness of needs, to get the client to acknowledge the need and then provide a solution. You can best do this when you follow a disciplined, repeatable process. Using this approach to your conversations will get you more powerful connections.

What is a power connection?


A power connection is one in which you and the client make an informed, mutually beneficial decision. Mutually beneficial is a win-win for both parties.  The goal of this newsletter is to provide small business owners and independent professionals sales tips and best practices that when applied consistently will result in more powerful connections and client conversations that end in YES!

Good Luck Chinese New Year Cake

Superstition, or belief in an abundant year?


Chia-Li Chien | Jan. 15, 2011

A traditional Chinese year occurs in the lunar calendar, and this year the Chinese New Year will be on February 3, 2011. There are many things a Chinese family will prepare for their New Year’s Eve, as well as New Year’s Day. When I was growing up, I was always in and out of the kitchen, helping my mother to prepare her 12-course New Year’s Eve dinner. Each dish had a significant meaning for bringing good luck in many areas. There were also many items not included in the 12-course meal, to be presented outside the meal in worship of our ancestors as well as God, showing our appreciation of what they had provided for us. Those items were eaten on New Year’s Day, and included Good Luck New Year Cake and Abundance Cake.

I’ve been living in the U.S. since 1988, and finding these cakes is very challenging. My husband T.C. and I used to drive to China Town in Flushing Queens, New York to find these cakes. Most of the time, we returned empty-handed because the people living in that area got them before we did. For years, it has been hit or miss getting those delicious cakes. Lately, I had just decided to forget about the cakes.

My mother-in-law Lily has prepared the New Year Cake for many years, and occasionally, we get one, depending on if there is a U.S. holiday around the Chinese New Year. On different years, we may or may not get to her house for the New Year dinner. Actually, I have to admit, we never made it in twenty years of marriage. But last year we did, and Lily taught me how to make the Abundance Cake, and I’ve been making them throughout 2010 and sharing them with many of my clients and friends. I have become quite good at making the Abundance Cakes and make them almost on a monthly basis. Last Christmas, Lily taught me how to make the New Year Cake, my daughter’s favorite.

Pro Bono Advisory Committee

Message from the Chair


Thank you for accepting the call to lead your chapter's pro bono effort. 

The Top 3 mistakes to avoid in your first year as a Pro Bono Director.

1. Rush to establish or maintaining Community-Based Organization (CBO) relationship. You know your ideal target pro bono clients (people in transition or/and low income). Your role is to find where they hang out - CBO and provide service through a CBO accordingly. You may have existing CBOs from previous director to work with. In some case, you may have to find new one in town.

a. Solution - Leverage National CBO such as JA first to gain the momentum then look for new CBO. Especially CBO that exists in other chapters such as United Way, Goodwill, etc.

b. Available Resource - CBO resource and Sample MOU

2. Not retain and recruit volunteers. Your team is as good as how you lead them. Have a structure in place so they know what to expect and what success looks like.

a. Solution - Identify your 2011 calendar - layout what you're planning to do. Let your team know what you're planning to do, they will help you accomplish that.

b. Available Resource - Here is my sample for 2010. National leadership template link.

Angel Capital Summit 2010 Roundup


A small step toward the Triple Bottom Line (Part 2 of 2)

Chia-Li Chien | Dec. 20, 2010

Continue from part 1...

Part 2. Presentations (from the entrepreneurs to investors). There were 39 companies pre-selected by deal screeners from the 131 submissions received for the Angel Capital Summit. I helped screen a few of the companies, and can tell you first hand it’s really hard to pick and choose which one to listen to. I naturally had a real interest in seeing how the companies I selected did.


A. Two out of the ten deals I heard would compel me to invest if I was the investor. After being in the financial industry for many years, I tend to be conservative in any type of investing. Therefore, I purposely chose traditional types of businesses that I related to because I knew their industry well. I naturally turned away things that I didn’t understand.

Angel Capital Summit 2010 Roundup


A small step toward the Triple Bottom Line (Part 1 of 2)

Chia-Li Chien | Dec. 20, 2010

I’ve been living in Charlotte, NC about seven years and prior to here, we lived in Connecticut for fifteen years. Between the Northeastern and Southeastern climates, I learned the weather does have some impact on how people interact with each other. For instance, my younger brother lives in Los Angeles and I have observed a difference in how people act, think and behave in California. I also have been to Denver many times, but early December 2010 was the first time I actually felt something different in Denver. I’m pretty sure it was due to the climate at the Angel Capital Summit.

Too Much Lemon


Patience is not an entrepreneur’s virtue

Chia-Li Chien | Dec. 8, 2010


Like most immigrants who come to the U.S., I continue to foster my own culture in my family, especially by way of Chinese food. When I first came to the U.S. at age 21, I did not have much cooking experience. Over the 22 years of living here, I kind of made up my own cuisine of mixed Chinese and American food in my day-to-day cooking. However, these days, my teenage daughter loves to “order” her favorite American food while I am preparing meals.

Initially, there were many American recipes that I tried and failed at. I had the most success with recipes from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. Their traditional spaghetti and meatballs is at the top of the order list from my daughter. She has a sweet tooth, too and always wants a traditional apple pie. So, once again, I followed a recipe from Everyday Food.

In Chinese cooking, we don’t use many lemons. But I love lemons, especially because they have significantly lowered my cholesterol. So instead of following the recipe and using the juice of half a lemon in the freshly sliced apples, I used the juice from a whole lemon.  Well, you can image the look on my daughter’s face. She did not want to eat that pie at all. I have to admit, it was a bit tart and citric, but I LOVED it. To make sure my husband did not make the same face my daughter had, I left him a big note that night to tell him to make sure he added sugar to his piece of pie if he found it too tart.

5 Deadly Business Sins to Avoid


The Angel Capital Summit 2010
December 6 2010 Workshop Handout

Chia-Li Chien | Dec. 6, 2010

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