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Diann Turner and NetLink

AH&LA Legislative Action Summit Brings Value of Customer Service to Light

This year, I had the privilege of attending the AH&LA’s Legislative Action Summit (LAS), which brought together key leadership from the lodging sector to make the industry’s voice heard on Capitol Hill.

Some of the major issues tackled at the LAS were the ability to foster growth and job creation in the lodging arena, the need to have online travel companies pay their fair share of taxes from online bookings, as well as removing burdensome visa processes that keep international travelers from coming to the U.S.

These are all serious issues that have major implications on the growth of the lodging sector. It was incredibly enlightening to be in the same room as the brightest legislative affairs executives who play a major role in providing an environment for true business growth for the hospitality industry.

Not only is the hospitality industry tied to the economic growth of the nation, it is also the mainstay of many local communities around the country. By easing some restrictions for travelers coming into the country, the hospitality industry has the potential to add 1.3 million jobs in 2012.

I did have one major epiphany during the LAS, and ironically, it did not come from participating in the sessions and networking events. Each night, when I went back to my hotel (JW Marriott), I was greeted with an unprecedented level of customer service. And, when I was leaving — and had to keep my bags with the bellman because of an 8 a.m. check out – I had five Marriot employees taking care of me. From loading my luggage into my 11-year-old SUV and beyond, it was a prime example of how the lodging industry needs to continue focusing on one thing: making the guests happy.

Clearly, attending the LAS was an illuminating experience for me, but I was really reminded that customer service is the cornerstone of business success by the JW Marriott employees themselves. When that belief trickles down to all staff positions, hoteliers can’t help but attract and retain more guests!

 

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group

 

Fort Meade Alliance Chooses NetLink to Participate in Business Mentor Program

We are excited to announce that Fort Meade Alliance’s Meade Business Connect (MBC) has selected NetLink Resource Group to be a part of its MBC Mentorship Program, which will help us expand business opportunities in the unique Fort Meade government-contracting environment.

The 12-session mentorship program with experienced executives will broaden our footprint in the defense contracting sector in the region. We will also present our capabilities to experienced contractors, as well as enjoy the benefit of networking opportunities and events, business forums and capability matching sessions.

Thirteen other companies were chosen to participate, which include: Alpha Omega Technologies, Inc., AttivaSoft, LLC, Bluemont Technology & Research, Inc., Columbia Technology Partners, Inc., Computer Essentials Quick, Inc., Delta Resources, Inc., Envision Innovative Solutions, Inc., ITIC Corporation, Jovian Concepts, Inc., Miller, Moll and Associates, PathSensors, Inc., System & Software Designers, Inc., and The Nasir Group, Inc.

It goes without saying that we are very excited about this opportunity. The Fort Meade Alliance is a catalyst for business opportunities in the region and this further expands NetLink as a key provider of IT solutions to the defense sector.

We would like to thank the Fort Meade Business Alliance for choosing us!

 

 

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group

Don’t Miss the NVTC Panel on Using Mobility Solutions to Increase Sales and Revenue

Do you have the technology for success in 2012? How do the trendsetters plan to use innovative Mobility to make their businesses more effective and in turn win more business?

 

With quotas going up, budgets going down and no more hours in the day, it is imperative that your organization be on top of the efficiency curve to stay ahead. With today’s demands, telecommuting, our beloved challenges with traffic and other unique obstacles to achieving success, more and more companies are looking to mobility for solutions.

Join the Northern Virginia Tech Council (NVTC) Business Development, Marketing & Sales Committee to hear from a variety of business leaders as to how they are currently using mobility to address the above and better themselves in the market. Learn how they are using mobility to increase sales, lower costs and how mobility is changing the way they do business. You will also hear from the trendsetters and how they plan to be innovative using mobility to make their businesses more effective and in turn, win more business.

Trendsetters

Moderator: Tarik Reyes, Vice President of Business Development – Federal Mission Programs, Northrop Grumman Information Systems

Panelists: Deborah B. Dunie, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, CACI International Inc.

Rob Hines, Regional Vice President, Salesforce.com

Kevin Kiley, Director of the Enterprise Sales Group, AirWatch

Mike Maiorana, President – Washington-Baltimore-Virginia Region, Verizon Wireless

Paul Oliver, Regional Manager, Collaboration Sales, Enterprise East, Cisco

Hope to see you all on January 26th at Northrop Grumman at 7575 Colshire Drive in McLean, VA at 7:30 am!

Click here to learn more about the event.

Please register at www.nvtc.org/events

 

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group

Don’t Miss Out on The NVTC 2011 Sales Rock Star Panel

In just about every organization, there are a handful of sales employees who go above and beyond, defy all expectations and consistently achieve success.  Let’s face it.  These people are rock stars.

Have you ever wanted to know what makes these sales leaders tick?  What are their secrets and how can I put their best practices to use in my daily sales efforts?

Well, these secrets and more will be provided to you in the upcoming Sales Rock Star Panel hosted by Northern Virginia Tech Council (NVTC) Business Development, Marketing & Sales Committee.

The following panelists will describe what they are doing differently and share the secrets you need to break quota for your company.  From entrepreneurial start-ups, mid to large-size, commercial or products/specialty firms, you can apply the tips and techniques you learn from our panel of experts to your organization.

Moderator:

  • Greg Baroni, Chairman & CEO, Attain, LLC

Panelists:

  • Bobby C. Christian, Chief Growth Officer, Three Pillar Global
  • Siddhartha Chowdhary, PMP, Founder & CEO, Credence  Management Solutions LLC
  • Mark LaFleur, Vice President, Business Development, Learning Tree International
  • Janet Oliver, Vice President and Director, U.S. and European Operations and Business Development, ITT Mission Systems
  • Duane Sibole, Associate Director – National / Strategic / SMB, Verizon Wireless

See you all at Salient Federal Solutions in Fairfax, Virginia on November 18th at 7:30 a.m.   Click here to learn more about the event.

Oh, and who said rock stars only exist in the music world?

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group

Maryland Chamber’s Business Policy Conference Highlights Regional Policy Issues and Challenges

Each year, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce brings together the regional business community to discuss key policy issues at its Business Policy Conference. This year’s event, which took place on November 3rd and 4th, highlighted the themes of economic competitiveness, transportation funding, health care, immigration law, environmental sustainability and much more.

For NetLink Resource Group, the event is an ideal chance for us to network, learn more about these issues and promote our offerings to clients, partners and prospects.  We were excited to be one of 10 exhibiting companies at the event, which brought together about 250 business leaders from the area.

We like to align ourselves with business organizations like the Maryland Chamber because, while we are a provider of IT services and solutions, we ultimately aim to bring business value to clients through the use of information technology.

From its CEO panel to keynote speeches by Maryland lawmakers, the Chamber’s Business Policy Conference was the ideal venue for gaining a perspective on policy issues that impact the business community in Maryland.  If you have not had a chance to attend this event, we highly recommend you mark your calendars for next year’s conference.

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group

Sometimes Bad Customer Service Reminds Us That There’s No Room for Sacrificing Quality

Many businesses tout quality service as being the hallmark of their entire mission.  And as we have highlighted before, there are some business doing some incredibly outstanding things when it comes to service.

Though all it takes is one or two bad apples to remind us that there are some companies out there that are missing the mark when it comes to quality service. Following are a couple of glaring real-life examples of poor customer service.  If you will, we have been kind enough to change the names to protect the guilty.

First my neighbor had a daunting experience with a major provider of home furnishings and accessories.  She called the local store and could never get anybody to return her calls regarding the new kitchen counters she was having installed.  As such, my neighbor had to make several 40-mile trips to the actual store to get somebody to respond to her issue.  All of this could have been handled easily over the phone – if only someone had called her back.

The second example is regarding my son and a major insurance provider.  My son’s truck was hit by a person driving without a license and who did not have permission to drive the car – resulting in several thousands of dollars of damage to my son’s truck.  Since it was hit from behind, the repair shop felt that the truck should have been totaled because of damages that impacted the transmission.  The insurance company opted to have it repaired – as opposed to deeming it “totaled.” Now the transmission is fully shot and it will cost my son $5,000 to install a new one.   And by the way, the insurance company never sent anyone out to look at the vehicle again, return phone calls or re-open the claim.  Once this issue is resolved…if it ever is, my son is switching to a competitive insurance provider, which means the insurance carrier is losing a customer of more than 15 years.

In today’s hyper-connected world, all it takes is for a few bad customer service stories to make their way through the world of social media and then a company has a real public relations nightmare on their hands.

My advice to these companies is to take a page from Nordstrom, Trader Joes’s, Marriott and others by simply making quality service their top priority.

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group

Hot Times for NetLink at the NVTC ‘Hot Ticket’ Awards Event

Without a doubt, the most premier networking event for the Northern Virginia technology community in the summer is the NVTC’s ‘Hot Ticket Award’ gathering.

Technology leaders and innovators from the region convene annually at NVTC CEO Bobbie Kilberg’s house to celebrate the region’s movers and shakers in the following award categories: Hottest Bootstrap, Hottest Buzz, Hottest Emerging Government Contractor, Hottest Exit, Hottest Management Team, Hottest Startup and Hottest Venture Capital Deal.

This year, NetLink had the unique honor of being a Hot Ticket sponsor, which proved to be the ideal opportunity to help raise awareness about what we do, who we are and what makes NetLink unique.  We also got some great publicity as a result.  Check out this photomontage from the Washington Business Journal that includes a couple shots of NetLink consultant Carlos Diggs.   We were also included in the official NVTC press release announcing the winners.

Although the weather was a bit hot (pun intended), the event proved to be a major success – especially for the winners.  When more than 550 tech executives get together on a hot summer evening, big things are bound to happen.

Congratulations to all the 2011 Hot Ticket winners and see you all next year at Bobbie Kilberg’s house.  And, perhaps next year someone from NetLink will jump in the pool?

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group

CRTC’s ‘BBQ on the Bay’ Brings Sun, Fun, Water and Networking

Last month, NetLink Resource Group had the opportunity to participate in the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council’s BBQ on the Bay, which is an annual event for CRTC members to showcase their innovations, network and have fun in a casual environment.

Approximately 400 people attended what was a spectacular summer-time venue:  right where Back Creek, the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay intersect.  It was the ideal environment for networking with fellow technology executives from the region in a highly relaxed atmosphere.

NetLink proudly plays a major role in CRTC and many other regional organizations because it affords us the opportunity to better develop relationships first-hand with potential clients and partners.

And really there’s no better way to network than by enjoying a beautiful evening on the water with great food, fun and the sun.

A big thank you to the CRTC for hosting such a terrific event.

 

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group