As the year draws to a close, amidst the chaos and excitement of the holidays, I want to reflect on how grateful I am to all of you for helping make 2011 such a wonderful year for SIG. The growth we have experienced has been phenomenal, and it is because of the passion of our many SIG members and champions, and the commitment of the SIG team. 2011 was a record year for SIG in many different ways:
We added a total of 61 new members…and the year isn’t over! Our buy-side membership, in particular, has grown dramatically and includes companies across all industries like: Starbucks, State Street, Bank of New York Mellon, Bloomberg, United Healthcare, HBO, Winn-Dixie, Kimberly-Clark, Johnson & Johnson, John Deere, Staples, Mass Mutual, Cigna, Hanover Insurance, and many more! Increasing the depth and breadth of our membership creates a more enriching environment for all of our SIG members.
We had record attendance at our last two Summits, and registered more executive-level decision makers than ever before.
Our travels took us back to Sydney for the first time in five years, as well as to London, where we connected with global companies for our Regional Roundtable series. Domestically, we visited eleven other cities, three for the first time, and connected with nearly 700 SIG buy-side members and prospective members.
We have also increased the ways our members can connect on top-of-mind issues through our Peer2Peer program (we’ve processed 110 P2P requests so far this year, up from just 20 two years ago) and our LinkedIn group, which has more than doubled in size since the end of 2010.
While it would be nice to have visions of sugar plums for the rest of the month, SIG is hard at work planning for the New Year. One of our first orders of business is to launch a member survey to determine where you value our services today and what you desire for the future.
Last January I reflected on an article by Barry Moltz entitled 11 New Year's Resolutions for Business Owners. This year, I find his message still relevant and timely. One of his pieces of advice was to only sell painkillers. When things are better economically, Moltz said that customers buy “vitamins” (i.e. nice-to-haves). In tough times, he recommended finding your customers’ pain by surveying them at the beginning of the year and asking where your business can help the most. He advised that you focus on selling what customers actually want, not what you think they need. This is an important lesson for SIG, and one that we plan to focus on early in 2012, by delivering the salient, timely business needs our members desire.
Before the clock strikes midnight this year, I will bid adieu to 2011 and welcome 2012. I will embrace the New Year as another challenge … a challenge to anticipate your needs, exceed your expectations and deliver an unparalleled year of success like we have never experienced before. So until we meet again, I wish you and yours a happy holiday season and am a prosperous 2012.