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A monthly newsletter from the Rochester Professional Consultants Network.

We have a new in-person meeting place!

Our event meeting space is now at the Al Sigl Center at 1000 Elmwood Avenue, right here in Rochester.

Regular Friday morning meetings (Technical and Business Forums, "Learn From the Best" presentation series) and some of our other internal gatherings will take place in their conference room for those who want to meet in person.

If you prefer to stay virtual, that's OK, too. We still have a virtual meeting option.

This is part of our plan to move toward a fully hybrid event solution... where we can offer both virtual and in-person attendance options for nearly all events. We're not quite there yet, however.

We hope to see you either online or in person at the new meeting space.

For more details about the Al Sigl Center like the location, parking, and more, see below:

LOCATION: Al Sigl Center Golisano Building, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester NY 14620 (click here for a map)

PARKING: In the lot at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and South Avenue

ENTRY DOOR: Door #1 that faces Elmwood Avenue at the corner of South Avenue

CONFERENCE ROOM: Justin Vigdor Room, to the right after entering Door #1

Business Description or Encryption?
(Plain Language vs. Jargon)

When you describe your business, do listeners readily understand the basics of what you do, or do you get blank stares? If we don’t explain our businesses in terms that people understand, how can we expect them to engage us or refer us to others? It’s a tempting trap to use acronyms, buzzwords, and technical jargon to exhibit our knowledge. However, this confuses many people about what we do and the value we produce. Let’s look at some examples.

Not-so-Simple Business Descriptions (And, in parentheses, what they’re trying to say)

1. We drill down and deconstruct your legacy SaaS solution, then parse your platform to yield synergistic problem-solving possibilities.

(We analyze and fix your software problems)

2. I help you develop capacities and capabilities that concentrate on collaborating with clients so that customer centricity becomes a core competency. This optimizes your optics.

(I help you focus on your customers and improve your image).

3. We mentor you to maximize your management’s maturation so that employee engagement is uppermost in their mental mix.

(We train managers to develop human relations skills).

4. I help you think outside the box to strategize suites of synergistic solutions, then assign assets to produce data-driven organic growth.

(I help you develop ideas to increase revenue, decide what to do, and have your people do it).

5. Is your legacy system languishing? We help you do the calculus to combat complacency and eliminate existential errors that impede your capacity for positive change.

(We help you solve and take action on your major problems)

What’s the Harm in a Little Jargon?

Big companies have the luxury of people knowing who they are and what they do (even though they use jargon). But, most small businesses don’t have that Brand Recognition. We small entrepreneurs must say exactly what we do in “plain”, understandable language with as few words as possible.

For Example

An Accountant could say “I enable businesses to maximize profits, produce Break-Even Analyses, P&L Statements, Balance Sheets, and Schedule C’s.” (This description could work if the listener understands these terms).

A better way could be “I help small companies keep accurate financial records and pay the minimum amount of taxes. If things don’t add up, call me.” (Thanks to Frank Crombe for the tagline).

Test Yourself

After your 30-second Business Introduction, ask people probing questions to see if they understand what you do. Then, keep it simple. Strive for Description not Encryption.

Bob Lurz

Enhancing Human Capital
Lunch & Learn Updates

Last Month's Lunch-n-Learn

We held another RPCN EHC Lunch & Learn on Thursday, August 18 at 11:30 AM on Zoom, and discussed using Covey’s Habits of Public Victory (Habits 4-6) to Build Trust.  We had fourteen attendees. The discussion was lively and centered around the second three of Stephen R. Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and tools and concepts regarding these “public victories.”  Most of our time was spent discussing what Covey calls the Emotional Bank Account (which I like to refer to as the Trust Bank Account), and how aspects of it can be used to build trust among those we interact with (not just colleagues and clients, but also friends and family), and his six major deposits to the bank account:

  • Understanding the individual,
  • Attending to the little things,
  • Keeping commitments,
  • Clarifying expectations,
  • Showing personal integrity,
  • Apologizing sincerely when you make a withdrawal. 

One of our attendees, Bob Whipple, whose area of expertise is building trust, even suggested there is a seventh deposit which is to create a safe environment wherein people can be safe from fear.  We also discussed thinking win/win or no deal, plus empathic listening, and how those tools can be used to build trust.  It was a very lively discussion and we hope to have you join us at our next Lunch & Learn.

Upcoming Lunch-n-Learn:
The Great Resignation - From the Resigner's Perspective
– September 15, 2022

Why are people quitting their jobs en masse and what are they doing after they quit?
In this session, we’ll take a look at the psychology and economics surrounding an individual’s decision to leave an organization on their own terms and what kind of support systems they’re using after they make the transition.  We’ll also discuss some alternatives to quitting, such as job crafting to improve their quality of life at work. To register, click here.

RPCN’s Enhancing Human Capital Lunch-n-Learns are held via Zoom on the third Thursday of every month. Our program starts and 11:30 a.m. ET and runs until 1:00 p.m. ET. o get more information about EHC, please contact the EHC team.

Simon Vision Consulting Program Updates

As most of you know, the Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN) has been providing the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business (Simon) Simon Vision Consulting Program (Simon Vision) Mentors to help with their student teams for the past nine semesters. We are now getting ready to start our tenth semester of providing mentors to the program.

Due to the incredible student demand to participate in this entirely voluntary program, we are expecting Simon Vision to provide consultant teams to work on TWENTY different projects.  And, if there are 20 projects, we are looking to have twenty RPCN member mentors available to the teams.  So, if you haven’t stepped up to mentor yet, it isn’t too late.  If you’d like to volunteer to be an RPCN member mentor to a student team please contact me, Dave Bassett at

I’ll give an update on how the semester is progressing next month after the projects start rolling.

Dave Bassett

RPCN Video

Watch the introductory video here.

Upcoming RPCN Events

Visit the RPCN website for a list of all upcoming events.

Technical Forum
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, September 2, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

Marketing Methods that Work For Us
Panel Discussion
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, September 9, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Enhancing Human Capital Lunch N' Learn: The Great Resignation - From the Resigner's Perspective
Thursday, September 15, 2022
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Business Forum
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, September 16, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

RPCN Board Meeting
Everyone is welcome to attend.
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, September 16, 2022
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. 

Learn From the Best: TBD
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, September 23, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Did You Know? 
Friday Morning Programs

I have been a member of RPCN for many years and have been a member of several other organizations as well. One of the unique things about RPCN is we have events on the first, second, third, and fourth Fridays of every month. I know of no other organization that meets as frequently. In addition, RPCN has other events, such as Enhancing Human Capital (EHC) events, Practical Workshops, Speed Networking, our annual Awards Gala, and more.

Originally, there were only two events per month (which was still more than most groups). These were presentations with speakers, with subjects relevant to those in the consulting business, and were on Friday mornings at 8:00 am. 30+ years later, RPCN still has Friday morning presentations still always relevant to consultants. In fact, these events are now part of the series, “Learn from the Best.”

Providing presentations with speakers twice a month can be a daunting task. For many years, Michael van der Gaag has been RPCN’s tireless Program Manager and has done an outstanding job of providing quality speakers. However, it would be greatly appreciated if others would suggest ideas for Friday morning speakers.

So, this is a request to all RPCN members to think hard about anyone they know who might be interested in making a presentation to RPCN.

If you should contact a possible presenter and they ask about what to do next, RPCN has recently updated the event scheduling process to simplify it and make it more user-friendly. The scheduling process starts by clicking the RPCN Event Scheduling Form.

This request includes YOU, too! Think about how you might make a presentation and help other consultants. This is an excellent way to introduce your skills to a group (and possibly get business leads for yourself).

To get an idea of the kinds of possible subjects for your presentation, click on Areas of Interest for Possible RPCN Programs. This listing makes it easier to choose a subject relevant to consultants.

If you have any questions, please contact Michael van der Gaag at Program Manager.

Friday morning presentations are an important part of RPCN and any ideas you have would be greatly appreciated!

Steve Royal

Request from the Editors

When submitting material to be included in the RPCN newsletter, please:
1. Send the submission TO and not to individuals.
2. Include the words “For RPCN Newsletter” in the subject line. (Some people send articles to ALL RPCN members themselves, and it is often difficult to distinguish those that are being circulated independently from those intended for inclusion in the newsletter.)

Membership Information

Not an RPCN member? You can join RPCN now to receive great benefits, including free admission to RPCN presentations, a listing in the RPCN Member Directory, and discounts to RPCN events. Click here for more information on joining RPCN.

New members:
Michelle Clark

We want your news!

The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item to for inclusion. 

Melanie Watson, Publisher 
Diana Robinson, Copyeditor

The deadline for submitting material for our next newsletter is the 21st of this month.



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