November 22, 2017

Why & How Chambers Get You Business

I’ve been a member of a number of chambers of commerce since the early ’90s. I have been on the board of directors of one chamber and am now on the board of another. So I know how chambers work.

When I started my business in 1994, I had very little money, just over $1,000. One of the things I did was join the local chamber, and I told them I wanted to get involved. I joined the greeters (some chambers call them diplomats or ambassadors) who do the ribbon cuttings, greet people at events and so forth. Within the next few days, I started to get faxes and mail (way before email) of upcoming events. I started to go to the ribbon cuttings, luncheons, and after-hours mixers.

Guess what? I started to meet people who could use my services, and some of them became clients. Within 5 years, my business was named the fastest growing business in the chamber. I think at that point, about 85% of my business came from chamber members or referrals from chamber members.

I know what you’re thinking: “Phil, but your business is a B to B business; I have a B to C business!’

I had many B to C business as clients that I got through the chamber. I told them the same thing. First get active; go to as many events as you can. Get to know people and let them get to know you.

 People do business with people they know, like and trust!

Mitt Romney said, “Businesses are people too.” Well, not exactly, but businesses are made up of people, and people buy things. The owners of a business still need to get cars repaired, have someone take care of their pets, need a dentist, buy things for their family and more. The members of the chambers are people who buy stuff!

Another benefit of being a member is that chamber members tend to do business with other chambers member first. That means that there could be hundreds of people who could be your customer just by the simple fact that you’re also a member.

When I was a chamber board member, each month we would get a list of businesses that had dropped their membership. A number of them closed their business or moved to another area. But a few dropped because “I got no business from the chamber.” The board members, some 20 people who went to most events, would ask each other, “Does anyone remember this company ever coming to any chamber events?” And no one could remember them.

You can’t just pay for a membership and then expect people to do business with you. You have to get active so people get to know you and your business.

There are a number of strategies that I have developed over the years on how to use a chamber to grow your business. If you are interested in learning these strategies, let me know and I’ll have either a Webinar or a live workshop. Please let me know if you’re interested in how to use chambers to get you more customers.

 Till next week -Great Things Happen, But You Have To Take Action

Phil

The Freedman Co.

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