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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Comfortable Referrals and 300 Voices!

By Anne Kelley, TNNW Southeast Bureau Chief

My first assignment for The National Networker has led me to two wonderful new friends.

First, meet Hugh Ballou who servesas Chairman of Choirfest 2008. I couldn’t help but wonder how a 300 voice choir was a networking event but after speaking with Hugh I realized what an incredible opportunity this is!

The vision of ChoirFest is to bring singers together in some of the finest concert venues in the world and present a concert of great beauty and inspiration. Singers will be led by a Choir Master of international standing, have the opportunity to sign up for educational seminars on various aspects of music and the culture of the host country, and tour the most outstanding sites and best of all, network with the participants of the event. There are only a few spaces left for this unique networking opportunity, April 3-6 in Huntsville, Alabama, so act quickly if you would like to attend. Information and registration forms are available at

Now meet Pamela Rogan, Vice President of Business Development for Flex HR, Inc. Pamela is an active member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and has developed a special B2B $5 Million + Group. This group provides a forum for a stable group of business development people to get to know each other and their respective businesses so that they may provide more qualified referrals and strategic connections. One requirement for an invitation into the group is that members have a similar target audience. The primary goal of this group is to generate qualified leads and sales in the Atlanta area. So what does this really mean?

Speaking with Pamela I could hear her energy. She started this group within the MOAC and is very passionate about its success. Its members are industry specific, limited to 20 and not duplicated in the group. Someone is invited to join only after the members of the group have the opportunity to meet the prospective member and vote to invite them to join. This keeps the group dynamic in tact. They operate under a “what happens in this room stays in this room” philosophy and really get to know their teammates. By doing this, Pamela explained, it becomes second nature to help one another and makes it possible to give comfortable referrals.

Another benefit this group offers its members is help with challenges they are facing. I learned that the members meet for 2 hours and often stay later and strategize. They also critique and evaluate presentations for each other and frequently meet away from the group.

Pamela has an interesting agenda for the group, varying the activities and guest weeks so that the group stays active. A couple of things this group does that I especially liked were the guest interviews to prevent any conflict with members before there was an awkward situation and the members regularly sharing their 3 top prospect companies so that everyone can be on the lookout for a connection. Also, once a month an outside presenter is invited for an educational opportunity with a 5 minute sales pitch allowed at the end.

Please consider yourself a Southeast Bureau Chief Ambassador and let me know of any groups you think I should interview. I am always interested in making new connections and sharing them with my friends.

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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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