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Saturday, July 04, 2009


Mastering the Membership Maze with Glen Gould

Contrary to what you may have heard or read, everyone is not struggling right now. Most businesses are still in business and employing people. And while most businesses aren't struggling, they are wondering what they can do right now to improve their productivity and increase sales. If you fall into this category, this article is for you.

Across the country chambers of commerce are looking for new business too. They need new members, new volunteers, and new programming and they are willing to work with anyone who can help. That's where you come in.

Do you have a product or service that solves a problem for a target audience? You better have. Are you able to present your product or service to prospective buyers? You need to be able to. Do you know about your industry, your competition, and how the things you and your competitors are doing impacts business in general? If yes, have I got an opportunity for you.

We're all familiar with the sales call. You prospect, call, set an appointment, and then you present your product or service to one person says either "Yes" or "No". But imagine presenting to a room full of people who may be clients but also may be referral sources. Here's how it works.

Develop a 20 minute presentation in a workshop format about your industry. Be certain the presentation is audience focused and value-packed. Leave plenty of room for questions and even plant some in the presentation. When the audience leaves they should have enough information to have a working knowledge of the options and they should know that you are the expert and have a solution as well.

For example, let's say you're a banker. You might talk about business loans and discuss different funding sources (Credit Cards, Micro Lenders, Grants, SBA, Angel Investors, Factors, Mezzanine Finance, and of course traditional Banks).

Present your idea for the workshop to your chamber of commerce (yes, you need to be a member). Show them how having this program that you will provide FREE of charge will benefit their members. Then tell them that you will be inviting non-members who you'll introduce to the chamber so they can see the value of chamber membership. Reassure them that this will be generic in nature and that you understand it cannot be just about you and your company. All you want is a place to present and for the chamber to promote it to the chamber membership.

Make sure you promote the event to your clients, prospects, email and other lists that you have accumulated. Get the chamber's approval and create a press release. Submit it to every media outlet in your service area (television, radio, web, print). Tweet about the upcoming event on Twitter, and join The National Networker and post the event on our calendar.

When you present your program, resist the temptation to make it a pitch-fest about your product or service. Make it generic in nature. But be certain to create a handout with your contact information in the header and footer on every page. Let the audience know that you are here to help.

Here's what will result. You'll be seen as the expert in your field. You'll bring in new members to the chamber and they'll love you for it. You'll present your ideas to a crowd, some of whom will buy your product or service and some of whom will let others know about you. Everyone wins.

One bit of warning. Every chamber won't warm up to this idea. That's o.k. You can use it with business associations, service clubs, and anywhere that people congregate. Right now, people are seeking answers. Be the solution.

Glen Gould

Inspiring Positive Change
Powerful Networking Tools

Bringing business people together to discuss faith and values in the workplace

For more information, please visit Glen's TNNW Bio.

Posted to THE NATIONAL NETWORKER (TNNW). All rights reserved.

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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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