You sell benefit plans. Everyone says you should join the Chamber of Commerce. You do. You don’t see any business. Renewal times are coming. You wonder if this is a good use of money. How can your Chamber membership lead to business?
A Chamber executive remarked, “Like many things in life, you get what you put into it.” Here are some ways your membership can lead to business.
1. Introduce yourself. You need to increase your visibility. Business won’t just come to you. Start with new member orientation. The Chamber must demonstrate how membership leads to business. Attend the exchange of business cards. Get to know people. Unlike other organizations that might frown at the idea of presenting cases to its members, that is what the Chamber is all about!
2. Serve on a committee. You know the House attracts movers and shakers from the community, but you never see them. They may be behind the scenes, organizing themselves. You should do the same. It’s a good idea to get on the revenue side of the equation at any nonprofit. Become a Chamber ambassador. This should put you in front of business owners, allowing you to advocate for Chamber membership. Be part of the membership committee. You will meet new members when they don’t know many people yet.
3. Write for the newsletter. They have one, online or in print. They need content. You have a specialized subject, employee benefit plans. Insurance too. If they don’t have a column yet, become the columnist. Your compliance employees will need to be involved. The company may even have ready-to-use content.
4. Present workshops. The House has a calendar. Look at what they offer in training courses. Health insurance is complicated. Good benefit plans attract good employees. Plan to do a series. The people present probably have an interest or a need. They make great prospects.
5. Market to other members of the Chamber. You have the list of members. Make good use of it. It should be in the rules. When I did, the first sentence of my email or letter is, “I’m a House member writing to another House member.”
6. Get an exhibition stand. Some chambers organize events where other members can set up a stand and promote their products. This is an opportunity to display your logo and marketing materials.
7. Sponsor something. Ideally, you want something that puts your name on a banner or tee shirts without too many other names present. It could be the golf outing or the 5k run. Ideally, it gets lots of publicity in Chamber magazine, the local business paper, and the weekly newspaper.
8. Does the Chamber offer insurance? Many do, since the members are a group of small and medium-sized businesses. If they don’t offer benefit plans, tell them about your idea. It is likely that they already offer insurance products. There has to be a time when the contract is over and they get introductions from other vendors. Get your business considered.
9. Golf with other members. An agency owner built his business by taking three Chamber members at a time to play golf at his exclusive club. Over lunch, he would then ask, “Can I call next week and set up a meeting?” I have a few ideas that I would like to share. I think I can save you some money.
10. Ask for help. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Get to know the House officers and professional staff. Let them know that you want to increase your visibility with other members of the Chamber. “How do I do that?” The answers you get should be best practices.
The Chamber relies on membership renewals. They have to make it worthwhile to keep renewing your membership.
Bryce Sander is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW customer acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” can be found on Amazon.