You’re a member of the Chamber…but are you getting the most bang for your buck? If you are a long-time member, perhaps so; but if you are new to the Chamber, you may not be availing yourself of all the perks that complement your business. Many of those benefits are derived from networking with other Chamber members.
As a writer, meeting people tends to be way outside my comfort zone, but it is no less valuable for me than it is for the outgoing CEO of a large corporation. According to The Strategic CFO, two main benefits of networking with others emerge: learning something new and generating new ideas. This is where your Chamber membership earns big dividends. Your passion for life led you to where you are now; let it lead you to where you need to go next. Networking is the door to that opportunity.
First and foremost, the Chamber offers a way to network with other professionals to seek and offer services, building new relationships. Attend the monthly luncheon and bring business cards. Come prepared with an elevator statement of what you do and services you offer. Most of all, don’t be shy. I forced myself to meet someone new at my first Chamber luncheon, and ended up with not just a new client, but a budding friendship.
Still not sure it’s your cup of tea? TopResume offers these questions as a way to spark a new connection:
- What brings you to the Chamber?
- How did you get involved in your company?
- How do others plug into your company? Is our company looking for new hires or for services?
- What’s the best way for me to get in touch or follow up with you?
Asking a question is a good way to open a conversation and express interest in another person. The site further recommends keeping your LinkedIn profile and resume up to date. Being prepared and making a polished appearance helps you make a great first impression.
Need any more persuasion? Career Addict lists ten benefits to networking, and I’m giving you the top five so you don’t have to look them up:
- Helping others
- Getting fresh ideas
- Increased visibility
- New opportunities
- Developing a base of support
Are you seeing the pattern here? Talking to people is good for your business and attending Chamber activities is the door to that opportunity. #networking