Home > Networking > Joining a chamber of commerce?

Joining a chamber of commerce?

Realtor mentioned that the chamber of commerce has lead groups but other than that what would be the advantage of joining? - by Thomas
Realtor mentioned that the chamber of commerce has lead groups but other than that what would be the advantage of joining?
Thomas here is a list of things I pulled from the Chamber website:
  • Networking and promotion opportunities
  • Supports your local community
  • Business resources
  • Affiliation
  • Member discounts
  • Chamber events
  • Influence in local politics
- by realtor
Thomas,

I think there are a lot of benefits to being active in a Chamber. It has always made me feel more part of the community, and you keep up with what's happening.

But, it's also great for business. My experience has been that if you join a Chamber, you need to get involved (like everyone says about every group!).

Volunteer for the membership committee, for example. You'll usually be involved in welcoming new members, promoting membership, following up on leads from people who have asked about membership, etc.

What a great way to call someone - as a Chamber representative. And, during the conversation, darned if the other person doesn't usually ask what you do for a living!

I always preferred things like Chamber events over lead groups. Guess I just never got the hang of participating in a lead group. But, attending Chamber events, meeting bunches of new people - having that face to face opportunity. It's just been a lot more successful for me.

You do have to take a low key approach, tho. People at Chamber functions are there to relax and network. They don't want to be "sold". So, I always found it much better to ask them about what they do, and then the discussion would get around to what I do. And, if it happened that the products/services I had to offer would make sense for them, I'd follow up after the meeting.

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
Those are some good reasons. ;bg

I do not see myself as a social butterfly but what the heck. :un - by Thomas
I do not see myself as a social butterfly but what the heck. :un
Try it, you might like it. ;bg - by AZBroker
Those are some good reasons. ;bg

I do not see myself as a social butterfly but what the heck. :un
I agree with AZ. The great thing about it is that you don't have to be a social butterfly. If you're contacting someone who has asked for information about joining the chamber, it's really a business call.

And, at events, you don't have to know how to make small talk. When you introduce yourself to someone, they usually have a name badge showing their name and company. I'd just say: "Hi, I'm Kathleen. What does ABC Widget Company do?" or, "What do you do over at IBM?" assuming that it's a big enough company, and you'd sound like an idiot if you didn't know what they do. :yi

Since people love to talk about themselves, that may be the last thing you need to say. Then, if you sell promotional materials for example, you could say: "Do you guys put your logo on pens and coffee mugs to give out at your trade shows?" Oh, really? Well, maybe I could be helpful to someone over there sometime, because it happens that I provide the best pens in the area. If I give you a call sometime maybe you could point me toward the person I should talk to?" Assuming that the conversation has gone well, and you feel comfortable, etc. And, of course, you have a ton of business cards and exchange them with anyone breathing so you've got their number.

It's really easier than you might think. Worth a shot!

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
You make it sound so good Kathleen. Maybe I should give it a try too. ;wi - by Calvin
Well, just remember how bad I am at lead groups. I think it depends on the individual. But, if you're looking for networking opportunities, I'd check it out. You can always go to a couple events before you join and see how it goes.

;bg

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
Having had some involvment with my own local Chamber of Commerce, I would definitely recommend to business people that they join their local Chamber. They are great for networking, information, exchanging tips and advice, and many of them run courses which I have found to be quite good. - by telegraph.hill
In addition to all of the above, I've also found I've got