As many of you are aware, we are operating under our new dues structure at the Twin Cities North Chamber. It has certainly been a change from the confusing multi-tiered system to a more streamlined two tiered system, which takes away so much uncertainty to the chamber’s budgeting process as well as its events. Thank you for your understanding as we went thought this.
I know at Northeast Bank, we had to make a concerted effort to make sure that our investment was situated to continue to allow us to bring value to the bank under the new dues structure. Historically we took advantage of one of the larger memberships and would write one big check per year. This time around, with the dues check being only $415 it took intentionality on our part to figure out which events were going to be attended and/or sponsored so that we still felt like our brand was represented well. So, Andrea and I set out to figure out how to remain part of the chamber while getting the most value for our time and money invested.
Looking back at this, it’s possible that we didn’t understand how important and time saving this exercise was. We were able to spend about one hour to put our plan together and now we don’t have to try to be reactive to opportunities that come our way, but instead can go through the year knowing that the chamber will continue to see the bank (and our name) at events.
I would encourage each of you and your companies to sit down with Samantha or Todd to do the same thing. You should be able to figure out how much your company has spent historically with the chamber, so subtract what your new dues were this year and ask them where you could get the most bank for your remaining bucks. Don’t lose your influence in the chamber because we changed the dues structure!
The chamber is what I see as a long-term relationship selling opportunity. I’m much like many people involved in the chamber. I have sales goals, calling goals, and I want to give back. The chamber is one avenue that I use to help me meet my goals, but it doesn’t happen by only getting my bank’s name in the Directory. Of course we’re in there, but if you noticed a theme above, we’re also investing in the chamber (sponsorships) and equally as important in relationships (events and committee attendance).
I have been involved in the chamber for nearly 10 years now, and through my efforts to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people, I have built some very strong business relationships, and dare I say friendships. Just like other relationships, these don’t happen in one interaction…this investment took quality and quantity. The more I invested, the greater the return, you know, the old proven proverb of reaping what you sow.
Go ahead and test my theory by choosing a long-term active investment strategy with the chamber!
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