By Marlyn Kissner, Executive V.P. of the GLVCC and Executive Director of the CCEDC
It's enjoyable and relaxing for many of us to meet up and hang out with friends after work or on the weekends. We find comfort in sharing stories, laughing and joking or discussing serious and sensitive matters among friends and family. There is a climate of trust that we have built over time that continues to grow throughout the years.
Just the same, it is important to build a climate of trust in your professional environment. I've seen and experience this first hand throughout my professional career path. People like to do businesses with people they know and trust; building relationships is the key to connecting with new clients. Be a good listener and ask a lot of questions as you get to know new acquaintances and be sure to follow up; do what you say your are gong to do! Most people love to share information about themselves and this will allow you to get to know them on a personal level. As you network with others, keep this in mind and use best practices to build trusting business relationships. Having this foundation of trust is where the referral plan comes in to play. As you get to know someone and trust their business practices, you will most likely refer future clients their way.
Take the time out of your day to re-connect as you build your professional networks. Take the opportunity to send cards, emails and special notes to old and new acquaintances - it lets them know you are thinking about them. A hand-written note is especially nice to receive in this day and age of the text and email messages. Pick up the phone and make a few calls as well -it is a nice way to connect with others on your mission to create trusting relationships.
Volunteer your way to a trusting climate. It is always great to give back to your community. Reach out to the local soup kitchens, libraries, schools and places of worship in your area to lend a helping hand. Become an Ambassador at the CCEDC and enjoy connecting with professionals while helping to strengthen the business community. You will always meet new people while helping others, building your climate of trust. The Ambassador Council serves as the goodwill arm of the Chamber, playing an essential role in member Communication, Appreciation, Retention, and Engagement. Ambassadors are highly visible volunteers who serve as the Chamber's primary liaison to new Chamber members. Ambassadors C.A.R.E.!
Dorothy Lane, Director of the Small Business Development Center at Wilkes University encourages members to connect "We recommend to all of our clients that they join their local Chamber of Commerce. The goal of a chamber is to help their members network and grow. When a small business gets involved with a chamber, and more importantly becomes an active participant, they open themselves and their business up to an established business network that will be a pathway to professional and personal growth." She continues to say, " The benefits of a chamber membership are invaluable."
Last but certainly not least, be grateful. Concentrate on the things in your life that bring you joy and happiness. When others see you are grateful and happy, they will most likely connect with a smiling face, helping to create this climate of trust.
On behalf of the Carbon Chamber and Economic Development Corporation, we look forward to providing avenues to help you network and connect with others to help build your business. Visit our calendar of events at www.carboncountychamber.org ... Let us help you build your professional network.