Last week we had another successful Women in Business breakfast focused on the importance of trust in our business and personal relationships. In business and in life we associate with the individuals and organizations that we trust most.
Would you rather have a network of people that continually say, “What can I do to help you?” as opposed to, “What can you do for me?” By the way, if you can’t think of the last time you unconditionally offered to help someone, you need to seriously evaluate your approach to networking and the brand you are developing for yourself.
Building a relationship isn’t about building a bank of goodwill to be called upon like a scene from an old mobster movie. It isn’t about finding a way to do business together either. Healthy relationships are predicated on the establishment of mutual trust, by instilling confidence that you will deliver on your promises.
The title of this column is relationships built to last and that is what the Chamber is all about. In today’s age of fly-by-night networking and social networking, you can gain friends, followers and likes at the click of the button, and just as quickly they are gone or have blocked your updates and tweets. While valuable, these relationships should not be your only focus but rather augment your strategy for developing bonds that transcend your business.
How does the Chamber offer this to our Members, or rather, how can you trust that you are spending time in an organization that makes a difference? The answer is simple, because the Chamber is made up of Members just like you. If you have faith and confidence in yourself and your products, you should feel optimistic about the Chamber and the quality contacts you can develop.
The Chamber is a vehicle for you to get out of your comfort zone and meet individuals you otherwise wouldn’t connect with. By establishing a rapport and finding out how you can offer assistance with the varied attendees at Chamber functions, you can build a relationship based on trust, mutual development and success.
Make sure you aren’t visiting with the same people each month, get out there and take advantage of what this Chamber has to offer. How often do you attend the Chamber luncheons or events that are focused on the important community dialogues and efforts to improve the business climate? When is the last time you attended a ribbon cutting to congratulate a fellow business owner?
These events bring together individuals who are passionate about making a difference in their community, not where the next order will come from.
After being an involved Member and now having spent several years on the other side of the fence, I’ve gained tremendous appreciation for the thousands of opportunities you have through the Chamber.
It’s not because of the events the Chamber facilitates, it is because of the quality of the Members that attend, get involved and participate.
No one can develop trust for you. You have to do it one step at a time. You must commit to being a supporter not a taker, and listening to others more than you talk at them.
I firmly believe we are a Chamber building relationships to last, one Member and one event at a time. I hope you will commit to joining us and building an environment of assistance, support and trust.