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How to Tell if a Chamber of Commerce is Ethical
Encourager-In-Chief: March 27th, 2019
Why Chambers of Commerce can hurt an entrepreneur.
Believe it or not, all chambers of commerce are not created equal. Some are better than others. For more than 20 years, I was a member of the second largest Chamber of Commerce in Pennsylvania. It attracts approximately 200 people per month to its mixers, making it an ideal place to meet networking contacts, prospects, and existing customers. Unfortunately, you have to evaluate each Chamber of Commerce based on its own merits.
One of the biggest problems chamber members face is the fact that chamber of commerce staff are always being asked for favors from their members. Some of these members may be your competition. That means you may be surprised to find that the chamber is backing your direct competitors. This in itself is not bad. But if you expect to get your money’s worth from your Chamber of Commerce, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask them how you can get a similar arrangement.
I hate to say this, but not all chambers are ethical. An ethical chamber will allow you the opportunity to compete against your competitors--provided you ask for it. Don’t expect the chamber to seek you out and ask you to develop a program for its members if you’re going to sit back and wait for them to realize that you also have something to contribute.
Some chambers of commerce have thousands of members. Don’t expect that they’re going to figure out that they’ve stepped on your toes by offering a competing business a program you could’ve provided. Speak up and let your voice be heard. You’ll be able to tell by every action whether or not you’ve selected an ethical Chamber of Commerce in which to invest. If you haven’t, remember there’s probably another Chamber of Commerce right down the road which will be thrilled to have you as a member.
“By their fruits you shall know them.” - Matthew 7:16
(This excerpt is taken from my Networking and Marketing Mastery III: Turning Contacts into Contracts seminar). I also encourage you to order my Networking and Marketing Mastery III: Turning Contacts Into Contracts video program, which covers this topic in much greater detail.)