THE MONTHLY IDEA SOURCE FOR THOSE WHO RECRUIT, MANAGE AND SERVE MEMBERS.THE MONTHLY IDEA SOURCE FOR THOSE WHO RECRUIT, MANAGE AND SERVE MEMBERS.
Some of What’s Inside…
Engage members as volunteers ......... p. 2
Know which benets matter most .... p. 3
FAQ helps to navigate member portal ...p. 4
Use challenges to build membership ...p. 5
Bolster annual meeting attendance ... p. 6
Help your newest board members .... p. 7
Share member success stories ........... p. 8
‘Power Partners’ Allows Members to Help Members
There are several reasons why a business joins a chamber, but one of the biggest is
to get its company name out in the community and meet potential clients.
The TwinWest Chamber of Commerce (Plymouth, MN) meets this member
goal with its Power Partners program, launched in 2008. Power Partners is a
networking program that allows members to pass leads and give referrals to help
grow their businesses and client bases.
“There was a member of ours that ran a president’s club-type networking
group. We looked into partnering with her but her program had a $5,000 entry fee,
which priced out most of our members,” President Shannon Full explains. “We
decided to start Power Partners at a lower cost to allow for our small business
members to engage.”
The group is industry-exclusive, meaning referring members must not be
competing businesses, but other than that, any active chamber member who pays
the $75 annual fee can belong. The chamber does all the back-end work, like
creating invoices and name tags; maintaining the website; printing the agenda, flyer
and sign-in sheet; providing the space; and keeping the roster up-to-date.
The difference between Power Partners and typical networking groups is the
lack of a strict structure.
“Many members are not able to commit to a weekly meeting like BNI and many
other networking groups demand, therefore Power Partners meets once a month
formally with outside one-on-one meetings and happy hours each quarter,” Full adds.
Each monthly meeting includes an elevator pitch by each member to tell the
group what a good referral would be for them and a 10- to 15-minute presentation
by a chosen member so he or she can highlight his or her business and referral
needs. Visitors are welcome at every meeting.
The feedback overall has been good, but Full admits they are seeing a major
shift in the needs of some of the group members as well as some of the members
not involved in Power Partners.
“We have identified a major gap for our small-medium business owners. This
gap has created a significant opportunity for our chamber as a large number of our
members have identified a true need for a sounding board or a trusted advisors
group,” she says.
Since most small- to mid-size companies can’t spend the $7,000–$12,000 for
CEO Roundtables per year, the chamber is piloting a new trusted advisors network
where it will administer the roundtables, but they will be self-facilitated within each
group. There will also be quarterly exclusive events for all members of the
“This new innovative approach will help business owners with their individual
and business challenges as well as identify opportunities for growth and prosperity.
So now we will have two types of engagement groups — lead generation and trusted
Sources: Shannon Full, President and Ali (Schadow) Brandes, Executive Project Manager,
TwinWest Chamber of Commerce, Plymouth, MN. Phone (763) 450-2220. E-mail: alison@
twinwest.com. Website: www.twinwest.com
Eight Tips for Effective
You no doubt make one-on-one
presentations on behalf of the member
organization you represent –– to make
calls on existing members, to introduce
yourself to would-be members and
Here are some tips to help set the
stage for a results-oriented presentation:
1. When setting the appointment, be
up-front about what you hope to
accomplish through the meeting.
2. Agree to the amount of time needed
for your presentation, then stick to
3. Keep the amount of small talk
4. Stay on topic and focused on your
primary objective. Don’t give out
too much extraneous information.
5. Allow plenty of opportunity for the
individual to ask questions.
6. Be a good listener. If the individual
has a question you can’t adequately
answer, write it down and say you
will get the answer for him or her.
7. After making a request, remain
silent, allowing the individual to
8. Remember to send a letter of
appreciation following your visit ––
preferably on your own letterhead.
Use it to summarize any key points.
July 2018 / Vol. 14, No. 7