BY JENNIFER REISER, CCE, IOM CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Am I invisible or am I valuable? Am I connecting to ENOUGH people? Am I connecting with the people? In our ever-changing and uncertain economy, these are questions we should all be asking ourselves.
Author and entrepreneur Seth Godin states that we are now transitioning into what he calls “the connection economy” in which value is created by connections. His call to action is that when marketing and developing business we need to rethink our strategies. One new strategy you should consider is joining a Chamber Connections Group. Godin believes the new economy of connections has four key conditions:
COORDINATION – Someone needs to arrange the connections so they are meaningful.
TRUST – When you are at work and everyone is going in the same direction, it enables you to find ways to connect and create value.
PERMISSION – When you offer ideas to people who want you to bring them, that’s a resource. Without that permission, it’s an annoyance. What’s new and significant is that the permission needs to be earned and not asked for.
THE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS – you will learn more from people at a conference than from any random person you might otherwise meet because you’re deliberately exchanging ideas. It’s the confluence of time, place and purpose that gives significance to that exchange of ideas.
The Billings Chamber of Commerce Connections groups are a great place to do these very things. We coordinate weekly sessions where Chamber members can grow their businesses by developing meaningful business relationships. In addition, Chamber staff serve as a liaison to each group or service by attending meetings and providing updates on upcoming Chamber activities.
Connections groups meet each week for one hour; Monday at 10 a.m., Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., and Thursday at 10 a.m. Each group has room for one representative per industry, giving individuals an exclusive opportunity to market unique products and services to other business professionals.
Your membership benefits give you access to connect to other business professionals and exchange community and business information. For Yellowstone level member investors the annual fee to join a Connections group is just $75. For all other membership levels, this is a complimentary member benefit.
Building trust and connections on your own can be difficult, but joining Connections can make it easier. We currently have openings for the majority of industries. Please contact Jennifer Reiser for information, to reserve a spot or to coordinate a visit to one of the groups.
Jennifer@BillingsChamber.com or 406-245-4111.
BILLINGS CHAMBER CONNECTIONS GROUPS
• Current member of the Billings Chamber
• Industry specific with a limit of one member per profession, product or service
• Non-members may attend as a guest twice before membership is required
• If eligibility requirements are not met, members may be removed from the group at the discretion of Chamber staff
• Must attend 75% of the meetings each quarter
• If unable to attend, may send a representative from your business in your place
• Participation in multiple Connections groups will NOT be permitted
• If attendance requirements are not met, members may be removed from the group at the discretion of Chamber staff