Monday, January 31, 2011

A word from one of our Ambassadors

Allstate Insurance Company
Ron Vaughn
3093 Sashabaw Rd
Waterford , MI 48329
Fax: 248-673-9450

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Great Networkers--Great Expectations (A Goofus & Gallant Blog)

Recently a chamber member brought a concern to my attention.

This person is what I would refer to as a "Great Networker." They noted that there are people out there that think just because you've been introduced and exchanged business cards that you're now obligated to purchase their services or send a referral. The member with Great Expectations may (or more likely may not) have done the same as they're expecting, but the expectation is there.

Now stop and think about this for a minute. Is everyone you meet a prospective customer or client? Is it possible to give business to everyone you meet for the first time WHEN you meet them for the first time? (We have nearly 600 members in our Chamber alone--and many of our members belong to multiple networking groups.)

Yes, networking can pay off with valuable referrals--but there's a difference between being a Great Networker and getting those referrals and being a "Great Expectations" kind of networker. Which one are you?

Great Networker
People do business with people they know.
Great Expectations
I gave you my business card--so now we know each other--give me business.

Great Networker
People do business with people they like and trust.
Great Expectations
I'll like you better when you give me business.

Great Networker
Relationships are about the lifetime value of a connection--not a flash in the pan.
Great Expectations
If you're not giving me business--there's no lifetime value.

Great Networker

It's not just the person I'm meeting and getting to know--it's about all of their connections too. Maybe you aren't a good prospect for my goods or services--but I'll bet you know someone who is. I treat our relationship with respect and care--it's an example of how I treat customers and clients. So even if you don't use my services or products--you know I have high integrity and value. Hopefully that makes it easy for you to think of me when a referral opportunity crops up.

Great Expectations
I'll give you some more business cards you can give your friends.

Great Networker
I ask questions about your business, learning more about you, your goals, how things are going.
Great Expectations
Why are you asking me all of these questions about my business? If you're not a potential customer or client, stop wasting my time.

Great Networker
After learning about your business, I often am asked similar questions about my own business.
Great Expecations
Well I told you all about my business--time to move on.

Rereading this before posting, I am reminded of the old Highlights Magazine cartoon strip "Goofus and Gallant." Yes, I'm a baby boomer--this was long before the days of Dilbert or Calvin & Hobbs.

Basically these are classic themes about having good manners. I strongly urge you to NOT be a Goofus.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chamber Luncheon Mixers are BACK!

Join us Thursday, January 20, 2011 11:45-1 pm at Outback Steakhouse, Clarkston.
They're opening special just for our luncheon!

After our holiday season hiatus, Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon mixers are back!
January -August + October, the Chamber holds monthly luncheon mixers at various Chamber member restaurants in our area. This year we'll return to some familiar haunts and also stop by some new locations. This gives you a chance to experience the culinary treasures of our area while networking--meeting new and old friends.

We have spent years evaluating and designing our events based on member needs, member feedback and keeping things member focused.

1. We value your time and pledge not to waste it or keep you waiting. All Chamber events start on time and end on time. We know you have busy schedules. We will not keep you waiting for an event to start or finish. You can count on us.

2. Early bird registration saves you money and will save you time at check in. How many times have to gone to an event, stood in line to register or check in and waited while the people in front of you take forever at the registration table--either to make a name badge, pick up a name badge, pay for the event or chit chat with the registration staff.

We don't have a registration table. We greet you at the door with our clipboards. Your name badges are on the luncheon tables. When you're preregistered you breeze right through check in and get to the fun stuff--meeting friends and new businesses!

Not to be too blunt about this--but we offer that early bird discount to help us help YOU get the most out of an event. That's why the discount is only offered up to 48 hours prior to the event. In the last 48 hours we're already in motion, planning seating, pulling name badges, placing strategic seating charts together. We do a lot behind the scenes to make it EASY when you get there.

3. A little of this--a little of that.
If you observe an event, you learn that people have predictable behaviors. When you enter a room you gravitate to a familiar face. You smile, say hi and catch up. It feels familiar and comfortable.

Out of politeness, you'll often reserve a table and invite your friends to sit with you.

To a newcomer, it's intimidating to break into that clique--and yes--you're being cliquey. You may not mean to be--but it's a clique.

At our events, we let you meet and greet on your own and when it comes time to sit down, we've got a place for everyone with our reserve seating. We do table seating charts to help you meet more people. Who's your target audience? Tell us and we'll seat you at their table. Where possible your table will include at least one ambassador or board member. They're there to help facilitate conversation, make introductions, answer questions and help YOU get the most out of this event.

4. Eat first--and you will Listen better.

Okay--we really learned this lesson when we were raising our families--but it's true at networking events too. People will not pay attention and listen if they are hungry. That's why we serve food first at luncheon mixers and bring the speaker out after everyone has been served.

5. Keep it Short and Sweet (The KISS rule)
We carefully select chamber speakers and presentations. It must be timely. It must be applicable to the largest target audience attending the event and it has to be short--15-20 minutes. On rare occasions for special speakers, (like L. Brooks Patterson) we juggle the schedule to allow for more time.

6. We close our event with the Rolling Jackpot Drawing. Our treasure box has every chamber member's name in it. When we draw a name (you must be present to win) we plan to give away $50! If you're not there--the $50 is rolled into the next month's drawing and builds until we give it away. Then we start it all up again.
JANUARY 2011--the Rolling Jackpot is at $100.

7. And we're done! At 1:00 we conclude the event, though many people may stay after to ask questions of the speaker or continue networking. We never kick you out of the restaurant.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Do you have the Right Stuff?

January 27, 2011 kicks off our Women in Business Season with guest speaker Charlie Wollborg, Curve Detroit.

The theme is: The Right Stuff

Baby boomers (or movie fans) will understand that we're talking about the undefinable qualities that make a few exceptional individuals candidates for being an Astronaut: The Right Stuff.

We're not going to submit you to a plethora of medical tests and g-force experiments--but we will help you tap into your Right Stuff in this fun, motivational and interactive networking event.

Women in Business events aren't just for women, but they are designed for women business leaders. You can register online for these and other Chamber events at:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Women in Business 2011 Season

Not just for women, these events are hosted January-April. Topics are selected and themed to be of particular interest to women business owners but all members are welcome to attend. Events are the last Thursday of each month January-April. 10:45-1:00 p.m. (though sometimes these times vary, based on presentation/activity) Events include a keynote speaker or workshop component.

Vision: A strong network of member-to-member support, camaraderie, inspiration and motivation, helping women business leaders to be successful in meeting their personal and professional goals.


Registration $50 per person/per event

BEST VALUE! Members SAVE with early bird pricing! (Just $30 per person/per event)

Planning to attend all 4 events?

Check out our WIB All Access Pass and guarantee your spot!

The Right Stuff!

With speaker

Charlie Wollborg

January 27, 2011

10:45-1 pm

Clarkston Schools Administration Bldg.

6389 Clarkston Rd.

Clarkston, MI 48346

Lunch is included

The Best Defense

With speaker and demonstration

by Clarkston Self Defense

Darwin Bannister

February 24, 2011

10:45-1 pm

Fountains Golf & Banquet

6060 Maybee Rd.

Clarkston, MI 48346

Lunch is included

Go Red for Women

With speaker

from Crittenton Hospital

March 24, 2011

10:45-1 pm

Red Knapps

6722 Dixie Hwy.

Clarkston MI 48346

Lunch is included

Who's Your Gladys?

With speaker

Marilyn Suttle

Author, Who's Your Gladys?

April 28, 2011

3:00-5:00 pm

Location tba

Networking Cocktail Hour included

(Calling all Women who Wine!)

TOPIC: Customer Service

A dynamic presentation suited for all types of business & service industries.

Sponsorship packages for WIB 2011 events are now being offered.


  • Logo on website and registration materials
  • Display table at the event
  • 3-5 minutes at the event to address the group
  • 2 complimentary tickets to the event

and more

  • SPONSORSHIP PRICE $250 per event.
  • LIMIT 4 sponsors per event.

Check out PHOTOS from the 2010 Season