Most people want to know, like and trust those they do business with. Maybe you have heard how social media is a great way to make that happen. After all, posting to social media can bring out your business’ personality.
But some businesses have difficulty being themselves online or simply don’t have the time to dedicate to social media consistently. Luckily, social media isn’t the only way to put a more personable face on your business.
A Chamber membership can help businesses become more known, liked and trusted.
Help People Get to Know You
If you want people to do business with you, they must think about you. No matter what you sell or what service you provide, you won’t do any business if people don’t think about you when they’re in the market for what you offer.
Sure, there are moments of emotional purchasing fueled by driving by or walking past, but even in those circumstances of emotional purchases, the buyer needs to know what that business is selling to make an impulse buy.
Chamber membership helps businesses become more recognizable in a variety of ways:
Sometimes the community knows what you do but doesn’t know enough about you to trust you. In these cases, a chamber membership is invaluable. According to the Schapiro Study, “Chamber membership has consistent and powerful benefits for small business members — if consumers are aware that the small business is involved with its local chamber.”
In that study, they found that if respondents knew a small business was a member of its local chamber, the business saw a 49% increase in its consumer favorability rating (like), a 73% increase in consumer awareness (know), a 68% increase in its local reputation (trust), and an 80% increase in the likelihood that consumers will patronize the business in the future.
Chamber membership goes a long way to helping businesses develop a trustworthy reputation. Many people see chambers as business entities or similar to the Better Business Bureau. While neither is true, these individuals apply the same feelings of community membership and upstanding reputations to the chamber members as they would a good rating from the Better Business Bureau.
The chamber can also help people trust you when you choose to associate or sponsor a well-loved community/chamber event. For instance, when a business sponsors Beef, Wine & More and the participants have a great time eating and drinking and bidding on auction items, the reputation of the event spreads to the business as if it hosted the event itself. It improves the trust people have for you.
Become More Likable
Being a chamber member can also help you market the most trustworthy parts of your business. Here’s how we can help you amplify your message and become more likable.
Likability is probably one of the easiest parts of the “know, like and trust” formula for more sales but it is also the one most businesses feel awkward about. They often go about it through social media and their attempts to become more friendly come off as just being "salesy."
When that happens, it’s often because they haven’t attributed the same skills needed for an in-person conversation to social media. Just like in a face-to-face conversation, on social media you don’t want to:
The ease of becoming likable (or someone seeing you as likable, because of course you already are, right?) in person is that you can read your audience’s nonverbal queues. If you see them disengaging or uninterested, you can change the conversation back to something they’re interested in. You can tell if they’re enjoying themselves and adjust accordingly.
Getting more involved in the chamber can give you a lot of time to build on the likability factor. People must first know who you are to later be able to like you. Multiple chances to meet in events through the chamber can make networking easier and less awkward because you’re not playing to an unknown crowd. You learn a little bit more about them — and they about you — each time you meet.
Other ways the chamber helps members to improve the likability factor include:
If you want more business and are struggling with just how to do that, the issue may be that people don’t know you, don't trust you or don't know you well enough to like you.
Maybe you’ve been working on those things through social media, but connecting online can be difficult for some people. If you’re not getting the traction you’d like, consider how the chamber could help you become better known and trusted — and liked — in the community.
As another bonus, the chamber may be able to show you how to connect online as well. While social media may not currently be working for you, that doesn’t mean it won’t ever work. The chamber can help in many ways. The options might surprise you.
is the Executive Director of the Community Development Office, which encompasses the Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce and the Gothenburg Improvement Company.