Improved Networking Through Education Generating Relationships Increases The Yield



Typically we think of a traditional chamber of commerce membership as away to; make business contact; have the chamber help us in business; allow us the opportunity to get involved in the community. But can chamber membership be a life changing event, allowing all the above and more?

A young man emigrates from the Middle East, landing on the East Coast of the United States in the late 1980’s. After traveling to a number of cities, doing menial jobs in food service he relocates to California. During a three-year period he saves enough money for a down payment on his ‘dream’ pizza shop. He decides to open a gourmet pizza shop in an upscale community in Northern California. Using conventional passive advertising he does OK. A friend suggests he join the local chamber of commerce to increase his business market share.

Here is where the story gets interesting. From speaking with members of the chamber he found that ‘giving people a taste’ is the best way to get people to want more (especially when you have a dynamite product, which he has). He started giving his product away at local chamber meetings (ambassador meeting, etc.) Then he gave full slices of pizza away at the events like the local street fair. He even developed relationships with other storeowners (like Block Buster Video) to give away product during their business hours. He always gives full slices of pizza with coupons (that are immediately redeemable) and menus. When he gives away pizza at noon at Block Buster by dinner he brakes even on his marketing investment and surpasses that investment before his day is over.

From his involvement with the chamber he got involved with the Education Committee. He discovered there was a need for lunch tables at one of the local private schools, he donated lunch tables to the school for out door seating. Now he serves as a community advocate on many non-profit organizations all because a membership in his local chamber of commerce. He also out sells all the national chains combined.

Then there is Lisa (not her real name). She got involved with local chamber of commerce Toastmaster Club. The first day she was there I remember the look on her face. Her look was that of shear terror. It said ‘what am I doing here and how can I get away quickly?’ When she stood to speak she had no less than 11 filler words (ahs and ums) in every sentence.

She joined the club that October. By March the following year she won the club speech contest. By April she advanced to the Area Contest. Although she did not win at the area level she placed well enough to move on to the Division Contest. During each contest when she told her story there was not a dry eye in the audience. She had become a great storyteller. It has been years since I saw her, but people still tell me how the chamber and Toastmasters changed her life.

These are two extraordinary stories that are true. Extraordinary things happen every day at your local chamber. Join your local chamber of commerce to find out how the ordinary can become extraordinary.

Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA. He works with realtors who want to attract the right prospects and their affinity partners who want to generate more referrals. More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability. Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.

His books, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, 101 Tips to Attract Prospects, 101 Tips to Generate Referrals and Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, Giving Your Clients What They WANT, So You Get What You WANT are currently available. Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, Using Your Time, Energy, and Creativity to Create Value, will be available in 2006.

Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses. He is a networking dynamo. Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together’which is why he started IntegritY.

Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is an Accomplished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations.

Are you truly committed to attracting the right prospects and generate more referrals?  If so then contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information.  You can contact Gerry by mail at 1610 Quiet Hills Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056.  Direct dial (760) 439-4623; e-mail to  For more information, go to

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