The purpose of the Business Referral Groups (BRG) are to offer a business networking opportunity for Chamber members to build relationships and exchange referrals among non-competing businesses. Participants must be active members of the GMCC. There is a Tuesday group and a Friday group and both BRGs meet twice a month. Meetings will last a full hour and members must arrive on time.
Membership is limited to one person in any given industry. Leads and referrals are tracked so you can see your personal progress within the group as well as the group's as a whole! For more information, and to determine which Business Referral Group is available and right for you, give the Chamber a call. For the Tuesday group, contact Melanie; for Friday, contact Amy. BRG dues are $40 annually.
The following is taken from Endless Referrals by Bob Burg:
Mention the term networking to many business owners or salespeople, and images of their local Chamber of Commerce will immediately spring to mind. Why? Because across North America and throughout the world, Chambers of Commerce have instituted monthly events known as Business before Hours, Business after Hours, Networking Functions, or Card Exchanges.
Regardless of what they’re called, the concept is that Chamber of Commerce members, attend these get-togethers with plenty of business cards in tow, ready to exchange them with each other. If all goes according to plan, when one of the members eventually needs a particular product or service, she will simply have to check her business card file and voila! She will know who to go to.
The purpose of this exercise, according to Chamber of Commerce executives, is, and I quote “Chamber members doing business with other Chamber members.” In other words, creating a self-sufficient business environment within the membership.
It’s a good concept! There’s only one minor problem – it doesn’t work. No matter how loyal people may be to their Chamber of Commerce, they will most likely only do business with someone for the reason: all things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.
When we give to (or do something for) someone, we take an important step toward causing those “know, like, and trust” feelings in that person. As mentioned before, the best way to get business and referrals is to give business and referrals. Why? Because when someone knows you care about them enough to send business their way, they feel good about you.
Actually, they feel great about you, which produces the natural desire to give back to you. They also know that it’s in their best interests to cultivate a mutually beneficial, give and take, win/win relationship with you.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be actual business that you give. It could be information that would help them in their business, personal, social, or recreational lives, or any other area of interest to them. Perhaps you suggested a book (or sent them a copy) that you knew would be of true value to them. Maybe you knew their son or daughter was looking for work at a certain company and, knowing someone there who knew the personnel director, you made a call and put in the kind word that helped ensure employment.
What’s important to remember is to give, not with an emotional demand that the person to whom you’re giving must repay you in kind, but purely out of joy of adding increase to the life of another human being.
This is the grand paradox of giving and receiving: when you give purely out of the love of giving, you cannot help but receive. Yet when you give only in order to receive, it doesn’t work out nearly as well!
When you give because it’s something you desire to do, and do so without the expectation of direct reciprocation, you’ll find that the Law of Cause and Effect works for you in ways the typical business person might never even imagine.
Thomas Powers, founder of the online network, Ecademy, and author of the book Networking for Life, puts it very nicely, “The energy arises from a willing suspension of self-interest.”