• What's Your Story?

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    April 05, 2017

    What's Your Story?

    Hello from Washington, Iowa! I’m excited to introduce myself as a new board member with ICCE and look forward to serving and connecting on a more meaningful level. I hope to meet many of you next week at the One Day Conference featuring speaker Kyle Sexton as he helps us ‘Tell Your Chamber Story’.

    Kyle is going to help us break through the clutter and craft our message, but we can’t all tell the same story. Each Chamber is unique and we have all found different success stories that help us serve our communities.

    In my five years serving the Chamber of Commerce, I have learned that there is a lot of ambiguity about what our organization offers the community, which is why telling our story is a huge part of being successful in our profession. If you don’t mind, I’d like to share 3 simple tools that I keep in mind when answering the question, ‘What do you do?’

    Have (and use) your elevator pitch: Make sure you are able to explain why you benefit the community in less than a minute. For our Chamber, we serve both the business community as well as the City in terms of tourism, so we often use one brief explanation and then we further expand with details that meet the needs of the listener. Be sure you: know your audience, make them care, communicate in a relevant way, and are passionate about what you do.

    Educate your board, volunteers and members: Once you have crafted your elevator pitch, instill it into the minds of your people. Just as the chamber serves as one large referral agent for businesses, we have a vast member and volunteer base who believe in our mission so much they donate time and money to belong. When educated and empowered, we have the best sales & marketing team in the community – providing relevant referrals and sharing passion projects with prospective members.

    Make it about the people: Tell your story by being relevant to who you are speaking to. Listen, understand, and care about their needs. I never push membership, but identify member benefits that I hope will fit their needs. If you truly care about what you do, eventually they will to.

    Ultimately, I hope we are all able to tell our story with pride because what we do matters to our communities. I urge you to join us on April 12 as I look forward to connecting with professionals within our industry and hearing all about your story. REGISTER HERE

    Michelle Redlinger

    Executive Director
    Washington Chamber of Commerce