Networking is not just for the extrovert
A room full of people with business cards can be intimidating. What does one say, and who is best to approach? Networking events like those offered by the Chamber are about forming relationships more than pitching a product or service, said Kinnee Tilly, the Chamber’s vice president of business retention, expansion and small business.
“Benefiting from networking generally doesn’t happen overnight. It comes from building mutually beneficial, ongoing relationships,” Tilly said.
A recent article in The New York Times, “Networking for the Shy Entrepreneur,” cited business networking tips from several experts. Be purposeful but genuine, get to know people and use simple ice breakers, said the experts. In addition, the simplest way to start a networking career is by seeking out familiar faces. Click here to read the article.
Practice these skills at tomorrow’s Breakfast Network, scheduled for 7:30-9 a.m. at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center, 6808 S. 107th E. Ave. The Circuit Breakfast Network series provides an excellent opportunity to connect with other professionals, promote your business and build your contact list with more than 250 area business professionals. Bring plenty of business cards for the three table rotations.
The Chamber is offering a summer special for this event. Cost to register at the door is just $20 for members. For more information, contact Elaine Walsh at 560.0298 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chamber seeks volunteers for new BRE program
How is business? That is the question the Chamber’s economic development division is asking existing companies in the Tulsa region through a new peer-to-peer outreach business retention and expansion (BRE) program.
“While attracting new companies to the area is important, the majority – 75 to 80 percent – of new job creation comes from existing businesses,” said Stuart Solomon, president and COO of the Public Service Company of Oklahoma and the Chamber’s vice chairman of the board for economic development. “One of the Chamber’s key economic development objectives this year is to strengthen our BRE program to help the businesses that are already here grow and prosper.”
The BRE program will include a committee of business leaders who meet with area companies to discuss opportunities, issues and challenges companies may face, including barriers to growth, expansion, regulatory processes, mergers and workforce issues. The committee is currently being formed and will participate in training sessions beginning in mid-August.
For questions about joining the BRE committee or to schedule a BRE meeting with volunteers for your company, contact Danielle Runyan, the Chamber’s business retention and expansion manager, at 560.0265 or email@example.com.
Local business leaders play a round
The Tulsa Metro Chamber’s annual Golf Classic provides Tulsa area business leaders an opportunity to network and conduct business outside of the office.
Despite the heat, a record attendance was enjoyed at the morning and afternoon tournaments sponsored by AT&T and hosted by the Tulsa Country Club.
The winning team for the morning A flight was Tulsa County Club and B flight was Flintco Companies. Cox Business took first place among the afternoon A flight teams, and Chubb Group of Insurance Companies was the afternoon B flight winner.
What customers look for when selecting a vendor
As customers become more cautious about spending, the need to tout a great reputation is becoming more crucial. Today’s business-to-business buyer says that a company’s reputation is the most critical element when choosing a vendor or business partner, according to results of Porter Positioning’s 2008 Key Motivators Business Survey.
Nearly 94 percent of respondents reported that a company’s reputation is “very important” when choosing a vendor or business partner, 65 percent cite references as “very important” and 42 percent say proof of results is “very important.”
Surprisingly, while 95 percent of respondents say proven results are “very important” or “preferred,” only 31 percent say they actually ask for proof of results. Similarly, while 99 percent say references are “very important” or “preferred,” only 66 percent say they usually ask for references.
“This gap represents a huge opportunity for companies in competitive markets,” said Emily Porter, principal of Porter Positioning. “But it also reveals that professionals can do more to ensure success with their vendors.
“Reputation, references and results are powerful ways companies can differentiate themselves from competitors,” she said. “Case studies and testimonials are powerful indicators of success that can make or break a decision when choosing a vendor. Even if these items aren’t requested, companies should proactively provide them.”
The Chamber led Let’s Do Business program encourages Tulsa area businesses to use local vendors and service providers when economical and possible. To join these efforts and find a complete a list of local products and services, visit www.letsdobusinesstulsa.com.
Source: The Marketing Report, May 19, 2008
Tulsa “gets real” at Thursday event
Hear the secrets of success from Tulsa business leaders at the “Get Real Tulsa” Performance Success Event on Thursday, July 16 at the Doubletree Hotel Warren Place, 6110 S. Yale Ave., from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Tulsa Metro Chamber is co-marketing, with PERFORMANCE Magazine, this all-day, skills-building conference for business owners, entrepreneurs, sales executives and middle- and upper-management professionals. Professional PERFORMANCE Magazine publisher and McGraw-Hill Business Books bestselling author Dr. Jeff Magee has organized a panel of succesful Tulsa area business owners to share more than 100 winning business development techniques and strategies to start a business, grow a business and thrive in this economy.
Speakers include Pastor Billy Daugherty, Oklahoma’s Small Business Person of the Year Colleen Payne, Emmy-award winning media personality Cindy Morrison, business consultant Harry Lay, Magee and other powerful Tulsa business leaders. PERFORMANCE Magazine has selected speaker and nationwide power networker Michael Butler to emcee the event.
Chamber members will receive a special 25 percent discount off the registration fee of $99 before the event or $149 at the door.
For more information or to register visit www.getrealevents.com.
Chamber welcomes new businessesEach month the Tulsa Metro Chamber's Hospitality Club welcomes new businesses and new Chamber members to the community by assisting with ribbon cuttings and groundbreaking announcements.
Leah Ashlock, Owner
3321 E. 31st Street
Tulsa, OK 74135