Your local business leads group and Chamber of Commerce can be great sources of leads for you and your company. Why can and not are? Because many business owners join and expect the leads to just fall in their laps without much effort on their part. Then they quit and decide that this type of lead generation simply doesn’t work for them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Paying the monetary dues is only the first step in joining a chamber or business group. Showing up to the events regularly and showing your face is the next basic step. Being friendly and helpful is another basic prerequisite for success. But none of these are guarantees for bringing you prospects and customers. They are the entry ticket. Sadly, many stop with these steps and drop out before giving it a real chance.

What does work?

Consistency — The long-time members and those you would love to have as clients will quietly decide for themselves through your actions whether you’re someone they can trust. Caring enough to show up and be active will go a long way in building that trust. If you can’t commit to doing these basic steps, save your money and don’t join. If your sole purpose for joining is to find leads and someone to sell to, you’ve missed the main point of joining this type of organization. Sure, those are important reasons and by-products of joining, but they cannot be the sole or even the primary reasons.

Attitude — Go in with a truly helpful and positive attitude if you want to succeed. Proactively seek out opportunities to help other members in every way you can, through referring and introducing them to other members, even if those actions don’t directly benefit you. Do this, and you’ll be on the right track.

Active participation — One of the secrets to being successful with your membership is to join committees. Every group will have sub-committees for various needs and functions of the chamber. These may include groups like education committees or new member committees. Not only will you get to interact with other dedicated members in a smaller setting when you join these committees, but you’ll also get recognition and notoriety for your efforts, which will lead to more chances to get to know other members better. This takes time and is a sacrifice, but it’s extremely important to do.

To have real success from your membership, remember that you must give before you get. The more effort you can put in, the more success you can expect. It’s a long-term strategy that has a proven track record for those who can practice one of life’s golden rules.