A member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook asked:
Do you provide incentives to members who bring new businesses to join? We have talked about giving a discount on membership to the member when a new member joined through their referral. But it seems like a lot to track and keep on top of. What do you do?
Many chambers do provide some form of referral “thank you.” Depending on whether you award it immediately or later (like during renewal time) there can be administrative and tracking efforts required.
Rewarding Chamber Members for Referring Businesses
Here are a few suggestions of what other chambers do:
- A discount off of dues. Depending on when the business renews, this will involve tracking through your invoicing or accounting software.
- A gift card for a member business. If you have a chamber buck’s program, you could give them a gift certificate that they could use anywhere in town with a member business. The upside to this is that awarding it is immediate so you don’t need to track it (or subtract it) from dues months from now.
- Additional free listing category for their business in the online directory.
- Discount on chamber advertising. This can also be a benefit for the chamber if the discount leads to new advertising possibilities going forward from the increased exposure.
- “Have Lunch on Us” card to be used for a free lunch at one of the chamber events.
Whatever you choose to do to reward referrals, letting your member businesses know you appreciate their efforts on your behalf is important. Your members are some of the strongest advertising you have. A fellow business owner who speaks highly of the chamber and the benefits he (and his business) receives from membership will sway more people to join than any membership marketing campaign can.
Make sure those members feel appreciated and they’ll continue to be very powerful brand ambassadors for you.