152: Chamber boasts new membership drive record

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Allen Smith, President of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce, couldn’t wait to email John Kimbrell, former Greer chamber president, to tell him there is a new membership drive record.
The Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce announced its two and a half day membership campaign added 152 new members. The memberships give the chamber a $56,000 –plus payday, less costs to Your Chamber Connection for its consultation fees. “That’s a 30 percent increase in our membership in just over two days,” Smith said.
That made Kimbrell’s 92 new members gained in the 2009 membership a memory. And by two members, Smith was called on at the celebration to pay off a bet he lost by singing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”.
Smith bet the chamber volunteers they wouldn’t get over 150 new members. Thus Smith’s singing days may be over.
“I’m competitive,” Smith said as he smiled.” It’s all in good fun with John. He’s been a good help to me since he left.”  In fact, Kimbrell will hold his Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce retreat at City Hall in November. Smith will give the welcoming address.
This whole campaign was fun, Smith said. Jimmy Cusano, a motivational speaker and humorist with Your Chamber Connection, spoke to the volunteers for 20-30 minutes and then “turned them loose.” Smith said. 
Cusano had the state’s top membership drives his company promoted on a board and as Greer’s chamber surpassed them he would cross out those left behind. Greer was the third most successful campaign in the state, according to Cusano.
Smith said the membership drive centered on building relationships. “We asked our volunteers to call someone they knew who was not a member and explain the good things our chamber was doing for its members. It was as much educational as it was getting new members.”
“The volunteers in this community never cease to amaze me,” Smith said. “I appreciate their passion for their Chamber, and I extend a warm welcome to our new members. This recent success only reaffirms our commitment to our members and the business  community.”

Businesses mentioned in this article.

Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce


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