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Strategies for Creating Lasting Bonds with Major Investors

Recruiting major investors is a critical strategy to ensure the long-term success of your chamber of commerce. Once they recognize the value your chamber offers to their business, the local economy, and the community, they’re likely to stick around for the long haul.

While they are typically not a flight risk, you should not take their membership in the chamber for granted. Maintaining healthy relationships with major investors calls for the same level of one-on-one communication that encouraged them to support your organization in the first place.  

Fortunately, as chambers of commerce, we have many advantages when it comes to building critical investor relations. The sheer breadth of services and resources that our chambers provide offers numerous avenues to engage investors and nurture positive relationships.

Here are eight strategies to nurture major investor relationship and keep them strong.

Positive Impact

One of the best ways to engage major investors is by sharing how your chamber’s actions positively impact the community. However, major investors are busy people, so you can’t assume that they have read your email updates.

You must effort to keep these business leaders “in the loop” and informed. Let them know about the important outcomes you have accomplished along with your future plans. Sharing positive impact is a great way to reacquaint investors with the reasons they invested in the first place.

Let Them Know the Challenges

While it’s clearly important to share the wins, it's equally as important to share the bad and the ugly.  When investors only hear about your accomplishments, they may assume their investments aren’t critical and move along to another cause where they believe they can make a larger impact.

Maintaining perspective and sharing the challenges you face will help show investors why you need their continued support.  

A Simple “Thank You” Can Be Very Effective

This one seems obvious, but simply reaching out to say “thank you” is important.  Just like anyone else, business leaders appreciate thank-you calls.  Try calling and thanking investors for their support when your chamber achieves a critical outcome.  

C-level leaders value seeing the direct link between their investment, your actions, and meaningful outcomes. Help them visualize this link and let them know that you simply can’t do it without them.  

Encourage Event Attendance

Make every effort to encourage the main contact and/or other employees to attend key events, including VIP gatherings, annual events, and economic and legislative events. They’ll gain access to key business and political decisionmakers, updates on vital information, and fully experience the impact of your chamber’s influence.

Make it a point to personally greet them at events and make sure they get connected with other business leaders of interest.  Creating personal connections and fostering trust and respect will bolster your ability to form deeper relations with your major investors.

Committees, Councils, and Working Groups

Many major investors will be very content that your chamber is executing effective actions on behalf of the business community.  This is perfectly fine – keep them informed. Others may want to get more engaged. Finding the right committee, council, or working group may be helpful.  

Clearly explain the details and expectations associated with each opportunity.  In many instances, participation will allow them to offer insight on issues that are important to their business interests.  

At the same time, be mindful that some business leaders will want to take part in something completely different as a volunteer from what they do in their everyday job.  Joining a group of personal interest can be just as effective to help them get engaged.  Either way, always follow-up to make sure that they are enjoying the experience.

Access to Information

Make sure that major investors are up-to-date with the latest information regarding issues that are important to their industry, company, and employees.  Send personal emails with direct links to chamber updates, articles, blog posts, and press releases that offer pertinent updates and information.  

Be sure to underscore the challenges as well as the accomplishments.  But don’t overemphasize minor details. The key is to communicate essential information that keeps investors informed of significant developments.

Personal Approach

Knowing things about your investors – outside of your chamber relationship presents valuable opportunities to create personal touches.  Celebrate personal and professional accomplishments.  If a major investor has a success story, help them share the news in a chamber publication.  Small personal touches make a big impact on how people feel as they come away from an interaction.  

Creating Google Alerts on every major investor’s company and key contacts is an effective and efficient way to stay informed.

No Surprises

A key rule of effective major investor relations is no surprises.  Good news or bad – major investors deserve to know, as soon as you do, if there is an issue or major development that warrants their attention.  When a critical issue emerges, engage potentially impacted major investors straight away.

Stacking your membership deck with major investors helps ensure the financial stability of your chamber of commerce for years to come. Build and nurture your relationships with these members through specialized communication that reinforces their confidence in their investment and your chamber.

In our next blog post, we’ll be talking about an often under-utilized selling point for major investors to join the chamber – plus seven talking points to help you infuse the benefit into your major investor recruitment conversations. So, stay tuned.

Remember, we're easy to talk to.  Feel free to reach out with questions about these techniques or other issues.

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