Thursday, July 14, 2016

Business Connect: Introducing the GFLGLCC’s Exclusive Referral Program


In an effort to continue to enhance the value provided to its members, the GFLGLCC - Greater Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce rolled out some new benefits on June 1. One key item is the exclusive “Business Connect” program -- designed to facilitate strategic connections between members who share common interests and objectives.

To date, the GFLGLCC’s efforts related to connecting members has largely been focused on utilizing the website and events such as monthly mixers and quarterly luncheons. While these provide a “passive platform” through which members can meet and connect, the new Business Connect program takes a more direct “hands-on” approach.

Eligible members interested in participating in the program will first personally meet with the President / CEO of the Chamber or one of its Board Members to identify their business goals and objectives, their ideal client type and their industry focus. That, along with other key drivers will then be analyzed in the context of the GFLGLCC member base to determine the strategic relationships that makes the most business sense. From there, personal introductions are made between members.

To demonstrate exactly how the program will work, consider this fictional example: an eligible member who provides a line of all natural, organic toiletries is interested in expanding business. During the initial planning meeting, it is decided that the best opportunities to grow their business through the Chamber are via hotels and resorts in the area.

With 30+ hotel and resort members at the Chamber, the focus shifts towards identifying those that could mutually benefit from an introduction. It is concluded that an email will be sent to all 30+ hotel and resort members from the Chamber on behalf of the member, followed up with phone calls to a short list of 10 that have the most promise.

How do we arrive at this short list? By considering things like the ability of local management to make purchasing decisions for in-room amenities or gift shop inventories, any “intelligence” related to change that’s happening or anticipated that could result in a requirement for new product options, etc.

Once the 10 have been identified, the goal is to ultimately facilitate an in-person introduction with as many of them as possible. This might occur at one of the monthly mixers, at a quarterly luncheon, at some other local event or at a brief meeting scheduled specifically for the purpose of a meet and greet.

The example doesn’t end there! Through the analysis, let’s say that there are also two hotel management and consulting company members identified. By facilitating an introduction to those two members, additional opportunities may open up via their networks!

As is demonstrated by the specificity of that fictional example, all program details will be custom tailored to each individual member that goes through the program. Great care will be taken to make meaningful introductions that have the potential to benefit both sides. For this reason, the specific number of introductions and approach to facilitating the connections will vary from member to member.

The new program, which is still in the pilot phase, will be offered to its Corporate level members and above as part of their standard membership benefits. For more information and to join the GFLGLCC, please visit or contact the GFLGLCC at 954-523-3500.

The GFLGLCC is the exclusive Broward County affiliate of the NGLCC - National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Their mission is to promote business and economic opportunities for the LGBT and LGBT-friendly community; be an advocate and resource for all member businesses that promote equality and to promote tourism with a unified approach by working with appropriate and related organizations.