Our main purpose is to build working relationships with our members and generate business through referrals. We meet weekly to provide the continuity necessary to be successful. We do not consider ourselves a single-event networking organization. We offer much more and our commitment to each other is integral to our success. Membership in the West St. Tammany Business Alliance is a privilege, not a right. If your needs and desires are consistent with the principles of the West St. Tammany Business Alliance, we welcome you to consider our organization and if there is an available position, then we encourage you to submit your application.
Alliance vs. Network
WSTBA is an ‘alliance’ as opposed to a ‘networking’ organization. What’s the difference? Traditional networking is about how many people have your card or how many people you can meet at a chamber event. An alliance is about how many people know you, value what you do, and feel comfortable referring their friends and colleagues to you. This is such a critical distinction that it’s difficult to over-emphasize it. Over the years, you’ve probably known dozens of professionals and business people who say that they joined a service club or professional organization “but it never did any good.” If you asked them to tell you how they actually spent their time at the meetings, they usually say they attended, tried to be friendly, exchanged business cards with lots of people, and greeted as many people as possible.
If you ask them how many referrals they made to the people they met, you would probably get a blank look. If you ask them about how many luncheons or follow-up phone calls they made, there’s usually silence. If you ask them if they served on a committee or as an officer, the most common answer is “No.” An alliance is about bonding and building connections. It’s about building trust. It’s about building a mutual relationship that benefits both parties. Think about how many people the average physician, attorney, stock broker or salesperson contacts in a year. If your attorney knows and understands the value of your business and feels comfortable referring to you, he or she might make dozens of referrals per year. Think of an alliance as the art of building a solid, long- term alliance with a circle of fellow business people. A circle of a dozen can be worth a million dollars a year in referrals. It’s not the number business cards, it’s the quality of the relationship that counts. Build your network in terms of solid, reciprocal alliances that benefit each member of your “quality circle.” That is what WSTBA offers. We encourage you to learn more by contacting any member of our alliance.