Policy: While attending a function sponsored by the Geoprofessional Business Association, no GBA-Member Firm or GBA-Professional Colleague representative nor any individual associate member shall actively solicit business from any other GBA-Member Firm or GBA-Professional Colleague representative or any individual associate member, nor shall any GBA-Member Firm or Professional Colleague representative or any individual associate member actively seek to recruit for employment any representative of a GBA-Member Firm or GBA Professional Colleague.
Commentary: GBA is not so naïve as to believe that marketing does not or should not occur at GBA-sponsored functions. In part, that’s what the functions are for. The real concern is how the marketing occurs.
In essence, marketing must be performed with professionalism held foremost. While professionalism can be demonstrated in many ways, the most effective is through service. In GBA, this translates into meaningful committee involvement: attending the committee meetings and getting done what was promised in between meetings. Relationships established at the committee level typically last for years and have often led to referrals, recommendations, joint-venture opportunities, and more.
If you look upon GBA more as a marketing venue than as an organization that merits support, your marketing will quickly go nowhere; you will have wasted your time and money. If you are with a service provider – be that a geoprofessional firm, contractor, or attorney – you do not need to make others aware that you, as they, would appreciate obtaining more business opportunities. “Would you mind if I retain you to serve me?” or “Will you allow me to put your name on the list of firms to be asked to propose?” are not questions one generally has to ask; they’re givens. The real question tends to be, “Why should I give this person and this person’s company a substantial business benefit, through retention, referral, or recommendation?” The answer: “Because the person’s a real professional and, as I, volunteers on behalf of a great organization that does great things.”
Succeed through service to GBA. Sell by being professional.