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People buy from people they know, like, and trust. While you might be in the right place at the right time when someone is up against it, and they may buy from you once without knowing, liking, or trusting you, for them to return, you’ll need more than luck.

Know and trust generally come along when you establish yourself as a likeable business with a human behind it. It’s difficult for people to like you if they don’t trust you unless you’re a villain and then being untrustworthy is your business.

For most of us, that is not the case. You can’t like someone you don’t remember, so let’s get to work on establishing the like part of the sales equation.

Share Your Reason

Think of how filmmakers or storytellers get us to like the main character. One of the ways is that they place him or her on a quest, or up against a challenge, that we want them to succeed in.

Often it’s one we identify with. Share your reason for doing what you do. There’s probably someone in your audience or potential audience who can identify with your convictions and story. Passion is contagious.

Find Commonalities

In order to find commonalities, you need to share things about yourself outside of your business and how it came to be. Share your likes, be positive. Share what you love about your community or your love for bacon.

Be genuine and people who see your social media posts or read your content will begin to identify with what you’re sharing. They’ll jump in and say “me too” and you’re one step closer to getting them to like you.

Ask Questions

If they’re in your store or business ask them their opinion on something and really listen to their answer. On social media ask what they think or what their preferences are.

Involve them in your rebranding by crowdsourcing some of your marketing decisions. People like being involved and if you really listen to, and then act on, their advice, they’ll remember it and like you more because they see you as someone who values what they think. That’s all a lot of us are looking for.

Anticipate Your Customers’ Needs

As a business you are in a position to help, whether it’s helping someone look better, feel better, be entertained, or whatever it is you do for your customers. But you are also in a position to solve problems or answer questions. Use your content and social media to help customers with problems they face in their lives.

If you run a boutique, you can create posts about unique gifts for the women in your life. If you are an accountant,  create helpful checklists of things people should track throughout the year for effortless taxes. Be helpful. Anticipate what your customers need and then give it to them. If they know they can count on you, they will return again and again.

In today’s competitive market place it’s hard for your product alone to set you apart. Often it’s the things behind your product that will help you make a name for yourself. It’s the service, personality, and assistance you provide. These are the things that make people like you and they are also what keeps people coming back.

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Looking for a way to help celebrate some great achievements by business people in Sarnia-Lambton?

We know of no better way than to nominate a company or individual for the 2019 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards, a night of special recognition that takes place on Friday, October 18, 2019 at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia.

But the first deadline in a months-long process leading up to that event is THIS FRIDAY, AUGUST 2.

That’s the day when nominations close, which means you have just HOURS to complete your nomination form.

CLICK HERE to get started with our very brief, very easy to use online form.

And we’ll see you on Friday, October 18!

Looking for tickets to this event. CLICK HERE to purchase online.

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Robert Gee, who is now manager of Agriculture and Commercial Banking at CIBC, is relatively new in the Sarnia-Lambton community, having moved from London where he was employed as a tax consultant just two years ago.

But Robert has dived right into the business community, not only in his CIBC role but with the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Community, where he is a member of the Board of Directors.

“It was in one of my first conversations with the Chamber that I discovered just how important the role of advocacy is, how the Chamber’s influence at various levels of government, municipally, provincially and federally, positively impacts the business of members,” he said.

“That really sold me on joining the Chamber and becoming active in what the organization does on behalf of small business,” said Robert.

He also appreciates how welcoming the business community has been as he finds his footing in his new home.

“People have really been extraordinarily welcome, which is something I very much appreciate.”

Robert Gee can be reached by email at

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It’s an annual event now in its ninth year and the Town of Petrolia expects this year’s “Shop Like Charlotte” which will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 9;30 p.m. on Friday, September 27, 2019, to be one of the best yet.

The ticketed event—$25 at all Petrolia banks—includes a wine reception sponsored by Pelee Island Winery and the Victoria Hall.

“Shop Like Charlotte” features food sampling, giveaways, draws, and in-store demos, plus a grand prize worth more than $1,000 in gift certificates, one from each participating store.

The Petrolia Volunteer Business Group is organizing this longstanding event and all proceeds go to the CEE Hospital.

For more information, contact Denise Thibeault of the PVBG at (519) 464-8420.

 

 

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Organizers of this year’s Bluewater BorderFest, which takes place August 8-11, 2019 at Centennial Park, are offering a 15% discount on tickets purchased for members of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce.

The link to purchase tickets online can be found HERE and the 15% discount is valid until next Wednesday, July 31 (end of the day).

Use discount code SL CHAMBER at checkout.

Featured performers at Bluewater BorderFest include:

—Tyler Farr and Jerrod Neimann (Thursday, August 8)
—Big Wreck and Tokyo Police Club (Friday, August 9)
—Dennis DeYoung (pictured) and the music of STYX with Mark’s Farner’s American Band (Saturday, August 10)
—Lou Gramm (voice of Foreigner), Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger, and John Payne of ASIA (Sunday, August 11)

 

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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is partnering with our friends in Port Huron—the Blue Water Area Chamber—for a Cruise on the St. Clair River aboard the Duc D’Orleans II.

The event, which is NOW TAKING PLACE ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, will begin on the Duc D’Orleans II dock at 297 Front Street, Sarnia. The cruise runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets for this event are $30 (Canadian funds) plus HST and can be purchased online by clicking HERE.

“We’re very excited to partner with our friends in Michigan for the return of the Chamber River Cruise, a return to a very popular tradition at the Chamber,” said Shirley de Silva, president and CEO. “We hope to see you there!”

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Nominations can be done online.   Please click “read more” below and get started.

For nomination online form  CLICK HERE .

The Outstanding Business Achievement Awards (OBAAs) is the most recognized industry gala in Lambton County with a single focus on celebrating business success.

The OBAAs, which celebrate incredible innovations and achievements, is unique in its engagement of a broad range of industry sectors and sizes. We will be celebrating this year on Friday, October 18th.

 

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Tourism Sarnia-Lambton is partnering with Ontario South West, the regional tourism office, in providing a workshop event designed to help deliver customized experiences to our visitors.

The event will take place on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 from noon to 3 p.m. at Stonepicker Brewing Company, located at 7134 Forest Rd., Plympton-Wyoming. A complimentary lunch will be provided.

Presenters for this event are Joanne Wolnik, Southwest Ontario Tourism Corp.; Cindy Walker, Chocolatea; Laura Soetemans, Stonepicker Brewing Company; and Beverley Horodyski, Tourism Sarnia-Lambton.

The workshop is limited to 25 participants and while there is no cost to participate, pre-registration is required. CLICK HERE.

Questions? Please contact Beverley at Tourism Sarnia-Lambton at (519) 336-3232, ext. 102

 

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If the idea of getting some of the latest business equipment available anywhere from a company that’s family owned and operated for nearly 60 years appeals to you, there’s a great option right here in Sarnia-Lambton.

Add in the fact that this particular business—MC Business Solutions—is a longstanding member of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and it just gets better.

The firm, with a local store in downtown Sarnia that opened in 2010, started in Kent County, where it was originally established as Maple City Typewriter by brothers Keith and Ed Koke, classically in a garage. They now employ over 60 staff.

Their story, which is featured on their website (www.mcbs.ca), includes an acknowledgement that in the beginning there was “a limited vision of the future but a burning desire to be the BEST technology and service provider” in their region.

Those early days had the brothers installing cash registers, mechanical adding machines, “wet copiers,” and, as the firm’s first name would indicate, typewriters (those of you who remember what a typewriter was can explain it to your children and grandchildren).

In 1975, the firm became a Canon dealership, with gradual adoption of technology that came along, including facsimile machines, and toner-based copiers.

Expansion into Windsor (2005) included the MC Business Solutions re-branding and another another five years later the opening of the Sarnia location.

Jeff Dam, Ed Koke’s son-in-law, is a co-owner of the business, while Jacqueline Smith (pictured) manages the Sarnia location.

Today, the depth of their product offerings include digital copier/printers, scanners, software solutions, wide format plotters, mailing systems, shredders, interactive white boards, furniture, and supplies.

Then and now, the three pillars of “Service Excellence, Honesty, and Transparency” are what drives MC Business Solutions, a proud member of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce.

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It may seem like a long way away, but anyone who has a busy calendar will agree—Friday, October 18 will come sooner than we think.

It’s the Chamber’s 2019 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards—sponsored by Libro Credit Union—and plans are shaping up for this event to be another amazing one.

“We’ve already had our first meeting to map out what is already a great event,” said Shirley. “But every year our goal remains: taking steps to make the coming event even better than the year before.”

Stay tuned for details on deadlines for nominations in the next few weeks and start thinking about who should be on your list of nominees for the 2019 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards!

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