Dear BNSME Members,
You are a part of a successful, historic and exclusive professional association that sales and marketing executives in bigger cities can only dream of joining because they just don’t have the resource that we have here (a resource we sometimes take for granted).
Like the region whose name we share, the Buffalo Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives has been a precious gem for our active and involved members since 1942. While other professional associations have sprung up and died off along the way, BNSME’s unique tools for enhancing the professional development of our talented members has kept the association thriving for over 70 years.
BNSME is so special because, by design, it’s not for everybody – only those individual who have achieved business success and are continuing to thrive in their careers can be members. Our members must meet a specific executive criteria, they must be sponsored by a current BNSME and their application must be voted on by our board of directors.
The critical result of this vetting process is that our BNSME members get to network with and learn from their true peers. Executive-level men and women who have closed the big deals, who have interacted with top business leaders around the world and who have faced similar business and organizational challenges. Over these past seven decades, our members have often supported each other as trusted professional resources that they might not have ever enjoyed without their BNSME memberships.
Leads are established here, business gets done here, and lifelong friendships are fostered here today, just as when the association began. I know this for a fact because I have received and shared leads, closed deals and made lifelong friends directly as a result of my membership. But it’s not because I tried to plaster every hand presented to me at a meeting with my business card and an elevator speech.
What’s my BNSME secret? How come I can walk into a BNSME meeting and be known and welcomed by almost everybody there (unless I haven’t met them yet)?
I am actively involved in BNSME. Committees, dinner meetings, events…I’ve joined, participated and I’ve interacted.
I continually reach out to the new faces I see at meetings and I reconnect with the familiar faces. I focus on them…their lives, their likes and their challenges. I try to listen more than I talk (which, as an Irishman, is no small task for me).
In short, I try and treat each member the way I would like to be treated. I try not so much to make a contact as I do a friend.
As we all know, when given a choice, people would rather do business with friends.
Not always am I perfect at it but I’ve only been a BNSME member for 24 years, I still need to work at it.
I was reminded of all this today and encouraged to share my thoughts while attending a BNSME past presidents luncheon. That’s a picture (above) of just some of the association’s past leaders…you’d be hard pressed to find more loyal supporters of the BNSME mission than this group and I’ll guarantee you’d easily make a friend or two as well from that group.
The gentleman (in the truest definition of that word) in the blue blazer seated in the above picture is not only the longest tenured member of BNSME, he’s also one of the greatest sales and marketing executives this city has ever had and the greatest friend BNSME has ever known. No one in BNSME ever secured more members, chaired more committees or helped more people professionally and personally.
Every person in that picture, as well as many more who were sad they couldn’t attend, owe Bob Sommer an unfathomable debt of gratitude for sharing his talent and his time with BNSME. The association was and still is one of his great passions. We are lucky to have him in our group.
So as you think about your career and how Buffalo Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives can be an important part of it…maybe consider how Bob has built his respected and beloved reputation within BNSME (hint: the answer doesn’t involve longevity). Maybe some of his examples can help you make the most out of your BNSME membership experience.
I hope it does because I know it can.