Find Golden Contacts in Your Association’s Directory

Directory Pixabay notebook-g2d029f835_1280 Salome Maydron

Peruse the listings for colleagues, consultants and referral sources.

One of the benefits of a membership association is your listing in the organization’s directory.

When you join the group, you are invited to fill out their standard form for your listing. which usually includes:

  • Name
  • Company name
  • Pre-set categories to describe your business
  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Photo

Now that you are inscribed, take a look around and learn more about the other members.

You can search by profession or industry to identify consultants and vendors who work with similar or even mutual clients.

Pick out names of possible collaborators.

See which members might be potential referral sources.

Look for members in your city (or an area you often visit) to meet for coffee or lunch.

You may even locate someone you know and with whom you’ve lost touch over the years.

Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to some members of the association. When they learn you are a new member, they probably will welcome you and may well be open to a conversation regarding their involvement in the organization to encourage your active participation.

There’s a treasure trove of connections in the directory. Be selective. Do not contact every member; instead, search for those whose business interests most closely align with your own.

This Month’s Tip

A directory listing, like an elevator pitch, offers a bare minimum of information. You have to engage in conversation to flesh out the details. To start the relationship with a fellow member, introduce yourself by email. Focus on YOU, the reader/member, and establish shared interests. Your goal is to have the next conversation. For example:

Your name came to my attention as a member of the Regional Association, which I recently joined.

Your listing caught my eye, as a professional/business owner in the ____ industry, because I often work with ____/clients in my ____ business.

As a new member of the organization, I am excited to get involved and meet other members.

It would be great if we could chat and become better acquainted, so that I might learn more about your business.

I’m also eager to hear how you think I might participate in the association’s activities, perhaps by contributing my ____ skills.

Looking forward to your reply.


This approach works equally well when you are a long-time member of the association. Check your listing to ensure all the details are current. In your note to a fellow member, suggest a conversation to discuss their view of trends in the industry or profession, ask a quick question or propose a future program for the organization.


Take a closer look at the directory of an organization where you are a member. After confirming your listing’s details are correct, consider which fellow members fit the categories of possible collaborator or referral source. You may even plan to meet for lunch locally.

Contact me at, set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770. Together we’ll build a direct connection from the directory to a fellow member, who may, serendipitously, become a client. It worked for me.

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