Whenever I attend meetings of the Greater California Livery Association, as I have for five years, I tend to focus on the many legislative and regulatory matters the group is constantly working with. They always dominate the agenda and discussion.
At the GCLA meeting last night in San Diego, it was one of the sponsors who stole the show. Sponsors of industry meetings and events are quite common in the limousine industry, serving as valuable supporters. Without them, most of these events would not be possible.
We all know the deal: Sponsors pay to support an event, and in return, they get logos, kudos, many thanks, and prime time for sales pitches.
But one sponsor of last night’s meeting — Chosen Payments — stood out to me as model examples of vital industry commitment. The company demonstrates a dimension of the B2B world that goes beyond landing clients: Businesses helping other businesses.
Chosen Payments of Moorpark, Calif., launched a few years ago as a merchant services and payments processing provider. It has partnered with the GCLA to encourage and reward membership.
Chosen Payments CEO Jeff Brodsly last night outlined what I like to call a “progressive-aggressive” approach. Brodsly did what any savvy new sponsor should do right off the bat: Give back to the industry. He outlined a thorough incentive program:
- The company will pay $150 toward the annual GCLA membership fee of anyone who signs up with Chosen Payments.
- Chosen Payments donates back a portion of its GCLA-based client revenue back to the association. It donated $2,700 its first year, based on 30 GCLA-member clients.
- If Chosen Payments reaches 50 member clients, the revenue share donation to the GCLA rises to $5,000. If it reaches the 100 member mark, the donation increases to $10,000.
- And finally: “We guarantee that if we can’t save you money, we will pay the entire dues for the GCLA,” Brodsly said.
He also took the time to field questions from operators, who can be a sharp, tough crowd when vetting who they want to do business with and what they want to buy. One of the things operators notice most about their daily business routine is credit card processing.
The Chosen Payments program, which combines creativity with generosity, is a win-win for the GCLA as it fights on numerous regulatory and legislative fronts on behalf of California operators: Difficult airport bureaucracies and ground transportation rules; the growing evasiveness and influence of Uber; unclear pupil transportation regulations, to name just a few. To make progress, the GCLA needs to fund its lobbyists and attorneys, and regular meetings with members, to track and resolve a mounting agenda.
That’s why businesses must support businesses that boost the limousine industry. The challenges will only grow in coming years. Small businesses don’t have many friends out there at a time when we are living in the era of Big Government. Sponsors can provide those vital association links between membership, financial support and action.
— Martin Romjue, LCT editor
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