Good rapport: It encompasses everything an N2 Area Director needs for a thriving business. With a great group of readers who understand your mission of bringing the community together, an increasing number of clients who become closer to their target audience, and an attitude of genuine care for everyone involved, the recipe for success with any N2 publication is pretty straightforward.
Connie Vernon-Chase has not only mastered that recipe, but also holds the knowledge of a secret ingredient every AD needs, and it goes right back to good rapport. Looking back on eight years in print, she said, “My passion has always been the relationship side of the business. Getting the right folks connected is what I love about the opportunity in this role the most.”
By “folks,” she’s talking about both residents and clients. Because she’s taken the time to nurture these relationships, Connie has two flourishing neighborhood publications.
The marketing, public relations, and community outreach side came naturally to Connie thanks to her previous experience; the sales side, with its natural ebbs and flows, took a little time to learn and get used to, but she caught on quickly. It helped that she realized closing sales is just an extension of forming a solid relationship.
“My best comes out while working closely with those who understand what our publications are about and respect what I’m doing,” Connie remarked. “Good rapport – the business sustains itself when you take care of the clients and residents.”
More Than a Job
Connie’s been in the business of building relationships her entire career. For almost 26 years, she brought together shopping center retailers and community leaders in Indianapolis and Minneapolis, and served as a promotions associate, coaching more than 60 marketing directors across the country. She also launched a custom publishing division for local welcome guides tied to major events in Indianapolis, including NCAA tournaments and Formula One Racing.
She was very involved in the major markets in Indiana and Minnesota through charitable organizations at the corporate level, but the local scene was something new she didn’t dive into at a tangible level until she began working with smaller neighborhoods in Texas.
When Connie moved south, she started from the ground up – both professionally and personally. She wanted to reinvent her life and find work that didn’t involve walking into the same office day after day. She wanted more freedom than the traditional 9 - 5 typically offers. While sharing with a friend back in Indianapolis her desire for something different, N2 was mentioned and Connie started investigating.
The search was fruitful, and Connie went through training. She charged into ramp-up, flexed through some roadblocks, and didn’t hold back her enthusiasm for her magazine.
During ramp-up with her first publication, Connie met with a real estate agent and resident in her Dallas-area community. He told her if she was just going to sell a bunch of advertisements in a magazine, it would be difficult in the relatively small city of Southlake – it was a town built on relationships. She guaranteed him she’d fit right in and he would be thrilled with the publication. He came on board, and you’ll still find his ad in her magazine today.
The Best Part of the Biz
Connie shared, “I love the consultative side of prospect appointments. It’s just a matter of setting the tone with your intro, and letting their cues lead you into what [N2] is all about.”
Between appointments and events, coffee meetups, and attending community and charitable gatherings, Connie thrives on flowing through these circles and connecting the dots for her residents and local businesses.
“I love to learn more about a business. It helps me learn what I could do for them later,” Connie explained. “If I hear of categories of business that are good for the residents, it helps me introduce them to current partners. Or I might have a resident who may not be advertising with me, but I could find synergy with others and introduce them for their gain. I personally enjoy my events because I’ve had relationships with these folks for so long and I can be that connector.”
Connie strives to do best by the clients and residents every day. A lot of this effort, though, is strictly “casual” – casual in her approach to grabbing coffee with a resident to get their take on content, and the same for how she reaches out to clients to take their bond just a little bit further.
“For me, it’s just about paying attention to people,” Connie succinctly concluded.
And that brings us back to maintaining a good rapport. There is a consistent level of care weaved into Connie’s franchise and it’s evident in every interaction with her community. Almost nine years later, she still finds ways to become better each day with the goal of simply connecting others.