Friday, January 29 , 20102Pembroke Express – Your Hometown Newspaper!
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Bsnss hpng bsnss
fter starting with
a BANG in 2008,Mark Petrie, Ste
-ven Tomasi and the rest of their business networking
group decided to change theirname, but not their purpose.
The South Shore Business Al
liance, formerly the BusinessAssociates Networking Group,still meets twice a month, withrepresentatives from a varietyof elds, to share information
about their businesses. Pet-
rie, a senior loan ofcer withRockland Trust, and Tomasi,owner of A.J. Tomasi Nurs
eries Inc., sat down with theExpress recently to talk aboutwhat’s new with the group.
Why did you changeyour name?
just felt that
South Shore Busi
ness Alliance sounded moreprofessional. We started withabout eight, and we’ve grownto about 25 members. We meetevery rst and third Thursday
of the month.
How does the group dif-fer from other groups?
It’s more in the
trenches as opposed to a group
that’s maybe looking out for theneeds of its members. We’relooking out for the needs of
our customers and how we canserve them better. Obviously,the economy has forced us allto be better business people.It may sound trite, but I say itall the time: The most impor
tant person in my companyis my customer. And the verynext person that walks in is mymost important customer.
Regardless of whatbusiness we have, we’re all inthe lead generation business,and if you can get a warmlead as opposed to a cold call,you’ve got a better chance of closing that warm lead.
How is the group orga-nized and how do you gainmembers?
-nitely word of mouth. We want
quality growth as opposed to just we’ll take anybody to lla seat. It’s one facet of busi
ness for each seat, so there’sonly one mortgage broker, onelandscape architect, one attor
ney, one real estate agent, etc.
The reason I’m
going to recommend a mem
ber to a customer that I havewho is looking for an electri
cian or a carpenter or a mort
gage broker is because I knowthat person. I can very con
dently say that person willserve your needs, because if I recommend somebody thatfalls short of expectations, that
looks bad on me.
How does the economicslump impact the way youdo business?
it’s denitely gotten people
who might not have done
business this way ve yearsago because they had plenty
of it; they’re now looking for
alternative sources. It’s just allnetworking, and if someonecan further their business fromanother contact, that’s great.We’re just trying to open more
doors to our members.
It’s the same rea-son the last restaurant you
went to, probably the reasonyou went there was because afriend of yours said, ‘You’vegot to try this place.’ And af
ter you went there and experi
enced good service and goodfood, then you’re going to tell
a friend of yours. That’s re-
ally the concept. It’s word of
What happens at yourmeetings?
Each personhas about a minute to introducethemselves, then it’s open. We
talk amongst ourselves. We’re
trying to construct a Web sitewhere everyone can have a
link. We’re trying to do busi-
The majority of our customers are homeown
-ers. That’s what we’re looking
for. In my particular business,
I’m one of the largest invest-ments a homeowner will make
in their life. That’s a big step,
so you want to make sure that
the company you’re dealingwith has a good reputation.
Are you looking to growyour group?
always open — the more the
merrier. They say the aver-
age person knows 200 people;that’s their ‘sphere of inu
ence.’ So if you have 10 peo
ple in the group, your sphereof inuence is 2,000 custom
ers. If you have 20 people inthe group, it’s 4,000.
What is your goal forthe group?
to continue to grow but con
-tinue to grow with quality.We’re looking for someone
who would t the group anddo good service for our cus
Sth Shre Bsness Allance fnders Mar Petreand Steven Tmas tal abt grp’s name, prpse
Steven Tomasi, owner of A.J. Tomasi Nurseries Inc., and MarkPetrie, a senior loan officer with Rockland Trust, stand outsideTomasi Nurseries, where their networking group South ShoreBusiness Alliance (ssba.com) meets twice a month.
• The Community Nursery Kindergarten preschool was misidenti
fied as “Center” Nursery Kindergarten in an announcement that
ran in the Jan. 22 Express. The preschoo, ocated at First Church,wi begin registration during the second week of Februar fornext September. Ca the schoo at 781-294-1654 to arrange apersona tour with the director, see a cass in progress and havequestions answered. For more about the preschoo, visit theirWeb site at cnkpembroke.com.