Forging Business Connections Throughout Metro Chattanooga

Why Join ABL?

You are a busy professional. Being successful takes a lot of time and effort, so why would someone consider committing themselves to yet another hour per week?

Quite simply, the hour per week you spend in an ABL meeting can do more for your business success than weeks of traditional networking!

The benefits of joining.

There are many benefits of becoming a member of American Business Link. And some members will find their benefits differ from other members. But all members will agree that the following abbreviated list of benefits are the core value of ABL.

Grow Your Business.

Being a member of ABL is like having salespeople working to refer your business, for free! If each member has ten, twenty, fifty or hundreds of customers, imagine how many people that could be. People who might one day need your product or service. Now factor in how many customers our members are likely to gain in the future and you quickly see the power of a leads group. Our members stay in the group because of the sales they get from member referrals.

Gain Confidence.

Most people are either born shy, or learn shyness at an early age. Shyness helps to keep us out of trouble during our early years. But shyness is the bane of business success. No person has ever become successful without at least getting a handle on their shyness.

During an ABL meeting, each member gets to speak for thirty seconds, twice. Once near the beginning and once near the end of the meeting. Even the shyest person will be able to control their fear for thirty seconds. After a few meetings, you will have no trouble with the thirty second speeches.

Soon you will be a master of the thirty second speeches, and will find that you know the other members well enough to speak comfortably to them. Now you will be scheduled for a seven minute presentation, where you may showcase your business to the entire group. You will find it to be easier than you first thought.

Before you know it, you will have gained the confidence needed to speak where ever you go, and to anyone you meet. Through our weekly repetition you will become a master networker!

Gain Proficiency.

Being able to speak without knowing what to say isn't much better than being shy, from a business standpoint. But from all of the speaking and answering questions in the ABL group, you will learn from trial and error what works best for you and your business. And what doesn't.

From your company tagline, to your "Elevator Pitch", to being able to describe your products and services, you will perfect the language that leads to more sales.

Make Yourself More Valuable to your clients.

By having somewhere to go with your referrals, you become more of an asset to your customers, because you can help them with more of their needs. As your clients come to realize that you know a lot of people, you will find that they call you more often. If they need a plumber, and you refer them one, they will think of you when they have other problems as well. And what business person wouldn't want clients to call them!


Our members have forged friendships with their fellow members that often goes beyond business. Many members still have relationships with people who have left the group. We are quick to assist one another, care about each other, and warm up to new members quickly. If we may say so ourself, we are good folks!

A Weekly Diversion.

While our meetings are all about growing our businesses, they are also a great diversion from your business. You get to be somewhere for an hour per week where you don't have to worry about payroll, inventory, deadlines, and the myriad of other problems business people struggle with every week.


We have a lot of fun! Injecting humor into a business meeting lifts everyone's spirits. Sales are easier to make with high spirits.


An activity by which groups of business people gather to build rapport and gain contacts, with the goal of growing one's business.


Leads Group:

An organized group of business people who refer one another to their business contacts, and who usually meet on a regular basis to exchange those referrals.


Pledge Of Allegiance:

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."


Our Card-Box:

"Each of our members are encouraged to keep a supply of their business cards in the card-box at all times. This box is passed around each week. Members and visitors should take anyone's card they need, and members can re-stock their own cards.

This allows our members to always have the other member's cards for handing to referrals."


Code of Ethics:

"Upon my acceptance to ABL, I agree to abide by the following Code of Ethics during the tenure of my participation in the organization:

  • I will provide the quality of services at the prices that I have quoted.
  • I will be truthful with the members and their referrals.
  • I will build good will and trust among members and their referrals.
  • I will take responsibility for following up on the referrals I receive.
  • I will display a positive and supportive attitude with ABL members.
  • I will live up to the ethical standards of my profession."

Elevator Pitch:

"A short summary used to quickly and simply define a person, profession, product, service, organization or event and its value proposition.

The name "Elevator Pitch" reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes. The term itself comes from a scenario of an accidental meeting with someone important in the elevator. If the conversation inside the elevator in those few seconds is interesting and value adding, the conversation will continue after the elevator ride or end in exchange of business cards or a scheduled meeting.

A variety of people, including project managers, salespeople, evangelists, and policy-makers commonly rehearse and use elevator pitches to get their point across quickly."


Reality Check:

"A couple of referral slips from the previous meeting are selected, and the receiving member is asked to discuss the outcome of the referral.

It is our belief that this helps to prevent the passing of bogus referrals."


What Is A referral:

"A referral, as defined by ABL, is a person who has agreed to be contacted, or to contact, the person who the referral is intended for."

Example: Your client asks if you know anyone in real estate. When you mention that you have a very trustworthy agent in your ABL group, your client asks you to have the agent call them. Your client is now a great referral for the realtor! The realtor can now make a warm call to your client since your client is expecting, and wanting the call!

What A referral Is Not:

If someone drives past a lot with a "For Sale By Owner" sign, that is not a referral for the realtor. That would be the same as a cold call, and the realtor is perfectly able to make cold calls on his or her own.



"Each member is encouraged to have a one-on-one meeting with each of the other members, usually scheduled at at a place and time outside of an ABL meeting. This gives both parties a chance to ask each other questions about their business, and to build rapport and trust.

Only through a greater understanding of each other's business, products and/or services can we become effective salespeople for each other."



"An often repeated phrase associated with an individual, organization, or commercial product; a slogan."



"Our current dues are $150.00 per year, just over $10.00 per month paid annually. Your membership term will run for twelve months from the date you joined."


We Help Our Community:

"Since we are a non-profit organization we spend our money for the good of our community.

Each year, we adopt at least one under privileged family and provide them a Christmas, including gifts for the children and food for the family.

We also select at least one college student and provide them a one time $500 - $1000 gift to use as they see fit."


Quality Over Quantity:

"Some networking groups force you to bring at least one referral every single week as a requirement of your continued membership. They brag about their number of referrals generated.

If you don't have a referral a couple of weeks in a row, you might be tempted to make something up to keep from being thrown out of the group!

We understand that this doesn't help anyone. We would rather you turn in good referrals that usually result in business no matter how infrequent. As a result, the number of referrals you turn in is not tied to your membership status."


No Manditory Meal:

"Some networking groups force you to purchase a meal at each meeting as a condition of your continued membership. This often doubles the true cost of being a member of the group.

While we also meet at a restaurant, you are not required to purchase anything."


No Corporate Fatcat:

"Some networking groups are actually franchised businesses that keep some money, and pass some upstream until finally, the founder on his yacht gets his cut.

Why make someone else richer? Networking should be about making yourself more successful, and hopefully, rich.

All of our money stays in our community!"


No Exorbitant Fees:

"Some networking groups charge:

  • An application fee.
  • An annual membership fee.
  • A weekly meeting fee.
  • A mandatory weekly meal purchase.
  • And some even force you to purchase "Training" materials.

That's a lot of fees!

We charge only $10.00 per month, paid annually each July 1st."


Industry Exclusivity:

"We allow only one person or business from an industry to be a member.

If you join our group as a widget salesman, you will be the only widget salesman, and all of those leads would go to you!

Check out the list on the left sidebar to see if your industry is already represented."


Seven Minute Presentation:

"During your presentation, the floor is yours. You may show products, explain services, answer questions, give demonstrations, or any combination thereof.

This helps all of our members to learn about, and trust, one another. Which in turn makes it easier to find referrals for them."