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  • Writer's picturemckenzie.rabenn

Unlocking the Power of Community Engagement

From leveraging the opportunities provided by the Prior Lake Chamber to cultivating personal relationships and team collaborations, Mandi Vote shares valuable strategies and advice to help agents become an integral part of their community.

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On the Grid: How do you stay connected with and serve your community?

Mandi Vote: The Prior Lake Chamber of Commerce has provided me with numerous opportunities to expand my involvement and contribute to the community through volunteer work, donations, and networking with fellow business owners. I take advantage of these opportunities and immerse myself in Prior Lake. My involvement stems from both genuine interest and the understanding that people prefer to do business with individuals they know, like, and trust. By actively participating in the community, I become the person they associate with these qualities. When looked at from this perspective, it becomes a matter of branding.

OTG: How do you stay updated on local events?

MV: The chamber plays a significant role, but we also rely on word-of-mouth communication. My team and I have cultivated personal connections and relationships within the community, which allows us to stay well-informed about local events.

OTG: What role does your team play in community involvement?

MV: I want to make sure that my team shares the same level of passion and enthusiasm for community engagement as I do. If they express interest in supporting a cause or making a donation, it is something I want to be a part of. We collaborate and brainstorm together to identify events that resonate with all of us and that we can wholeheartedly support.

OTG: Could you share some examples of community partnerships that have positively impacted your business or led to meaningful relationships?

MV: One notable community initiative is the monthly Good Morning Prior Lake event, organized by members of the Chamber. Each business takes turns hosting, providing coffee and donuts, and creating an opportunity for local individuals to network before business hours. We are thrilled to host the event in August, during which we will introduce ourselves, share our values, beliefs, and how we can help people. Another memorable event was our participation in this year's Trunk or Treat. Our team dressed up as characters from the Wizard of Oz and distributed candy to attending families, resulting in a fun and memorable experience for all.

OTG: How do you strike a balance between community involvement and effectively managing your insurance business?

MV: While I truly enjoy networking and attending events, I acknowledge that implementing community initiatives is not my strong suit. Consequently, I recently hired someone whose responsibilities include bringing me fresh ideas. Working as a team, we decide on the initiatives we wish to engage in, and she takes charge of the logistical aspects, alleviating a significant portion of my workload.

OTG: What advice would you give to others who want to actively participate in their community but are unsure where to start?

MV: When I think of a real estate agent or a chiropractor, there is always one person who comes to mind because they consistently attend all the local events I visit. To set yourself apart, get actively involved and make a name for yourself so that when people think about insurance, you are the first person they consider.

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