You have been told to get out and network. Meet others, build strong and vibrant armies of raving fans and use your local Chamber of Commerce as a tool to build a consistent stream of new business opportunities.
You have done all the basics in your MSP business. You have selected your PSA tool, you got your RMM services up and running and you have a great MSP help desk. But where is the business?
Business networking is a very powerful tool, but you have to do it right. Here are three very easy ways to network effectively when you go to your next Chamber of Commerce event.
- Understand the difference between networking and prospecting.
Many of us go to our Chambers of Commerce looking for new clients or customers. This is not what the Chamber is for. Your business networking is about meeting others; not to find new customers. Many MSPs prospect for new business at networking events when they must be there to find new people to add to their network and have their network prospect for them. At Chamber events, you are there to meet people who can refer you to their customers or clients.
- You need to attend business networking events more than once.
You simply can’t go to just one event and expect instant results. It doesn’t work this way when it comes to business networking. It takes time to build your Know, Like and Trust factors with those in the business community. Invest the time to build this properly. In today’s world of instant gratification, patience is a virtue that we must practice. We must continue to build our network and be prepared to invest the time to build rock-solid business relationships.
- Everyone gets added to your mailing list.
We have a great new website and have a sharp newsletter, but no one has signed up for it. What a perfect tool to keep your networking contacts in the loop on what your MSP is doing. Make sure all your contacts are added into your Professional Services Automation (PSA) software and also that they are added to your company newsletter distribution list. There is nothing wrong with this and they can always unsubscribe. Get your networking contacts added onto your mailing list right away and make sure they are in your PSA software as well.
Business networking is essential to the growth of your business. Sure, social media, blogs, SEO and traditional marketing is important as well; but nothing has more of an impact than building a rock solid network of like-minded people who feed your business.
It starts with you and your ability to get out and meet people. Forget about selling to your network friends, and start finding ways that you can help your business find the right type of future clients while finding ways for you to help your colleagues, as well. Business is a two-way street, and you sometimes need to give before you can get.