Networking is important for MSPs. It can help you meet new clients and other businesses in the area, and it can even help you recruit more talent. However, the time we spend face-to-face with our network is rapidly decreasing. While it is worthwhile to stay up to date with your clients and network online, 95 percent of people say face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that more MSPs are using events to share their message with prospects and current customers.
While you shouldn’t ignore traditional tactics for reaching prospects, such as emails and cold calls, more MSPs are realizing the value they can get out of events. That’s why this week’s Tuesday tip comes from Tom Snelders, the event marketing coordinator at Barracuda MSP. After working on numerous events, he had this advice to share:
“Before you attend an event, it’s important to do your research beforehand. You want to make sure you’re prepared to talk to your customers and prospects about topics that matter to them. Each SMB vertical is different, so this can help you plan your conversation starters ahead of time so you can have materials on hand that they’ll find helpful.”
Depending on the tradeshow or event, you’ll want to change the way you frame your conversations with prospective customers. For example, a dentist might worry about how to store data in a way that’s HIPAA compliant, whereas a small online business might be worried about how to avoid cyberattacks and keep their company data safe. As an IT service provider, you want to help these two prospective customers understand how your MSP business can help them.
3 Types of events MSPs can host or attend
Events are a great way to engage with your prospective customers, and there are a variety of ways you can get started. Here are three different events you can participate in (or host) to start interacting with your audience in new ways:
- Tradeshows. There are a variety of tradeshows you can get involved in to showcase your MSP. A tradeshow can help you uncover new leads, speed up the sales cycle, capture valuable feedback from customers, and see what your competitors are offering. To get the best results in this setting, find a tradeshow that matches the vertical you serve. For example, if you work with multiple SMBs in the healthcare industry find a tradeshow geared toward the medical industry. To learn more about how to make your tradeshow experience go smoothly, check out our best practices post on exhibiting at a tradeshow.
- Luncheons. Consider hosting lunch-and-learn events for your SMB prospects and customers. This can give you the opportunity to be the IT expert in the room. Use an event like this as an opportunity to open up conversations with your prospects, learn what technology concerns they have, and show them the areas where your MSP can help. To learn more about how to make your lunch event run smoothly, check out our recent webinar replay: MSP Prospecting Using Events and Webinars.
- Online events. Online events can take a few forms. You could host a Facebook Live event and share new information with prospects and customers, or you could host a webinar. Hosting a webinar is a great way to train SMBs on new tools, educate them about new threats, and promote the services you offer. Your topics can vary from week to week, allowing you to reach different individuals who are interested in different aspects of IT. To host a successful webinar, check out this Ask an MSP Expert post on Smarter MSP: What do I need to do to host a successful webinar.
Events can be an essential component of your marketing strategy, and they can introduce new prospective customers to your brand. While there will be a learning curve for your first few events, the more events you host or participate in, the more likely you’ll see positive results.
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