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If you’re a managed service provider business owner, you understand the importance of finding new, valuable B2B sales leads. You could spend your time cold calling potential customers, sending LinkedIn requests or pushing out email marketing campaigns.
Unfortunately, those steps only get you so far. In order to be successful at MSP sales, you need to take some unconventional approaches that get you interacting with people. It’s in-person connections that often are the key to gaining new customers.
Here are a few unconventional places to look for MSP sales leads.
Networking is essential, but it doesn’t have to be limited to trade shows and conventions. Volunteering within your community for nonprofit organizations is a way to build your network and meet like-minded peoples, including other business professionals.
Whether it’s your Rotary Club, a pet-rescue organization, your local library or a Habitat for Humanity house-raising event, there are ample opportunities to contribute to a cause that matters to you and reach new sales prospects.
Another smart spot is to leverage your leisure time. If you belong to a gym or health club, you have a built-in pool of potential prospects. Strike up conversations and grab a juice after your workout to get to know possible customers. The golf course is another ideal spot for finding business leads, especially if you offer to golf with a customer and suggest they bring along someone they know in the industry you’re targeting. Any membership-based associations such as country clubs or tennis clubs are also great sources.
As noted in a recent HubSpot article on generating business leads, “Mixing the personal and professional like this needs to be effective and respectful — but it is a great way of broadening your reach.”
Community activities are another ideal spot for finding leads. It’s all about expanding your circles of contacts. Those contacts can introduce you to their networks and expand your business prospecting capabilities.
Think about community organizations to which you belong or are active in your hometown. Volunteer at your church, synagogue, mosque or other places of worship to build relationships. Volunteer to coach or sponsor a youth baseball, hockey, softball or soccer team. Provide some technical help for a school play or musical. The small amount of time you invest can pay off big time.
Do you need to work somewhere other than the office? Camp out at your favorite local coffee shop or diner, especially one where people sit around chatting or doing their own work. These are great spots to strike up a conversation and pique interest in your MSP business.
If you have children, they inevitably are involved in numerous activities, including sports or music lessons, recreational groups and school extracurriculars. For parents, that can mean a lot of downtime waiting for activities to conclude or watching competitions. Be active in your kids’ school events and activities to meet more possible MSP sales leads.
You’ll need to determine whether going to your local Chamber of Commerce’s networking lunch or after-hours mixer is effective for your MSP business. It may make more sense to Join organizations that are related to the industries you’re targeting. For example, if your MSP focuses on health care companies, ask an existing client about which local professional organizations they belong to. Ask to tag along at their next event and ask your clients to introduce you to others. If it’s worth it, consider joining the organization outright.
“It’s all about meeting other people,” said Stuart Crawford, CEO and creative director of Ulistic, in a recent video presentation on finding MSP sales leads.
Obviously, there’s a balancing act in these situations. You don’t want to build a reputation as someone who’s always talking business. But when done appropriately, you’ll find that those casual conversations can lead to more leads and business.
“If you’re not known and haven’t built a rapport with people, you will not be successful in your managed service business,” Crawford said. “You need to do your piece to grow your business. Get out there, get out from behind your seat, walk out the front door of your office and start meeting people.”
Ulistic provides marketing expertise, website development services and SEO services for managed service provider companies. Grade your MSP website now at https://www.ulistic.com.
Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL and Fort Erie, ON-based Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.