Deals Are Made on The Golf Course – True?
There’s an old maxim about business deals that your MSP business might do well to consider. They say that business is done on the golf course. This refers to financially endowed individuals meeting and making arrangements to do business with one another. Perhaps this only happens on the golf course on a limited basis, but the principle behind this maxim holds true just about everywhere. When it comes to MSPs, you want to have areas of leisurely professionalism where clients can meet managed service providers, and other technology professionals can integrate as well.
A mixer need not be as expensive as a round of golf on a well-known course. Depending on your region, this may not even be possible. First, your region may not even be conducive to such an enterprise. You’re not going to find much golf in an urban sprawl— at least, not much that’s affordable or within the ken of clients who routinely make up the constituency of newer MSPs. It may be your mixer or event could be a round of bowling. Maybe there’s a fantasy football league you could get involved with.
Some tips on the mixers and events that will be most conducive to your MSP business include:
• Having an activity
• Encouraging professional casualness
• Sending out an RSVP
• Inviting in excess of expected attendance
• Continuously hosting the same (or similar) event(s) at predictable intervals
Having an Activity
Whether it’s bowling or a golf league, a fancy dinner, or fantasy football, you need something that can be done which doesn’t directly pertain to business. You need something that matches your clients’ interests and allows for an entertaining time regardless of potential networking opportunities. Because sometimes, the networking just won’t happen, and if you don’t give potential clients an out, you may restrict yourself from ever having an “in” with them again.
Encouraging Professional Casualness
On a golf course, leisure is the point, but everyone is still dressed well and adhering to a code of ethics. Whatever activity you choose, everyone should be able to be mingle in a professional sense. That doesn’t mean there can’t be music, drinking, dancing, or what-have-you— it means that you want to be careful to make professionalism remain a possibility, while not a domineering force. Fun is key, though. The level of professionalism retained will be up to you… and the clients you’re courting.
You want to get an idea of those who will be attending your networking event, and cancel it if a certain number isn’t met, as this can be bad for business.
Invite in Excess of Expected Attendance
It’s better to have to turn people away than to admit no one showed up. So, invite as many people as possible to your get together. The key is networking, and that requires multiple attendees.
Be sure to host events on a regular basis so that it becomes well known when and where such mixers occur. This will likely increase their attendance over time should they be well-produced.