Networking is still the most effective B2B marketing strategy for small medium sized enterprises claims Kissmetrics. At Time, we can attest to this claim. Throughout the past decade of organizing events, the majority of our clients have either been reached out through networking events or by word of mouth. In our case, we’ve jumped started our word of mouth through a successful (and quite fun) amount of years as one of Montreal’s hottest clubs, although we’ve always kept in touch with individuals involved in organizing these events. Moreover, as our clients have grown up, we have as well. Many have begun their own businesses and/or gone to work for small medium sized businesses.
Fact: Montreal has 55 565 micro businesses who have 1-4 employees & 51 609 small businesses which range between 5 – 99 employees.
Networking’s true power lies when you are able to build relationships with these key individuals. SMB’s can’t and should not complete with multi-nationals on advertising hence the majority report setting time aside for lead generation purposes. The key to effective networking is knowing how to include it in a B2B strategy.
Here are some of our tips based on our experience.
- Know how to fit in networking in your marketing strategy.
Meeting people and shaking hands isn’t effective overnight. It’s a process that involves building relationships and that is time consuming. We suggest focusing on a few key groups; for example the Montreal Chamber of Commerce or a professional association you are trying to connect with.
- hosting a networking event in Montreal
We have many clients who host events for the people they would like to meet. For example, you know most SMB’s in your industry are looking to meet new suppliers, discuss recent tech developments or are looking to hire, create an event in partnership with your local professional association where you will invite all these businesses.
Related: Top 10 people you will meet at a Montreal Networking Event
- Get leads and feed them into your sales funnel
The goal of hosting an event is to general leads; contacts for which you will be sending off to your sales team in order to begin the process of converting them into sales. Have a strategy at your corporate event to get these names/numbers. This can simply be by shaking hands, although this might leave out some individuals. The simplest and what seems to be a staple out of our experience has been contests where guests need to leave their businesses cards to be entered to win.
Both for us and for our clients, we’ve seen the impact networking can have on one’s marketing efforts. If you are interested in learning more about hosting a networking event in Montreal, feel free to contact one of our event planners. We’ll be glad to help you decide if Time is the right venue for your networking event.