Episode 235: SPECIAL: How MSPs get more leads from trade shows

Episode 235 May 13, 2024 00:34:52
Episode 235: SPECIAL: How MSPs get more leads from trade shows
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 235: SPECIAL: How MSPs get more leads from trade shows

May 13 2024 | 00:34:52


Hosted By

Paul Green

Show Notes

Episode 235

Welcome to a special episode of the MSP Marketing Podcast with me, Paul Green. This is THE show if you want to grow your MSP.
In this Special Episode I’m joined by Lyle Kirshenbaum, owner of Toronto-based MSP Wired for the Future, to talk about how he has used events and trade shows to market his business and generate leads and prospects. We also discuss a number of practical ways that MSPs can level up and get the most bang for their buck and secure the most valuable leads and data from these events.

Featured guest:

Lyle was always involved in the technology arena as he began his career in digital print production. He found his interests lay more in the hardware side of technology though and quickly turned his sights in that direction. Originally, Lyle focused on whole home theatre systems but again saw his interests lay elsewhere. It was for this reason, that in 2001, Lyle became what is commonly known as a trunk slammer; helping and supporting clients as he traveled from site to site. Over the years, Lyle developed, fostered, and maintained these initial connections and grew Wired for the Future to the success it is today. Lyle is no longer found traveling from site to site in his car but can be found behind his desk ensuring that the same support with the same personal connection he always prided himself on remains intact. No matter how large Wired for the Future becomes it is Lyle’s dream this level of service remains. He devotes his days to just that.

Connect with Lyle on LinkedIn:


Extra show notes:


NB this transcription has been generated by an AI tool and provided as-is.

Speaker 1 (00:00): Fresh every Tuesday

Speaker 2 (00:02): For MSPs around the world, around the world. This is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast. Podcast.

Speaker 3 (00:09): Hello and welcome to our special episode. Now have you ever wondered whether or not trade shows are a good way for you to grow your MSP in our special? Today we are going to talk to an MSP owner who did a trade show last year. The results were pretty good this year. He wants more. He’s booked a bigger booth and he wants to 10 x the return he gets from the trade show.

Speaker 2 (00:32): Paul Green’s

Speaker 1 (00:33): MSP Marketing

Speaker 3 (00:34): Podcast

Speaker 2 (00:35): Special.

Speaker 4 (00:39): Hi, my name is Lyle Kirshenbaum. I’m owner of Wired for the Future. We are a Toronto based MSP in Canada. We are 15 people deep, two different locations, and we service about 3000 endpoint on a monthly basis.

Speaker 3 (00:55): It’s great having you on the show, Lyle, if only for your amazing Lego collection. Now most of our audience are listening to this on an audio only platform, so can’t see your background, but if you do want to see just nip onto YouTube. Go to youtube.com/msp marketing and you’ll see that Lyle has basically invested in some of the greatest creations that Lego has ever made. And let’s be honest, Lego is making some good stuff right now and they’re all in his background. Maybe we should do a YouTube extra and actually explore your Lego and all the cool toys that you have for your staff. But anyway, that’s for another day. Lyle, thanks for joining us on the show. Now we’re going to talk about events and we’re going to talk about how you can make events really profitable for your MSP, for any MSP. Got some really clever ideas that we’re going to throw around in the next 10 minutes or so. Before we do, let’s add a little bit more context. So you’ve given us a good idea about your MSP there, where you’re based and how many endpoints and clients you’re looking after. How did you get into this in the first place? How long have you been doing it for?

Speaker 4 (01:51): So we’ve been around since 2001 for a long time. I was the one guy trunk slamming kind of guy. One of our clients at the time said, you’re really good. We’re going to give you a little bit of extra money. We need you to hire somebody so that when you go on vacation we have some backup. And that worked really well. They did it then again and they said, we’re going to give you a little bit more money. Do us a favor, grab another person. And we’ve kept growing since then. And like I said, we’re now 15 people deep. We just opened our newest office or our only secondary office in Ottawa just so that we can concentrate on the clients that we had already up there. And then we’re going after a whole bunch more and one of our bigger clients is based up, has a bunch of offices up there that they want us to take care of.

Speaker 3 (02:44): Cool. So essentially you’re expanding into areas where you’re already looking after people and that’s of course given you a footprint to go and get even more new clients, which is absolutely fantastic. So events you and I were chatting about events and how can you get the most out of events and that’s when you very kindly offered to jump onto the podcast and have the discussion in public, which is brilliant. Thank you for that. So what kind of events are you doing? Tell us the kind of events, the type of business owners that go and it’s an obvious question, but it needs to be asked. What do you hope to get out of doing those kind of events?

Speaker 4 (03:15): So we’ve done a couple of events. The one that we’re talking about today is a vertical specific event. So it’s one of our verticals that we end up having a lot of clients in. We did their show last year. We had a 10 foot by 10 foot booth. We did some pretty, I guess interesting stuff for some stuff that kind of goes towards our logo, our brand. So we have orange and black, so the orange card that’s up there. So a lot of things are orange and black. So we ended up doing okay, we will be the orange popcorn company for this one. So the purple cow, I’ve heard it mentioned on your podcast, another podcast. So we basically gave away Orange Gourmet popcorn to everybody who came into the booth. And basically we had the conversation. We had about 600 bags of popcorn. They were like three cups worth of popcorn each. They had an offer on it and we tried to do it that way. We had pens and we had flyers and stuff like that. It was okay and maybe it was because the booth wasn’t big enough to bring in enough people. So we’ve doubled down this year and are looking for maybe that little bit of help on what would be the next, how to bring more people in. Yeah,

Speaker 3 (04:35): Yeah, sure. And that show you did last year with your 10 foot by 10 foot booth, about 600 bags of popcorn given away. So we consume that’s probably around about 550 people because obviously some people will have taken a second bag, your staff will have eaten some. Yep. How many leads did you generate out of that and did actually generate any clients?

Speaker 4 (04:53): So we generated about 400 ish leads. We ended up closing on about three or four of them. Out of that, we had more discussions, but the ones that we ended up closing were about three or four different clients. Did it pay for itself? We broke even, let’s call it that. And my big trick was it didn’t make a difference if we broke even or not. I look at marketing as at least our name is out there and they saw our faces and hopefully they remember us as that orange company.

Speaker 3 (05:24): Yeah, absolutely. And what’s your definition of a lead that you got from that show?

Speaker 4 (05:28): So in this case it was a dental show. So we were talking to either the dentists themselves or their office managers and stuff like that, or their supplementary staff that said, oh yeah, we have a big huge problem. Can you try coming and fixing it? We’d take down the notes, then we’d reach back out and see how that kind of progressed. But it was more of, I was happy just having the conversations because we were there, our largest client was there, so they were coming by. So it was a win-win. Anyways, the trick is this year we’re literally doubling and or probably tripling the amount of spend. So how do we benefit from triple the spend? I don’t think we’ll get double the people.

Speaker 3 (06:11): No. Okay, well we’ll come onto that. I have another question about that. Let me ask my last question again, but I’m going to ask it slightly differently. I wasn’t clear with my own language, that was my fault. When you say a lead, what do you define as a lead? So is it a case of oh, this is Dr Drill and here’s his website and here’s his number. Or is it a case of someone’s given you a business card or have they said, oh man, we need to speak to you guys, give us a call on Monday. So what sort of level of engagement have you had with these leads?

Speaker 4 (06:38): All of that and more. So we had a stack of business cards. We had basically with the trade show they had given us, not given us, we had to pay for it, but a way to scan somebody’s tag so that we would get their info and then we could actually write in the note. After that, there were two customers that we ended up getting. We literally had the conversation there. The trade show ended on Friday, on Saturday. We were literally doing work for them.

Speaker 3 (07:06): So the fact you can set their budgets, that’s great and we are going to come on to how we can see if we can maximize that a little bit. And by the way, the reason I have all of these questions will become clear in a second and it is to do with events that I’ve done in the past. And actually a lot of them were dental events as well, which is really interesting. So we’ll talk about that in a second. When you zap someone’s badge, what level of detail do you get? Typically

Speaker 4 (07:29): We get everything that they had to put in to get their badge. So whether they were accredited or not accredited their email address. Now whether that was a real email address or somebody’s throwaway email address, because we all know as you always want those emails, but we got the majority of the information that we needed to continue the conversation.

Speaker 3 (07:52): Okay, this is really cool because there’s a number of different areas that I think we can look at with this. The reason I’ve been asking you all these questions, as I said, is because I’ve been there and done trade shows. I had a business which I started in 2005, which seems like a very long time ago. I’ve only just clocked, that’s 19 years ago, which is making me feel very old. But I run that business and it went through different iterations. It wasn’t in the MSP space, it was just a general marketing business. And then over time we discovered niching or niching depending where you are in the world. And we moved into working with optometrists or opticians and then veterinarians and then dentists. Didn’t like dentists, I’ll be honest, I never really enjoyed dentists. So you are welcome to stick with a dentist.

Speaker 4 (08:37): No problem. I grew up, my dad was a dentist, so I kind of lovely people. It makes almost sense.

Speaker 3 (08:43): Lovely, lovely people, dentists, they’re the best people in the world. Anyway, so we had these three verticals and I sold that business in 2016. So from around about 2013 to 2016, we hit the trade shows like hard. That was our core marketing strategy. We went to all the big shows. So obviously I’m in the uk, you are in Canada, they’re going to be very similar shows. They’ll have similar exhibitors. I bet I could reel off a load of dental names and you’ll be like, yep, they’re here. They own the software here, they have the x-ray machines here or whatsoever. It’s all been globalized, all of this kind of stuff. But even though the people are different, the way they buy is slightly different from country to country. People are people and they respond to the same kind of cues. So what we did, and we did a round about 15 to 20 shows over a period of time, we got really good, seriously good at hoovering up as many leads and as many prospects as we could. And I’m going to explain in a second what I see as the difference between the leads and the prospects. Lemme just first of all ask you one more question, Lyle, you said you got around about 400 leads. How many people attended the show do you think?

Speaker 4 (09:52): So what was stated by the producer of the show versus what actually walked through the door? Two separate things. We were told there were about 14,000 people coming through the door. About 8,000 of those would be dentists. I think maybe the amount of people that came through the trade show area was probably about two to 3000, so a lot less.

Speaker 3 (10:17): Okay, I see. So they’re there for lectures,

Speaker 4 (10:20): They had professional services and stuff like that going on. Most were told to go through because they were all doing deals anyways, whether they were buying masks or drills and stuff like that, they should have been going through. Some do, some don’t.

Speaker 3 (10:36): Yeah, side note, if you get a chance to talk to the organizers, one of the very best shows that we ever went to is called the London Vet Show for veterinarians. And they got through that problem by having the lecture halls either side of the trade show, the other side, and they deliberately did it. So you had to walk through the trade to go and access the next lecture, which was really smart. They also had all the hospitality in the middle of the trade show as well. So if you wanted your free food and your coffee, again, you had to go through the trade thing. And that was the, I think still is the fastest growing.

Speaker 4 (11:04): Yeah, we were given no free food. It was free popcorn,

Speaker 3 (11:08): But the dentist didn’t know that, did they? Versus if the exhibitors have put all the food in the middle of the trade show and the dentists have been told to do that. Okay. I’m going to ask you another set of just random questions and because what you’ve described there is it sounds like a great trade show. So you’ve got, even if only 2000 of them walk through, that’s still a really good audience. And obviously not all of them are going to become clients of yours. Not all of them are going to become leads and prospects. And I will explain the difference between the two in a second, but there’s so much opportunity there. And I think obviously what I did in my last business and that was selling marketing to dentists, what I did, I think some of the ideas you’ll be able to pick up because even though we were selling completely separate things to what you sell, it’s a very similar start of a conversation, which is, it is all about starting that conversation, reeling them in, getting them engaged, but also making sure you’ve got plenty of resource and plenty of follow-up, which is one of the things that I want to dip into.

(12:08) So let’s start there actually with the follow-up. So those 400 people that you got last year, what did you do with all of their contact details?

Speaker 4 (12:16): So we put it into our CRM at the time and then we didn’t email blast because I absolutely hate that. It was more of a, we would reach out personally saying thank you for coming to the booth, wanted to discuss such and such and such, whatever it was from our notes. And then we kind of followed that up with a couple of phone calls. I didn’t want to be the pushy salesperson because look, at some point you’ll either come or you won’t come. It’s not a big deal. We all know that the buying timeline is long in MSPs or sometimes it’s absolutely short. We literally closed the deal on a Saturday because the trade show ended on Friday. We were working on the first client on Saturday because they literally were up a creek without a paddle. But it wasn’t, did we follow up again? No. Should we? A hundred percent. And again, it’s all on that follow up side of things.

Speaker 3 (13:17): Yeah, absolutely. So actually this is quite exciting because just even if, forget the trade show you were about to do, if we look at last year’s trade show, there’s 400 or well 397 potential clients already sat there and most of them are still going to be active. Even if they’ve given you a fake email address, you can go and Google their website and find out a new email address. I do think with all of these trade show things, you’ve got to have a pretty good level of follow up on there. And I know what you just said, you don’t want to be that guy that emails people, but the thing is, you’ve got to get the right message in front of the right person at the right time. So a dentist that went to that show last year, maybe woke up in November, December last year.

(14:01) At that point they were tearing their hair out. They’d had enough of their it, they weren’t happy with their existing MSP and the problem is that you were not in front of them and they will not have remembered you just from a five minute meeting and having some orange popcorn at the trade show six months prior. So I would say the number one thing that you can, and you can start doing this today with that old data because you own that data. You essentially, when you paid at that trade show and you blipped someone’s badge, you acquired a piece of data. And even today, even after having done nothing with it for 10, 11 months, it doesn’t matter. You can start doing that today and you can start emailing them. I know you send out, or I dunno if you send out regular emails, but it’s fairly easy for you to get hold of.

Speaker 4 (14:47): I send out a couple of things once a month.

Speaker 3 (14:50): Okay. Okay, cool. So I think emailing them on a regular basis and sending out edutainment emails, emails that are a mix of education, entertainment. The beautiful thing you’ve got Lyle, is that you are talking to a very specific niche. You’re talking to a vertical and when you’re talking to a vertical, you make the content seem more relevant to them. So let’s as an example, and I can give you a dentist one because obviously I know dentists a little bit not as well as you do, but dentists typically, I dunno if this is the same in Canada, but here in the UK they use a piece of software to run their business called a practice. What is it called? A practice management system?

Speaker 4 (15:27): Practice management software. Practice

Speaker 3 (15:28): Management software. Yeah. So it’s exactly the same. And let me guess that the number one piece of software in the Canada is run by Henry Schein, which is a dental company.

Speaker 4 (15:38): Yeah,

Speaker 3 (15:39): Dentrix. Dentrix. There we go. So here it’s called Software of Excellence. They just bought software all over the world so that they could dominate the entire planet for dentistry software, which is a smart strategy.

Speaker 4 (15:49): It’s not excellent.

Speaker 3 (15:52): We can’t say that on a public podcast. You can’t say that. Yeah, I know, sorry. But even there, there’s an example. So if you sent out an email that was about software and speed of software, you can just drop in the phrase practice management software, right? Because you don’t even need to mention Dentrix or any of the hundreds of other software packages they choose. But just you saying practice management software makes you a dental insider Now because from the dentist point of view, that’s a phrase that they use all the time. It’s the same as me saying PSA or RMM, I don’t even need to spell it out. In fact, it’s better if I just use the acronyms what MSPs use, they use those acronyms. And so as someone being in that market who’s not actually a dentist, you’ve kind of just got to pick up the lingo and there’s only actually four or five things to use. How do the dentist, I always got this wrong with dentists, but veterinarians for example, they called here in the uk, they called their business the practice, whereas I think dentists called it the clinic and it was same thing. Same thing. Well

Speaker 4 (16:54): Same, almost the same. You can go either way. It flip flops depending on the dentist.

Speaker 3 (16:58): Yeah, that makes sense. And actually again, dentists here in the uk, they talk about chair time. I dunno if dentists in Canada, it’s the same thing. And for them it’s all about chair time, putting bits of metal into people so they can make money and anything else that they’re not doing that they’re not making money. So I think that follow up, whatever your level you are comfortable with, you’ve got to do more follow up. You cannot, you said earlier you don’t want to be that pushy salesman. You could not be a pushy salesman if you tried, right? If he was down to me, if I was running your MSP, I’d be emailing them twice a week, all of them they can unsubscribe, that’s fine. But then I’ll still send them stuff in the post. We’ll phone them every six months because I know that people buy when they’re ready to buy, you’ve got to get the right message in front of the right person at the right time.

(17:41) So if you think you are being too aggressive, you’re probably getting it right. Someone like me if I’m being too aggressive to dial it back a bit, right? But I am a marketer, that’s what I do. I don’t think you could be too aggressive if you tried. So the job number one then is to start emailing or start communicating more regularly with last year’s people. The cool thing is then this year’s people you are then you’ve got a system just to dump more people into. I would say that one of your goals, and I know you’ve got, or I think you mentioned you have two or three verticals, but one of your goals should be to create your own database of every single dental business in Canada that you could do business with. So within your areas of Toronto and Ottawa and any other area you want. And actually because this is another one of the beauties of being in a specific vertical is there’s not that many of them, right? There’s probably, I don’t know, 2000, 3000, something like that.

Speaker 4 (18:36): Keep going. So you guys have Starbucks, we have Tim Horton’s and as they say in Canada and people who are listening in Canada will joke at this. There’s usually a Tim Horton’s on at least one or three or four corners. There are probably five or six dentists on all of those corners as well. There are more dentists than there are coffee shops in Canada.

Speaker 3 (18:58): That’s a fact. I didn’t know. You learn something new every day, don’t you?

Speaker 4 (19:02): Sorry, I kind of messed myself up because now just everybody who’s going to be in Canada can go after a dental.

Speaker 3 (19:09): No, I think what you’re saying, Lyle, is that there are no dentists. It’s a terrible sector. They’re awful people to

Speaker 4 (19:14): Work with. Horrible one or two and they’re all horrible to deal with.

Speaker 3 (19:17): But the reality is you couldn’t have 10,000 clients anyway. So there’s just as is in every vertical, there’s the plenty business for everyone. But the point is you can, and this should be a major mission for you, is we are going to build our own database of a clean database, well-maintained of every single viable dentist in our areas. And we’re going to maintain that. We’re going to keep in touch with them and we’re going to make sure that they know we are the dental experts. Which brings me back to the trade show. Now let me tell you very briefly what I did with my last business and then you can tell me which of these bits you’re a already doing or B you think actually that’s quite cool. So I’m going to gloss over some of the details because they’re not quite relevant to our conversation.

(19:57) But essentially whenever we went to a trade show, we took the completely opposite approach to most people. So most people, they go and hire a stand and they get it all professionally done up and they have all the AV and it always looks nice and they spend a fortune on it and then they bring over their sales staff and the first couple of hours everyone stands around and looks a bit bored and they’re always complaining to the other stand holders. Oh, there aren’t many more other people here. And they all go off and go coffees and they’ll be trying to do deals and generally there’s almost like a them and an us isn’t there. And any trade show as it goes on, the them and us, by them and us, I mean the delegates and the exhibitors, there’s always seems like the wedge gets bigger between them and the exhibitors get more and more exasperated with the delegates.

(20:39) The delegates are like, I’ve passed you 15 times already, don’t talk to me. There’s that real wedge that comes between us. So we took a completely different approach where we said, right, we are going to the show to do two things. Number one, our single biggest goal is we’re here for data collection. So we are going to zap so many badges and I’ll tell you how we did it in a second, but we are going to zap so many badges and then we’re going to take that data, we’re going to put it into our system, our follow-up systems, that system I was just talking about. So that was primary goal number one. Primary goal number two is then anyone who lingers who wants to have a proper conversation is we are going to hand them off to someone who knows what they’re talking about. And the reason we did that is I actually hired promo people, promotional people to be, I almost treated it like support.

(21:23) So I had first line people who were just attractive people in their twenties. I hate to say it, but they were mostly women because not all, but most of the audience we were talking to was men. And that’s just a sensible thing to do. Please don’t write in accuse me of being of sexist. This was just good marketing. So we hired good intelligent, young promotional people, but they were supervised. So I had a member of my team supervising. So we’d have five of these people and I’m talking the stand the same size as yours, 10 foot by 10 foot and we dot them all the way around the stand. And their number one job was actually getting people to the stand. So anyone that walked past, they would ask them a qualifying question and it wasn’t a case of they would just stand there and wait for someone to approach them like most people do.

(22:08) We were on it, we always got complained about at every show. And if I said to my team, if we didn’t get complained about, we weren’t being aggressive enough. That’s what I mean by being aggressive. So the qualifying question they would ask would be something like, excuse me, are you the owner of the business? Or something like that. And we had different questions for different shows because sometimes like this trade show, they say they’ve got X thousand dentists, but actually you find that the dentist never come in, it’s the practice manager. So in which case your question might be, excuse me, are you a practice manager or do you own the business? You’ll know that kind of question. But the point of that is you don’t want to be talking to the dental nurses, you don’t want to be talking to the people who are not either the decision maker or the influencer.

(22:50) So in a dental practice, the dentist that is the owner is the decision maker, but the practice manager is probably the influencer who is saying to them, I think you should go with this solution. I think that may be how it is in most businesses. So essentially your promo person is qualifying, are they someone we should be talking to If they are, and this is the cheeky bit what we used to do. So we used to give away a free book. And I know Lyle, you have loads of printed materials, so we didn’t have them there. What we said was, oh, we’ve got a free book on growing your dental business. And yours might be, Hey, we’ve got a free book about, it’d be something technology based around dentists and we can talk about that in a second if we need to. But literally my team would say, oh, we’ve got this free book blip.

(23:31) They would blip their badge at that point and they’d say, I’m going to send one of these to you in the post, it should reach you next week. And then one in 20 people would get offended and we’d apologize and we’d say, oh, we’ll zap you, we didn’t. And then one in 50 would say, oh, can I have my book now? And we’d say, oh actually we don’t have them here, we don’t have storage space. And also do you know what if we give it to you now it’s going to go in that bag with all those pens and mouse mats and all that other junk that you’re just going to chuck when you get home, it’s going to go in the garbage. So actually we’ll post it to you in a week’s time. So we were blip and we did have real books and we did thousands of post outs after all these trade shows.

(24:08) But the point being that that was the number one goal, blip, blip, blip, blip. If I went to a trade show with 14,000 people, well let’s say 2000 people coming through, I would expect at least a thousand from my team over a two day event. And if they didn’t get a thousand, then Paul would be angry. That would be the official thing. And we’d have little tally ups every hour we’d look and see, we’d log in or look on the counter depending on what system they were using and see what are we up to. And I was actually setting targets and of course I made it fun. It was a case of right guys, if you can get another 30, another 30, you get to go on a tea break, you get to go out and have a vape or whatever you do, you get to have an hour off and go and get as many freebies and we just turn it into games.

(24:46) So that was job number one. Job number two then was hooking people into decent conversations. So the reason you’re hiring other people to do this stuff for you is because you and your senior techs who probably were on the trade stand last year, your two valuable for data capture, which is what those guys are doing. So instead you guys are kind of hanging back a little bit waiting to have quality conversations. And the way that you hook people into quality conversations is this, and this may require, I dunno how many weeks it is till the show, but you may need to do a little bit of adjusting to your visuals. What you want is you want a massive photo of one of your clients, like a big head of someone who looks like a dentist and underneath it says Dr. Drill a dentist in whichever town.

(25:29) And then you’d have a speech bubble. And this is done in a non cheesy way, but a speech bubble coming out of him. And then there’s a one line quote from him and he would say something like, and not that we’re trying to put words in your client’s mouths, but it would say something like, I wish I’d switched to Wired for the future, which is your business name years ago. Our technology just works now. It’s amazing. And obviously it’s got to be real words that they say, but if you could ring up one of your dentist clients and say, Hey, I want to put a massive photo review on the side of my stand. I want to turn you into a star. Are you cool with that? And dentists have egos. So one of them somewhere will say yes. And then you say, Hey, I’d like to say a quote like this, would you be cool with something like that?

(26:13) And again, some dentists will be absolutely fine with that. Now the reason that’s there is let’s think this through from the visitor’s point of view, they’re walking along, they’ve been stopped by one of your beautiful team. They’ve had their badge blipped, they look up and there’s a massive photo of a dentist and it says, Mr, so-and-so the dentist here, and then they can take in that quote in a quarter of a second of I wish I’d switched years ago, my technology just works. And that little thing at the back of their head says, yeah, my technology doesn’t work. And so what they do, they say to your first line person, they kind of go, so what do you guys do? And that’s the cue for you. And that’s literally where you are all looking for that. And you come in and you grab them and you take them off for a conversation.

Speaker 4 (26:55): Social proof exactly for them. Bingo period, end story,

Speaker 3 (26:58): Exactly that. And if you have other verticals that you work in, and this was the thing we did so well, to the extent we would do three trade shows back to back over three weekends and you wouldn’t know it was the same stuff. All of our, we always put the same size stand and we always had the same visuals and we had one panel which changed. And the panel that changed was we had one that was a vet, one that was a dentist, one that was an optician. And so as far as they were concerned, that was the one that was most relevant to them. So if you have other verticals, you could do exactly the same approach, which is really smart at its essence. That’s it. There are some other details that can go in there, but all we’re really trying to do, and the real gold there is actually the blipping is actually the data collecting, the conversations that you have.

(27:44) I’m hoping you’d still have another 400 conversations, but I’m hoping you’d have a thousand. Well, I said earlier I differentiate between leads and prospects that should differentiation. Anyone that gets blipped is a lead. A lead is anyone whose contact details. You’ve got a prospect is where you’ve actually started to have a conversation and you’re looking to have hundreds of conversations with prospects. That’s where the immediate follow-up comes from. As you say, a couple of phone calls, a couple of emails, A lot of them is just people go to trade shows and they just talk and they don’t really mean it and that’s fine, but you’ve now got a bunch of prospects and you’ve got even more leads and that’s what goes into your follow-up system and just gets worked and worked and worked and worked. So tell us roughly what you’re doing from that and what you’re not doing from that. Which of those things you think you could adopt?

Speaker 4 (28:31): So we just hired a client, and I’m going to get it wrong and she’s going to yell at me, but we hired a CSR person for our company and it was something that we’ve been lacking for years and years and years. We got called to the table, so we put that person in place and literally all she’s been doing is reaching out to clients and it was, hi, this is who I am, this is what I’m taking over. Just so that there’s a little bit of a buffer between Lyle and the rest of the company. And we either got, oh my god, you guys are amazing, or hey, can you take care of this job and this job and this job? So it worked perfectly and she’s brought in what she was hired to do and we’re only just basically scratching the surface. We’re going down that road even more. But yeah, we’re going down that road. We did have some, I don’t know if we had enough social proof, let’s go with that. My goal for 2024 is to get to a hundred Google reviews because we’re seriously lacking on that. So it says my SEO guy and then put that social proof in place with our social media side of things.

Speaker 3 (29:41): And I think you can’t have too much social proof and at a trade show your brand is important to you, but to everyone else at the start of a relationship, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter at all. Doesn matter. So you want your existing clients to be able to find you because they like to come and just check in. But that’s three, isn’t it? There’s three people it’s going to be at that show or whatever the number is. It’s not a huge number. So yeah, the social proof is the biggest thing. And in fact, if I was doing a booth from scratch today and I remember thinking about this 10 years ago and we didn’t do it for whatever reason, probably because we were using it across multiple shows, I would have all the branding would just be social proof, it would be Google reviews, it would be Trustpilot, which I think is just a UK one. It would be testimonials, it would be photos of people. I’d have a video running on a tv. And so that conversation of what do you guys do would be a much easier thing to have because immediately they can see you are used by other people like them. And that’s the beauty of social proof. We are more influenced by people like us than by strangers. And dentists consider other dentists opinions more important than my opinion or your opinion. So

Speaker 4 (30:46): Yeah, no, agreed. That was the big trick is how do we spin that and do that so that we can get a better engagement from the people walking by or hopping into the booth.

Speaker 3 (30:57): Well, I mean I think that’s going to make a big difference. I’m going to say something that you might find slightly controversial, which is once you’ve done this trade show, and if you can pull off some of the stuff we’ve just talked about there, you may have so many leads that you may not need to do next year’s trade show. I mean you may choose to because you want to be seen in that vertical, but back in the day we did our multiple trade shows and then we stopped because they’re expensive. I think that’s the one thing you and I have glossed over here, but they are, I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me you’d invested tens of thousands of Canadian dollars into this because trade shows are stupidly expensive, but they’re not expensive. If you say, actually the data we got from 2024 now the data we got from 23, from 24 from 25, that’s given us 3000 leads, that’s enough for our CSR to keep calling. Just keep calling and keep calling, keep calling and keep emailing because you only need, what do you want? One new client a month for the next three years, something

Speaker 4 (31:53): Like that. Yeah, one or two would be perfect.

Speaker 3 (31:56): Yeah, exactly. And most MSPs are exactly the same. It would be overwhelming for you to win five clients this month. And the reality is it wouldn’t happen. It just doesn’t work like that. No. So one client a month is great and maybe you need a database of 2000, 3000, 4,000 to do that, but as you said, you’ve got other verticals as well, which is this exact same strategy you can pull off with other verticals on that. And this should probably be our final point and we should wrap up here. Lyle is on your website, I haven’t looked at your website recently, I haven looked at it in the past, but on your website, if I went on there off the back of seeing your listing in the magazine of the trade show or something like that, would I go onto there and look at that and immediately think this is a guy for dentists or would I see a kind of a generic one?

Speaker 4 (32:40): There is a dental specific page, it needs a little bit of work and we’re working on that. Cool. Okay, we’ll take that as homework.

Speaker 3 (32:48): Okay. Yeah, definitely homework. And what might be worth doing is the URL, the website domain that you promote at the show that’s on your branding. And again, it might be too late to do this year, but you could do it for next year. It might be worth buying something like dental. I’ll give you the suggestion after the interview. If I put it in the interview, that’s fine. Hundreds of other MSPs are going to go and buy it. But you buy a specific domain and all that does is that points to your dentists page on your main website. So anyone typing in this new domain, they instantly go to your dentist page and yeah, they can see that you do other businesses and other generics, but it takes ’em straight to the information they want. The other beauty of that is if you put in place some tracking, you’ll be able to see how many people have come off that URL.

(33:34) So it’ll give you another measure of, hey, how many people have seen our URL? We used to buy adverts in the show guides and we did the same thing. We put a tracking URL in and when they came next year and they said, Hey, do you want to spend another thousand on the advert like you did last year? And we say no, because we got three visitors off the back of that advert. It just wasn’t worth it. I’d rather take that money and put it into something else. So it’s always good to do stuff like that. Lyle, thank you so much for your time. Are there any other questions about events? Thank you, sir, that I can help you with just brief things before we finish off today.

Speaker 4 (34:06): I think we’re good. I think I’ve got a lot to unpack and yeah, it’s been an absolute pleasure. I listen all the time and it’s truly a pleasure to be on. So thank you.

Speaker 2 (34:17): Coming up. Coming up next week,

Speaker 3 (34:20): We’re going to be looking at such an important subject that you get measured in life by what you achieve, what you get done, not by what you say you are doing. I’ll explain it fully next week. Join me next Tuesday and have a very profitable week in your MSP made

Speaker 2 (34:37): In the UK for MSPs around the world. Paul Green’s marketing podcast.


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