Networking with Gatekeepers
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I’m in the office at about 4:30 this afternoon, and I’m trying to get some work done. And I knew that our brand new CPA was having an open house. They had just moved into a new building in downtown Norfolk cause they had renovated it. They have two floors and I knew that this space was there, but I hadn’t been there yet.
We really haven’t even started working with the CPA. We just signed an agreement but we haven’t actually got into the work, but already they have sent us a referral. So before we even signed the paperwork, actually they sent one of their clients to us and it turned out that client needed our help and they sign with us.
What Happened Through Networking
So they were having an open house today, and I decided I was going to go again. It was about 4:30pm when I left the office. I had to drive to downtown Norfolk, which is kind of a pain during rush hour, but I went down there and I really just wanted to say thanks to our CPA and you know, maybe do a little bit of networking.
Well fast forward about two hours. The networking event is over and I’m out of that event. Not only did I get to say thank you for the referral, but it turns out that the CPA’s needed digital marketing assistance, so at the event I ended up speaking with the owner of the company. They just opened a new office, and they need some SEO work.
He wants to meet with us as early as just a couple of days from now. He’s very interested in what we’re doing.
Also, when I was there, I met with the owner of an engineering firm and he was telling us about the trouble that he’s been having with his website. I pulled out my phone, I tried to go to the west side and it wouldn’t even load. So that’s how much trouble that he’s having with his website. It won’t even render in a browser and he needs our help.
So I went to this event, you know, somewhat late in the afternoon. I was already tired. It was dark out. I didn’t really want to go, but I forced myself to go and out of it, I got two great leads and I met a whole bunch of people.
Gatekeepers = Lead Funnels
These in-person networking events – when you go to the right, networking events are extremely invaluable to growing your business. One of the reasons that I went was to thank the CPA for the referral, but there’s another concept.
CPA’s and lawyers and other professionals like them are what’s called gatekeepers in the business community. Every business owner of a certain size needs a lawyer. Every business owner of a certain size and he’s a CPA and there are a couple of other professional services like that that business owners and managers need.
If you can get in really well with a CPA or with a lawyer, they will feed you work.
Now that’s especially true if he can prove to them that you do good work. Now I’m not saying you do work for a CPA or a lawyer for free in order to get in with them, but once you establish your reputation with them, a trusted professional, they will tell their network.
So if you trust your CPA, it’s very likely that almost all of their CPA clients trust them. If that CPA refers you to another service provider or something you need, you’re very, very likely to listen.
My recommendation is get in tight with your CPA. Get in tight with your lawyer. If they have an event, go to it. You may not want to go but go. They will introduce you to their clients who are likely business owners, who are also very likely to need your services.