IT Consulting: Networking Steps

Starting an IT consulting business requires patience and dedication. The hardest part is often getting new clients. In this article, learn some more of the steps you should take before beginning your IT consulting practice.

Step Sixteen: Get Your Networking Contacts into a Follow Up Plan

With every business card you collect, jot down the date that you met them and any relevant notes about them. If you have a follow up request like they said “hey give me a call about that,” or “hey call me on Tuesday about setting that up”, immediately jump on those.

Follow up on the request tomorrow if not sooner. If you can’t follow up with a personal call, send a handwritten note that says you look forward to seeing them again and if you need any help between now and when we meet again, give me a call. Include your card in the note, and put your contact’s card on a rolodex and put him on a 30, 60-day call back schedule.

Step Seventeen: Re-Evaluate Your Networking Organization Options

Take another look at the different networking groups you attended as a guest. Which ones did you like? Which ones have the most potential for the most business opportunities?  Start joining and participating.  The purpose is to get known and to raise your profile in the community.

Pick out at least 4 groups and join them.  Drop off your check personally to the director or office manager.  Be direct and tell him or her that you have this new IT consulting business and that you are looking for small business that you can help out with LANs, etc. Ask them what is the best way to get to know these small business owners that are most likely to need your IT consulting services.

At every 60-90 minute event, you should be talking to eight or ten people. Half of them may be a waste of time, half of them could be potential clients, half could be potential referrals. It’s a matter of staying organized and keeping your name in front of them.

After you go through the first ninety days and you’ve gone to one of these every week, move on to more sustainable networking.

Step Eighteen: Do Your First Direct Mail Campaign

Have your testimonials in place from your earlier clients, and get your networking organizations’ directory on disc. Send out a personal letter and your business card to every member who may fit into the IT consulting sweet spot. Offer them a free 30-minute needs assessment coupon with an expiration date. Tell them you look forward to seeing them at upcoming event and then you can always follow up with a phone call.