What separates a top-performing IT managed services provider from those who continue to struggle to win new clients, gain a market share, and attract the ideal client? You have to change your behavior and develop instinctive relationship strategies to gain true marketing success that will continue to work for your business in years to come.
As the VP of Business Development for IT Matters, Stuart Crawford honed five instinctive marketing behaviors to grow his Calgary-based managed IT services company from three computer techs to a powerhouse IT services partner in just seven years. Now serving as Ulistic’s CEO and Creative Director, Stuart Crawford shares his tightly held trade secrets in this video.
If you’re an MSP looking to develop marketing instincts that you can take to the bank to win new business immediately, check out these key points:
1. Care About the Relationship More Than the Transaction
Caring about the success of your customers more than the transaction itself is the cornerstone of any successful marketing strategy. Aim to care about everything that touches your business: your prospects, their families, your partners and your employees. Demonstrating that you care is your most reliable marketing strategy.
Closing Should Never Come First
The relationship should always be far superior to the transaction. You should be in the business of building great relationships rather than closing transactions. Most importantly, don’t make the “19-year-old dude” move on your prospects — you should never try to close on the first transaction. Build that relationship first for enduring, long-term success later.
Networking Should Be Done Around the Clock
Networking is huge, and it should come as second nature to you. Hit the streets and build relationships at every turn. Rather than focusing on how many prospects are buying, concentrate on how many relationships you can establish, and what those relationships might mean for your future — and how you can help those connections with their future business success.
Always keep in mind that every connection is valuable, even if that person isn’t in the technology field. Just because a prospect doesn’t directly relate to your MSP business doesn’t mean valuable connections won’t develop from that lead.
2. Build Connections Through Thought Leadership
When you focus on building and nurturing long-term relationships, those connections will continue to work for you well into the future. Focus on your client’s contacts and their subsidiary relationships, and network within that community through constant communication and shared knowledge.
Become a thought leader in your industry and share your insights.
Keep your industry contacts in the loop and informed. They want to know what you’re doing and what your impression is of all that is going on in the industry that you share.
3. Vendor Partners Are Just As Important as Customers
Vendor partners and your relationship with them are vital to your success. Do you know how your vendor partners are compensated? Are they commissioned? Are they paid based on when certain deadlines hit? What is their background? What is going on in their corner of the world?
Have empathy with your partners and vendor clients — try to think of them outside of how they function within your business and focus on the fact that they have separate lives with issues and problems beyond their careers. Approach their relationship with your company as one to be valued and one that you can enhance based on how you interact with them. Show that you care, and they will return the favor by making you and your business a priority.
4. Media Attention Is There for the Taking
Don’t wait for media attention to come to you — if you are passive when it comes to publicity, you will be waiting around for a long time. You have to pitch to the media every day. Marketing doesn’t generate results in just one week — you have to be committed, consistent and persistent to get results. Instinctively put yourself out there and share information with those who need it to help them do their jobs better.
You have to go to your prospects because they aren’t going to come to you. Pounding the pavement — guerilla marketing tactics — should be a natural, instinctive way of doing things to get the solutions that you can offer out there.
Become a trusted resource to those who get the word out about your industry. Helpareporter.com is a great resource.
5. You Should Be Obsessed With Your CRM Management Software
Everyone that you speak to should be added to your CRM software as a contact. This should happen instinctively, since every contact matters, and every contact — no matter how seemingly trivial — can become a key element in a future business relationship.
6. Bonus Tip
When you see a trend, jump on it. Don’t waste time trying to figure it out — take action to capitalize on any and all trends that relate to your business. Create more websites, add more content, get on board with the idea before your competition does. Don’t wait for industry trends to grow stale — and don’t sit back and wait for it to come to you — attack the industry trend and be the first one in your field to do it.
Ulistic is a leading full-service managed IT services provider marketing firm, and we take our client partnerships and relationships seriously. We want your business to achieve stratospheric success right out the gate, and we can help you get there because we’ve built a successful MSP, we’ve walked many miles in your shoes.
Contact Stuart Crawford directly at 716.799.1999 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your complimentary consultation.
Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL and Fort Erie, ON-based Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.