FIRST - KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CRAPPY CUSTOMER AND A GREAT CLIENT.
As MSPs we really don't want CUSTOMERS. CUSTOMERS ARE NOT GOOD FOR BUSINESS! They are transactional and will never value your time and knowledge. They suck your energy, resources, time and may even burn you and your team out. But you know something, we throw that horrible word, CUSTOMER around all the time. You know we do. Look at any vendor email today, what word do you see CUSTOMER?
Do you want your CPA or Attorney to call you a CUSTOMER? Here is something to really understand. Experts in the MSP community and Leaders in their markets refer to the people they do business with as CLIENTS, not CUSTOMERS! Strike CUSTOMERS from your vocabulary immediately if you really want true success as a managed services provider.
At Ulistic, CUSTOMERS do not exist. We are not allowed to use that word AT ALL!
A great client relationship is long term. It is a mutually WIN-WIN relationship. Everyone is out to help each other succeed. They respect each other.
Now what do you want? Customers or Clients. Ulistic, we want CLIENTS...we say no immediately to anyone who wants a CUSTOMER relationship.
As hard as you work to attract prospects and turn them into client, the reality is that some businesses just aren’t a good match for your MSP. It’s important to realize this so you can focus on the ones that are.
Just as you developed a Business Model when you started your business, you should also develop a Client Model. By doing this you’ll have a better idea what prospects will likely be your best customers.
The Great Client - Say YES to clients and say NO to customers!
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Who are your best clients? (Typically the ones that make you the most money/profit.)
- What attributes do they have in common? Use the following as a go-by:
- Their annual revenue
- The size of their staff
- What industry they serve
- Where they’re located
- What area(s) they serve (regional, national, etc.)
Now ask yourself:
- Do your best clients have any of the same characteristics in common? (For example, are they in the same industry vertical?)
- Of these, which derive the most value from your services?
Compare your notes, and once you do you’ll have your Great Client Model.
Don’t Waste Your Time
Use your model as a guide to help you determine if a prospect will be a Great Client for you or not. Don’t waste your valuable time and resources on business relationships where you won’t turn a profit, or that you believe will take more time and energy than you can commit. With this information you can better predict which prospects will be suited to your business needs.
How To Break It To Them Gently
Ulistic recommends that instead of totally rejecting a prospect, refer them to your top competitors. They will appreciate this, and you never know, they may fit your Good Client Model one day.
The following is some sample wording you can use in a letter to respectfully turn them away: (We cover this in the Ulistic 17 step sales and marketing process)
We appreciate you contacting us to discuss technology support for your business. Unfortunately, we are unable to take on any new business opportunities at this time.
We would like to recommend that you contact any of the three local IT providers below for a consultation regarding their services. They are respected peers in our community that I believe would be a good fit based on your needs.
[List 3 companies]
You can also download this letter template by clicking here.
For more information on developing a Great Client Model for your MSP, contact Ulistic at: 716.799.1999 x102 or firstname.lastname@example.org