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Green Acres is more than a cult classic TV show found on some obscure cable channel, this iconic television show is also the name of a small restaurant in Fort Erie, Ontario that unintentionally taught me an important managed services sales.
A few weeks ago, after a long week helping managed service providers achieve stratospheric success; I was in no mood to cook dinner. Green Acres, our community restaurant just around the corner from my house, was a fitting place for a quick but good dinner.
After all, Green Acres came highly recommended by family and friends. So why not, lets try it out. It didn’t disappoint, the food was great and the service was above standard from many other restaurants we frequent, however, our server that evening made the biggest mistake when it comes to sales.
After a good meal, I noticed my favorite dessert on their dessert board. Yahoo! I was in heaven! After all, nothing tops a good coconut cream pie. I really wanted a slice of coconut cream pie, however, my dreams of biting into this little slice of heaven came crashing down around me. How?
After dinner was finished, the server simply gave us our check and thanked us for coming in that night. Wait! What about my coconut crème pie? Denied. The server just assumed we were done. She lost the opportunity to provide a qualified buyer with additional services.
This experience got me thinking about how many managed services providers lose potential additional sales revenue by assuming their client has everything they need, but they want more… They want their coconut cream pie. Guess what happened? We had to go someone else for our dessert that evening.
Yes, we went elsewhere. Do you have clients that go elsewhere for products or services that you have in your arsenal but fail to ask them if they would like anything else? It happens everyday and many managed service providers are left wondering why clients go elsewhere, or maybe even find a new service provider who provides then with a full service offering.
You see, dinner includes dessert and your service offerings include a full range of IT services, products and solutions.
When I was running the sales and marketing for Calgary MSP IT Matters, we made it our first priority to provide our clients with everything they required. Dan Hay from IS Outsource in Seattle, WA taught me an important lesson about getting the majority of the technology spend as we can or at least control it. Dan was bang on and this focus on being the single source for technology allowed IT Matters to become a powerhouse IT firm in Calgary.
It still leaves many of our old competitors scratching their heads trying to figure out how we did it. Today’s hip phrase is “Vendor Management” but it is so much deeper than that. It is about managing our client’s technology and then providing everything they need or having an extensive network of experts we can call upon to help when needed.
We made sure we asked our clients if they wanted dessert. Dessert could have been a copier or a telephone system, it didn’t really matter, we either provided it or had a trusted partner that could do it for us. Did our clients appreciate it? They most definitely did. Why? They didn’t have to worry about it themselves.
We just handled it and like a great server at your favorite restaurant, we kept checking in with them to see if they wanted anything else. Coffee, Tea, Dessert or anything else that would feed their technology appetite!
Have we been back to Green Acres since? No, but we’ve been out for dinner many times since then.
Stuart Crawford is the Founder and CEO of Managed Services marketing agency Ulistic. Based in Hamilton, ON and Williamsville, NY, Ulistic provides a full service solution for large and small MSPs. We provide you with everything you need, including dessert. Need a trusted partner to help with your marketing and sales efforts? Call 716.799.1999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a free 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.