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I first learned about ID Agent when Atlanta IT consulting expert Chris Chao at Centerpoint IT and I sat down after one of our Ulistic High-Performance Club meetings. I think it was Santa Cruz, when we were visiting Cooper Technologies, now TOTLCOM. Chris was super excited about this new partnership and we immediately got to work trying to figure out how to best make all of his prospect aware of the risks of the dark web.
Matt Solomon reached out to me after I posted on LinkedIn that I was looking for guests to have on my MSP Show. Matt and the team at ID Agent are looking for more MSPs to sign up. I highly recommend you connect with them.
I hope you enjoy the recording of our interview.
A simple Google search will help you see with your own eyes. This is a common service offered by a large range of companies and is integrated throughout cybersecurity provider marketing. Everyone involved in credit history and protection has a dark web scan on their landing page. Tons of IT service providers and security companies are also on the train. A single number of offers is hard to compile, but there are easily thousands of different brands that all offer some level of dark web scan.
It’s easy to say that this is encroaching on becoming a mainstream security service. It largely resembles virus scans in the early 2000s. A lot of customers failed to understand just how common malware was, and a simple, free scan was enough to show them. Now, free malware scans are almost too available. You’ve probably been annoyed by offers yourself. Dark web scans are not yet that prevalent, but it is the trending direction, and failing to offer the service can hurt your credibility in the eyes of some customers.
The easy, lazy solution is to add the service to your website. Customers can browse and discover the service on their own, and this is a minimum requirement. If you want your scans to actively generate engagement and convert to revenue, you have to try a little harder. One of the easiest engagements is with live events and direct conversations.
As an example, many businesses sponsor local events as a form of networking. As a sponsor, you may get a chance to speak to a room of people. That is your opportunity. A simple, short demonstration can take the credentials of anyone in the room and generate exposure data on the spot. That generates a powerful response to the undeniable reality of data breaches and gets people thinking.
The point here is that you can use real data to compel customers to take the risks seriously. How you initiate a conversation doesn’t matter as much as your willingness to use your dark web scan to help move the conversation.
The data drawn from scans feels tangible. Because you can use your customer’s (or prospect’s) specific information, you take away the comfort of anonymity in statistics. These are hits that affect them and only them, and managed service providers are finding it a powerful tool for generating return contacts.
More than that, the scans can help with upsells. Convincing businesses to pay for additional security measures is one of the most difficult parts of this business. With scan results, you can build a stronger case and help your customers find more passion for their own security. The scan presents a problem to which you should have solutions. Voila, you just made an upsell.
Upsells are great from your perspective, but security is what matters to your customers. The dark web scan is more than a tool to help them buy security you already knew they needed. It is a chance to teach them more about the risks they face and why certain measures are better or worse for facing those threats.
Customer satisfaction is largely related to education and understanding. No customer can be impressed with your efforts if they don’t see those efforts, and even today, many people underestimate the true scope of data breaches and information leaks. Your scans will almost always return hits. Your customers often won’t believe that until they see it with their own eyes. You can take the fear this causes and use it as fuel to help them learn about internet security in general. That will help their security, but it will also help their sense of security. The latter is the key to customer satisfaction.
Ultimately, dark web scans are a tool. How you use them and how they benefit you will depend on your approach. The hope is that you can appreciate how dark web scans are impacting MSPs. How you incorporate it into your IT services marketing is entirely up to you.
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.