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Many MSP entrepreneurs, and even long-time MSP owners find the process of selling to be stressful and extremely challenging. Everyone has their own style, usually based on experience with past successes or failures. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a “formula” for success? A simple, easy-to-remember strategy you can apply to different sales scenarios? The RAIN Group has one that can be applied to most of your MSP sales presentations. It’s called the RAIN SellingSM Methodology
RAIN stands for:
Aspirations and Afflictions
Experienced sales people know that it’s important to connect to their prospects. If you can build a rapport with your prospect (and you have something worth selling that they need) you have a good chance to turn them into clients. But this requires that you develop a genuine rapport with them, not a superficial connection. This sets the foundation for trust, which is a key element in the sales process. Prospects usually buy from people they trust and like.
Aspirations and Afflictions
A myth abounds in sales circles that, to make a sale you must first help the prospect uncover the “problem” or “pain.” These salespeople then try to fix “what’s wrong.” But the disconnect here is that if you can’t find a problem, then you have nothing to sell. Successful MSP salespeople focus on the positive aspects of what they have to offer and “drive their own demand” by inspiring prospects to consider possibilities they hadn’t before. Focus on aspirations, as well as afflictions (if they exist).
This is where the process can “bottleneck.” You’ve uncovered your prospect’s aspirations and afflictions, but questions still remain:
If their afflictions don’t get solved, what will happen?
If their aspirations don’t become reality, what will happen?
If you can’t convince them that they’re facing a “doom and gloom” scenario under these circumstances, they won’t be as inclined to put money on the table and purchase your MSP services.
It’s important for you to “paint a picture” to reveal the importance of taking the next step (to buy from you). The more impact your, “what will happen” has, the more urgency you can create for them to buy.
It’s essential for your prospects to understand exactly how they’ll benefit from working with you. To do this you need to do three things:
Establish a “New Reality” Benchmark: Your prospect must realize that their situation is unacceptable and that they can do better. This is their “New Reality.” They need to be able to envision what this means for them; whether it’s increased productivity, cost savings or the ability to be more competitive in their market.
Quantify the Impact: Metrics and statistics will impress. Do your homework and quantify the level of benefit your MSP services provide to them. Back their “New Reality” with your statistics.
Paint the Before-and-After Picture: Use charts, graphics, and tables to help your prospect understand the “New Reality.” These visuals will paint a compelling picture and help them justify taking an action to use your MSP services
Note: The “A” and the “I” perform a double duty. You can also use “Advocacy and Inquiry” to maximize your MSP selling influence:
Advocacy and Inquiry
The “A” and the “I” in RAIN will help you remember to always balance Advocacy and Inquiry. It’s been shown over time that that the salespeople who ask questions are the ones who get the sales. Inexperienced salespeople tend to go on and on, repeating their sales pitch and making their prospects feel like they don’t matter. Remember, people like to talk about themselves. Asking questions will draw your prospect in:
Ask incisive questions.
Share a point of view about their answer so they know they’ve been heard,
Tell a comparable story that relates to what they’ve said, and
Ask them to do the same.
In this way you’re setting the agenda for your sales success. But remember, there’s a fine line where buyers may feel that you’re being intrusive. They’ll always want to know what you bring to the table, and what you’re selling that will result in their desired outcome. Ensure you’re balancing Advocacy and Inquiry in your MSP sales presentation.
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