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Many Managed Service Providers view prospecting as an over-the-top sales approach. Prospecting is the development of a list of potential customers that you believe would be interested in your technology support services. Although contacting potential new clients (cold prospecting) is an essential part of any managed service providers sales and marketing plan, there are other ways to generate more leads.
Collaboration with your key accounts is a great way to obtain more business. When you’re selling to a key account, you know them, and they know you. There’s an established trust between the two of you that you can use to your benefit when selling.
Many people realize they should be selling more to their key accounts, but they’re worried about bothering them. They think that selling to a current client will make them appear self-centered, but this thinking is misguided.
How to Approach Your Key Accounts To Get More Leads
Consider this: You have some ideas for how you can add more value to your key account relationships. Share this with your clients—offer them strategies that will help them become more successful. Your attempt should be appreciated if you frame your communications properly. Here’s an example that you can use as a framework for a conversation via email or phone:
[Insert pleasantries here.]
Last week, the team and I were discussing the work we’ve been doing in [Insert project here.] We met to discuss what we’ve observed during the project, and came up with a few ideas to improve X and Y.
I realize that we’ve never spoken about this before, but I think we’ve come up with a few possibilities that will appeal to you. We think one of these ideas in particular, will speed up the process significantly, and we know this is something you’re always striving for.
Once we got deeper into the conversation, we thought this meeting would be much more effective if [insert client name here] joined in the process.
While we know quite a bit about your current situation, your help and collaboration would greatly improve our ability to write up an agenda. Then we’d be happy to further explore these ideas for you.
If you’d like, we can meet sometime during the next few weeks to discuss this.
Always Use A Straightforward Approach With Your Key Accounts
Salespeople often use the same tactics with their key accounts that they use when cold prospecting. But If you want to generate more leads from your key accounts it’s better to use a straightforward approach that invites them to collaborate, and interests them in the possibility of obtaining more value for their company. (It’s a given that you ensure your client receives as much value from their relationship with you as possible.)
With cold prospecting, you may say something like: “We’ve helped organizations such as A and B increase their efficiencies by 21%, which saved approximately $300k per year in lost time.” When there isn’t an existing relationship, this might be a good approach. But with a client, somebody you already know, this would seem awkward and exaggerated.
If you already have a good relationship with your client, they will most likely say yes to a meeting, if not; they may ask you for more information. In this case simply explain what you’re thinking. You might say something along the lines of, “I’ve been working with another client, and a few alterations I’ve used with them seemed to generate great results.”
During your outreach to key accounts, always keep the tone conversational—remember, they trust you and feel comfortable with you. For many salespeople, this is a revelation. The approach won’t alter the relationship, but it will generate more leads and increase your business opportunities.
Still unsure about how to reach out to your clients and generate more leads? Call ULISTIC today at 716.799.1999 ext. 102 to arrange your no-obligation 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.