Most managed service providers (MSPs) are more adept in technical issues than they are in being sales experts. They struggle with the vital aspects of running their business successfully. This makes most of them go out of business sooner than later, despite being excellent service providers.
If you’re struggling with the growth of your MSP company, you need to take a hands-on approach. Keep in mind that sales and marketing extend beyond just closing sales.
Tommy Wolosin has been in the business of selling IT and managed services for years. He speaks to Stuart Crawford from Ulistic and shares some of his well-kept trade secrets. These are the strategies that have helped his business scale the heights of success in the industry.
MSPs Must Be Intentional About Business Relationships
Tommy starts by advising managed service providers to choose the relationship they want to have with their clients. He says that they can either be vendors or partners to their clients. However, there is a price to pay for each option.
You can tell a lot about how a company will treat its clients once the sales process begins. If the process feels cold and impersonal, things won’t likely improve once they’ve become established clients. Companies that treat their customers this way are nothing more than vendors to them. To the service provider, the end goal is to make a sale, and it ends there. Vendors, therefore, find themselves in the vicious cycle of trying to find new clients every time.
A service provider who acts as a partner to their clients takes a different approach:
Takes Time to Understand Clients’ Needs
Every client has different needs, and approaching them with a pre-packed solution will often leave both of you disappointed. When talking to your clients, both existing and potential, ensure you understand their specific cases and needs. You should be asking them questions about the problems they are encountering in their business journey, not just repeatedly offering your solution.
Take Time to Understand Their Business
The best service provider does not stop at understanding the needs of their clients. They take it a notch higher by aligning with the broader goals of their clients. They invest in guiding their clients in the right direction and providing the most viable solution to help the organization grow. Tommy notes that a successful MSP doesn’t thrive in the problems of its clients. Instead, a successful service provider is happy to see their clients grow as their MSP business thrives.
When you fully understand the direction your clients are taking, you’re not just a contractor to them. You are doing all it takes to help them succeed, and this will most likely become a long-term engagement.
Honesty and Transparency Are Crucial in MSP Business Relationships
When you present yourself as a business partner to your clients, a lot of things change. You understand that you cannot meet all your client’s needs, and you communicate how much you can deliver. On the contrary, vendors are usually in the habit of overpromising but hardly deliver what they promise.
If you can’t admit when you’re not the right fit for a client, you’re in the wrong direction. You must be a trusted advisor to your clients. Transparency is crucial for strong partnerships, and honesty is a vital component of transparency.
This also applied to quotations, billing, and invoicing. If your clients always question your invoices or quotations, it’s a sign they’re losing trust in you. A great working relationship implies trust, and approval of financial documents is not marred by mistrust.
Strive to make life easier for your clients by investing in their success. This demands that you schedule regular and consistent communication plans. You and your clients could agree on when to have virtual meetings every month.
The idea is to check on your clients and find out how business is coming along for them. When your clients know that they can talk to you as their consultant, they will find it easy to open up about other business issues.
This is not the time to try to sell them anything. In any case, you should be offering post-implementation support. You also want to find out if your clients are happy with your solutions.
You Are an Extension of Your Clients’ Teams
Tommy continues to say that you become a part of your client’s team by extension when you’re a partner to them. The business rapport you create helps your clients treat you as an indispensable part of their company. You save them from the agony of dealing with a disengaged vendor that doesn’t adequately meet their needs. The association goes a notch higher, and it’s easy for them to remember to invite you for business functions. Great business relationships extend beyond the office.
With such a strong relationship between you and your clients, it’s easy for them to throw in a good word for you to their friends. If a business they know is struggling to find a reliable service provider, they will recommend your services. What does this mean for your business? Growth through referrals.
Tommy means that when you take care of your clients the right way, new clients will always find a way to get to you. If you’re not getting referrals, it probably means you’re not treating your current customers right. When you act as a business partner to your clients, you will find it easier to keep your clients happy than look for new ones.
Strategies for MSP Going Forward
The landscape is changing because of the pandemic, and businesses that want to thrive must adapt to the changes. Tommy says that one crucial area MSPs must embrace is working from home. They should focus on offering training to their clients on how to manage their remote workforce. They have to create strategies that promote remote work yet boost productivity. This will be crucial for workers who have to juggle between family and work while working from home.
If you need guidance, an expert is always available to help you. At Ulistic, we specialize in helping IT organizations take their marketing efforts to the next level. Call us today for your MSP marketing needs or to book a complimentary discussion.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL 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.
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