Gotta love the first paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair..."
Dickens' intro reminds me of outbound sales for MSPs. There are horror stories and there are tales of victory.
What makes the difference?
That's what this blog is about. Let's get into the main differences between a great experience and a bad one in outbound appointment-setting.
It's the MSP's Strategy...
When MSPs perceive the main obstacle standing between them and new clients is the quality of their acquisition strategy, that's when cold outreach starts to work.
For example, if an MSP has a competitive edge with HIPAA-compliant cloud storage, their strategy may be to have cold-calling focused on that alone. By starting with a narrower focus, they differentiate better with their target market, which earns trust easier, and eventually, enables the takeover of IT managed services for more clients.
Here's another example of mindset.
If the MSP believes that prospect's trust must be earned from the first interactions, they arm their cold-callers with compelling questions and stories to sell the first appointment. Good questions demonstrate expertise in the prospect's line of business, not boring IT questions or finger-pointing questions that relate to the incumbent.
It's Reasonable Task Delegation...
Cold outreach takes an enormous amount of human effort to get results consistently.
Sure, AI and automation tools have a place in the process, but the lion's share of work still requires a minimum of 50 man-hours per week.
If the list-builder skips quality control or skimps on volume, everything falls apart. If the Coach always assumes the root cause of the problem is "insufficient calling volume" then they aren't really coaching and just leading to faster burnout. If the cold-caller is not disciplined about dialing daily, or they have a defeated mindset, they will get nothing out of this.
It truly takes a small village to implement this right.
It's Proper Gap Selling...
Outbound calling isn't the end all be all, right? The point is to close new business! However, far too many MSPs that invest in cold-sales do so without preparing themselves for a battle.
They make the mistake of thinking that just because a prospect is willing to take an appointment that they must be ready to pull the trigger, or that they must trust you over the current IT provider.
The truth is that it takes skill to persuade. It requires MSPs to put more thought into how the discovery meeting is conducted and how trust is built.