In an industry where everyone is selling the same IT services, differentiating your MSP is always a challenge. In such a commoditized industry, it’s not necessarily “what” services you offer but “how you manage the sales process” that can determine the outcome.
The small details, like faster estimating tools, promptly responding to prospects’ questions or focusing on strategic business reviews can set you apart. These things will make you credible in the prospect’s eyes.
In this episode of The Closer Interview Series we invited Pete Matheson, President of Not a Business Coach, to share what he learned about sales while running a successful MSP business for 10 years. A typical IT guy, Pete started his MSP a decade back from his home. Like most small business owners, he managed everything by himself at first – delivering services, prospecting and troubleshooting IT issues of clients. With a lot of hard work, he managed to scale his MSP to a team of 16, only to recently sell his business.
From flyers to video marketing, Pete has done it all. In this interview, Pete shares all the challenges, solutions and processes that worked for him. He talks about automatic quoting tools, how to draft IT proposals, questions to ask in the first meetings and how to avoid sounding desperate.
“Connect with them on social media and try to be in front of them as much as possible. Social media marketing is fantastic. When you've got a few minutes, post something. Whatever you're thinking about, get involved and engaged with other people posting online.”
MSPs should respond immediately to sale leads or someone else may respond before them
In-person meetings can help establish better relationships by letting your prospects know how you operate. MSP owners can invite them to their office or visit client's office to understand the problems or challenges faced by their IT staff
Don’t try to push the sales in the first meeting itself. Instead, present yourself as a person who can solve their IT problems
Be transparent with your pricing
Come back from the meeting, think about the conversation and then send a proposal
Based on the needs, engagement level with the prospect and the size of the organization, the proposal can vary for different clients. For example, large organizations may need a detailed proposal to present to their board but a short one-page quote might work for a smaller organizations
Use videos to explain the proposals and why they should work with you. Desktop recording software like Loom or Soapbox can be used. This can differentiate you because not many MSPs use this approach
Don’t chase prospects -- build a follow up process
3-Step Follow Up Process
Step 1 - After sending the quote make a phone call to enquire if they have received the proposal
Step 2 - Send an email after a week to know if they have read the proposal and have any queries
Step 3 - If you have not heard back from them, send them a cake card (more about this in the video)
Many prospects have an annual contract with their current IT company. Follow up regularly through remarketing and video marketing. This may lead them to sign up when their existing contract ends.
Client feedback can help understand the shortfalls and address them
Let the clients know you’ve heard them and have already made changes to prevent re-occurrence
Use automation feedback tools like Customer Thermometer to filter good client reviews and encourage them to write Google Business Reviews. This will improve the visibility and credibility of your MSP in your area