Stop Offering Free Assessments on Your Website

You won’t get many leads actually asking you for a free assessment. You haven’t given them a reason to trust you yet. Consider giving them something else to chew on instead, such as a white paper they can download with some useful information on it. Or a checklist or questionnaire to help them determine how prepared they are to weather a disaster.

Stuart Crawford, Consultant

January 7, 2015

3 Min Read
Stop Offering Free Assessments on Your Website

Does your MSP website start off by offering that good ol’ lead generator, the free systems analysis? You aren’t alone – it’s a technique used by hundreds of MSPs across the country. Even our Ulistic clients have offered it off the bat.

It doesn’t work.

I know, I know, but “everyone” is doing it. There’s the first problem: if everyone’s doing it, then no one will care if you do it too. But setting that aside, it also just doesn’t resonate with most prospective clients.

The average person is going to look at your request to pick up the phone and ask for an assessment, and they’re going to groan. “You want me to DO something? Ugh, no thanks.” Then off they’ll go to another site, completely forgetting about everything they saw on yours.

It’s great if you can actually get your foot in the door with an assessment – there’s really no better way to show a prospective client that their systems aren’t up to snuff. But you won’t get very many leads actually asking you for the assessment. You haven’t given them a reason to trust you yet!

Instead, you’ve got to give them something to chew on.

The most important early step in the MSP sales process is building trust. There are so many MSPs out there these days all saying the same things: “We’re your trusted advisor!” | “Let us manage all your technology!” | “Fill out this form for a free assessment!” None of these things actually give the prospective client a reason to listen to you. You’ve delivered nothing of value.

Instead, offer a white paper they can download with some useful information on it. Maybe a checklist or questionnaire to help them determine how prepared they are to weather a disaster (Hint: they are very likely NOT prepared at all, and that’ll start up a conversation). Include some tips on good first steps to take about proper backups or having a recovery plan. Offer something they can actually get some value out of, so they take another look at you and see you as an actual expert, not a parrot spouting catchphrases.

Ultimately, you want to be targeting the C-level executives out there, and they have developed immunities to a lot of standard marketing tricks. Unless you’re actually offering something real, they won’t care. Give them information, give them tips for better tech use, and give them easy ways to assess their own business to see where they stand. YOU make the delivery off the bat, rather than wait for them to call you. And once they’ve downloaded that initial white paper or questionnaire, follow up with them in a few days. You’re far more likely to get a response from someone who has already seen the expertise you have to offer.

At Ulistic, we emphasize a step-by-step process of building leads with offering useful information and establishing a relationship of trust. Our 17-Step Sales Process serves as a game plan to getting past the initial barriers with prospective clients and showing off why your service is worth signing on for.

Only 1 in 100 IT firms think marketing first, but 100 out of 100 want more leads. Ulistic is here to help managed services providers think strategically about their marketing to get more leads while still focusing on running their business. Our team engages with your team every day, providing expert marketing materials and advice to create a foundation for stratospheric success. Learn more at

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About the Author(s)

Stuart Crawford

Consultant, Ulistic

Stuart Crawford is Creative Director and MSP Marketing Coach with Williamsville, NY and Burlington, ON-based Ulistic, a specialty 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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