Today's promotional efforts for managed service providers have often focused on web sites and email leads. However, there's a lot to be said for feet on the street. Here's how one MSP does it.

Stuart Crawford, Consultant

March 16, 2015

3 Min Read
Get Your MSP’s Name Out There: Lessons from San Diego IT Support Expert Fred Harrah

It isn’t enough to just offer excellent service. It isn’t even enough to offer that excellent service at a great price. Good service and affordable prices are important, of course, but if you really want to succeed as a MSP, you’re going to have to make more of an effort getting your name out there.

Check out an exclusive interview with Fred Harrah, CEO, The Network Co. of California and myself. Click here.

It’s no secret what Ulistic recommends: An extensive and well-polished web presence is all-important in an age where phonebooks are ignored in favor of a Google search. But there’s something to be said about how effective it can be to try and make connections offline.  

Fred Harrah, President and CEO of The Network Co. of California, knows all about that approach.

“We’re a local company in San Diego, and we’ve been around for close to thirty years,” said Fred. “One of the things that we’ve found over the past thirty years is that our community has grown and to a large degree we’ve kind of gotten out of touch with people because there are so many new people.”

Indeed: In 1980, San Diego had a population of 875,000. Now, it has a population of 1.3 million. That's 425,000 new people. How did Fred reach out to his expanding community?

“What we decided to come up with is our streetwalker program,” Fred continued. “One of our sales engineers would go door-to-door and get to meet people in our local neighborhood and try to find out how things are going for them, any problems they’re having with IT or running their business in general. We’re starting to develop a relationship that’s more home-grown because we are a home-grown company, and we do focus locally on a lot of the small businesses and community activities in the area.”

The streetwalker program has quite a name, but what does it entail, exactly?

“What the program involves is basically going door-to-door and providing a little treat to the gatekeeper, if you will. And giving her a little brochure about our company, and trying to ask them a provocative question about things that really matter, to get them to open up and share information with us and start developing a relationship.”

So, what happens when you waltz in the door with a selection of fine chocolate and have a genuinely engaging conversation with the staff, but despite your effort the local business just doesn’t have a need for IT support right now?

“At the very least, if they don’t have a need for us, we make sure we get some identifying information, like a business card, key points of contact, and email addresses. We’re able to nurture them at a little more of a slower pace, but we keep our company’s name top of mind by sending them out a copy of a newsletter or an interesting article.”

Take note, MSPs: stop by local businesses with snacks for the gatekeeper, as well as some IT literature with your MSP’s name printed in bold. That’s not so hard, is it?

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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