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Learn How to Sell More Solutions to Clients

A conversation with MSP Marketing Edge's Paul Green.

Jeff O'Heir

May 26, 2023

5 Min Read
how to sell more
Shutterstock/Sashkin

As the owner of MSP Marketing Edge, Paul Green is 100% focused helping MSPs around the world win clients and getting them to buy more solutions that generate more month recurring revenue and profits. He’ll be sharing many of his marketing tips and strategic advice on how to sell more during his keynote, “Life Is Short, Profits Are Easy: The 3 Areas of MSP Growth,” at the Channel Partners Europe conference, June 13-14, in London.

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MSP Marketing Edge’s Paul Green

Green will target his presentation at the owners and top managers of MSPs. They’re the ones who should be focusing most of their time signing new clients, managing existing relationships, and becoming the strategic advisor to all customers.

They can start by inserting themselves between their technicians and the clients. Technicians are great at helping people, but not always good at selling them things, Green said. Technicians and other client-facing employees should be trained to communicate any customer problems or needs to top managers who can then sell the solution.

“Train the technicians to act on the information they receive,” Green said. “Owners and managers should then go and do the difficult thing of actually selling.”

Catch Green at the Channel Partners Europe Conference

Learn more about selling more at Green’s on June 13, 10:45-11:05 am, in the Waterloo Suite in County Hall. Until then, here are a few more of Green’s insights, strategies and tips.

Channel Futures: In what ways should MSPs change their sales strategies and execution to grow their businesses?

Paul Green: Rather than thinking about what you can sell to clients, I prefer to think about what people want. What do they need? What fears have they got? What excites them? What plans have they got?

The ordinary business owners and managers don’t really understand technology; we call that unconscious incompetence. They don’t know what they don’t know about technology. So, rather than trying and sell them services and solutions and technologies, we should try and sell them things that they want, which are hard decisions, and things that they need, which are brain decisions. We should take away their fears and help them fulfill their plans.

The best way to do that is by asking them lots of questions about their favorite subject, which is themselves and their business. The more we talk to them about their plans, their business, their hopes, their fears, their needs, their wants, the easier it’s going to be for us to say, ‘Hey, you know how you want your staff to be able to work anywhere on any device, completely secure? We can make that happen for you.’ And the specific technology you use to make that happen is of very little interest to the vast majority of them. They are interested in the outcome.

Focus on Generating Monthly Recurring Revenue

CF: You’ll be talking a lot about recurring revenue. How important is that to MSP growth in today’s business environment?

PG: Monthly recurring revenue is everything, absolutely everything. You’ve got project work, but that project work should only be done to generate monthly recurring revenue. And all MSPs should be focused 100% on generating new monthly recurring revenue. Monthly recurring revenue ties you and your client together. It is obviously better for your own cash flow and your own profitability. Clients who are in a monthly recurring revenue relationship with you are more likely to listen to you, they’re more likely to ask for proactive help, they’re more likely to involve you in the strategic development of the business.

CF: The types of services that generate MRR contribute to future growth in ways that other services like break-fix don’t, correct?

PG: If I could wave a magic wand, I would ban all IT companies from taking on break-fix work because it does not help anyone. Letting a client get into a situation where things are broken is not a proactive way of managing technology. That’s the 2003 way of doing it; 20 years on we need to do it a different way.

Focus on Adding New Clients and Selling More to Them

CF: A big part of your presentation focuses on how MSPs can get their clients to spend more money with them. How can they do that?

PG: The only way to get your clients to buy more from you is by forming a strategic partnership with them.  The goal for you as the MSP owner is to be the strategic advisor.  The simplest way to do this is with three tools, and they all work together.

The first tool is a profit matrix. It’s literally a grid you draw up. You list the clients down one side and you list the services on the other. You then put dots next to the services your client is buying.  Then you can see the client that is not buying X, Y or Z service. Now you’ve got an instant awareness of who is not buying what and therefore what you can sell.

The second tool is the strategic review. You’ll hear these called quarterly business reviews, but quarterly is overkill for most clients. Most MSP strategic reviews are once a year. You meet them for lunch or do something where you can actually have some kind of interaction and talk to them about their business. It’s 80% them talking, 20% you talking. It’s all about the future. It’s not a backwards-looking meeting where they can beat you up about service delivery levels or problems. You can address those quickly, but stay focused on the future, their growth plans, the exciting things. You do it year after year, and you become their strategic advisor. They start to look forward to sitting down with you to talk about strategy.

The third tool is a technology roadmap. Off the back of the strategic reviews, you put together a document whereby you are saying to the client, “This is your plan for the next two, three years. It might be that they’re doing a migration next year and the year after they’re doing a new VoIP system. The plans go in the roadmap and the client will have a constant three-year rolling commitment to you. It is beautiful.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeff O’Heir or connect with him on LinkedIn.

 

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About the Author(s)

Jeff O'Heir

Jeff O’Heir is a journalist and editor who has spent much of his career covering the business leaders, issues and trends that define the IT and consumer technology channels. His work in print, online and on stage has showcased, educated and connected small and large solution providers, MSPs, channel pros and vendors. During his career, Jeff has also covered engineering technologies and breakthroughs, crime, politics, food and the arts.

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