March 20, 2009
By Maurice Saluan 1
Successful managed service providers understand the basic truisms of technology: Clients just want it to work, so don’t bother them with how it works. Second, technology is the means to an end, which is to support business operations and goals. MSPs who understand these realities also understand the importance of addressing clients’ common IT pain points. Here’s how to get started.
Eliminating server downtime, security risks and underperforming hardware is the most effective way to get your foot in the door when pitching managed services.
Any company running servers, desktops and applications has at one point or another experienced a problem, be it e-mail failures, faltering applications or underperforming servers. Just about every company, from the smallest of small businesses to the largest of enterprises, depends on technology to do business, and that means each of them has likely experienced technical difficulties at some point.
Don’t Talk, Do Listen
When pitching managed services, MSPs should do a lot of listening to zero in on the client’s problems. Are desktops locking up in the middle of writing Word documents or preparing PowerPoint presentations? Does navigating the Web feel like an eternity? Is the e-mail server failing every week?
Whatever the client tells you are the pain points, take notice. Then follow that up with an IT health check. Do a thorough analysis of the IT assets and infrastructure to pinpoint exactly what is causing the problems.
Find the weaknesses and prepare a plan to address them. Some prime opportunities:
If spyware is bogging down the loading of Web pages, tell the customer you will implement security measures to prevent intrusions and eliminate malware that affect performance and create potentially costly risks.
If desktops are running too slowly as a result of old, underperforming applications, unnecessary clutter or aging hardware, sell the customer on a plan to make the requisite improvements and replacements, backed by the guarantee of ongoing remote monitoring and management to keep everything in tip-top shape.
Demonstrate to the client how a managed services approach will not only solve IT problems, but also make the case that a managed services contract will cost them less than if they try to solve the problems themselves. Give the client ROI calculations showing they will control IT staffing costs by letting you do the work.
For larger clients with existing IT staffs, explain how the staff will be better put to use on devising strategy, rather than troubleshooting and maintenance.
Clients are facing budget pressures caused by the ongoing economic slump, so the message of controlling costs while making IT more reliable is sure to resonate. Maybe the company just went through a downsizing and the end users in the organization would benefit from a help desk they can call because the IT staff is overwhelmed. If you could offer an economically priced solution, this will get you in the door. Fixed fee with unlimited calls that is bound to make the end users more productive.
Zenith InfoTech offers MSPs a host of services that let them relieve their clients’ pain points, from managing desktops and servers, to white-labeled Help Desk Services with calls being taken in our US headquarters, to low-priced vulnerability assessments and reliable data backup and disaster recovery solutions.
Clients shouldn’t have to constantly worry about whether their IT systems are going to fail. Reliable service should be a given. Successful MSPs know this, and so they understand the importance of delivering reliable service that truly addresses the client’s pain points and directly align the client’s IT environment to business goals.
Note: Maurice Saluan is VP-Channel Management for Zenith Infotech as well as seasoned sales veteran in the managed service arena. Guest blog entries such as this one are contributed on a monthly basis as part of MSPmentor.net’s 2009 Platinum sponsorship. Find all of Saluan’s blog entries here.
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