How Not to Market Your Managed Services

Managed services are supposed to be a simple elevator pitch: For a flat monthly fee, you'll pro-actively manage all of your customers' systems. Sounds simple. But some MSPs, such as ASI System Integration (ASI) in New York, are sending customers confusing messages containing low-ball pricing filled with technical jargon.

Sorry to pick on ASI, but check out the postcard they just sent to customer prospects. It reads as follows...

The opening line offers prospects "the $5 computer support plan." The postcard goes on to say:

"For about $0.58 a day, you can protect your Desktop Computer, Microsoft OS, & Standard Application Suite.*"

"* first system is approx $0.77/day; does not include deductible"
The postcard also says:
hardware support is "$5 per device per month (includes labor, non-consumable parts, travel)" with a "$10 deductible per service request." And software support is "$10/month for the 1st PC/laptop and $5/month for each additional PC/Laptop" with a $10 deductible per incident.
Huh? Deductibles? Non-consumable parts? Is the average small business owner really interested in all this jargon? What happened to the simple business messaging that describes the value of managed service? And how would a small business owner know whether a problem is related to hardware or software? Why not one price covering everything?

The example above reinforces several lingering problems in the managed services market.
  • Some MSPs still use technology jargon rather than business terms when describing their value.
  • Some low-ball pricing plans are thoroughly confusing and do more harm than good. Is it really a good idea to tell customers you can support them at $5 per month -- only to throw in a bunch of confusing fine print?
Sorry for the rant. But a lot of folks remain worried that some MSPs will continue a "race to the bottom" on pricing that hurts the broader MSP market.
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