I got an email yesterday from a managed service provider located in the Southeastern United States. In it, he wrote:
"Joe we have had three clients pare back their contracts just today due to layoffs. We charge by the machine. What are u hearing?"Unfortunately, I'm hearing similar stories from across the United States. But I also heard a key story from a managed service provider in Michigan. Here's how he's staying close to customers and driving new revenue opportunities in the bad economy.
Last Monday, the Michigan MSP called a weekly meeting with his 15 employees. And he gave every employee the same assignment: They had 24 hours to gather every third-party business card they had in their office Rolodexes, in their cars, in their homes...
By Tuesday, the MSP was busy building a centralized customer target list. It started with a single centralized spreadsheet for all employees to review.
Within a few days, the MSP plans to move the spreadsheet into a CRM (customer relationship management) system. From there, employees will start to identify prime targets for first-time engagements, upselling and cross selling.
Who's Managing Your Customer List?The key lesson here: We all attend dozens of business meetings and customer meetings each month. Your employees gather hundreds of business cards.
But what happens to all of that contact information? Who gathers, centralizes and nutures the data? And what additional steps -- newsletters, special promos, etc. -- can you take to promote your messaging to that mass audience of qualified leads?
Right now, there are likely hundreds or thousands of third-party business cards collecting dust around your office. Go gather than, centralize the information, and nurture the resulting contact list.
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