Back in May 2010, I wrote a blog post called “Selling the Real Value of Managed Services." Now I'm back for an encore because sales strategies -- what works, what doesn't -- is the core issue facing aspiring MSPs. I believe it’s key to understand what you are really selling to your prospective clients in order to bolster your sales efforts. Let’s take a look. So let's take a closer look at what you may be doing wrong... and what you can do right.
First, the negative...
Sales FailureMost MSPs fail to understand the real value of their Managed Services offering. They focus on the bells and whistles of their offering like patch management and virus scans. We are geeks after all. We love technology and these types of things excite us. I know this is hard to believe, but our potential customers don’t get as psyched about RMM tools and patch automation as we do. And in most cases, they do not understand nor care about them. They often see these types of things as a nuisance or a hassle and a point of confusion.
When you lead sales pitch or marketing with program features, I can confidently say you are not going to make a lot of sales. Promoting program features is not going to make prospects call us and buy.
The Real ValueI am going to let you in on a big secret here. The real value of Managed Services is not virus scans or patch management. The real value of Managed Services is knowledge and the ability to help a customer’s business run better.
You have to understand that when people buy, they don’t buy logically. I know this is counter-intuitive to the way our technical minds work. We look at everything as black and white, which is why we like to dial in on the nifty things all of our automation can do. Sales guru Tom Hopkins says “people do not buy logically. They buy emotionally, then they justify their purchases logically.”
Tom Hopkin’s point here is important to understand. People do not buy Managed Services because of the features. They buy because of an emotional response -- which is most often related to technology pain or fear. They fear their data being lost because of bad backups, they had a server outage that caused their business to be down for days, their current IT guy is unresponsive, their systems run slow, and so on.
To take advantage of the emotional response, you need to shift your sales tactics and marketing efforts to key in on them. Great sales people and marketing professionals understand this. They position themselves as the person who answers emotional response. In our industry, this means that you understand and have the solution to the pain. Once you realize this and shift your focus to it, an amazing thing will happen. You will be able to charge more for your services and close more sales.
Paul Barnett is marketing director for VirtualAdministrator, which offers hosted solutions for managed service providers. Read all of Paul’s guest blogs here. Guest blog entries such as this one are contributed on a monthly basis as part of MSPmentor’s Platinum sponsorship.