Regardless of the combination of managed services you offer to your clients, your success hinges on your ability to clearly demonstrate the value of those services. You can have a killer software lineup, 24 hour service, and an iron-clad SLA, and you’ll still find prospects who hem and haw over everything from price to minute implementation details. However, there are a few common objections that frequently come up in sales conversations with SMB owners. Here are the three most common objections and how to handle them.
Keep in mind that often these objections are often not really about you or your company; they’re more about your prospects. Usually these objections stem from what your prospects fear and what their pain points are. Fear and pain may seem like dramatic words to use within the context of an IT sale, but learn to identify and address those points skillfully, and you’ll find the sales process a lot smoother.
So, what are the most common objections? Here's a look, plus some advice on how to address them.
They say: I don’t think we have the money for thisYou say: Think of it as business continuity insurance. Not only will we make sure that all your systems are functioning as efficiently as possible with little or no downtime, we’ll protect your critical data as well. Think of all your electronic records—customer information, financial records, project plans. Your business couldn’t survive without it. In fact, only 6% of businesses who suffer a major data loss managed to survive for the long haul. Saving your data can literally save your business.
And you’ll actually save money by allowing us to manage your IT needs rather than paying someone to be on staff or a fee-for-service technician. When you pay someone to fix hardware or software every time something fails, costs are erratic and can be very expensive, especially if it’s emergency or after hours service. Plus you have to factor in the cost of your downtime into the total cost of break/fix service.
With managed services your costs will be predictable and regular, so you can reliably plan your budget. Plus you’ll be paying us to keep your business up and running; not paying us only when something goes wrong.
Additionally, take a look at what they have been spending over the last three years. If you can save them money over the long haul, then their objection may actually be all the leverage you need to close the sale.
They say: We already have someone who does our IT
(Clearly, you would not have gotten this far if they were completely satisfied with the current arrangement. Find out what works and what doesn’t work in the existing relationship and leverage that to your favor.)
You say: Let your IT staff focus on business-building projects that have to be handled internally. Let us handle time-consuming tasks that don’t require someone from within your organization to manage. It will cost you less to have us manage this task than it does to pay your IT staff to do so. They’ll be able to work on more important projects, and you’ll be able to save money.
Refocus on your existing staff and don’t let IT maintenance become a distraction at the expense of higher value initiatives.
They say: I’m not sure I trust another company to handle our sensitive dataYou say: Our service was designed exactly with businesses like yours in mind. Because we specialize in IT, we can offer a level of security and expertise beyond what most small businesses can provide. We utilize technology like offsite data centers and data encryption, so we’re equipped to handle privacy and contingency requirements.
Here’s how Intronis addresses this issue with resellers: Your data will be stored in a much more secure environment than you would be able to provide to your clients on your own. Your data will be stored in two tier-four data centers located on opposite coasts. Our solution is SAS 70 certified, HIPAA compliant, and your data is encrypted before it leaves the customer’s premise and in transit—the same standards utilized by the banking industry.
The Bottom Line? Answer the real questionDepending on what your managed services mix is, your answers to those three objections may vary slightly. However, the principle remains the same. Get to the heart of your prospects’ objections and answer that pain point; not just the questions they verbalize. An objection from a prospect isn’t a “no,” it’s merely a point about a product or service that your prospect does not yet understand fully.
Finally, remember to leave the door open even if you cannot close the customer this time around. More often than not, the customer will come looking for you the next time if they felt that your efforts to earn their business were professional and respectful the first time around.
Ted Roller is VP of channel development at Intronis. Find out more about Intronis’ partner program. Guest blogs such as this one are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorship.