When determining your MSP marketing strategy, what NOT to do is very important. Certain practices and sales methods can scare off potential customers.
The good news is that plenty of MSPs continue to employ these methods, giving you a potential advantage if you take the time to think like the client.
This article details five common MSP marketing and sales mistakes made by many IT companies and tells you how to avoid them.
Avoid Unclear Pricing
Clients want to know what they are going to get and what it is going to cost them. This is hardly an unreasonable request.
Fixed all-inclusive monthly fees and capped maximums for consultancy projects give potential clients the confidence to sign on the dotted line. Hazy estimates of “around x days” and complicated pricing structures get their guards up.
Limit the Length of Contracts (at least initially)
Clients want to know who they’re working with and are always reluctant to sign up to long-term contracts without being given the chance to find out how reliable a service is.
The time to suggest a long-term contract is once a good relationship has been built, not during an initial sales pitch. If a customer is happy with the service you provide, it shouldn’t be too hard to move them to a longer contract further down the line, especially if you offer a small discount or incentive.
Avoid Impersonal Service
Even in a world where most IT support can be done remotely and visits to client sites are increasingly rare, a personal approach is still essential to every client relationship.
Regular face-to-face contact is important at the sales stage and regularly throughout the life of a contract. Even if your MSP business model doesn’t work this way, you can still use Skype to reassure your clients that they are dealing with real people. It’s always important to be visible and approachable.
Don’t Push Too Hard for Changes
When you explore the infrastructures of potential clients, you will usually find things you would like to change and improve. However, scaring prospects off with a huge list of necessary projects at the outset is something you should take care to avoid.
Take time to get to know your clients, their budgets and their priorities. They are likely to wish to “try you out” on simple tasks before they allow your to rip out their systems and start again.
Listen Before Talking
Don’t make the mistake of many salespeople the world over. Listening to your customers and finding ways to solve their problems is the intelligent way of turning prospects into customers. Railroading customers into signing up to services is neither a good MSP marketing strategy nor the way to build long-term relationships.
The way to long-term success for any IT business is to build friendly, trusting partnerships with clients. While this may take a little longer than traditional “hard sell” methods, the payback is a firm foundation for your company. Keep this in mind when determining your MSP marketing strategy and you won’t go far wrong.