Posted February 3, 2015 • by Mary McCoy
I have a technical background. I'm not a salesperson. Sales talent is born, not learned.
I feel like I'm stealing from prospects or clients when I ask for more money and try to sell them on additional services.
Be honest, you've probably thought this at least once in your careers. For many of you, sales doesn't come with as much ease as configuring a server, and that's OK! Becoming a closer is a learning process, and in order to do it, you have to get rid of these negative opinions - what Robin calls "head-trash."
Do you believe your managed IT services can truly help prospects? Do you want to team up and grow their businesses together? Will you do everything you can to ensure the protection and security of their networks? There's nothing seedy or dishonorable in that.
Your time is valuable, and you can't waste it on low-probability prospects. Understand why they're looking to make the switch from their current MSP or establish a business relationship with one for the first time. Know their pain points. Robin has a whole pre-meeting questionnaire and script for MSPs who join her program if you don't know how to proceed!
Make sure your lead generation process is solid and that there's a follow-up process. Are phones sent and emails answered in the way you want them to be?
By skipping this stage, you might miss a crucial underlying prospect issue that your services can either mitigate or solve! Maybe it's not just that Company X needs a stable and secure network. Maybe what Company X really needs is peace of mind, to not have to spend time worrying about IT security. What CEO has the time to wonder about these things?
Questions to ask yourself:
What else does Robin offer to help you market your services? A cybersecurity webinar/seminar template! You can't always assume prospects are fully knowledgeable of today's biggest security risks and implications. With these assets, you can tackle MSP marketing in bite-sized chunks!
In this stage, you review all of the information you've collected and make the call by conducting a network audit or at least scheduling an on-site visit. Robin reminded us that proper business positioning means you're the expert. Just like a doctor doesn't ask a patient what his/her blood pressure is, don't expect prospects to tell you what they need. That's your job! Just because a rep from Company X tells you they're backing up their data, doesn't mean they are or are doing so in an efficient, scalable way. In your first walk through, you may notice a deeper problem they were unaware of, one in need of a bigger solution. Robin urges you to not leave money on the table!
Keep the following in mind so that you're prepared for that first appointment:
It's worth noting that these are only a few of Robin's suggestions.
Next, it's time to get out your RX pad and sell them your offering. Don't give them an "all or nothing" offer. Robin claims this is how lots of MSPs and IT solution providers lose sales. You have to give them Option A and B. Another mistake many of you make? Selling the prospect less than he or she needs to make the sale. Expect your prospect to try to drive the price down and only ask for the bare minimum of services. Caving in will only backfire later when something inevitably goes wrong.
Pro Tip: NEVER email a quote.
You've arrived at the final stage. Now, it's time to get them to sign the agreement - don't call it a "contract" - and write you a check. Try to get their commitment in the same meeting in which you're prescribing, but be prepared for follow-up time. Don't force the sale. If it doesn't happen organically by this point, move on. "You've either closed it or hosed it."
This may seem like a lot of useful information, but it's really only a nugget of the MSP sales and marketing guidance you receive when you partner with Robin Robins! And don't just take my word for it! Partners like Dan McCoy of Micro Enterprises LLC, Howard Globus of ITonDemand, Jay Ryerse of Digitel Corporation, Scott Spiro of Computer Solutions Group, Inc., Charles Henson of Nashville Computer Inc., and Mike Clemmons of Bytecafe Consulting Inc. have all had their own Robin Robins success stories!
Want more from Robin? She's a keynote speaker at Navigate 2015!
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Meet Mary! Mary McCoy is a Demand Generation Programs Manager at Continuum, where she's worked for over two years. Mary primarily manages the MSP Blog and has consulted with hundreds of partners, lending website, blog and social media support. Before that, she graduated from the University of Virginia (Wahoowa!) with a BA in Economics and served as digital marketing intern for Citi Performing Arts Center (Citi Center), spearheading the nonprofit’s #GivingTuesday social media campaign. Like her school’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, Mary believes learning never ends. She considers herself a passionate, lifelong student of content creation and inbound marketing.
Topics: Sales and Marketing