How to Acquire New Customers: Five Sales Tips for MSPs

Selling isn’t easy. However, if you adopt a systematic approach, support new technologies, and offer best-of-the-class services, you can really accelerate your sales. The following five points provide insights into such things and help you win new customers.

Among my top recommendations:

  1. Take sides with a winning idea
  2. Sell the idea, they’ll come
  3. Show the difference in dollars
  4. Share your customer stories and learning from the field
  5. Use social media to reach out

1. Take sides with a winning idea
Your website is a basic sales requirement that gives details such as “who you are” and “what you do.” It helps prospects understand your portfolio of services. First create a website, it’s so easy. WordPress helps you create your own website. Next, choose a winning idea or product. It could be about cloud computing, virtualization, a good RMM or helpdesk. If you choose virtualization, contact all the vendors and try to provide the best offers that the market has to give.

2. Sell the idea, they will come
Follow the domain closely and try to establish yourself as a strong cloud/virtualization information company. Add flavor by writing informative blogs on the domain and educate your followers how it can help them. As the time goes by, people will recognize you and start asking advice. Gain the advantage of offering advice and selling to them.

When you have built your expertise in the domain, conduct webinars. Invite a keynote speaker to give some valuable information that helps customers improve their IT performance. Educate your customers on how technology helps them save their time and money. Focus on how you can help them with the technology.

3. Show the difference in dollars
Sell them an idea of parallel evaluation or a test run for a few departments. For example, if you are providing help desk service, offer RMM services free for 30 days. At the end of the month, provide a mock bill for the RMM services. Calculate the cost of inhouse IT staff vs. your mock bill (provided you can deliver services that cost less than inhouse IT). Educate the customer on the dollars that he can save by off-shoring IT and the pros and cons of in-house vs. managed services model.

Here’s a sample calculation: The cost of setting up an operations support team in Florida vs. outsourcing…

Some details about the chart and the calculations…

  • Total number of devices to be managed is 500 and the number of operations support personnel required is 5. At an average salary of $55,000 per operations person per year, you would be shelling out $275,000 on salaries for five operations members.
  • Workout the price for the managing the 500 devices. If you are charging $30 dollar per device on an average for 500 devices per year, it costs $180,000. A win-win for sides. Moreover, if you have multi-year contracts the difference becomes high when you include salary increments every year.

Also, get a user satisfaction survey. If the user experience improves, it’s great. It’s good even if people say there is no change. You can take the credit of having implemented an efficient system that costs less, without impacting the user experience. Reduced bill and improved services are a win-win for both you and your customer.

4. Share your customer stories and learning from the field
Share your customer stories that help other customers to improve their IT performance. However, be cautious that you never disclose the name of a customer to other customer.

Keep in touch with your customers via newsletters or monthly mailers that help them. Avoid using discounts and buy now links in the newsletter and mailers. Include at least 4 or 5 knowledgeable materials such as whitepapers, videos, analyst’s reports, etc. that benefit the customers. Target them month on month and the buy in will happen eventually. To send bulk mailers you can make use of effective email tools. These tools are available for as low as $15 per month.

5. Use social media to reach out
It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t use twitter or Facebook. Setup fan pages and use Twitter to send out relevant messages to your followers. Follow the analysts’ tweets and feeds, and retweet them. Keep the message stream focused to useful info – absolutely no place for “my cat did this” or “checked in at odd places”. Create a profile in the Facebook for you company, and make it interactive and informative. Post whitepapers and videos, and share useful articles that benefit the customers.

Include the above activities in your day to day process. Make sure you are in constant touch with your prospects and keep providing valuable information and tips to improve IT performance and reduce operational expenses. You will start reaping success in a very short period.

Bharani Kumar is the marketing analyst of MSP Solutions at ManageEngine. Read ManageEngine’s well received book “How to Set Up a Managed Services Business.” Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of MSPmentor’s annual platinum sponsorship.

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