Selling Managed Services is not a one-call win. It requires a little education. Your target market consists of companies of a size where every dollar counts. Every dollar spent is money out of their own pockets personally. Where you are asking them to make a significant investment in something that is not perceived as urgent.

Impossible?  Not necessarily.

Selling Managed Services takes more than one call

Let’s say you have a car. The MSP-mobile.  It’s the first car you’ve ever owned.  You bought it new, and it has worked pretty well for you.  But after all those years, and kids, and maybe a dog, it’s getting a little too snug.  You’re starting to think “I’m going to need a new car one of these days!”

You get busy at work, and with life, and you just don’t think about the car at all.  It’s getting you from point A to point B is what you NEED it to do. 

Slowly, day after day, daycare pickup after grocery run, your vehicle, is “working perfectly”, but the stress of its operation is causing you more hassle than when you bought it. 

So now, let’s say that one day I call you up and say “I sell cars!  Do you need a new car?”

Even though you have been thinking about that exact thing, your first thought will be “No!  Everything is fine, my car works fine.”  Think about that.  You are programmed to a default setting of keeping everything as it is. It’s homeostasis. Introducing outside forces in what we see as our stable and cultivated environment can be scary.

In this case, the outside force can return you to your equilibrium, rather than keeping you teetering on the edge. After a while we adapt to the chaos and forget how it felt to drive a spacious car that ran smoothly. 

Next To No One Will Take You Up On Your MSP Offer Immediately

It’s pretty rare to make an MSP sales call and  have somebody say “As a matter of fact, yes, I need that today!”

Instead of asking you that first closed ended question, what if I started the conversation like this:

“I work with people whose vehicle needs might be changing.  Tell me what’s changed in your life this year!”

If you’re not busy and my mojo is working, you might tell me about your new baby. You might tell me about the dog. 

So now, understanding a little more about you, and what you need, I can go a little deeper.

“Wow, okay.  TWO kids and a DOG?  I know when we had our second kid, those car seat straps made me nuts and I really appreciated the extra row of space the minivan gave me.  What do you like about the car you’re driving right now?”

And you tell me.

Then I ask another open ended, non-threatening question.

“What are you looking for in your next car, besides the obvious more space (haha)?”

Then you tell me.

The Nitty Gritty of Selling Managed Services

Now we can really get down to the nuts and bolts of what you’re going to buy, when you’ll buy it and what you’ll spend. And a few calls later, you’ll have a brand new car.

This translates really well into a Managed Services pitch.  The car is your MSP business. Your prospect started a business.  There is nothing to compare it to, it’s the only business they have ever owned. They bought computers for it and they likely went in to debt to do it. 

While the computers still work, they’re ageing.  It’s likely that they have them tuned up every once in a while.  Maybe a friend or a distant relative tunes them up. They still work pretty much the way they were intended to. Unless it’s at the front if their minds, odds are they aren’t feeling any sense of urgency to change anything.

When you call in and ask them if they need computer support, their answer is likely going to be “no”.  However, if you position yourself as a trusted technology consultant and ask them some questions about what might be changed in their business this year, you will keep the conversation going long enough to find out about the kids.  Or in this case, the twenty desktops, the ageing server and the fact that they are going to move next year.

The way you position yourself at the beginning of the conversation will make or break your opportunity to get in front of this prospect.  If you’re selling technology, you aren’t going to get in there – they don’t NEED technology.  Keep them on the phone long enough to find out what they DO need, you can sell them that.

Some MSP Cold Calling Openers to try:

“We help small businesses choose technology that will support change. What do you think is the biggest challenge your industry will face this year?”

HINT:  Make sure you know the top ten answers to this question, and an idea that gets you the appointment.

“We help business owners evaluate their current technology and be able to accurately estimate their expenses for the next five years.  What do you know for certain you will need to change to remain competitive?”

HINT: Have a list of things handy that they may not have considered.

“We specialize in creating secure networks that protect our clients from financial breaches and data loss.  What would happen if you lost five years of invoicing?”

HINT:  You can always tell a story about a client that had something similar happen to them.

 Read more about Selling Managed Services and Marketing here