10 Step Cold Calling Process For MSPs (Managed Services Providers)

  1. Initial Mapping cold call.  Do they answer their own phone, do they have an assistant, is there a receptionist? Figure out how many hoops you’re going to have to jump through. You’ll have a different strategy with a gatekeeper. Let’s assume for this discussion, no gatekeeper. Leave a brief “sorry I missed you” voicemail. Company name, your name, your company website and the purpose for your call. Say you’ll call back on X day.
  2. Call back one – no answer? Leave a more compelling message. A statement of experience. A reference to a recent successful project. Reference your last call, tell them when to expect your next call, leave them your website address and your phone number.
  3. Call back two – no answer? Reference your last phone call. NOW YOU CAN SEND AN EMAIL! Reference the email in your voice mail – tell them what the content of the email is – “pdf copy of an article published in x, case study about project x”, and let them know you are going to suggest a few times that would be convenient for you for a callback. Tell them to look for the subject line. Leave your phone number.
  4. Here’s the email – after four phone call attempts referencing you, your company and your goal (a discussion). The email – ideally a template so you’re not wasting any valuable dialing time slogging them out – should recommend two times, two weeks from now, that you are available to speak. Ask them to confirm the time via email, or to send you an invitation with a time that would work better for them. Brief. The subject line of the email should reference your voice mail, and the date you left the voice mail. The email itself should clearly state, right of the bat, that you were sorry you were unable to reach them by phone.
  5. Wait a week.
  6. Call again, trying to confirm one of the 2 times you have suggested – indicate that you will call at x time on x date (one that was suggested) unless they send you an email suggesting a better time.
  7. No response? Call when you said you would.
  8. No answer? Send another email, asking politely if it’s bad timing or if you should be focusing your efforts on another person within the organization.
  9. No answer? Start going through the organization looking for someone else to pitch.
  10. Start the process over again once you’ve found that person.

You will notice that we don’t start any communication with a managed services prospect using cold email.

Cold emails are ineffective at reaching business owners and decision makers – mostly because we have all adopted email hygiene to ensure we’re more productive.

We’ve also been trained – over and over again – by our managed services providers – that the way you lose your business fast and permanently is by getting hit with ransomware.

How do we stop this from happening?

We never open an email from somoene we weren’t expecting email from.

You’re making your own marketing methods ineffective with your own advice.  (Never mind that if your competitors are smart they’ve already blacklisted your domain!)

I have my outlook filters set so high that most emails don’t even reach me, and many of the people I’m trying to connect with in the managed services channel do not read their own emails, they have assistants to do that for them.

My gatekeeper circle of friends keep me up to date with trends in “gatecrashing”. I can assure you, they aren’t forwarding uninvited email to their bosses.  The emails get ignored and deleted.

Cold calling, on the other hand, allows you to create personal rapport with gatekeepers, and other important champions and influencers.

Want to learn more about getting past gatekeepers when cold calling?

Check out this post I wrote for SmarterMSP on getting past initial gatekeepers.

Warm up emails are just spam.

And worse than spam, which is just form-lettered out by email marketing  or lead scoring technology, sales reps spend a lot of time composing these never-to-be-opened notes.


Theory: “Your managed services prospects are more likely to take your call if you’ve already tried to connect with them.”

Prospects are more likely to open your emails if you’ve already called them.

And even more so if you have called them more than once.

Cold calling is still the most effective way to begin a relationship with a managed services prospect.

I’m always interested in hearing about how other people are approaching their cold calling – if you’ve tried something that works great, share it! If you tried this, and it worked for you – email me and let me know. Cold calling success stories make my day.

Interested in cold calling for your managed services company or channel vendor?  We’d love to help!  Fill in the form below and we’ll call you back right away!

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