January’s content theme for Managed Sales Pros is something that I’ve called “Thin Wedge Selling” ever since I started talking about the concept.  You could also describe it as “land and expand” or “tip of the spear” prospecting.  It’s an important sales technique that Managed Services Providers are ignoring while they look for pure play managed opportunities.  There are flaws with this approach.  However, before I launch into the flaws in the approach, it turns out that I also have a flaw in my choice of names for this sales strategy!   You can learn a little bit about WHY I need to change the name in the short video clip – then read on to learn more!

I’ve been writing and speaking about “Thin Wedge Selling”  since 2015 or so, and believe me – there are no unique sales ideas – when I find something that works for me, I give it a catchy name and carry on.  Turns out, everyone else does that, too.  And weirdly enough, the things that work for me, also work for other people.  And the things that work in our industry also work in other industries.  So there’s a lot of great sales content out there, some of it named similarly, some of it described differently.  The great thing about sales training and sales books and sales webinars is this:  everyone learns differently, and what I say might resonate with you – or it might not.  The same idea, shared differently by someone else might.

Anyhow, as I planned my content calendar for 2021, I planned an entire January around teaching MSPs different strategies for “thin wedge selling”.   Like any good sales rep, I read other people’s content, I try good ideas, and I repurpose and hone them for my own use if they work or seem like they might.  There’s nothing proprietary about telemarketing – you do the work and it works.  You don’t do the work, and you fail.  You can steal ideas, you can’t steal execution.

I never worry about someone “stealing” my content because frankly, if my content isn’t worth stealing,my content is garbage. 

While I was researching yesterday, I came across an article talking about “wedge selling” from the online publication “Var Insights” from 2014:

https://www.varinsights.com/doc/tips-to-identify-and-leverage-a-wedge-to-break-into-managed-services-0001

The article was a contribution by Matthew Adkins

It looks like Matthew has exited from the MSP he owned when he wrote that article, but that’s where I first learned about Randy Schwantz.

I pulled Randy’s bio right off of his website www.thewedge.net

Randy Schwantz, author of three previous books on selling insurance, is President of The Wedge® Group, a business performance and sales consulting firm. A former salesperson himself, Schwantz has spent more than 10,000 hours talking with people who sell for a living. His unique sales strategy, The Wedge, has been embraced by hundreds of companies and thousands of individual sales professionals throughout the United States and Canada. He and his wife, Lori, live with their four daughters near Dallas.

See that little “R” right over “The Wedge” on that bio?  Well, simply put, that means I can’t use “wedge selling” to describe my sales strategy.

Which brings me to my dilemma – and my Big Ask:

WHAT SHOULD I CALL MY ‘LAND AND EXPAND’ SALES STRATEGY SERIES NOW?

I want a catchy name for it.  Land and Expand has been done to death.  Tip of the Spear I just don’t like the sound of.

I researched “thin wedge” to find synonyms  – turns out that a thin wedge isn’t actually a good thing!  A think wedge is the beginning actions of a shitty outcome.  Not really what we’re going for.   So I have a lot of content to re-write quickly, and I need a catchy new name.

You’d think I’d be pissed off, but I really can’t blame anyone but myself for not doing research sooner – like in 2015 when I first started using the term.  I do have a lead magnet e-book that needs a rewrite.  Not even mad.  You know why?

Randy’s content is amazing, and can be applied to managed services selling.

I’ve learned a TON from his free content already.  I read the PDF yesterday, I watched Youtube videos – there’s gold in there for MSPs.

I haven’t yet purchased a copy of his book, because I’m in Mexico.

I love audiobooks, but I refuse to support any Amazon products including Audible, and I can’t seem to find “The Wedge: How to Stop Selling And Start Winning” on any other platform other than Randy’s site – and I can’t have it delivered to Mexico.  However, there is nothing stopping YOU from buying the book right now, and I think you absolutely should, because the free PDF was paydirt.  If that’s the free stuff, I personally can’t wait to read the paid content.

If you’re an MSP struggling with sales, you should buy Randy’s book.  

I got to peek at a couple of pages on Google books, and there are some serious cheat codes in there.  Just cross out “agency” and replace with “MSP” as you go along.  You’ll learn a ton!!!

You might even recognize a few concepts that other MSP sales experts in our industry have lifted, renamed and repurposed. 

Like I said, no new ideas, just new names for old ideas.

Manners and Mutual Respect for Other Entrepreneurs, Please!

There’s a reason I’m not just going ahead and continuing to use “thin wedge” to describe my sales process – someone else is already using it.

I respect the creativity of other entrepreneurs, and I don’t want to ride anyone’s coattails.   I do firmly believe our whole industry can learn from him, but I don’t think we should all start messing up his sales KPIs.

If you want to start with their free content – he has a Youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdeqPlTp5D4FUqBYgtZElhQ

Now, if I were Randy (or Randy’s sales leadership), I wouldn’t want a bunch of small MSPs filling out my lead magnet form for my free PDF e-book, and tying up my sales reps time – Randy works with high performing multi-agent insurance agencies, not small I.T. companies.  So before you go and download his free PDF, I want you to imagine for a minute that you published a great whitepaper on security to use as a lead magnet for law firms with more than 50 lawyers.

Another company finds the content and decides that it translates well into selling insurance to small dental practices.  They suggest online that all of their prospects go download your free whitepaper.  And they do.

Your sales team, not knowing that someone has shouted out your whitepaper to the masses, now has 200 callbacks to make, but all 200 of them are two-employee insurance agencies.

I don’t think you’d be very pleased with the mess it would make in your CRM, the flaws it would trigger in your automation processes, the havoc it would wreak on your conversion rats, key performance indicators, and scorecards, or the precious time your sales team would waste calling completely unqualified leads.

If you would like to read the free PDF, please email me at hello@managedsalespros.com and I’ll ensure you get a copy.

**PLEASE NOTE: Any MSP that provides their contact info to me for this ebook will have their data shared with The Wedge Group.  I’m going to send them a list of the companies that requested it so that it doesn’t mess with their sales performance KPIs. I know that they follow up fast with the downloads, because one of their sales team reached out to me yesterday.** 

So that brings me to the end of my post – and again my BIG ASK:

I have a whole new series of content launching for January 2021 – new ideas, new posts, new webinars, new ebooks and new sales trainings!

All I need now is a new name for them!

Do you have a catchy name for a land and expand sales strategy book?  Email hello@managedsalespros.com

If I pick your title, I’ll break my Amazon ban and send you a copy of Randy’s book.  And I’ll offer you a free hour of sales consulting.

Offer is only good until I come up with a name myself.  

Interested in the old content I’ve created on the strategy formerly known as Thin Wedge Selling?  Here’s some links from the archives:

 

Smarter MSP, 2015

smartermsp.com/use-cold-calling-thin-wedge-right-way

Datto Blog, 2017

http://45.55.46.93/blog/5-benefits-of-the-wedge-sell

The Channel Company, 2018

https://events.thechannelco.com/sites/thechannelco/files/1440_simpson_-_choosing_sales_targets.pdf

Managed Sales Pros, 2016

https://www.managedsalespros.com/2016/11/30/shortening-sales-cycle-selling-security/

PCMatic, 2018

https://techtalk.pcmatic.com/2018/07/06/top-tips-for-msps-to-help-your-business-thrive

I have two of my older cold calling e-books up for offer right now that I CAN send to you, no strings attached:

 

Just fill out the form below, and let me know which one you’d like (or both!) and our rep Katlyn will be happy to help you!

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