The sales process for MSPs has a lot of moving parts, and all of them are significant. However, it’s the new client discovery that sets the foundation for the rest of the process. One of the keys to securing new MSP Clients is you will need to find out as much as possible about the client’s operations before you present your offering to them. That doesn’t mean poking around their “About Us” page and Googling them – it involves a methodological in-person discovery process across the gamut of roles in the organization that allows you to uncover all the facts before drafting your solutions.
The main point to keep in mind during this process is that you need to learn about their business, and not the other way around. Nick Points, the Director of Sales at CharTec, compares the process to that of an investigative reporter: reporters don’t start interviewing witnesses by talking about how long they’ve been a reporter and how many honours they’ve racked up. This step is not about you; it’s about the client. It shouldn’t involve a lot of “I,” “we,” and “our”; it needs to be all about “you” and “your.”
More listening than talking is one of the keys to securing new MSP Clients
During the discovery process, there should be a lot more listening than talking. You’ll need to find the pain points of each person in the organization, as well as their goals. That way, you will be in the best position possible to explain how you can help.
Resist the temptation to offer solutions; stay focused and keep asking questions. Avoid taking excessive notes. Listen actively and carefully for the subtle issues that may pop up in the conversation.
When meeting with different people in an organization, make sure that you are looking for specific problems each one needs to solve. Your presentation will need to be relevant to each individual, so be sure you’re asking the right questions during the discovery phase to tease out what problems they are facing. Don’t ask the receptionists about strategy and growth; those are topics you’ll want to discuss with the CEO. Talk to the CFO about budget and profits, and talk to marketing about reputation.
The end goal is for each person in the company or boardroom to have their specific selfish reason for wanting to say yes to your offering this is one of the keys to securing new MSP Clients. They need to see how they connect to the value of what you’re providing.
Don’t get technical
The reality is that most of the people you talk to don’t care all that much about technology. They want it to work to get their job done, but they don’t care what is inside the computer – nor are they interested in discussing it with you. Nick tells us it’s a common mistake for MSPs to talk about technology since that is where our passion lies, but the staff at these businesses are uninterested as long as everything runs smoothly.
If you do this, they will not want to meet with you again because you have failed to address what is truly important to them. If you’re focusing on yourself, you’re probably saying the same things they’ve heard from every other IT company that has pitched to them.
Another Key To Securing New MSP Clients is To Talk to everyone, not just the decision-makers
Another key to securing new MSP Clients is also making sure you’re talking to a broad range of roles. Yes, the executives might make the decisions and are certainly worthy of your time, but executives can be pampered or kept out of the loop. They tend to have the best computers and equipment, and when they say they need something, everyone around them stops whatever they’re doing and handles it. Realistically, executives don’t have much insight into the problems that the staff deals with daily.
Their experience is vastly different from those in lower roles, so you also need to talk to the people doing the daily grind. And those roles often get stuck with subpar equipment. Talk to at least one person in every department. Some may not have much to say, but others may well start unloading, giving you valuable insight into how to direct your efforts at your presentation as well as a springboard for your discovery appointment with those you talk to after them.
You need to develop a strong understanding of their business issues and the implication of each issue. Later, you’ll be able to put these findings to work for you in several ways. One approach is trying to tie them back to actual dollar figures in your presentation. For example, if their office manager says he’s spending half his time dealing with technology, you can make some calculations to show execs how much this has been costing them.
The bottom line? Everything you learn during the discovery process is going to form the basis of your presentation. For the best chance of success, that presentation needs to be heavy on “you” and light on “we,” so make sure you are asking the right people the right questions.