“Marketing” is a word that makes many an IT business owner shudder.
It’s unlikely that many people became IT professionals because they wanted to do sales work, but marketing is a necessary evil for any business that wishes to grow.
These five tips are designed to remove some of the strain and perhaps give you some new marketing inspiration for your MSP business.
Consider the area local to your business when thinking about new MSP marketing strategies.
Even if remote support means that location is unimportant in terms of prospective clients, your local area can still provide a rich source of sales leads.
First of all, many people like to support businesses in their local area, putting you at an instant advantage. Secondly, local business directories and papers can provide you with a list of businesses to contact without the expense of buying lists of leads.
If you are marketing-phobic, consider bringing someone in to generate leads for your business. You are likely to be contacted by companies offering to do this, but another alternative is to use freelance job boards to find sales people, some of which may work on commission alone.
If you do this, ensure the pitch and approach is thoroughly tested on you and on people you trust, before calls start being made in the name of your business!
If you have a host of clients who are happy with your company’s work, don’t be scared to ask for referrals. A prospect who comes to your door on recommendation is many times easier to convert than a stranger.
Consider launching a referral scheme – perhaps offering existing clients a discount if they refer someone who becomes a customer.
It’s human nature to be a sucker for a freebie. Think of something you can do for free that will bring you into direct contact with potential customers.
One way to do this is to hold a free seminar providing IT advice to local business owners. People are far more likely to respond to a cold-call offering them free expert advice and a complementary lunch than they are to a request for a sales meeting. Use these opportunities to network and build up relationships. Trust first, hard sell second.
Never allow yourself to get complacent when your business goes through a busy phase. It can be tempting to side-step marketing during the good times but nobody knows what’s around the corner. By ensuring that you always have some marketing plans in progress you can minimize the inevitable peaks and troughs your business will experience.
Marketing needn’t be a drag. Even companies without a dedicated marketing resource can buy in people who enjoy the sales side of business – leaving the techies to do what they do best.