How to sell clients on Managed Services

Robert Peretson

 

If you are an Independent Computer Consultant, you know by now that you need to be charging flat, monthly rates for proactive maintenance through a Managed Service Plan and should no longer be relying on how many hours you can bill in a month to generate an income.

But in a time where small business customers still want to know what your hourly rate is, how can we convince them that a flat fee is the best solution for them?

You need to show VALUE! What will they get for this predictable and affordable monthly fee?

  • Greater reliability from their systems
  • More productivity
  • Less losses due to downtime
  • For about the same or less than they'd pay for hourly, reactive service.

You'll be able to accomplish this by monitoring their systems and providing remote computer support. Monitoring your customers' systems 24/7/365 is easily done with software that is able to collect real-time inventory reports as well.

Through monitoring, you can immediately identify problems such as failed backups, system event errors, virus activity, hacker attempts, etc. By preventing errors, you will reduce unexpected problems and increase their productivity.

You can provide remote support to all of your customers' workstations and servers for free by using software like LogMeIn Free. Offering remote computer support enables you to decrease your response time to most issues, large or small, by about 100%.

The biggest complaint small businesses have when it comes to their computer consultant is having to wait for him or her to arrive, and not being notified when the consultant is going to be late.

With remote computer support, as long as the computer (or user) with the problem has Internet connectivity, you should be able to log on and work as if you were deskside. You can actually respond faster than an internal IT admin could make it across the office.

By providing basic proactive maintenance and support, you can generate an income-based on predictable and reliable monthly fees, while dedicating a greatly reduced number of work hours on site at your clients. They honestly don't want to see you very often anyway. And they'll be happy to pay a fair rate to ensure that the less they see you, the better.

When you combine the benefits of...

  • Reducing the number of unexpected problems thanks to proactive system monitoring
  • Reducing the number of on-site service calls required
  • The increase in client productivity due to reduced down time
  • The increase in client productivity thanks to your immediate, remote computer support
  • The predictability of monthly service fees to the clients (often lower than what hourly, reactive service would average)
  • The predictability and reliability of a stable income to the Independent Computer Consultant
  • The satisfaction and loyalty of a client who's consultant keeps them consistently running at peak performance for an affordable rate

It's clear why the business model to follow when starting a computer consulting business as an independent computer consultant is flat fee, proactive managed and remote support.