If you ask any managed services provider what their biggest headache was, I can guarantee getting more leads would be right up there.
Generating new business is always on the minds of MSP owners and it’s something a lot struggle with.
Now instead of barking on about how important it is to generate leads online, I wanted to show you a more traditional marketing approach: telemarketing.
To help me with these tips I called in Gordon Tan, who has been working in the MSP space for 10+ years. He will help provide you with some insight into the strategies he implemented while running R & G Technologies - one of Australia's fastest growing managed service providers
Whether you are an aspiring MSP, or an experienced campaigner, these tips will help you generate more leads for your business.
When you are talking about telemarketing, you generally bring a negative perception to the table. The first thing you need to do is switch this perception and reframe it into a positive one.
The reality is that telemarketing proves to be one of the most effective marketing tools with response rates ranging from 5-10%.
Gordon recommends you should commit to five calls per day to new potential customers. Five calls… is that it? Yes… if you make five calls every day, Gordon says you’ll pick up a solid one to two more leads per month.
Here’s a 5 step action plan:
1. Get yourself a script together: keep it simple and don’t focus on the hard sell.
2. Listen to prospects: most cold calls you’ll find businesses are either looking to buy or not. This is what Gordon refers to as the light switch. You need to quickly identify whether the light is on or off.
3. Identify the lights that are on: here you can quickly establish who has left their light on (are interested in exploring options). Often times, these prospects are experiencing some form of pain with their existing provider.
4. Remember SMBs are time poor: these guys are working 50+ hours, appreciate their time and screen cold calls so you are only going after businesses currently in some form of pain – you need toarrange follow ups with these.
5. Find the juicy leads: where businesses have lots of things broken. When you find a business with lots of problems, lick your lips and solve their problems.
As a successful business owner, you have probably built a successful model and delegated the sales process to specific manager or team.
So you might be thinking, why do I need to get involved?
As a business owner, it’s important to not only a focus on technical expertise and operations but also on sales. In my experience, many of the most successful MSPs have all had a business owner that has been heavily involved in the sales process. - Gordon Tan
Gordon brings up a good point. For one reason or another, businesses seem to trust the managing director more than the sales guy.
Think about the last time another company came to your office to pitch there service. Did the managing director come along to the meeting? If the managing director did come – would that have influenced your decision to buy?
I think it would have. It shows they are generally interested in earning your business and helping you. If the managing director can afford one hour of his time to help you, imagine what the company can do.
This is something to keep in mind when you are about to close your next big client – ask your managing director to come along and bring the extra trust to the table.
I touched on this earlier but thought it would be better to go into further detail. The light switch method involves quickly identifying if a cold call is buying or not buying.
If they are buying, you’ll get a decent opportunity to pitch your service. If they’re not, you’ll barely get a couple of minutes.
What you’ll find is that with all the ‘lights on’ guys, they are more than likely experiencing some problems with their existing provider. It may be slow response times or unresolved speed issues – either way – you should try identify these problems ASAP and use them to your advantage.
Give some over the phone recommendations, demonstrate your experience and help them with the issues – resolve their pain.
By using the light switch method, you can become a super-efficient telemarketer and not get too caught up with the negative responses and rejections.
Now remember, even if some of your leads’ light switches are off, it’s always good to maintain healthy relationships with them so when the time is right to buy, they will remember your name and give you a call.
Now I know I said no online stuff in this post but that doesn’t rule out making use of email marketing. If you’ve done all the hard yards to drive some prospects but for one reason or another they weren’t quite in a position to buy – slot them into a lead nurturing program.
This is pretty simple and free to setup with Mailchimp (here’s a good setup guide). Put together a five part email series, schedule emails monthly. Make sure in each email you are providing value to your prospect, don’t do any selling. I generally recommend trying to solve their pain points in your emails. If your customers pain points are slow pc speeds – recommend ways they can speed them up.
By consistently following up with valuable email content over a six month period, your company will be at the front of your prospects mind when it is time for them to make a decision on an IT provider.
Well, there it is, four ways to generate more MSP leads through telemarketing. Great advice from Gordon and I hope you can start implementing some of these tips into your business.
Listen to our October webinar on improving your cold call techniques!
About the Author: Ross Beard is the Marketing Manager at Client Heartbeat. He enjoys educating MSPs on the latest marketing tips, resources and guides through his MSP Business Blog. Get more from Ross on Twitter.