An MSP guide to selling IT security

Ben Taylor

Selling IT security solutions to clients is a bit of a challenge. Many non-technical people think security means antivirus and little else. Furthermore, individuals who’ve never been the victims of a virus attack or security breach sometimes have a cynical view of the subject and assume that you are overstating the potential risks to make more money.

IT-SecurityIn this article we provide a simple five-step guide to selling IT security to your customers.

1. Consider all of the elements

Before you begin your sales pitch, you must yourself consider all of the elements that make up a comprehensive IT security strategy. This includes (but is not limited to): antivirus, firewalls (hardware and software), content filtering and monitoring, and patch management.

Why not take a look at our post 'The Five Biggest MSP Security Threats' to help ensure you have considered all possible scenarios. Also consider other issues such as penetration testing and security auditing at this stage. The last thing you want to do is sell a “comprehensive” solution and not verify that it’s effective.

2. Learn how to explain the technicalities

IT security is a complex yet rather dry topic. If you don’t find a way to explain the various components to clients in a clear and engaging way, their eyes will have glazed over by the time you move on from antivirus products to firewalls.

So put some serious thought into how you will discuss the issues with clients. Use analogies to avoid too much technical detail, and don’t be scared to be realistic when describing just how much damage determined cyber criminals can cause.

3. Explain the risks

SMBs are usually keen to save money, so you may encounter clients who are determined that they don’t need to take certain sensible precautions. They may assume their business is too small for hackers to worry about.

When this happens, be ready to fully explain the risks that are created by omitting any of the kinds of protection you suggest.

4. Construct an “all inclusive” package

To maximize the chances of selling a comprehensive security package to your customers, construct an “all inclusive package” that contains all the security elements you recommend, at a straightforward and compelling price point. Full security for xxx per user per month is the kind of thing a non-technical client will relate to and understand.

The GFI MAX RemoteManagement tool offers a simple PAYG pricing structure which can help you offer these services to your customers at an affordable monthly price, why not sign up for a free trial to find out how?

5. Stay current

The IT security landscape changes all the time. New threats appear on the horizon, and new methods are sometimes needed to mitigate new risks.

Stay on top of these new developments and be ready to alter your recommendations accordingly. Finally, if clients do agree to pay handsomely for comprehensive IT security provision, share details of significant and newsworthy threats and provide recommendations – it’s what your customers deserve and it proves you take your security responsibilities seriously.

Most importantly of all, ensure you stay “in the driving seat” when it comes to IT security. If a breach occurs, you will be the one cleaning up the mess, so it’s down to you to explain to clients why they need to take the right precautions.

Do you have any additional advice for selling IT security to MSP customers? Share your thoughts in a comment below!