Selling MSP services to clients - Common stumbling blocks

Debbie Thomson

To many IT service providers the benefits of a Managed Service offering are clear; however it can be a tricky task convincing clients. It’s a big change for clients and you need to be clear about the benefits to them and not why it makes life easier for you!

To help ensure your clients don’t run for the hills when you begin implementing your new MSP model, we have considered some of the common stumbling blocks you may encounter when selling managed services to your clients.

Selling MSPNo Hourly Rate:

As already mentioned the biggest stumbling block when selling managed IT services, particularly to your existing customers, is going to come when you explain that this new service will come with a fixed monthly payment.

It’s easy to see why when you think about it from their point of view; this is a new monthly cost to add into their budget. Before they only paid you by the hour…and only if something went wrong; and of course with fingers crossed that would never happen.

What you need to do here is demonstrate to the client how bad things could get if those crossed fingers ran out of luck and you can do this by asking a few simple questions to highlight how reliant they are on their computer networks.

For example, ask your client if they feel they would incur a financial loss if they were to experience downtime for more than an hour or so? If they feel the investment they made in their computer equipment was significant? Are they in a position where they could make this same investment again should something go wrong? Could they survive if they were to lose data and in the worst case this data was unrecoverable?

Once they realize how important their computer systems are to them chances are they will be more open to the idea of protecting them. Your challenge here is to show them that by having ongoing maintenance that the risk of this failure is minimized, and with full BCDR (business continuity, disaster recovery – another service you can offer) if the worst did happen they could be back up and running with no data loss.

data-securityData Security:

However, it can be this need to protect vital systems and invaluable core business data, which can throw up another stumbling block.

Understandably businesses need to feel that their IT systems and the important data they hold is secure and to many the idea of outsourcing the management of these critical IT services to a third party raises a lot of questions.

Where will their data be stored and is this secure? Will it be being stored with data you manage for other clients? Will confidential information about their company and brand be protected and kept private not just externally but also from your employees?

If you can put your clients mind at ease when it comes to security then you can overcome another stumbling block of selling MSP. Try writing a comprehensive security policy to answer any concerns your clients may have about how and where their data will be stored and to demonstrate what security measures you have in place to ensure their data and computer networks will be well looked after.

Consider using the MAX Backup tool – this takes the issue of data security out of your hands, with localized data storage facilities, multiple redundancies and high level encryption you can show that the data they backup is secure and can only be accessed by those people the client approves. Also using D2D2C (Disk 2 Disk 2 Cloud) technology ensures the fastest backup and recovery in the industry.

Trust:

saleswoman-relaxedA lot of what we are dealing with here comes down to one simple factor…trust. When handling the transition with existing customers you would hope that trust has already been developed between you as the service provider and your client. With new clients however trust is a very important factor.

What you are essentially asking any clients of your managed service to do is rely on you to monitor their networks and ensure that nothing goes wrong. They will need to trust that you are going to find and resolve small issues, issues that they probably wouldn’t even notice themselves, and believe you when you tell them that these unnoticed issues could have catastrophic effects on their IT systems if you weren’t dealing with them.

Understandably this kind of trust takes time to develop but you can make a good start by finding ways to demonstrate your capabilities to potential clients. You could try putting together case studies as you transition your existing clients over to your new offering, this way you can show potential clients the positive affect your service has had on your clients systems.

Making the transition as easy as possible for your clients is another great way to show that you have everything under control. By demonstrating from the offset that you are on top of things it will be easier for your clients to trust that you will be capable of managing their systems and any issues that arise. With the GFI MAX RemoteManagement tool not only can you monitor your clients 24/7 but setting up is easy. Additionally GFI MAX RemoteManagement provides a reporting tool to enable you to show your client the health of their system on a weekly and/or monthly basis along with a detailed work report showing them, each month, what you are doing to ensure they have a safe and healthy IT system.

Clarity:

As well as this it is important to remember when selling your managed service offering that it is not necessarily an easy concept to understand; if you hope to gain potential clients you need to be able to explain the service clearly and without unnecessary jargon. Try practicing your sales pitch on a friend or family member, if there is anything about your offering that they don’t fully understand then consider revising this part of your pitch.  All customers of GFI MAX have access to the Building Blocks material and this provides you with step by step guides to selling MSP services along with key marketing materials to make selling MSP services as easy as possible.

Target Audience:

It is also worth considering who you are trying to sell to; you are unlikely to be successful selling a managed service to an internal IT manager. Chances are they will view your service as a threat to their own jobs rather than an aid to improve efficiencies within their IT systems. Make sure you have researched your potential clients and are targeting the most appropriate decision maker to avoid your pitch falling on deaf ears.

Have you encountered any stumbling blocks we haven’t covered here? Let us know with a comment below.