Yeah…maybe it does.
Are you having problems landing new clients or converting your break-fix clients to managed services? If that’s the case, maybe you should step back and look at how you’re positioning your products and services in the market. Maybe just maybe your offer sucks?
In this episode of the IT Provider Network, I am going to share with you a new way of looking at how you communicate with your prospects and clients and how you can close more business.
I’ve spent the last year or so really studying online marketing, and marketing and selling in general. I’ve attended a ton of conferences, availed myself to some of the best thought leaders, and I’ve come to realize that I should have started studied the phycology of marketing and selling a lot sooner in my career.
So much of what we do and say can influence the minds of the buyer. I have talked about the belief of the sales team in recent episodes, but today I want to talk about the beliefs of the buyer and how what you offer and how you offer it is a big part of their buying decision.
First, let’s talk about your offering.
What are you offering? How are you pitching managed services to your clients? If you like many of us, you are pitching some form of the four blocks that Gary Pica has traveled the world telling us about at conference after conference. With all due respect to Gary, it’s old news, and there were probably three other managed services providers that already walked into your prospect and pitched the same thing.
The Four Blocks
If you haven’t heard of the four blocks, here’s a quick introduction. They consist of four distinct service groups.
- Centralized Services – This is everything you can do with your RMM tool. Patching, Disk Cleanups, Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware and all of the other stuff that you can leverage to your client base.
- Network Administration – This is what Gary calls you “Superpower”. Personally, it has never been for my company, but Network Administration consists of everything that you do for your clients to standardize them. Network Administration is documentation, standards adoption, server maintenance and things like that.
- Helpdesk – This one is pretty self-explanatory and probably the bulk what most full-service MSP’s are really delivering regardless of what they are selling.
- Technical Consulting or VCIO – This is the part of your service delivery where your technical consultant which may be you meets with the client and helps them make a technology budget, strategize on future direction, and utilize technology in a way that moves them forward.
If that looks a lot like your offering, congratulations, you have a commodity offering. Except perhaps the last one, technical consulting, your prospect doesn’t really care.
Unless they have had a significant security breach or some regulatory body is pressuring them, they don’t care. Patching, Spam, Virus, they don’t care, believe me, I’ve seen their eyes glaze over many many times.
So how should you define your offering? If you need to include more, your offering needs to include things that fulfill THEIR desires and alleviates THEIR fears.
Here’s a couple of tips on really zeroing in on what they want. Remembers buyers don’t buy what they need; they buy what they want.
What your prospect wants
So what do they want… they want the same things you want as a business owner.
- To attract more business
- To be more competitive
- To have a more efficient workforce
- To put more money to the bottom line
So let’s craft an offer that helps them achieve those things. I know what you’re thinking, but Terry I’m an IT guy, not a business consultant. I get that. I feel ya, but maybe we can craft an offer that incorporates what you do and deliver it in a way that gives the prospect what they want.
Start with a new offer.
The first thing I would say is to start with a new offer. What I mean is make your offer look like something entirely new in their eyes. If it’s an improvement, they’ll be less likely to bite.
Let me explain. If I gave you two options which one would you prefer?
- Put an additive in your gas tank and get 50 miles per gallon making your car twice as efficient.
- Get behind the wheel of an all-electric Tesla and get 50 miles per gallon.
Wouldn’t you go for the Tesla? Is this making sense?
if you go in and tell them how break-fix doesn’t work, that the “old” IT guy was incentivized on their systems not running well you’d be right but you’d also be forcing your prospect to admit to themselves that they made a mistake. They would also have a ton of pre-conceived notions about why any improvement to what already has failed will fail again.
There is a lot more to this, then the choice between a new car and an additive, but the gist of it is that to help your prospect to “improve” you need to get them to admit that they previously made a mistake with their old solution. In their minds, they need to shed all the false beliefs that what your offering isn’t more of the same thing that has already failed them.
Improvements are hard and come with baggage – New offerings don’t. They don’t require the buyer to wrestle with the fact that they already failed.
Does this make sense?
Address and break down their false beliefs
So what you want to do is shape your offering to address and break down their false beliefs.
We all have beliefs, and they guide us in our decisions. Whether or not these beliefs are true they influence us. When you pitch them your new offering, their minds will immediately fill with beliefs that have been formed from their experiences.
Figure out what experience or experiences have shaped the possible objections around your offering. Figuring this out isn’t easy, but it’s key to your long-term success.
You know how hard it is to get a new appointment. You need to improve on every one of them. Whether or not you are the one going on the sales call or someone on your sales team. You need to do a post-mortem on every appointment. Document each and every question the prospect asked. These questions will help you build stories around their objections and general questions.
Pre-Frame them. Get them in a state of mind that they are receptive to your new offering. Do this by telling stories that counteract their false beliefs. Tell stories that include what they have traditionally done, tell them why it doesn’t work then show them why your offering does work.
Think about this example:
- You’re at a conference and someone says, “There’s this MSP, Terry Rossi, who thinks he’s somebody, making a podcast for MSP’s. You should hear it! Go to itprovidernetwork.com”
- You’re at a conference and someone says, “There’s this MSP, Terry Rossi, he’s built an MSP that has been in the top MSP’s worldwide for the last six years, You should hear it! Go to itprovidernetwork.com
Those two statements have pre-framed you to think differently about me before you ever saw or heard my offering.
You need to start working on this. Be intentional about it. You’re going to feel uncomfortable at first with it but roll with it. Everybody sucks at the beginning. You’ll get better, and the stories will flow easier. If you can’t include yourself or your company in the story, then borrow someone else’s story. That’s ok too. Don’t lie but they don’t need to be your stories.
Remember that as you plant new stories in their mind, the buyer will have new objections. They may not voice them but they will pop into their heads. Anticipate them and keep displacing them during your conversation. You can say something like, “You may be thinking…”.
The pre-framing stories, will dispel their false beliefs and lead them to their own conclusions, the conclusion that you want.
The conclusion that your offer is the correct one.
All without selling, you’re telling stories, and they are changing their minds.
Position your company as the only solution
Now that you’ve redefined your offering, you’re addressing the wants of your prospect instead of what you think they need.
I want you to remember to pitch your offering with absolute conviction. Your solution is the only solution for your client.
Address the things they desire the most – profit, revenue, productivity, uptime, whatever you come up with. The desires that you derived from the notes from your previous appointments. Use those wants to make them believe that the only way to get them is with your offering. What you are offering today. Right then and there.
The Last Thing…The One Thing
And remember the last thing you say, the last thing you talk about is going to be the thing that they remember. Make sure you leave them with your best stuff. Close strong with a recap of all the parts of your offer. If you don’t recap it they are only going to remember the last feature or benefit. Recap it all
That’s it for episode 32 of the IT Provider Network. I received some great feedback from listeners this week, and for that, I am truly grateful. Thank you for listening!
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