(aka: Automated relationship building to move people through your funnel)
So let’s say you have started to build yourself a database of leads (as explored in last week’s article The simple reason you don’t get more sales appointments).
You’ve persuaded a few people to hand over their contact details – and give their permission for you to market to them.
Great. Now the real work starts. Because these people are still strangers to you. And you are a stranger to them.
The goal now is to build a good relationship with them over the coming weeks. So by the time they are ready to put their hand up and ask to speak to someone about IT support, they feel that they know you just a little.
The easiest way to do this is by sending them weekly educational emails.
This is an incredibly powerful and cost effective way to grow your business. Because instead of panicking about where your next client is coming from, you simply have to keep working your database. And the prospective clients will self-identify.
Here’s an example. Right now, there are 711 active owners and managers of IT support businesses in my database (excluding my clients and people who have unsubscribed). Here’s a screenshot of my CRM:
If you get my weekly emails, you’re in that number! Thanks for staying.
Every week I send out content to that database. Content just like this article. Educational content that is designed to be of interest to those 711 people and help them.
There’s no big sell. There’s no talking about me and everything I can do. There’s just a focus on delivering great content.
The goal is for you and the 710 other people to get to know me and my business a tiny little bit every week.
So at the point you are ready to look at growing your MSP, I’m on your radar and will have a reasonably good chance of having a conversation with you.
Most of the people on that database will never buy anything from me. And that’s OK. Because somewhere inside that database is my next 10, 20, 30 clients.
If tomorrow, I want or need new clients, I don’t have to rush out some adverts, or turn on a pay per click campaign and waste a great deal of my time on the phone with cold prospects.
Instead, I just have to work my database. And set up some calls with people who are warmer prospects. Because in a small way, they know me and have a relationship with me.
Someone who has received 50 emails from me over the last year and opened 20 of them, will be a much warmer prospect than someone who clicked on my pay per click advert 2 hours ago. Because we’ll have built a relationship. It’ll be a small one, but it’ll still be there.
Does this make sense? Good. Because it will work exactly the same in your business. Marketing and selling IT support is no different to marketing and selling MSP Marketing / MSP Marketing!
The trick then is to do this in a way that moves everyone through your sales funnel, but doesn’t take up too much of your valuable time.
For this you need two things.
Great educational content
Yes you need to send content weekly. That’s not too much, so long as it’s relevant and interesting.
Regular emails produce better results (and lower unsubscription rates) than irregular emails.
What do you put in your weekly emails? Educational content. Assume the people in your database don’t know what they don’t know about IT support. And teach them.
(Side note – if you struggle to generate this kind of content, I have a new service I’m launching in the next few weeks. It’s called the MSP Marketing Edge, and it’s designed to take this kind of headache away for you by giving you content – and a series of other powerful marketing tools – every month).
A CRM / autoresponder
So you can invest just one hour a week loading and sending an email to them. Being able to send an email to 711 people with the click of a button is very powerful.
Hell – in my last business, I sent two emails a week to 12,000 people! That was one of the fundamental reasons that business scaled so quickly, and why I was able to sell it.
If you’re looking for a new CRM, I highly recommend MailerLite. It’s packed with functionality, is free to start, and low cost as you grow the size of your database.
The other CRM I use is Infusionsoft. If MailerLite is a VW Golf, then Infusionsoft is a Ferrari. A wonderful product but you don’t half pay through the nose for it.
There’s one more article in this series, and that’s about getting people in the database to put their hands up to say they want to talk to you about IT support: Passive and active ways to generate sales appointments.
As always, if you have any questions please pop them in the Facebook comments below. Or email me directly firstname.lastname@example.org.