One of my favourite marketing books is Influence: The Power of Persuasion. All MSPs should listen to this.
It's an oldie but goodie, and I believe it's where the all important phrase "social proof" was first coined (if you don't know what that is, have a read of this blog post as you need social proof all over your MSP's website).
Social proof aside, another weapon of influence in the book is scarcity, and I'm going to add deadlines to that.
- Scarcity = a limited supply of something. If they want it, they must get it before someone else does
- Deadline = a cut-off when something is no longer available
Scarcity and deadlines get people off the fence. They force people to pay attention to what's being offered. They tell themselves "if I want this, I must take action now, or I will miss out".
So rather than put off the decision for another day, they make a decision: Buy, or don't buy. Great. We want a decision, not another delay.
However it's really important your scarcity and deadlines are real. The more real and authentic they are, the more influential power they will have.
Here's an example of a deadline.
Then I'll show you how MSPs can use this.
On Friday night last week. I closed the launch offer for my new MSP Marketing Action Monthly printed newsletter. There was a genuine reason for it closing then - the following morning I had to give the names and addresses of all the subscribers to my printer, so he could print the January 2023 copies and ship them to MSPs around the world.
So, the deadline itself was real. That didn't mean it couldn't double up as a marketing opportunity.
Having this genuine deadline gave me the perfect reason to do a launch offer (where people were offered a discounted rate) with the same strict deadline.
The deadline drives buying decisions. Look what happened to our sales, across a 6 day launch window.
This shows up till the day before the 'offer deadline'. What do you think happened next?
You guessed it- the graph carried on upwards.
The big question then:
How can MSPs use scarcity and deadlines to drive sales?
It's a tricky one. Yes there have been hardware limitations recently, but new tech isn't that scarce. And it's not like you can run out of software licences 😃
No, I think the best way for you to use this, is to zero in on the one resource that is genuinely scarce: Your people's time.
- Prospects: "Because of the amount of onboarding we choose to do, we can only take on one new client a month. Shall I pencil you in to get started in January or February?"
- Prospects: "The work you need us to do here requires my top people, and their availability is understandably limited. Unusually, we've just had a project delayed which frees up a week at the start of January - did you want to go ahead then?"
- Existing clients: "Our diary for project time is quickly filling up. I can pencil this in for April, but I'll need a yes from you this week."
- Existing clients: "I can only do 2 strategic reviews a week as they require a huge amount of preparation and thinking time. Did you want to meet in 3 weeks' time or later in the year?"
What other examples can you think of?