Episode 109: The perfect prospect journey for an MSP

Episode 109: The perfect prospect journey for an MSP

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Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 109: The perfect prospect journey for an MSP
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In this week’s episode

  • Do you think like prospects think? If you can put yourself in the shoes of the prospect and think through what kind of journey you’d like them to have with your MSP, that will be a huge marketing advantage. This week Paul explains how to design the perfect prospect journey
  • Also on the show this week, how you can improve the business by using data points to make positive changes every single day
  • Plus find out from Paul’s featured guest what video storytelling is, and shy you should do it

Featured guest

Jude Charles is this week's featured guest on Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast

Thank you to filmmaker and brand strategist Jude Charles for joining Paul to talk about how you leverage the power of video storytelling in your MSP.

After starting his video production business at 17 years old, he found his specialty in helping entrepreneurs bring their stories to life through documentaries. For over 15 years, Jude has been producing documentary series for major brands such as Google, Coldwell Banker, and Steve Harvey but he is fuelled by working closely with purpose-driven entrepreneurs and leaders.

Connect with Jude on LinkedIn.

Show notes

Episode transcription

Voiceover:
Fresh every Tuesday for MSPs around the world. This is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green:
Hey, don’t tell anyone that I told you, but today, it’s 11 days to Christmas. Here’s what we’ve got coming up in this week’s show.

Jude Charles :
Video is powerful and it’s much easier than you’d imagine to be able to tell a story, to be able to do video so that people will connect with you.

Paul Green:
That’s Jude’s Charles, he’s actually a filmmaker, and he’s going to be here later on in the show telling you how you can use a good story, how you can use better storytelling to attract more clients to your MSP. We’re also going to be talking about data points. Do you have KPIs, key performance indicators, or some kind of dashboard within your business? You’re bound to in some way but how do you use that information to make the business just a little bit better every single day? We’re going to explore that later on in today’s show.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green:
One of the greatest superpowers you can have in marketing is the ability to look at things from the point of view of the person that you want to sell to: the prospect. And the more time you spend developing this superpower, the better your marketing ability will become. Because right now, the world that you and I are in, where we are absorbed by cyber security and Windows 11 and technology and Cloud and all of that kind of stuff. That’s not the normal world of the prospects. They don’t live in that world at all. Instead, they live in their own special little world. For example, if they’re a vet, a veterinarian, they live in the world of vaccines and treatments, and medical journals and continuous professional development and all of this kind of stuff. For them, it’s really hard for them to look at how ordinary pet owners think, because they know so much about how animals go wrong and pet owners don’t. And we are exactly the same, except we know, well you know loads about how computers go wrong and technology, and it’s very easy to forget that actually your prospects don’t.

Paul Green:
One of the most powerful ways to tackle this is to map out the prospect journey when they first start talking to your business. So what is the prospect journey? Well, it’s the process that someone goes through when they’re looking for a brand new MSP, and people are quite predictable. They act in a certain number of fairly predictable ways. So you can look at what would the perfect prospect journey be through our business. So for example, let’s assume we’ve got someone who’s got an incumbent MSP. They’re not happy with them. They’re ready to move on. And let’s say today, right now, they’ve just grabbed their phone and they’ve Googled IT support your town. So we know that people do this. We know that at the point at which they’re ready to have a conversation, or if they’re looking for more quotes to go with an existing quote or something like that. But a number of people, we know they do this, they Google IT support your town.

Paul Green:
What’s the first thing that comes up? Is it worth you spending money to getting to those ads at the top of Google? What does it say on your search listing? Are you happy with what’s there on your search listing? How can you help Google to make the right decision to put your listing higher up than someone else’s? Are all your Google My Business settings and bits and bobs there, are they all optimised so that the chances of someone getting onto your website is so much higher? This is where we start when we look at the prospect journey, because now we want them to see your listing and be intrigued enough to click on your listing. And that’s only a quarter second thought process for them, but when they click on or they tap on your listing, what do we next want them to see?

Paul Green:
They’re prospects, they know nothing about technology. And in fact they’re kind of scared by it. So what we don’t want to do is hit them with Cloud and servers and pictures of cold things. We immediately want to make them feel warm. We kind of want to make them at the point at which they hit your website, feel almost relaxed. It’s like, oh, okay. These guys are normal. These are humans. These aren’t tech people who are trying to sell me technology. These are human people. And the way that we do that is through videos, it’s through pictures of people, it’s by using relaxing language, it’s by using their language, not your language. If you find yourself using the word, server, on your website, you’ve completely missed the trick. If you have a photo of a server on your website, you’ve totally, totally got that wrong.

Paul Green:
So what’s the next thing we’d want from them on the prospect journey? Well, maybe next we’d want them to consume some social proof. So we’d want them to see a testimonial from your client. Yeah, sure. That’s good. But what would be better is if they consumed a case study. So what if there was a case study page where they could click through and have a look? In fact, let’s take that a step further. What if there was a buyer’s guide that they could go and download and have a look at that buyer’s guide and actually read 20, 30, 40 pages about how to buy technology? Wouldn’t that be powerful, particularly if you had case studies and social proof built into that?

Paul Green:
What’s the next thing we want from them on that journey? Well, we want to talk to them now. So maybe they’re ready to book a 15 minute video call with you. In which case let’s show them your live diary. Let’s tell them who you are. Let’s show them that you are safe. Let’s link to your about us page, where they can learn about you and see that you are the chief strategist within the business, the chief technologist, the founder, whatever it is that you are. They know who you are, they know you’re not just some kind of salesperson and they can book a 15 minute appointment with you. That would be great.

Paul Green:
What about those who are ready, willing, and able to take action right now? Well what about live chat? Let’s have live chat on the site and let’s pay a company to monitor that live chat for us so they could just go on to live chat and it’s good that we allow them to do this or encourage them to do this because it’s that instant gratification. They go on the live chat, they have a chat. They don’t realize they’re talking to some customer service agent somewhere who’s just been given some strict instructions that when someone comes onto live chat, if they can’t answer their question immediately, then their job is to book them a 15 minute video call with you. And they can literally say, “Oh, you need to speak to Dave. He’s our chief strategist and technologist. Unfortunately he’s in a meeting today with one of our clients. Here’s his diary. Shall we get … Or what would be better for you? Wednesday at 2:00 or tomorrow morning at 9:30?” And then your chat agent could actually book that appointment in directly for them.

Paul Green:
So next on the prospect journey, what do we want? Well we want to send them some reminders to make sure they turn up for that call. And then on that call itself, we want to make sure that you are at the top of your game, that you are asking them about their favourite subject, which is themselves and their business, that you are asking them intelligent, open questions. Good questions about their business. Tell me about your business. What do you personally enjoy most about it? What frustrates you with your business? What can I do to make your life easier? I mean, these are big, big questions, all of which you can go in and you can explore the detail of their answers.

Paul Green:
And then of course that 15 minute video call never ever lasts 15 minutes, all being well, it’s going to last 30 or 40 minutes. Then you can move them on to the actual sales meeting and you can meet with them. And again, there are things. Look at it from what’s the ideal prospect journey? Ideally, you would go and see them within a couple of days. Ideally, you would get them out of their normal environment. You don’t want them sat in their office. It could be a meeting room in their building. That would be okay, but you don’t want them sat behind their desk and you sat the other side. That’s just a big barrier between you and them.

Paul Green:
And then you’d look at how quickly can you get the proposal to them? Can you get a proposal on email to them that afternoon? Can you then print that proposal and send it to them with an impact box? And that impact box contains a whole series of things like merch, some merchandise, maybe a copy of that IT services buyers guide that we were talking about. You’d certainly put in there some case studies again and some goodies, some chocolates or candy, sweets, something like that.

Paul Green:
And then of course the next step from there is you would have a scheduled time when you are going to speak to them, to answer their final questions and get their decisions. I’ve never understood why business owners permit that whole, shall I call you next week thing? That’s ridiculous. Get something in the diary, make sure it’s in their diary and yours, call them at that moment. You get their final question. If they need more time, that’s fine. You book another appointment. You stay in control of the sales process. Now what I’ve just described there very quickly is an ideal prospect journey. You’re looking at it from their point of view, that you are designing at every stage what experience you want them to have. If they’re picking you, not based on your technology prowess, but on how much they like you or don’t like you, then you’ve got to design this whole journey to talk to them at a very emotional level.

Paul Green:
If you’ve never done this, spend some time, grab your team, grab some peers if you have to. Go through this, look at it as the ideal prospect, what’s the experience you want them to have with your business from the very first contact?

Voiceover:
Here’s this week’s clever idea.

Paul Green:
So have you planned out what your strategy for growth is going to be in 2022? We did ours a few weeks ago, spent some time with my team. We looked at all the things that we want to achieve next year. And one of the goals for next year is that every week we are going to make the whole business just a little bit better. And I’ve even put that in speech marks. “Just a little bit better.” And what I mean by a little bit better is we’re going to spot things, they’ll either be quick wins, or easy wins, or problems that we can just eliminate or something that just makes things a little bit better for our clients or for our team. And we’re just going to do those really, really quickly, because actually that’s a kind of a culture that we have within the business, but I want to make it a formal thing. And one of the things I want to drive that is data.

Paul Green:
So we have a whole chunk of data that we collect within our business. Our business is the MSP marketing edge and we are constantly collecting data on how many new clients we have for every pound or dollar that we spend. We are looking at lead generation. We are looking at touchpoints with our clients. We’re looking at support cases and we started putting a lot of this together in a dashboard. It’s not particularly sophisticated. It’s a Google Sheet if I’m honest. I say dashboard, that sounds all posh, doesn’t it? But even that Google Sheet, because there’s a lot you can do with a Google Sheet shared across a team. We’re starting to build up pictures and as we’re building up pictures of how people are responding to the things that we do and how different marketing initiatives work, it gives us the ability to take a data point and say, hey, let’s improve this right now. It’s an hour’s work and it’s going to make the business a bit better.

Paul Green:
And I think that’s the opportunity for you next year, whatever your goals are, you can throw into that, what can we do, it’s just something every day or every week to just make the business a little bit better? Now you’ve got data all over the place as well. You’ve got, particularly your ticketing system. You can look in your PSA and say, right, what do the tickets tell me? What can we do to make things a little bit better? I mean, for example, new users or password changes. I know there are pain in the backside, but what could you do to deliver those faster to your clients? Because they’re not priorities. Please, can you set up a new user? It’s not a high priority task to you or for them really, but they always leave it till the last second. So it always becomes an urgent job and then they’re impatient for you to get on with it.

Paul Green:
How could you make that a little bit better? I bet you and your team if you looked at that and you looked at the stats and the data and asked yourself, okay, how long does it take us to actually deliver a new user? If we have a client who adds on average two or three new users a month and it’s taking us, let’s say a day, a working day to get back to them. That means two, three times a month, we are frustrating our client because it’s taking us a working day to do something that is actually five minutes worth of work. It’s just we’ve not prioritised it as a high priority ticket. How could we make that a little bit better? I don’t know. Is there some kind of automation you can bring in? Is there a better process? Could you actually prioritise new users because you know they’re highly emotional, impactive points?

Paul Green:
The answers to all of this is in the data. Go and get your data. If you have a dashboard brilliant. If you don’t have a dashboard, go and get one, there’s all sorts of free dashboards out there. Go and get a dashboard, plug your data into it, have a look at the data. Having a dashboard for the sake of a dashboard is, well it’s kind of pointless really. The point is to have the dashboard and to look at it so that you can take those data points and make the business just a little bit better every single day.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

James Lett:
Hello, this is producer James telling you about a prize that you can win soon that could have a profound effect on your life and your MSP, an inspirational Christmas gift rather than socks. So a new year is coming. The chance to think ahead for the business to be open to some fresh ideas and to be inspired. And there’s nothing more inspirational than the top five books that Paul recommends out of all those that he’s read about marketing, business growth, personal development and productivity. What we’re going to do next week is tell you about those five books, give you the chance to win brand new copies of them. And also, that’s not it, a year’s membership to Audible so you can be inspired with some audio books as well. All you need to do is be listening to next week’s show, episode 110 out on December 21st.

Voiceover:
The big interview.

Jude Charles :
Hello, my name is Jude Charles and I am a filmmaker of Jude Charles and Company. I help entrepreneurs leverage the power of storytelling.

Paul Green:
And I’m so excited to have you on the show Jude. You were recommended to me by an MSP who’s in one of our communities. I think he’s in our Facebook group, David Bennett. So thank you David for putting us in touch. And the reason I’m excited to have you on Jude is because you are going to talk about one of my favourite marketing subjects, which is video. But you’re going to talk about it, not from a technical point of view, but how you can use video to influence people to buy from you.

Jude Charles :
Yes, absolutely. Video is powerful and the main thing is storytelling. Like how do you not just capture what you’re doing, but be able to tell a story that influences people that allows them to know, like, and trust you and want to eventually hire your company to do whatever service it is that you provide.

Paul Green:
So let’s start at the very beginning. And when I talk to most MSPs about video and suggest they do more videos, this kind of utter look of horror comes over their face. The thought of having to actually stand in front of a camera and do stuff. And I’ve got a few that have done very well. In our Facebook group, I was mentioning earlier, it’s the MSP Marketing Facebook Group. You can go in there and you’ll see quite a few videos from Christian Fleming, for example, who’s been on this podcast and a couple of other people that do their own videos. So those that do it seem to do very well, but the vast majority hate filming videos. Is this your experience working with all sorts of business owners?

Jude Charles :
It is the same exact experience. People are afraid of being on camera. They’re afraid of what they may look like. And more importantly, what they may say. The thing to remember, and it’s the main thing we’re going to talk about today is that storytelling will allow people to know, like and trust you. But more specifically, if you focus on just telling a story the same way you would do it with like a friend at a bar, it’s much easier than you’d imagine to be able to tell a story, to be able to do video, so that people will connect with you in a deeper way.

Paul Green:
So give us an example of a kind of story that you could tell in a video. What’s a great way to get started.

Jude Charles :
Sure. So the one that I want to focus on is what I call transformation dramatic demonstration. So when I’m working with clients, I teach them often these five different dramatic demonstrations. There’s behind the scenes, live illustration, social proof, transformation and unique mechanism. But I want to focus on transformation. Transformation is what life looked like before the client worked with you. What would happen if they didn’t solve the problem? What life looked like after working with you. But deeper than that, how has their life changed? Let’s take the example of like a client testimonial. But what if you actually, instead of just getting someone talking on a testimonial, saying how great you are, what if you actually documented the entire journey from the very beginning? Now you’re not just in front of the camera, talking about your business. Now you’re really excited because you’re talking about a very specific problem that you are the expert on. Now you’re able to show exactly what you did step by step from the beginning of the journey, the middle of the journey and the end to show how you solved that problem.

Jude Charles :
And to me, that is the easiest way because is I think what many entrepreneurs are afraid of when they get in front of the camera is talking about themselves. People have a hard time talking about themselves. But if you change the frame to not just talking about yourself, but talking about your client and how you’ve actually walked this client through a very difficult problem that they had, a very specific and difficult problem, that will change the game. And it would take this MSP world that is complex and complicated in some ways, and it’ll make it simple for the possible lead or client to understand what it would mean, what it would look like to work with you.

Paul Green:
So I can see the value of that video. And as you’re talking about it, I can just imagine what it would look like on a website or on YouTube or whatsoever, but it doesn’t half sound like an awful lot of work to create it.

Jude Charles :
It is an awful lot of work and there’s definitely no hiding from that. Video is not easy. And again, that is why people are afraid to do video because it is time consuming. But hearing something said 1,000 times is not as powerful as seeing it once. I’ll say it again, hearing something said 1,000 times is not as powerful as seeing it once. Although it may take you a long time to create the video, it’ll actually lessen your time, your lead time, your sales time from going from this client or this lead first, hearing from you to them wanting to work with you. Because now you’ve put all this time into creating a video that allows them to know, like, and trust you and then allows them to get to a quicker decision of working with you. And so yes, it is a lot of time. No doubt about it. It is the reason that many people don’t do it, but also keep that in mind, that could be your competitive advantage, that many people aren’t willing to do this.

Paul Green:
Do you know you are absolutely right. And I say this to my clients all the time. If most MSPs aren’t doing something, that’s actually a huge opportunity.

Jude Charles :
Yeah, absolutely. It is a huge, huge opportunity because it means that not only if a lot of people aren’t doing it, but if a lot of people aren’t doing it, but you know it works, like you’ve seen the results from other people, like video is not new. YouTube has been around for over a decade now. We have seen social media platforms that may have started through text like Twitter, but now have their own video player through their platforms. Like, video is powerful. LinkedIn was the same way. It started with just text and images, and now it has its own video player. So yeah, if you know that this works and there is a competitive advantage, it’s a no brainer to take it.

Paul Green:
Now, I assume that your company actually makes these videos with your clients.

Jude Charles :
Yes, absolutely. So I create specifically docu-series for entrepreneurs. So I go behind the scenes. Let’s take, for example, we’ve talked about David Bennett, but let’s say for example, David Bennett. If we were to do a docu-series, it would be on him as the leader of this MSP. But also one of the things that we would show is how he’s working with his clients. And so I create docu-series, documentary series on entrepreneurs and showing not only how they work behind the scenes, but also going deeper into their personal story and allowing you to … I’ve said it multiple times, because it is the most important thing we do business with people, giving you an opportunity to know, like, and trust him and really getting to understand who it is that’s leading this company that you work with.

Paul Green:
So let’s say you did do this video series with David. How would you best distribute that? Would it be something that would just sit on his website? Would you do it as a regular show on YouTube? What’s the most effective way to get this video in front of the right people?

Jude Charles :
I love that you asked that question because I think it is important not just to take the time to tell the right story, but it’s to put it on the right platform at the right time for the right person. What I often talk about is dramatic leverage. So I have a list of 70, 7-0, different ways to leverage 1 video. The platform that’s important would be the platform that your clients are on or where you’re most active. So let’s say hypothetically, Facebook, you’re most active on Facebook. That is the best place to launch the docu-series. If you’re most active on YouTube, that is the best place to launch the docu-series. I have literally worked with clients who have launched their docu-series on Facebook, YouTube, or strictly through their email list and have seen great results. And it is only because they understand where their clients are and they focus on the platforms that their clients are on.

Jude Charles :
But then more than that, they don’t just promote the docu-series on the one platform that one time. They do it for years and years. And what I mean by that, I’ll give you a very specific example. I worked with a cosmetic company in 2010 to 2013. We did a docu-series and I went back and looked, I think in 2017, I went back and looked at her Facebook page, which is where she was most active. And in 2017, even though we finished the project in 2013, she was still sharing the docu-series that we had created in 2013. I’ll say that again. 2017 is when I went back and looked at it but 2013 is when she re-shared that video. And so it is, the right platform is where your audience currently lives or where you are most active, because that means you have built an audience there and that audience are already paying attention to what you’re doing. And now you’re giving them something to go deeper with.

Paul Green:
I love this. It’s just great. And listen to you, giving yourself a bit of a tantalising tease there. You’ve got 70 different ways to repurpose 1 video. I’m sure you’ll tell us how we can find out some of those ways. Tell us a little bit more about your business Jude and how can we get in touch with you?

Jude Charles :
Sure. So in 2006, I was in a TV production classroom in high school, 17 years old. And my TV production teacher at the time told me that I should start a business, but I am the last of 10 children and no one in my family are entrepreneurs. So I had no idea what she meant by starting a business. But the following day, May 5th, 2006, my teacher, Mrs. Donnelly handed me my first set of business cards. And ever since then, it’s been 15 years now. Like I mentioned earlier, I run a video production company where I help entrepreneurs leverage the power of storytelling.

Jude Charles :
There are two sides to it where I do consulting, which is just helping you understand how to tell stories and where to find the stories to tell within your business. And then the other side is the actually bringing it to life, what I call the dramatic demonstration of proof. That is where I create the docu-series, where we’re documenting your journey of not only working with clients, but your own personal story as well. And so that is who I am, and that is what I do and that is why we are connected here today on the Paul Green Show.

Paul Green:
Thank you very much. And what’s your website address Jude?

Jude Charles :
Sure. The best place to connect with me is through my website, judecharles.co. That is best place to connect with me. And if you want to learn more about storytelling and going really deep on video storytelling, there is a private email list on that website where you can sign up and be on that list.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast. This week’s recommended book.

Liz Wilcox:
Hi, I’m Liz Wilcox and the book I recommend is called Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age. It’s by a guy named Jeff Goins out of Nashville. When I was first getting started in my business, this was the first book that I read and nothing else has matched it for its simplicity, but also it’s just written very beautifully. Jeff Goins, he really debunks this myth of the starving artist. And he talks about how artists before, that have gained notoriety and fame, and honestly, fortune. You might think that they were starving artists, but they actually were pretty rich. And he gives some timeless strategies for working like in the digital age, talking about how you can really make a lot of money with the internet. He talks about getting ideas from influencers, collaborating with others, taking strategic risks, making money in order to make art, not the other way around. And then apprenticing under a master, like you listen to Paul every week. A lone genius can never reach their full potential.

Voiceover:
Coming up next week.

Jimmy :
Hi there. I’m Jimmy from Wavelength, the talent and recruitment advisors. We know this year has been a real challenge for a lot of businesses to recruit. And next week I’m going to tell you how you can make sure this isn’t the case for you moving forward.

Paul Green:
And Jimmy’s just the start of what’s going to be a packed final show before Christmas next week. We’re also going to be talking about how warm your people are. I mean, literally their warmth when I’m on the phone with them, when I’m talking with them. Can you train non-warm people to be warm or do you just need to hire highly warm people? Because I know you keep clients for longer and the clients are happier, they moan less and they buy more if you’ve got warm people. How do you do that? We’ll explore that next week. We’ll also pick up something that we touched on this week, which is live chat on your website. Should you do live chat? How can you do live chat? Is it a good sales route? How do you stop your existing clients from trying to use live chat to circumnavigate the normal support process? We’ll have a look at that.

Paul Green:
Plus we’ve got that massive prize that producer James was talking about earlier. Oh, and finally, we’ve got a special guest next week. He’s someone who’s going to be very, very busy for one particular night in a few days time. But we’ve managed to persuade him to take a few minutes out of his schedule and actually give us a book suggestion. It’s a real book suggestion from the big man himself. The big SC. He’s going to be here next week in the podcast. Join me next Tuesday and have a very profitable week in your MSP.

Voiceover:
Made in the UK for MSPs around the world. Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

 

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